Is GSP Resources’ Olivine Mountain Voisey’s Bay or Norilsk with Better Infrastructure?

The Voisey's Bay nickel-copper-cobalt mine, located in northern Labrador about 35 kilometres southwest of Nain, is considered to be one of the most substantial mineral finds in Canada in half a century. To that point, it is relatively new, first discovered by a prospecting firm hired by Diamond Fields Resources.

Owned today by a unit of Brazilian multinational mining giant Vale (NYSE:VALE), the mine is estimated to contain total mineral reserves of 32.4 million tonnes with a nickel grade of 2.13% and a cobalt grade of 0.13%.

Open-pit mining and operations at Vale’s 6,000 tonnes-per-day facility began in 2005, producing both nickel-cobalt-copper concentrate and copper concentrate. So far, the mine has produced more than 600,000 tonnes of nickel, 400,000 tonnes of copper concentrate, and 12,000 tonnes of cobalt.

This year, Vale has made headlines for its decision to go ahead with a $1.7-billion expansion at the Voisey’s Bay Mine via development of an underground mine expected to extend the mine’s life to at least 2034.

Furthermore, Vale inked a deal to sell cobalt, a byproduct of nickel production and key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars, from the mine to Wheaton Precious Metals (TSX:WPM)(NYSE:WPM) and Cobalt 27 Capital (TSX-V:KBLT)(OTC:CBLLF) for about $690 million.

Vale was not without challenges in developing the mine situated in an area subject to land claims by Innu Nation and the Nunatsiavut Government. To date, workers are still flown in and out, considering the exorbitant amount of infrastructure needed to support operations in the remote location.

The prolific reserves make the efforts worthwhile, however, somewhat akin to mining operations in Norilsk, Russia. Seemingly on the edge of the Earth a couple hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle in Siberia (where temperatures can drop as low as 80 below Fahrenheit and its perpetual night for two months out of the year), the treeless area was developed 80 years ago for its mineral reserves, including vast amounts of palladium, platinum, nickel and copper.

Looking for the next great deposit of similar nature, GSP Resource Corp. (TSX-Venture:GSPR) hopes it may have it in a far less remote location with its 2,455-hectare Olivine Mountain Project located in the Interior Plateau area of South Central British Columbia, 25 kilometres northwest of Princeton. The location provides GSP with nearby infrastructure necessary to develop a formidable project, including water, power, rail and labour without the expense associated with Voisey’s Bay or Norilsk.

Years of exploration have determined that the project is a potential massive sulphide copper/nickel target with indications of significant content of platinum, palladium and gold in mafic to ultramafic rock. Select samples – known broadly as the Asp Showing – have returned grades ranging from 2%-4% copper, while others have confirmed the presence of copper, gold, palladium and anomalous contents of platinum, nickel and cobalt.

Another sample, from what is referred to as the Hop Showing, demonstrated a high-grade chalcopyrite stringer assaying 23.0 grams per tonne gold, 89.5 grams per tonne silver and 7.49% copper.

GSP Resources, which just went public last month through an IPO, and has a market capitalization of a paltry $2.65 Million at last check is now positioning to advance development at Olivine Mountain. The company this month completed a geochemical sample program at the project for the purpose of establishing drill targets over a 12-square-kilometre area covering the diorite, gabbro and ultramafic phases of the Tulameen batholiths, which host three mineral showings and interpreted geophysical anomalies.

More than 1,750 samples were completed over the entire grid area at 50-metre intervals. The samples are currently being analyzed for minerals, with results expected to be rolled out during the first quarter of 2019. The data will be interpreted alongside Aeromagnetic survey information and previous samples to better understand the viability of massive sulphides drill targets.

It’s too early to determine if GSP Resources is sitting on the next major Canadian metal discovery, but the early indications are compelling to say the least. One thing is certain: investors will know more in the coming months when sample results begin to better define the project.