It’s no secret the world is staring down a looming lithium deficit. Even if every single lithium project currently in pre-production were to be made operational by 2030, there will still be at least a ten percent supply gap — lithium production may even hit a hard cap in 2027.
Said gap could hobble efforts to transition to net-zero and embrace clean energy. Lithium is arguably one of the most important battery metals where sustainability is concerned. A key component in electric vehicle batteries, lithium is also a considerable limiting factor in their production.
Part of the problem is the current state of the global lithium supply chain. China currently controls roughly 70 percent of global lithium production despite only supplying 13 percent of the world’s lithium. Challenging this dominance requires the establishment of both domestic production and a domestic supply chain for lithium. More importantly, it requires the capacity to swiftly bring large quantities of spodumene lithium to market.
Having seen the writing on the wall, North Arrow Minerals (TSXV:NAR) is leveraging its decades of experience and knowledge exploring for resources in Canada’s north to seize the opportunity in the fast-growing lithium market and bring to production several highly-promising spodumene pegmatite deposits in Northern Canada.
North Arrow, after all, has an advantage over other junior mining companies looking to capitalize on the lithium market. The company has had an extensive presence in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories for many years now. Its leadership is more than familiar with the many challenges of mining in the north.
More importantly, North Arrow’s leadership has established and maintained strong relationships with both provincial governments and community leaders. When the company needs to survey a site or visit a project, it doesn’t send consultants. It ensures its own people have boots on the ground.
That’s one of the reasons North Arrow is a two-time winner of the Nunavut Mining Symposium Corporate Award. These community connections alongside North Arrow’s expertise have already served it well. It has, thus far, established three major lithium projects in the North — DeStaffanay, Baffin Island and Bathurst Inlet.
Of these, DeStaffanay is the company’s flagship and the resource with the greatest potential to rapidly bring spodumene lithium to market. Successfully staked at a significantly lower cost than its counterparts, the project hosts some incredibly promising lithium mineralization. It also has the benefit of being located on the shoreline of Great Slave Lake, ensuring easy access via barge, while old spodumene exposures, due to historical mining efforts, streamline both drilling and sample collection.
Lithium demand is rapidly outpacing supply, with a hard cap predicted as early as 2027.The market will reward any company that can bring spodumene lithium quickly to market. A junior mining and exploration company based primarily in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Nunavut, North Arrow Minerals has the potential to do precisely this. Its flagship project, DeStaffanay, was recently financed, and the company has plans to start an exploration program here in the very near term. North Arrow maintains two other promising lithium projects, both situated in Northern Canada. Through decades of experience, North Arrow’s leadership has built strong relationships in the NWT and Nunavut. The company is a two-time winner of the Nunavut Mining Symposium Corporate Award, recognizing its contribution to the economic/social development of Nunavut.Strong relationships with governments and community leaders in the North. North Arrow’s management and directors have a successful track record of resource discovery and development in Canada’s North, with at least two discoveries going on to become successful mines. The company also maintains a strategic partnership with Panarc Resources, the goal of which is to identify additional spodumene targets in the NWT and Nunavut.
An advanced-state lithium project in the Yellowknife Pegmatite Province, DeStaffanay spans roughly 1,800 hectares on the shores of the Great Slave Lake. North Arrow maintains 100 percent ownership over the project, which boasts the same geologic setting as Li-FT Power’s highly successful Yellowknife Lithium project.
DeStaffanay is currently home to two lithium pegmatites known as Moose 1 and Moose 2. Though both deposits are noted in historical records, only one has ever been tapped. Moose 2 was test mined for tantalum, niobium and tin in the 1940s and 1950s. Neither deposit has been evaluated or targeted for lithium.
Strategically Located: DeStaffanay is situated on the shores of Great Slave Lake, 115 kilometers east of Yellowknife and 18 kilometers northeast of the Nechalacho Rare Earth Mine. Its location allows for easy air and barge access to both Yellowknife and the railhead at Hay River on the lake’s south side. Existing Minework: Past mining efforts have revealed up to one meter of megacrystic spodumene in the pit walls. This spodumene was not targeted by said mining efforts, however.Known Pegmatite Deposits: DeStaffanay contains two known lithium deposits, with the potential for many more. Moose 2: With 30-meter-wide strikes up to 450 meters in length, the Moose 2 deposit contains feldspar, quartz, spodumene and muscovite, with up to 40 percent spodumene locally. Local amblygonite (Li phosphate) zones (up to 8.4 percent lithium oxide; 38.2 percent phosphorus pentoxide) could provide additional lithium upside. Moose 1: The Moose 1 deposit has never been drilled. Due to lack of tantalum or niobium mineralization, it has also never been mined. Hosting strike lengths of 370 meters with an average length of 4.5 to 6 meters, the deposit has nevertheless proven amenable to channel sampling, with the most recent results returning 1.5 percent lithium oxide at 7.5 meters. Strong Leadership: North Arrow’s team has past lithium, tantalum and rare earth experience in the region, along with existing community ties that will prove beneficial when staffing the project.
Bathurst Inlet Lithium
The Bathurst Inlet Lithium project encompasses both mapped and interpreted pegmatite intrusives all located within 9 kilometers of tidewater at Bathurst Inlet. The project’s southernmost mineral claim is within 12 kilometers of Sabina Gold and Silver’s Port Facility, while North Arrow’s Oro Hope Bay Gold Property is roughly 80 kilometers to the northeast.
North Arrow acquired a 100-percent interest in the Bathurst Inlet Property in February 2023 and has yet to assess the project for spodumene and related lithium mineralization. A program is planned for summer 2023.
Another recent acquisition, Baffin Island’s staked targets are located within 12 kilometers of tidewater. They are also in an area where granite pegmatites with widths in the tens of meters have been mapped by government geologists. North Arrow has not yet announced its plans for the project.
Other Projects: Gold and Diamond
Oro (Hope Bay)
North Arrow’s Hope Bay is a 100-percent owned, 4,130-hectare gold project located just three kilometers north of Agnico Eagle’s renowned Doris Mine. North Arrow has confirmed near-surface gold mineralization over a strike of 300 meters, with plans for further drilling.
0.31-carat fancy color, rectangular radiant-cut diamond.
The original rough carat weight was 0.85 carats and the diamond was recovered from the 2021 bulk sample of the Q1-4 kimberlite at the Naujaat Project.
The Naujaat project houses the largest diamondiferous kimberlite pipe in the Eastern Canadian Arctic along with a rare population of yellow to orange diamonds. Thus far, North Arrow has identified a total of eight kimberlite pipes and associated dykes.
Located in east-central Saskatchewan, the Pikoo claims were first staked in 2011 based on the results of regional diamond exploration programs. Pikoo’s most significant discovery to date, Kimberlite PK150, is roughly 10 to 15 meters wide with a 150-meter strike length traceable to 199 meters.
Situated close to Canada’s first two diamond mines, Loki covers 13,898 hectares. North Arrow has identified multiple unsourced indicator trains in the property’s north and south, including the historic South Coppermine indicator train.
Lac De Gras
Lac De Gras is located within the kimberlite field of the same name, which also hosts the world-class Ekati and Diavik diamond mines. Established as a joint venture with Arctic Canadian Diamond Company, the project is considered to have significant exploration potential for diamondiferous kimberlites.
Ken Armstrong – President, CEO and Director
Ken Armstrong brings over 27 years of experience in the exploration industry. Through this time period, Armstrong has been involved in diamond, lithium, gold and nickel exploration in North America. From 2008 to 2010 he was involved in North Arrow’s lithium spodumene exploration in North Carolina and northern Canada.
Armstrong also serves as a director of Cornish Metals and a director and current past-president of the Northwest Territories & Nunavut Chamber of Mines. He is a registered professional geoscientist in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Province of Ontario. Armstrong directs North Arrow’s diamond exploration programs, reviewing all information of a scientific or technical nature related to the company’s projects before publication.
Wayne Johnstone – Chief Financial Officer
Wayne Johnstone graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1977 with a Bachelor of Commerce (finance) and in 1979 earned his chartered accountant designation. He has over 30 years of financial experience with public and private companies. During the past 25 years, Johnstone has focused on mineral exploration and development stage public companies throughout North and South America. More recently, he was the CFO of New Dimension Resources and of Creston Moly.
Brenda Nowak – Corporate Secretary
Brenda Nowak has over 30 years of experience in the securities legal industry. In addition to her role with North Arrow, she is also the corporate secretary for Cornish Metals (formerly Strongbow Exploration) and NGEx Minerals. In the past, she held this same position for Filo Mining, International Northair Mines, New Dimension Resources, Troon Ventures, Stornoway Diamond, Capstone Mining, Creston Moly, Kaminak Gold, Bluestone Resources, Kivalliq Energy and West Melville Metals.
Prior to her career as a corporate secretary in the junior resource sector, Nowak was a paralegal with DuMoulin Black LLP and held positions with Nexus Venture Capital Lawyers and Aber Diamond Corporation.
Eira Thomas – Advisor
Eira Thomas brings more than 25 years of experience in the mining industry, including 16 years with Aber Diamond Corporation following their discovery of the Diavik diamond mine where she served in ever-increasing roles from initial discovery as a geologist to vice-president exploration and ultimately, director of the board. She was co-founder of Stornoway Diamond, serving first as CEO and then as executive chairman. There, she led the acquisition of the Renard diamond deposit which subsequently became Quebec’s first diamond mine.
In 2007, Thomas founded Lucara with partners Lukas Lundin and Catherine McLeod Seltzer and in February 2018, adding to her directorship, became the president and CEO of the company. Prior to this, Thomas served as CEO of Kaminak Gold, which was acquired by Goldcorp in 2016 for $520 Million. She is also a director of Suncor Energy.
Allison Rippin-Armstrong – Advisor
Allison Rippin-Armstrong has over 20 years of experience in corporate social responsibility and environmental compliance, having worked for and advised resource companies, Indigenous and Territorial governments and non-government organizations. Rippin-Armstrong has been involved with projects throughout northern Canada including Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan.
Rippin-Armstrong was also responsible for the environmental, permitting and community relations programs at Kaminak Gold prior to its acquisition by Goldcorp in July 2016. She is currently self-employed at ARA Environmental Consulting Services Ltd.
Robin Hopkins – Advisor
Robin Hopkins is a professional geologist with more than 20 years’ exploration experience throughout Canada, Greenland and southern Africa. Hopkins served as vice-president of exploration for Stornoway Diamond Corporation from 2006 to 2019, previously serving as the chief technical officer of Stornoway’s predecessor company, Stornoway Ventures, from 2003 until 2006.
Between 2000 and 2004, Hopkins was vice-president, of exploration for Navigator Exploration, and prior to that a key member of Aber Resources’ exploration team that discovered the Diavik Diamond Project pipes in the Northwest Territories in 1994. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (H.B.A.Sc. Earth sciences) and a qualified person under NI 43-101.
D. Grenville Thomas – Chairman
Grenville Thomas has over 50 years’ experience in the mining industry, during which time he has built an impressive track record of discovery, most notably the world-class Diavik Diamond Mine and the Thor Lake rare metals deposit, both in the Northwest Territories.
He was the founder (and held positions of chairman, president and director) of Aber Resources (now Arctic Canadian Diamond Co.) and is currently a director of Cornish Metals and chairman and director of Westhaven Gold Corp.
Thomas’s discoveries have earned him many honors, including ‘PDAC Prospector of the Year’ for 1999 and ‘Man of the Year’ by The Northern Miner newspaper (2001). In January of 2009, Thomas was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame located at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada.
Christopher Jennings – Director
Dr. Christopher Jennings brings to the board extensive experience in diamond, gold and base metal exploration and development throughout the world. Jennings was the founder of SouthernEra Diamonds Inc., served as a consultant to Aber Resources and has held positions with numerous companies including International Corona, BP Minerals (Canada) and Falconbridge.
Blair Murdoch – Director
Blair Murdoch has 30 years’ experience in senior management in both private and public companies, with expertise encompassing sales, marketing and finance. He is the chairman of Option-NFA, a company traded on the TSX Venture Exchange and he holds a B.Sc. (mathematics) from the University of British Columbia
Torrie Chartier – Director
Torrie Chartier has over 20 years of experience as a diamond exploration geologist. In the 1980-90s, Chartier worked as an independent consultant and diamond geologist in exploration projects for various junior companies and was directly involved in the discovery of kimberlites in Michigan, NWT, Nunavut, and Greenland. She presently serves as CFO and a director of Uravan Minerals, a Calgary-based junior uranium explorer.
In March 2022, Elbow River Helicopters, the company she formed with her partner, Bruce Holloway, was sold to Blackcomb Helicopters. She has remained on as regional manager of business development.