VR is an established Canadian junior mineral exploration company, registered in British Columbia and listed on the Venture Exchange (TSX.V) under the symbol VRR.V, with secondary listings in Frankfurt (5VR) and on the OTCQB in the United States (VRRCF).
Business activities include the evaluation, acquisition and exploration of mineral exploration properties for the purpose of discovering an economic mineral deposit. VR is advancing greenfield opportunities in copper, gold and critical metals in Nevada, USA, and Ontario, Canada, and most recently, a kimberlite breccia pipe field in northern Ontario. VR has the in-house experience and expertise in greenfields exploration to apply modern mineral deposit models and state-of-the-art exploration technologies to explore large-footprint systems in underexplored areas and mineral districts for new, blue-sky discoveries.
VR is the continuance of 4 years of active mineral exploration as a private company starting in 2014, followed by a successful IPO 2017. The founders are Michael Gunning, CEO, and Darin Wagner, Chairman. The Company is founded on their diverse careers in the global mineral exploration, and their proven track record in the junior mineral exploration sector, having steered three different companies in the past twelve years from discovery through successful M&A transactions for an aggregate valuation in excess of C$1.3B.
The goal of VR is explicit: leverage its experience and expertise in grassroots exploration towards early-stage discovery in order to capture the steepest part of the value creation curve in the exploration and mining process for its shareholders.
The Company maintains its day-to-day work out of an exploration office established in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Company employs a tight administrative cost structure, with a focus on translating publically-raised funds directly into its mineral exploration on the ground.
The Company’s treasury is strong going into 2024, at approximately $1.5 M, sufficient for corporate and administrative obligations through 2025. The Company limits its annual financing goals to rigorous annual exploration budgets in order to maintain a tight share structure. That structure includes a 10-12% insider position, maintained by participation in financings on an ongoing basis. Further, there is a collective holding of approximately 45% of the Company’s shares held by the CEO, seven mining-long resource investment funds and one strategic holding in an energy company.
The Company is focused on opportunities in mineral deposit districts which have been underexplored during the past 50 years of the modern exploration era. The Company applies modern mineral deposit models and new exploration technologies to properties with large hydrothermal and alteration footprints for critical metals, copper and gold, and most recently has discovered a new kimberlite breccia pipe complex and potential kimberlite field in northern Ontario.
VR explores properties it owns outright, 100%, in order to leverage their upside potential to shareholders. Mineral exploration properties in Nevada are held in a wholly-owned US subsidiary registered in Nevada. New opportunities are evaluated on an ongoing basis, whether by internal generative work and direct staking, by a joint venture or a direct acquisition of a property from a third party, or by a corporate transaction (e.g. merger).
The Company has completed independent, NI 43-101 compliant Technical Reports on two of its properties: the Bonita copper-gold porphyry property in Nevada, dated March 2, 2017, and; the Danbo epithermal gold-silver project in Nevada, dated January 27, 2020. Both are filed on SEDAR.
Technical Information and Governance
VR strives for technical excellence in its work, and corporate industry leadership. VR’s management has led numerous industry and research organizations in the past, and is recognized with numerous industry achievement and recognition awards.
Technical information contained on this website has been prepared in accordance with the Canadian regulatory requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101. Justin Daley, MSc, P.Geo., VP Exploration at VR and a non-independent Qualified Person oversees all aspects of the Company’s mineral exploration projects. The content of this document, and this website, has been prepared and reviewed on behalf of the Company by the CEO, Dr. Michael Gunning, PhD, P.Geo., a non-independent Qualified Person.
Current Exploration Plans For 2024
The New Boston property in Nevada will be the focus of the Company’s exploration going forward in 2024. The Company plans to complete a first-pass drill program in the spring of 2024, with the potential for follow-up, resource delineation drilling in the second half of the year.
The Company received its NOI drill permit for the East Zone target at New Boston on October 23, 2023, and approval of the associated reclamation bond posting on December 27, 2023. .
As reported in the news release of October 31st, first-pass drilling will focus on the large and high amplitude East Zone conductor that is associated with widespread copper veins in both porphyritic dacite and in host limestone on the eastern end of the 4 km system of sheeted and stockwork veins exposed on surface at New Boston. There is up to 0.8% copper in soil around oxidized gossan material where the conductor comes to surface. Grab samples taken by VR in August 2023, from the historic workings at the Kay Mine located in southern periphery of the New Boston Property alteration footprint approximately one kilometer south of East Zone contain up to 1.7% copper and 1,115 g/t silver.
The conductor is new, derived from the state of-the-art 3D DCIP geophysical survey completed by VR in April, 2023. There is no historic drilling into the East Zone bowl where the conductor occurs, period.
VR reported preliminary SEM results (scanning electron microprobe) for REE mineralogy at Hecla-Kilmer in NR23-004 on February 14, 2023, followed by results from a more fulsome study by SGS Canada, Lakefield, Ontario, on a bulk sample derived from the 361 m core of the 461 m intersection of continuous REE mineralization in Hole 013, and reported in NR23-020 on October 17, 2023 and in NR23-24 on December 13th.
Positive results from Phase 1 of the bulk sample mineralogy and metallurgy tests completed at SGS Lakefield in Ontario in 2023 for the Hecla-Kilmer project (“H-K”) confirm that the mix of REE critical metals are hosted almost entirely in the phosphate minerals apatite and monazite, which are consistently concentrated in vertical vein and breccia systems in two zones identified to-date within the 4 – 6 km across, multi-phase alkaline complex with carbonatite at Hecla-Kilmer.
There are proven extraction processes and new extraction plants in North America for the REE-bearing mineral assemblage of apatite and monazite at Hecla-Kilmer. Further, these minerals at H-K are unusually enriched in the high value Permanent magnet REOs, especially terbium and dysprosium (Tb and Dy), which are essential ingredients to sustainable technologies in the Green Economy transition, and which are attracting strong support from provincial and federal government programs in Canada, and the “Inflation Reduction Act” in the United States.
VR’s goal now is to evaluate if the H-K project can provide the first sustained production in Canada of REEs which includes the PMREO, by utilizing innovative surgical mining technologies, and by understanding how H-K mineralization aligns with REE extraction processes. To that end, VR’s work plan for Q1 2024 includes:
- Phase 2 Metallurgical Studies: Completion of Phase II metallurgical studies at SGS, to evaluate the recovery and beneficiation processes for an apatite-monazite mineral concentrate.
- REE Mineral Volume Assessment: Evaluate REE mineral volume potential of vein breccia on sub-vertical structures at Pike Zone, Hinge Zone and South Rim, targeting 1% Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) on average, with PMREO content from 18% to 24%.
- Economic Scoping of Mining Methods: Collaboration with Novamera Inc., Toronto, to evaluate the use of small footprint, low impact, surface bore hole surgical mining methods.
- Alignment with Pilot Plant Designs: Ongoing discussion with SRC, Saskatoon, to align REE mineralization at Hecla-Kilmer with new REE extraction processes and test plants across North America.
- Digital Compilation of Magnetic Surveys: Compile all regional and property-scale magnetic surveys covering VR's expanded land holdings across 15 properties in the region and integrate with the high-resolution surveys completed by VR during the past four years.
- Stakeholder Engagement: Continuation of open communication and collaboration with both the Ontario government (MNDM) and the Moose Cree First Nation.
VR has discovered a large and rich rare earth element mineral system at Hecla-Kilmer, starting with Hole 2 in 2020 and culminating in Hole 13 in 2022, as shown above. We have been on the ground for three years proving up this discovery, with 18 of the 24 test holes completed so far having high-grade REE mineralization. It occurs in three different areas across more than 2.5 km of the overall complex.
It occurs at surface in all three areas, and has more than 500 m of vertical extent in the Hole 13 area. Finally, it is located a mere 23 km from active rail, provincial grid power and the terminus of Highway 634 at Otter Rapids; location, location, location for cost-effective exploration and favourable economic metrics for development
The Company announced in September 2023 the recovery of micro-diamonds in three separate intervals in two of the three reconnaissance drill holes completed into the breccia pipe complex in May. The Company also reported compositional data from several different mineral phases indicative of kimberlitic composition for the diatreme breccia which tapped a diamond-stable upper mantle source. The results are material; they confirm the prospectivity of what is almost certainly a new and previously unexplored kimberlite field in Canada around Northway.
As a result of the discovery, the Company announced on October 24, 2023, the consolidation of a large land position around its Northway kimberlite breccia property and diamond discovery. The Northway Property exploration strategy is now district-scale, with the active Ontario Northern Railway runs through the middle of the properties.
Going forward into Q1 2024, the Company intends to complete a KIMROCK indicator mineral study at SRC, Saskatoon, on two intervals of drill core from immediately below and above the largest diamond fragment recovered at 330 m in drill hole NW23-003. The SRC facility in Saskatoon completed the caustic fusion and micro-diamond recovery work completed on all three drill holes in the fall of 2023. Second, the Company will complete the compilation and integration of all historic and regional magnetic data sets covering the new, enlarged land position around Northway. Modern filtering and processing will be done to create a complete set of derivative map products, and they will be used to evaluate more detailed, target-specific high-resolution drone magnetic surveys later in 2024.