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Cominco discovered the Wrigley Property in 1972 after reconnaissance work had located promising Zn/Pb showings in Middle Devonian carbonates. An escalating field work program during 1972 to 1974 consisted of geological mapping, prospecting, geochemistry, geophysics and 42 diamond drill holes totaling 16,018 ft (4,883.5m). It was concluded in 1974 that the mineralization was restricted to the linear fault zones and had "about a 10,000,000 ton potential maximum in presently indicated structures and reasonable projections. (Hugh Morris - internal Cominco file note - July, 1974.). This historical statement cannot be considered as a "Mineral Resource."
Total project expenditures were about Cdn$1,000,000. All of the work was excellently performed and documented. The claims were converted to mining leases in 1985.
In 1987 Equinox Resources optioned the property but apparently carried out no field work. The property lay dormant until Devonian Metals obtained the property. In 2003 the leases were purchased outright from Teck Cominco Ltd. Devonian Metals Inc now owns a one hundred percent interest in the leases, subject only to payment to Teck Cominco Ltd. of a 2% Net Smelter Return Royalty on concentrate sales.
The property is comprised of two, guaranteed-renewable Canada mining leases, ML3168 and ML3169, with a total area of 1,132 hectares. These were renewed on September 19, 2005 and will remain in good standing until September 19, 2026. These extensive areas of flat land surrounding the mineralized ridge allow plenty of room for any contemplated operations.
The village of Wrigley is sited at elevation 493 feet ASL on the east bank of the Mackenzie River, some 185 kilometres north of Fort Simpson, at the extreme north end of the Territorial all-weather highway system. It has a population of about 110, modest community facilities and services, an active lighted airstrip and a float plane dock.
At this latitude winters are long and cold with light snowfall and shortened daylight hours, but are not seriously limiting or unpleasant to many. Summers are pleasantly warm and dry with long periods of daylight. Generally, operating conditions are little different from those at Edmonton, Alberta, and significantly milder than those routinely managed at the Ekati and Diavik mines located some 600 km to the northeast.
The completion of the Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline would bring inexpensive wholesale energy to Wrigley and dramatically reduce energy-related operating costs. We expect that this could make the Wrigley project the lowest-operating cost mine in the Northwest Territories.
NTS: 94 0/4 E
Latitude: 67 7' N Longitude: 123 45' W.
Elevation: 500 - 3000 ft (150 - 915 m)
The Wrigley property is located on the south-west side of the Mackenzie River, across the river from the village of Wrigley, NWT. The all-weather Mackenzie Highway connects Wrigley to Fort Simpson, located 180 air kilometers SE. An airport with a 3000 foot gravel runway is located at Wrigley. Access to the property is by helicopter, about 15 kilometers from the airport.
There are several closely-grouped ore bodies known at this time. They crop out at the base and near the top of a ridge between elevations of 275 meters and 450 meters ASL.
The mineral deposits are carbonate-hosted, fault-controlled, shear and breccia-filled ore bodies. Associated massive and replacement ore are found on the sides of the fault zones. They are roughly tabular in shape, are sub-vertically orientated and display large vertical and horizontal dimensions. Mineralization consists of zinc and lead sulphides and zinc carbonates. The upper parts of the mineralized bodies are highly oxidized, and this oxidation persists to depths of 100m or greater in the more permeable fault cores. Sulfide mineralization occurs below the oxidized zone and in less-permeable host rocks nearer the surface. Zinc is the dominant metal of value but there are significant values in lead and silver.
The Cominco exploration of the 1970's was terminated for policy reasons relating to other corporate opportunities rather than discouragement with the results attained to that time. That they took their claims to lease and maintained the property in good standing for so many years attests to its favored status.
Environmental standards in the Northwest Territories are extremely stringent. Devonian is working to anticipate environmental questions in preparation to entering the major permitting process. To this end baseline studies carried out by qualified, arms-length investigators are continuing into 2012. However, some aspects of the project are sufficiently known to reflect positively on our permitting outcome. No rare species have been identified as inhabiting the project area, and important migratory populations (eg Barren-ground Caribou) do not visit the area. Active areas are located several kilometers from the nearest major watercourse, reducing the risk of impact on important fish habitats. Iron sulfides are absent from the ore bodies and most surrounding rocks, and these rocks are almost entirely carbonates with very high neutralizing capacity. This means that the potential for acid rock drainage is drastically lower than for most mining operations, a fact that Devonian will readily demonstrate as part of the permitting process.
It is critical to establish and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. To this end Devonian has been fully engaged with the Pehdzeh Ki First Nation, whose traditional territory includes the project area, since the start of our operations. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the PKFN in 2011, are now in talks to expand on this agreement and will continue with more comprehensive and substantive negotiations as our project progresses.
The Government of Canada is currently completing the Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative, a review of permitting in the Northwest Territories that has the goal of shortening permitting timelines and increasing the level of certainty for proponents of major development projects. This welcome initiative has been actively sought by industry and can be expected to benefit Devonian's project going forward.