What role is Rio Tinto playing in ALX Resources’ Falcon nickel project?
In 2020, ALX Resources signed an option agreement with Rio Tinto for the Firebird nickel project (formerly Falcon nickel project) in northern Saskatchewan. It is an earn-in deal where they can get up to 51% interest in the Firebird property by funding C$3 million in exploration expenditures within three years of the date of the agreement. They can also elect to execute their right to acquire up to 80% in the project through spending a total of C$12 million in exploration expenditures over six years and making a total of C$125,000 in cash payments to ALX. Thus far, we have completed one drilling program, which was successful in locating the style of mineralization that we are looking for – magmatic sulphides. We did not find economic quantities, however, the exploration method is working well which includes airborne surveys, followed up with ground surveys, and in some cases, diamond drilling.
What is your vision for the Electra project?
In December 2020, ALX signed a definitive agreement for an option to purchase a 100% interest in the Electra nickel project in Ontario. This is quite an interesting project that has been dormant for some time and has not had a drill hole since 1995. The past-producing high-grade nickel Shebandowan mine is located approximately 35 km to the northwest of Electra. We recently completed a leading-edge airborne survey which has pinpointed conductors that were not detected by historical surveys, presumably due to a lack of depth penetration of previous systems.
We will be focusing our exploration attention on Electra to build out what we believe will be a quite sizable project. Electra is located approximately 35 kilometers northwest of Thunder Bay in a fertile exploration district well-linked to highways, roads and trails, and lies near a powerline and the Canadian National Railroad.
How will you continue developing Cannon Copper and Vixen projects?
In January 2021, ALX announced an exploration review on our 100%-owned Cannon copper project in Ontario, at the time that copper prices were again starting to surge. We did an airborne survey with and are currently evaluating the data. We know that this asset holds high-grade copper, but still have to establish the size of the system. It has been over a year since we acquired the Vixen gold project in Ontario, where we completed some prospecting activities. In 2021 we were approached by First Mining Gold Corp. who made an offer to earn an initial 70% interest in Vixen by making cash payments totaling C$550,000, issuing shares totaling C$400,000 to ALX, and by incurring at least C$500,000 of expenditures at Vixen during the first three years of the option term. Upon completing the first stage of the earn-in, First Mining will hold a 70% interest in Vixen and will have an additional two-year period to acquire the remaining 30% interest in Vixen by electing to make a C$500,000 cash payment to ALX and by issuing shares to ALX totaling C$500,000. The Vixen project is quite remote and thus expensive to prospect, whereas First Mining has a base at Springpole camp, which makes prospecting for them more economical.
How was the company affected by the pandemic?
ALX started drilling Firebird in March 2020 and soon had to shut down the program due to the pandemic. In 2020, the gold market surged, which caught the assay labs flat footed as they did not have the workforce to accommodate the demand. This resulted in a huge backlog with labs only now starting to recover and getting back to normal turnarounds. First Nations were hit pretty hard by the pandemic, making it challenging to engage with our surrounding communities causing slowdowns in our operations.
Can you elaborate on ALX’s balance sheet and the company’s financing strategy to advance its projects in Ontario?
In June 2021, ALX completed a C$1.5 million financing round and another C$3.1 million raise in October. We raised over C$5 million in 2021, including all the warrants exercised and property sales.