Vancouver-based Rover Metals Corp. (ROVR:TSX.V; ROVMF:OTCQB; 4X0:FRA) is pivoting to focus on critical metals and minerals like copper and zinc by signing a letter of intent to option a 90% ownership interest in the Indian Mountain Lake Volcanic Massive Sulphide project in the Northwest Territories.
The company does not plan to get out of its Cabin and Up Town gold projects but knows that the demand for green energy is such that the site’s zinc and copper will be in high demand.
Exploration of the 30,000-acre Indian Mountain Lake site dates to the 1940s and into the 1990s, but geologists are looking at it with new eyes in light of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.
“The copper wasn’t really paid attention to (before) because the copper wasn’t the value that it is now,” said Gary Vivian, chairman of Aurora Geosciences and a geologist who has been involved with the site since at least the early 1990s. “The future bodes well for Rover as long as they’re systematic in their approach.”
“The copper wasn’t really paid attention to (before) because the copper wasn’t the value that it is now. The future bodes well for Rover as long as they’re systematic in their approach.”
—Geologist Gary Vivian, chairman of Aurora Geosciences
Vivian is serving as a technical advisor for Rover.
Copper conducts heat and electricity and is a major component in EVs, and zinc is also used in batteries. The climate and energy package just passed by the United States is bringing new urgency to EV metals and minerals. To qualify for tax credits, a significant percentage of batteries and minerals in batteries must come from the U.S. or a trade ally.
“Mining companies are going to have to start picking up projects in North America if they want to be supplying the automakers,” Rover Metals Chief Executive Officer and Director Judson Culter told Streetwise Reports. “We’re just looking ahead of the curve.”
Officials worldwide say a steady supply of such minerals and metals is vital.
“As countries accelerate their efforts to reduce emissions, they also need to make sure that energy systems remain resilient and secure,” according to the International Energy Agency. “The rising importance of critical minerals in a (decarbonizing) energy system requires energy policymakers to expand their horizons and consider potential new vulnerabilities. Concerns about price volatility and security of supply do not disappear in an electrified, renewables-rich energy system.”
The Indian Mountain Lake project, currently owned by Panarc Resources Ltd., is located about 195 kilometers east-northeast of Yellowknife and has a historical zinc-lead-silver-copper geological reserve. The BB and Kennedy Lake zones have a combined historical resource of 1.4 million tons grading 10% combined zinc and lead with 3.5 ounces per ton of silver (Ag).
About 900 meters west of BB, the Kennedy Lake West Zone has a historical resource of 610,000 tons grading 1.15% copper. And 8 kilometers southeast of BB is the Susu Lake Zone, consisting of a historical resource of 142,500 tons grading 0.95% copper.
The project sits at the 60th parallel and fits into Rover’s strategy of helping to secure Canada’s northern sovereignty in the Arctic. Within the region’s 21 million square kilometers, eight countries — Canada, Russia, the United States, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Iceland — have exclusive economic rights to resources up to 200 nautical miles from their shores.
As ocean temperatures rise and disrupt shorelines and shipping routes, heavy hitters like China are eyeing assets and deep seaports along Canada’s Northwest Arctic Passage.
“It’s really just increasing the scope of our footprint,” Culter said of the new project.
The company had been trying to get into the Indian Mountain Lake site since 2018, he said.
Access to the project is by barge at Thompson Landing. Federally funded hydro energy could also eventually be available in the future.
“Because of where it is, in the Northwest Territories, there’s been very little exploration done,” Vivian said.
Rover’s market cap is CA$3.94 million, and it has 157.56 million shares outstanding. It trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.09 and CA$0.03.
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