Thunder Bay North Critical Metals

Project Highlights

  • Located 60km southeast of the Lac Des Iles mine previously owned by North American Palladium which was recently acquired for C1$ billion by Impala Platinum Holdings.
  • Significant drilling on the TBNCM project with over 1000 holes drilled to date.
  • Significant discovery made by Rio Tinto on a twin structure at the Escape Lake Intrusion and magma conduit which included an intercept of 33.4m at 7.28gpt Pt+Pd+Au and 2.26% Cu+Ni.
  • Close to $100 million in past exploration on the TBN project historically by past owners.


The TBNCM project is situated approximately 50km northeast of the city of Thunder Bay, within the Thunder Bay Mining Division, in Ontario, Canada.  The project is located in close proximity to excellent infrastructure and is accessible using a series of logging roads branching from Armstrong Highway 527, which in turn branches from the Trans-Canada Highway 11-17 a short distance east of the city of Thunder Bay.

Figure 1: Project Location

The TBNCM project is located in close proximity to several operating mines which include the Lac Des Iles mine owned by Impala Platinum Holdings and the Eagle mine owned by Lundin Mining.

Figure 2: Project Location & Claim Block

Ownership & Claim Block

Clean Air Metals has executed a definitive agreement with Benton Resources to acquire its:

  • Right to purchase 100% of Panoramic Resource’s Thunder Bay North (TBN) Property for C$9 million.
  • Right to purchase 100% of Rio Tinto’s Escape Lake Project for C$6 million.

The TBNCM project currently comprises of three separate claim blocks which include:

  • Thunder Bay North Property consists of 300 unpatented claims (1456 cell units) covering an aggregate area of ~29,725ha.
  • Escape Lake Property consists of 20 unpatented claims (20 cell units) with an area of 561.3ha. The property is located 2.1km west-southwest of the Current Lake Deposit and is completely surrounded by TBN claims.
  • Escape North Property consists of 24 unpatented claims (67 cell units) with an area of 1722ha. The property is directly north of and adjacent to the northern boundary of the TBN claims.

Figure 6: Claim Block

Regional Geology

The Project is hosted in the Quetico Terrane (subprovince) of the Superior Province of the Canadian Precambrian Shield (Figure 3).  The Quetico Terrane is interpreted as a fore-arc accretionary prism deposited during and after peak volcanic activity within the adjacent Wawa, Wabigoon, and Abitibi Terranes between 2,698 and 2,688 million years ago.  The terrane is about 70 km wide and forms a linear strip of moderately to strongly metamorphosed and deformed clastic meta-sedimentary rocks and their melt equivalents.

Property Geology

The TBN project consists of two main intrusive complexes which include:

  1. Current Lake Intrusion
    The mineralized zones within this intrusive complex include Current Lake, Bridge, Beaver Lake, Beaver Lake East, 437 Zone, and South East.
  2. Steepledge Lake Intrusion
    The mineralized zones within this intrusive complex include Steepledge North, Steepledge South, and Escape Lake.

Figure 4: Mineralized Zones 

Within the Project area, the main rock-types are Archean-age granitoid and metasedimentary rocks of the Quetico Terrane, and Meso-Proterozoic-age Keweenawan Supergroup mafic to ultramafic intrusive rocks and related intermediate to mafic hybrid intrusive rocks of the Mid-continent Rift (MCR). The MCR-related intrusive rocks within are considered to be part of the TBN Intrusive Complex which includes: the Current Lake, Steepledge Lake, Lone Island Lake, and 025 intrusions, all of which exhibit PGE-Cu-Ni mineralization.

The Current Lake, Steepledge Lake, and Lone Island Lake intrusions appear to be connected by the diffuse East West Complex which consists of a series of moderately-dipping hybrid sills and dykes that are confined to the Escape Lake Fault Zone which is part of the Quetico Fault system. The Current Lake PGE-Cu-Ni Deposit is hosted within the Current Lake Intrusion and the Escape Lake discovery is hosted within the Steepledge Lake-Escape Lake Intrusion.

Historical Exploration

Current Lake Intrusion

Between 1993 to 2000, most of the exploration on the Current Lake project was completed by local prospectors and consisted of general mapping, lithogeochemistry, soil sampling, and ground magnetic surveys.

The bulk of the exploration completed on the Current Lake deposit occurred from 2005 and on whenMagma Metals optioned the 26 claim Current Lake Property in 2005 and the Beaver Lake claim in 2006. Magma Metals was taken over by Panoramic Resources Limited in June 2012.  Work completed by Panoramic included a number of airborne and ground geophysical surveys, geological and structural mapping, petrological, baseline environmental studies. Between December 2006 and December 2012, Magma/Panoramic drilled 801 core drill holes (185,516m) on the property.

A first-time historic mineral resource estimate was completed by SRK Consulting Ltd (SRK) in 2009.  An updated historic mineral resource was calculated in late 2010 and a Preliminary Economic Evaluation was completed in February 2011 by AMEC Americas (AMEC). 

Steepledge Lake Intrusion

Rio Tinto staked the Escape Lake block in 2006 and performed successive rounds of limited diamond drilling between 2010 and 2012. These programs yielded impressive drill intercepts highlighted by drill holes 12CL0009 and 11CL0005.  High-grade intercepts from these programs included an intercept of 33.4m at 7.28gpt Pt+Pd+Au and 2.26% Cu+Ni.

Between 2014 and 2016 Rio Tinto completed outcrop and boulder prospecting throughout the Thunder Bay North Property and reprocessed all Magma Metals/Panoramic geophysical data under an Earn-In JV agreement dated 2014.  During 2015 and 2016 Rio Tinto drilled 24 core holes (~9500m) into the Project with 7 holes (2418m) drilled into the TBN Property and 17 holes (7081.04m) into the Escape Lake Property.  In late 2016 Rio flew a semi-airborne HeliSAM survey over the Current Lake and Steepledge Lake intrusions.

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