Wallbridge Mining is shedding its “non-core” nickel assets in the Sudbury Basin, northwestern Ontario and in western Quebec to a new Vancouver exploration upstart.
In a $53.6-million all-share deal, Archer Exploration is acquiring an extensive package of nickel, copper and platinum group metal properties in the two provinces, totalling 67,000 hectares. The two companies announced the signing of a definitive purchase agreement on July 13.
Wallbridge will become the largest shareholder in Archer at 19.9 per cent. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
In a news release, Wallbridge said it wants to focus on developing its gold properties in Quebec.
Archer claims these acquisitions catapult them into prominence as a leading Canadian nickel sulphide explorer and mine developer.
Formed in 2018, Archer identifies itself as global exploration firm on the hunt for nickel and other battery metals like copper, cobalt and vanadium. The company is in the process of acquiring a nickel project in Tanzania.
In a release, Archer management believes the Sudbury properties have huge upside to discover high-grade nickel at depth and find copper along strike from the large producing mines in the Basin.
The package of local properties of almost 31,000 hectares includes the Parkin, Wisner, North Range, Windy Lake, Trill, South Range, South Range West and the Wahnapitae projects, collectively known as the Sudbury Project.
In northwestern Ontario, Archer will pick up a 15,555-hectare package of three properties, at the grassroots exploration stage, on the Archean Lumby Lake greenstone belt near Thunder Bay. The host rocks are favourable to containing economic amounts of mineable nickel.
Included in the deal is the Grasset nickel sulphide project, 55 kilometres northwest of Mattagami, Que. which contains an indicated nickel resource of 5.5 million tonnes at 1.53 per cent..
Archer interim CEO Keith Bodnarchuk called it a “transformative day” for the company in securing an advanced nickel deposit with Grasset and adding a “giant land package in the world-class Sudbury mining camp.”
Archer is backed by Inventa Capital Corp., a Vancouver venture capital outfit that funds resource companies.
In a statement, Wallbridge president-CEO Marz Kord said their full attention is on their Fenelon Gold Project in the Abitibi region of Quebec where they’ve identified a resource of 3.6 million ounces of indicated and inferred gold in an area with great growth potential. The company holds more than 900-square-kilometres of ground containing a huge gold system.
“Our core focus remains on the exploration and development of our 100 per cent-owned Fenelon Gold property, located on the highly prospective Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend in Northern Abitibi, Quebec, where we are currently in the midst of a major drilling campaign to expand the multi-million-ounce resource that we have already identified.
"The opportunity to have our portfolio of non-core nickel assets acquired by a focused, publicly-traded nickel development and exploration company led by a world-class team unlocks the value of these assets and allows Wallbridge and its shareholders to benefit from their future development potential.”