2022 was quite the year with a very challenging stock market but at the same time firmly evolving trends in critical metals markets. The adoption of electric vehicles seems now to be an irreversible global trend. For several of the main commodities used in battery technologies (particularly lithium) the price movements during the year were dramatic to say the least.
We are very well placed with our projects in Manitoba to rise to this opportunity and become a leader in the development of key critical metals deposits to meet North American demand. We know that any developing project must be to the highest environmental, social and governance standards and we at Grid are uniquely suited to meet those requirements.
2022 was for Grid - Year 1- in a concerted push to develop our lithium assets in southeastern Manitoba. After signing a new Exploration Agreement with the Sagkeeng First Nation and receiving our drilling permits at the end of 2021 we commenced drilling. (Our exploration team did a great job in challenging conditions to get the drills turning.) We started at the Northwest Dyke which had seen 4 holes drilled on it in the 1950s but no work since. The work was a success in delineating a very consistent mineralized dyke with a significant strike length.
At the end of 2022 we started drilling at the other known pegmatite dyke on the property – the Main Dyke. We had drilled some shallow holes there in 2018 and so the follow up work this fall was intended to trace the shallow mineralization of the Main Dyke to depth. Drilling so far is telling us that the Main Dyke like the Northwest Dyke is very consistent and good grade.
Our goal now is to finish sufficient drilling at both dykes to be able to calculate an initial NI 43-101 resource for the property. We hope to be able to have the drilling completed to enable a resource calculation by the end of March 2023.
In order to progress the Donner Lake Lithium project along the track to development we will be applying for an Advanced Exploration Permit in 2023 in order to be able to extract a bulk sample Tantalum Mining Corporation of Canada Limited signed an agreement with us to process the bulk sample and investigate the establishment of toll milling operation. (they have the lone operating lithium mine in Canada at this time)
We believe that toll milling may be an attractive option for the Donner Lake Property (particularly in the early years) as we will have the potential to benefit from higher lithium prices in the near term A toll milling operation would not require as large as resource as a stand alone operation. (although a large resource is of course the goal)
We believe that the Donner Lake is an excellent address for finding new lithium resources and we believe our initial results provide evidence of that. We conducted a significant field program during Q2 and Q3 to look for more drill targets elsewhere on the property. The field program consisted of lithogechemistry as well as geophysics. The results of the field program will be applied to guide future drilling at the property.
During 2023 we will be expanding our outreach not only to First Nations but to other constituents in the project area to explain the scope of the project and the economic opportunities and benefits. This will be an extremely important part of the development of the project this year and the years ahead.
While a lot of our focus has been on lithium this year we are in the midst of a resource update at our Makwa Mayville Project and our goal there is to increase the resource base. To this end another drill program is planned in the first half of 2023. Makwa Mayville has a polymetallic mix of nickel, copper, palladium, platinum and cobalt and to date the metallurgy results have been promising.
I would like to thank our Grid team for all their hard work this year. We enter 2023 with very exciting projects, a solid funding base and our company positioned in the midst of a green shift towards critical metals.
Many thanks as well to our shareholders who have stayed with or joined us during the year. We look forward to an exciting year ahead.
President and CEO