Fireweed Metals (TSXV:FWZ) is a Canadian mining exploration and development company focused on advancing the Macmillan Pass, Mactung and Gayna River Projects located in the Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada.
Fireweed Metals’ mission is to explore and develop critical mineral assets through progressive leadership, high standards, innovation, and collaborative partnerships for the benefit of present and future generations. Fireweed will sustainably explore and develop critical minerals assets to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. We will focus on leading with integrity, striving for consistency in words and actions, being honest, transparent, and accountable, mitigating health and safety risks, and being progressive and innovative while promoting environmental and social stewardship.
We will act in a way that reflects our core value of respect, for both the environment in which we work and the people we work with. Our approach will foster meaningful relationships with employees and local communities, and will build trusted partnerships benefiting Indigenous peoples and shareholders.
Fireweed Metals Corp. explores and develops critical metals projects through progressive leadership, innovation and collaboration.Three critical metals projects in northern Canada: Macmillan Pass, Mactung and Gayna RiverFlagship project Macmillan Pass (Yukon) is 100-percent-owned and one of the world’s largest undeveloped zinc-lead-silver resources.Mactung Project (Yukon/NWT) is one of the world’s largest and highest-grade undeveloped tungsten deposits located adjacent to the Macmillan Pass Project.The Gayna River Project (NWT) is host to an extensive zinc-lead-silver (gallium-germanium) mineralization.Fireweed completed its 2022 diamond drill program at Macmillan Pass, completing 19 drill holes totaling 5,234 meters. The company also commenced its 2023 diamond drill program, its largest-ever drill program at MacMillan Pass.The Mactung Tungsten project has a mineral resource estimate of 41.5 million tons (Mt) indicated resource at 0.73 percent tungsten oxide (WO3) and 12.2 Mt inferred resource at 0.59 percent tungsten oxide.The 2022 initial exploration program at the Gayna River project confirmed the presence of massive sulphide mineralization with eight grab samples graded better than 7 percent zinc, including one at 51 percent zinc; one of these samples also graded 74 percent lead.
Macmillan Pass Zinc-Lead-Silver Project, Yukon
The large Macmillan Pass property encompasses 940 square kilometers of contiguous mineral claims located 200 kilometers northeast of the settlement of Ross River in the eastern Yukon Territory of Canada. It lies within the traditional territories of the Kaska Dena and First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun. It is host to the large Tom and Jason shale-hosted zinc-lead-silver deposits as well as the Boundary Zone, Boundary West Zone, Tom North Zone and End Zone, which have significant mineralization drilled but not yet classified as mineral resources. The property also includes large blocks of 100-percent-owned adjacent claims (Mac, MC, MP, Jerry, BR, NS, Oro, Sol, Ben and Stump), which cover exploration targets in the district where previous and recent work identified zinc, lead and silver prospects, and geophysical and geochemical anomalies in prospective host geology. The company has a 70-person camp near the Tom deposit which is accessible via the North Canol Road from the community of Ross River and via a local airstrip.
The Tom and Jason deposits are located in the Selwyn Basin and hosted in Devonian-age Lower Earn Group sedimentary rocks. Zinc-lead-silver sulphide-barite mineralization typically occurs in thick stratiform lenses and extends for as much as 1,200 meters along strike and 450+ meters down dip. The Boundary zones are different and consist of veins, stockworks, disseminations and replacement sulphide mineralization as well as multiple horizons of stratiform mineralization in Devonian-age Lower Earn Group and Silurian-age Road River Group sedimentary rocks respectively. The main economic sulphide minerals are sphalerite and galena.
Tom-Jason Mineral Resource Report
Based on the 2017 drill results along with the historic core re-sampling results and compilation of historic data, the company announced updated NI 43-101 mineral resources for the Tom and Jason deposits on January 10, 2018, which were substantially larger than historically reported resources. The updated base case resources were as follows:
Additional mineralization subsequently drilled and being drilled at Boundary Zone, Boundary West Zone, Tom North Zone and End Zone as well as step-out drill holes at Tom and Jason will be considered in a future updated mineral resource estimate for the property.
Tom-Jason Preliminary Economic Assessment Report
On May 23, 2018, the company announced positive results of an independent NI 43-101 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Tom and Jason deposits prepared by JDS Energy and Mining, Inc. with work on tailings and water by Knight Piesold Consulting, both of Vancouver, Canada, utilizing the 2018 mineral resources of Table 1.
Production and Economic Highlights:
Long mine life and large-scale production18-year mine life with 32.7 Mt of mineralization mined at 4,900 tonne-per-day average processing rate1.54 Mt of zinc, 0.88 Mt of lead, and 37 Moz of silver in concentrate shippedAverage yearly contained-metal production of 85 kt zinc, 48 kt lead and 2 Moz silverRobust economics using metals prices of $1.21/lb zinc, $0.98/lb lead, and $16.80/oz silverPre-Tax NPV at 8 percent of $779 million and IRR of 32 percentAfter-Tax NPV at 8 percent of $448 million and IRR of 24 percentManageable CAPEX and rapid paybackPre-production CAPEX of $404 million; CAPEX includes a total of $100 million for upgrading to a production-suitable access road to the property. On March 3, 2020, the company announced that the Yukon Government and the Ross River Dena Council First Nation had reached an agreement in principle on $71 million in road upgrades which, in part, included upgrading the property access roadPayback period of four years.Starter-pits on Tom West and Jason Main zones reduce up-front capitalSignificant upsideNumerous opportunities for significant economic improvementKnown zones remain open for expansion, including into high-grade areasHighly prospective and large land package with untested exploration targets.
Macmillan Pass 2022 Exploration
Fireweed’s 2022 diamond drill program has resulted in the discovery of massive sulphide mineralization on the south side of a fault at Boundary West and laminated sphalerite-galena-barite mineralization at Boundary Main. The company intersected significant widths of massive pyrite-sphalerite-galena mineralization in the first two holes at Boundary West. Fireweed scanned more than 8,315 meters of core and completed 19 drill holes totaling 5,234 meters.
Blue Sky Potential on Large Land Package
The large 940 sq km Macmillan Pass property covers numerous other prospects and anomalies indicating many additional exploration targets with strong blue-sky potential for new discoveries. The currently known deposits occupy but small footprints on the large property. Many of these exploration targets occur along the “Fertile Corridor” which is a long-lived fault corridor that acts as a plumbing system for mineralization.
2023 Diamond Drill Program
The company commenced its 2023 diamond drill program at Macmillan Pass, Fireweed’s largest-ever drill program with goals to expand all known mineralized zones. Drilling is underway with plans to complete more than 16,000 meters using five diamond drill rigs. The focus of the initial phase of drilling is growth at Boundary Zone building on past successes.
Mactung Tungsten Project
In 2022, Fireweed Metals announced its acquisition of the 37.6 square kilometers Mactung Project in Yukon and Northwest Territories, Canada under terms of a binding letter of intent purchase agreement. The Mactung property is located immediately adjacent to its Macmillan Pass zinc-lead-silver property. Mactung is one of the largest and highest-grade tungsten deposits in the world. It is an advanced stage project with extensive historic drilling, engineering, metallurgy, geotechnical and environmental baseline data collected by previous operators as well as a Class 4 Land Use Permit. The property lies within the traditional territories of the Kaska Dena and First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, and the Sahtú Settlement Area.
Tungsten skarn mineralization at Mactung is mostly scheelite (CaWO4) and is dominated by calcic mineral assemblages associated with abundant pyrrhotite that developed within permeable limestone units of the Cambrian-Ordovician host rocks near the contract with a Cretaceous-age granite intrusion. Historic work by previous operators included 38,000 meters of drilling and at least 1,200 meters of underground lateral workings.
Mineral Resource Estimate for Mactung Tungsten Project
Fireweed Metals released the mineral resource estimate for its Mactung Tungsten project indicating a total of 41.5 Mt indicated resource at 0.73 percent tungsten oxide (WO3) and 12.2 Mt inferred resource at 0.59 percent tungsten oxide. The exploration target is estimated at 2.5 Mt to 3.5 Mt at a grade between 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent WO3, within the mining shapes that constrain the mineral resource.
The resource estimate includes estimates for the critical mineral copper in addition to gold, and metallurgical test work is underway to determine recoveries of these by-product metals. Mactung is contiguous with Fireweed’s Macmillan Pass zinc-lead-silver project, accessible by the North Canol Road, and provides potential for future project synergies.
Gayna River Zinc Project
Gayna River property location map.
The Gayna River Zinc project located 180 kilometers north of the Macmillan Pass property in Northwest Territories, Canada, lies within the Sahtú Settlement Area, the Gwich’in Settlement Area, and the asserted territory of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun.
The property is host to extensive critical minerals including zinc, gallium and germanium as well as lead and silver. Mineralization occurs as veins and breccias in carbonate rocks similar to Mississippi-Valley-Type (MVT) mineralization, or Irish-type zinc-lead mineralization. Sphalerite and minor galena occur as infill within veins, vugs and breccias along with dolomite-calcite-quartz-pyrite. Historic grab samples contain elevated concentrations of the critical metals gallium (up to 68 ppm) and germanium (up to 15.6 ppm). An extensive area of mineralization was outlined by 28,000 meters of wide-spaced, historic drilling but recent studies indicate potential for high-grade, massive sulphide targets not recognized by previous operators.
Fireweed Metals’ 2022 initial exploration program at the Gayna River project confirmed the following:
High-grade rock samples with the presence of massive sulphide mineralization that also contains elevated gallium and germanium (all eight grab samples graded better than 7 percent zinc, including one at 51 percent zinc; one of these samples also graded 74 percent lead).Soil samples confirmed the presence of a strong, 4 km x 1 km, historical zinc and lead soil anomaly (all 10 samples returned over 4,000 ppm lead including one sample containing 27.5 percent lead and 176 g/t silver).Results from a 52.7 line-km ground gravity survey have highlighted multiple potential drill targets.Completion of a LiDAR topographic survey over the entire 128.75 km 2 property has generated accurate location data for future drilling and other exploration work.
Board of Directors
John Robins – Executive Chairman
John Robins is a professional geologist with over 35 years of experience mainly as an independent geologist and entrepreneur. Robins has been involved in many successful exploration ventures and sat on the boards of several successful exploration companies. Most recently, he was founder, executive chairman and director of Kaminak Gold Corporation, which discovered the Coffee Gold Deposits in Yukon and sold the company to Goldcorp for $520 million. In 2008, Robins was recognized for his achievements in mining exploration by the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia with the H.H. “Spud” Huestis Award. This is the highest award given for mineral exploration and is awarded to those who have made “a significant contribution to enhance the mineral resources of British Columbia and/or the Yukon Territory, through the original application of prospecting techniques or other geoscience technology.”
Brandon Macdonald – CEO and Director
Brandon Macdonald is a professional geologist with a diverse experience base including exploration geology worldwide and investment banking. In recent years he has focused his efforts on exploration and development as a principal of and consultant to various junior mining companies. In the past, he was in the City of London where he worked in structuring financings and risk management at Macquarie Bank. In 2007, Macdonald graduated with an MBA (with Distinction) from Oxford. He completed his B.Sc. in Geology from UBC in 2000. Macdonald has a long history of mining exploration work in Yukon, including zinc projects, he sits on the board of directors of the Yukon Chamber of Mines, and originally hails from Ross River, near the Macmillan Pass Project site.
Adrian Rothwell – Director and Audit Committee Chair
Mr. Rothwell is an experienced leader with comprehensive experience in oversight and corporate governance roles in the global mining and metals industry. Previously, Mr Rothwell was Director, Strategy at Goldcorp Newmont, and has acted as a Board member, President, Chief Executive Officer, or Chief Financial Officer on multiple mineral exploration, development and mining ventures, with a focus on strategic execution and corporate turnarounds in diverse international jurisdictions. Mr. Rothwell is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) in British Columbia and a designated Chartered Accountant in Australia & New Zealand. He articled at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Australia and Canada and holds a BA in Economics from Macquarie University.
Peter Hemstead – Director
Peter Hemstead has over 25 years of finance experience and has a proven track record of providing strong financial leadership. He has extensive experience in financial management, corporate finance, project finance, treasury, commercial banking, marketing/sales, financial risk management, insurance, and tax planning. Hemstead is a chartered professional accountant with an Honors Economics degree from Western University. He is the chief financial officer of Bluestone Resources Inc. since 2017, where he is a key executive in financing and moving the Cerro Blanco gold project toward production. He previously held a senior financial executive role for 10 years with Capstone Mining Corp., leading the financial team through the successful expansion from a development-stage mining company to an intermediate copper producer.
Marcus Chalk – Director
Marcus Chalk has over 25 years’ experience as a leading strategic and capital markets advisor in the global metals and mining industry. Prior to founding GenCap Mining Advisory in May 2020, he spent the past 14 years leading the Vancouver mining investment banking team at Scotiabank. Prior to that, he was at Macquarie North America (Toronto and Vancouver) and CIBC Wood Gundy (Toronto, Sydney and Vancouver). He holds an Honors Business Administration and a BA in Economics from Western University and is a CFA charter holder.
Jill Donaldson – Director
Jill Donaldson is a senior corporate and securities lawyer with extensive experience working with boards in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, strategic planning and implementation, governance and stakeholder relations, and compliance and risk management. Donaldson holds her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and is a director of Prospera Credit Union, where she sits as chair of its Governance and Nominations Committee and member of its Business Transformation Committee. She is a director of Canuck Place Children’s’ Hospice, and was a director of Great Bear Royalties Corp., chairing its Special Committee with respect to its recent acquisition by Royal Gold. As an independent director, Donaldson brings significant governance and transactional experience as well as risk management experience, a strategic mindset and financial acumen.
George Gorzynski – Executive Vice President and Director
George Gorzynski is co-founder of the company and a geological engineer with 35 years of experience in exploration and mining company management. He has strong technical, management and leadership skills, and was a key person in the building and managing of several successful international junior mining and exploration companies. His technical experience ranges from management of large exploration projects in challenging settings to geology field work in isolated locations to oversight of mining operations. Gorzynski has geological engineering degrees from the University of Toronto (Honors) and the University of British Columbia and has worked on a number of zinc projects in British Columbia and Yukon.
James Scott – Senior Vice-president, Projects
James Scott is a professional geologist with over eighteen years’ experience in mineral exploration and development, having worked with leading mining companies, junior exploration companies, and provincial and federal government surveys. Scott brings diverse experience in geology, studies, engineering, innovation, project management, and leadership in the advancement of projects from exploration through to acquisition and early development. For eight years, Scott was the technical lead on Kaminak’s Coffee Project leading up to and following the acquisition by Goldcorp Inc. for $520 million. Previously, he led the resource definition program for Richfield’s Blackwater Davidson project which led to its acquisition the following year by New Gold Inc. for $550 million. Scott holds an M.Sc. from the University of Alberta and a B.Sc. from Carleton University.
Pamela O’Hara – Vice President, Sustainability
Pamela O’Hara is a registered professional biologist with a unique blend of professional experience plus academic training. She has extensive and proven experience in acquiring approvals for complex mining and transportation infrastructure projects and understands the complex environmental and regulatory landscape. In the Yukon in recent years, she has been involved in the preparation of the Goldcorp/Coffee Mine (Yukon) YESAB project proposal and completed mine closure assessments for Yukon Energy, Mines and Resources. From 2005 to 2012, she was VP of environment & community affairs for Yukon Zinc/Wolverine Mine (Yukon), overseeing the successful implementation of the socio-economic participation agreement with Kaska First Nations and obtaining project approvals for mine construction and operation. O’Hara believes that authentic, mutually respectful connections among people, as well as working towards shared common goals, are essential to achieving a sustainable future.
Jack Milton – Chief Geologist
Jack Milton has a passion for testing new ideas and technology in the exploration environment and brings experience from grassroots exploration, resource expansion, and developing advanced-stage projects. Milton has expertise in sedimentary rock-hosted base metal deposits, and the geology of the northern Canadian Cordillera, with multiple publications in international, peer-reviewed journals. In 2015, he completed a Ph.D. in Geological Science at the Mineral Deposit Research Unit, University of British Columbia focusing on the Redstone Copperbelt. Prior to this, he completed an M.Sc. in Mining Geology, and a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Applied Geology at the Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of London and a Professional Geologist (BC).
Cindy Chiang – Chief Financial Officer
Cindy Chiang is a chartered professional accountant with experience in both public practice and industry since she became a chartered accountant in 2009. During her time in public practice at KPMG, Chiang led audit engagement teams domestically and abroad and is knowledgeable of Canadian and US accounting standards as well as IFRS. Chiang dealt with financial accounting and internal control matters. Since May 2021, Chiang has been the financial controller for Fireweed and in recent months has transitioned into her new role as chief financial officer.
Moira Cruickshanks – Vice-president, Technical Services
Moira Cruickshanks has over 14 years’ experience in mineral exploration and mining in North America, working with junior and major exploration companies and in operating mines in Yukon, NWT, and BC as well as the USA and Mexico. Cruickshanks combines her background in mineral exploration, mining and data management and analysis to oversee technical services solutions for the Fireweed team. Her experience includes oversight of large drill programs at Teck’s Highland Valley Copper Mine, including resource, geotechnical and environmental drill programs, as well as designing and implementing project-appropriate data collection and management systems for multiple exploration and mining projects. Cruickshanks holds an undergraduate M.Sc. from Imperial College London and an M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia.
Kelly Bateman – Vice-president, Studies
Kelly Bateman is a professional geologist with over 10 years of experience in the exploration and consulting industries, with a focus on northern Canada. Her unique experience in project controls, project/asset evaluation and development enables her to confidently lead the Fireweed team through technical engineering studies and support permitting efforts. Her experience includes five years working in the Yukon on the Wellgreen Deposit, as chief geologist managing the field operations and drill programs as the project advanced through preliminary economic assessment to pre-feasibility study. She then transitioned to providing consultancy services, working for JDS Energy & Mining as a Financial Analyst for six years, developing economic cash flow models, from scoping level/due diligence efforts through to Feasibility Study-level to support NI 43-101 reports. This experience as a financial analyst provides a unique understanding of the factors that are integral to development at any project stage. Bateman played an integral role as project controls manager working on Goldcorp’s Coffee Project as it advanced through the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board process and detailed engineering prior to the acquisition by Newmont.
Andrew Crook – Vice-president, Operations
Andrew Cook is a registered professional engineer with 10 years of experience working with leading mining companies and junior developers where he has demonstrated success leading projects from exploration stage through engineering studies, permitting, and into construction.
Crook helped see Sabina Gold & Silver’s Back River Gold Project through studies, permitting, licensing, and early construction including leading field drilling programs and executing complex logistics projects. Most recently, he worked as deputy project director for Kinross Gold’s Manh Choh project in northeastern Alaska where he fast-tracked project development and secured Board approval for a $255-million capital, putting the project on track to achieve first gold by 2024.
Alex Campbell – Vice-president, Corporate Development
Alex Campbell is a mining professional with more than ten years of combined expertise in South American mining operations, mine finance, and global capital markets. He began his career at Antofagasta Minerals, working at the Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile. Subsequently, he relocated to Colorado to pursue his master’s degree while concurrently working at Resource Capital Funds and the Critical Materials Institute, a US DOE innovation hub focused on the development of secure and resilient supply chains for critical materials crucial to the energy transition. He spent five years with CIBC’s Mining investment banking team in Vancouver, BC, covering a broad spectrum of mining and royalty companies. Campbell holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in engineering (mining) from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a Master of Science in mineral and energy economics from The Colorado School of Mines.
Penny Johnson – Corporate Secretary
Penny has almost 20 years of mining and public company experience with a focus on corporate governance and shareholder services including legal and regulatory compliance, board and committee matters, continuous disclosure requirements, corporate transactions, financings, and corporate records. She has served as Corporate Secretary for Bluestone Resources Inc. since February 2018, and previously was the Assistant Corporate Secretary for Nevsun Resources Ltd. from February 2013 to February 2018. Penny is a member of the Governance Professionals of Canada and is a graduate of Brigham Young University.