A Toronto exploration outfit working ground near the north shore of Lake Superior will evaluate if a rare earth element and phosphate property has mining potential.
This week, Nuinsco Resources released a first-ever resource estimate of its Prairie Lake Project located between Marathon and Terrace Bay. The 630-hectare property is located 28 kilometres north of Highway 17 (the Trans-Canada Highway).
A preliminary economic assessment will begin shortly, the company announced May 31.
Prairie Lake is a multi-commodity advanced exploration property containing rare earth elements, niobium, tantalum and phosphate, all having industrial applications which are expected to be in great demand in the coming years.
The company is evaluating whether Prairie Lake can be developed into a quarry operation.
The property contains a 15.6 million-tonne indicated mineral resource of total rare earth oxides, plus niobium and phosphate, with an even larger 871.8 million-tonne inferred resource. Rare earth element assays are reported as total rare earth oxides.
Indicated and inferred resources have to do with the degree of confidence in a mineral resource with indicated being of higher confidence and inferred being lower.
In a news release, company CEO Paul Jones said this is only a “starting point.” More than 50 per cent of the property’s potential resources are not included in the estimate.
He believes it has “substantial potential to grow” in resources.
Prairie Lake, Jones said, can be an “enormously significant asset” to Nuinsco based on the “economically significant mineralization” and that the commodities there will be in great demand as the global economy transitions to electrification and with the implementation of more green technologies.
"It has been clear to us for a long time that the Prairie Lake Project contains an exceptional endowment of sought after commodities,” said Jones, “many of which have been identified as Critical Elements defined under the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan.”
The carbonatite host rock is also suitable to be used in organic food processing and production, according to the Organic Materials Review Institute.
Besides Prairie Lake, Nuinsco has two gold exploration properties near Atikokan and Fort Frances, and a lithium and critical minerals project northeast of Armstrong.