Richardson Granite / Dolomite
Approximately 130 km north of Fort McMurray within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in Northeastern Alberta
Via Highway 63 and existing winter road
3,904 Hectares under Alberta Metallic and Industrial Minerals Leases
This potential mega quarry contains high quality dolomite and granite. During fiscal 2012, the Corporation identified a granite outcrop at the Richardson Project. During Q1 2013, initial drilling in this area was performed that confirmed granite and dolomite extends beyond the granite outcrop. In March 2014, the Corporation announced the completion of a second drilling program at the Richardson Project. All holes successfully cored the dolomite and all but one intersected the Precambrian basement granite.
The Richardson Project comprises three Metallic and Industrial Mineral (“MIM”) Leases totaling 3,904 hectares. The lease area was evaluated in a National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report prepared by Apex Geoscience of Edmonton, Alberta. The report estimates approximately 683 million tonnes of inferred crush rock aggregate resource is situated in the Winnipegosis Formation with a thickness ranging from 8.3 m to 47.9 m averaging 39.5 m. The resource lies beneath an estimated 221 cubic metres of unconsolidated glaciofluvial sand and boulders (“overburden”) with an average thickness of 35.7 m.
A secondary objective of the 43 101 was an aggregate assessment of the basement granite and describes a potential granite deposit of approximately 165 million tonnes in the resource area. This estimate is conservative as it assumes a maximum depth of 10 m corresponding to when most of the drill holes were terminated; however, one of the drill holes confirmed uniform granite to a depth of 48.35 m. The granite could easily be extended so that it could account for 319 million tonnes if, for example, the modelling depth was extended to 20 m instead of 10 m. Coarse grains of quartz and alkali feldspar dominate the granite which ranges from light blue grey to salmon pink.
High Quality Aggregates
The Winnipegosis Formation and Precambrian basement granite were analyzed using relevant aggregate analytical techniques, and the results were compared to Alberta Transportation (“AT”) and Canadian Standards Association aggregate specifications and standards. The results show that both the Winnipegosis dolomite and Precambrian granite meet major aggregate test methods including plasticity index, Los Angeles abrasion, magnesium sulphate soundness, and unconfined freeze-thaw. Based on the results of this test work and evidence of the homogeneity and uniformity of the rock units, the 43-101 concludes that the dolomite and granite represent material suitable for several AT aggregates designations including Designation 1 (asphalt concrete pavement) and Designation 2 (base coarse aggregate).
Proximity to market and market demand are important factors. The Richardson Project is directly adjacent to the Athabasca oil sands region of northeastern Alberta. The oil sands operations represent an area of enormous growth opportunity and require substantial sources of local aggregate. At the same time, sand and gravel aggregates in the oil sands region are scarce and inadequate to meet industry demand. As a result, local sources such as crushed aggregate are required to minimize impediments such as transportation costs.
Existing road access from Fort McMurray to the Richardson Project is as follows:
• 65 km on paved Hwy. 63
• 25 km on high grade all-season gravel road
• 40 km on seasonal winter road
The MIM leases provide the Corporation with subsurface rights related to commercial development of industrial minerals, but prior to commencing operations, the leases are subject to a regulatory review including an environmental impact assessment and public consultations. Other municipal development permits and provincial authorizations (e.g. under the Public Land Act & Water Act) will also be required.