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Overview

From April to December 2023, District Metals consolidated 100% of the uranium-vanadium Viken Deposit located in Jämtland County, central Sweden (Figures 1 and 2) through mineral license application and acquisition. The Viken Deposit is the largest undeveloped Alum Shale uranium-vanadium-molybdenum-nickel-copper-zinc deposit in Sweden, and amongst the largest deposits by total historic mineral resources of vanadium and uranium in the world.

The Viken Property totals 37,211 hectares (ha) where the Viken nr 1 mineral license covers the majority of the polymetallic Viken Deposit. The Norra Leden, Norr Viken, Lill Viken mineral licenses cover the southeast and east areas of the Viken Deposit that remain open to the south and east based on historic drill results.

The Storviken mineral license covers the southwest corner of the Viken Deposit that remains open to the south and west based on historic drill results that are consistent with historic drill results from within the Viken Deposit.

The Viken nr 2 and 3 mineral licenses also contain historical drill holes that returned grades and widths of polymetallic mineralization consistent with historic drill results from within the Viken Deposit.

The Viken nr 4 mineral license covers ground that is highly prospective for Alum Shale energy metals deposit targets based on available geological, geochemical, geophysical, and radiometric survey data.

Viken Property Highlights:

  • District controls 100% of the Viken Deposit, which is a large polymetallic deposit containing economically significant levels uranium (U), vanadium (V), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn).
  • A 2010 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) Technical Report1 on the Viken Deposit calculated historical mineral resource estimates for V2O5, U3O8, Mo, and Ni of:
    • Indicated Mineral Resources: 23.6 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.31% V2O5, 0.019% U3O8, 0.028% Mo, and 0.032% Ni containing 162.8 million lbs of V2O5, 9.9 million lbs of U3O8, 14.7 million lbs of Mo, and 16.5 million lbs of Ni.
    • Inferred Mineral Resources: 2.8 billion tonnes at an average grade of 0.27% V2O5, 0.017% U3O8, 0.024% Mo, and 0.032% Ni containing 16.7 billion lbs of V2O5, 1.0 billion lbs of U3O8, 1.5 billion lbs of Mo, and 2.0 billion lbs of Ni.
  • A 2014 Updated Resource Estimate and PEA Technical Report2 on the Viken Deposit calculated historical mineral resource estimates for U3O8, Ni, Cu, and Zn of:
    • Indicated Mineral Resources: 43.0 million tonnes at an average grade 0.019% U3O8, 0.034% Ni, 0.010% Cu, and 0.041% Zn containing 18.0 million lbs of U3O8, 32.0 million lbs of Ni, 10.0 million lbs Cu, and 38.0 million lbs Zn.
    • Inferred Mineral Resources: 3.0 billion tonnes at an average grade 0.017% U3O8, 0.034% Ni, 0.012% Cu, and 0.042% Zn containing 1.15 billion lbs of U3O8, 2.23 billion lbs of Ni, 799.0 million lbs Cu, and 2.8 billion lbs Zn.

This above mineral resource estimates are considered to be “historical estimates” under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”).  A Qualified Person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as a current mineral resource, and the Company is not treating these historical estimates as current Mineral Resources.  Further details on these historical estimates can be found as footnotes in Tables 1 and 2.

Figure 1: Location Map

Figure 1: Location Map

The Scandinavian Alum Shales

The Baltoscandian Platform, from Finnmark in northern Norway to Skåne in southern Sweden, was an area of great stability during the Late Cambrian, with deposition of a thin (10 to 60 m) shale facies along with large amounts of organic matter. This shale deposition started in many areas in the Middle Cambrian and continued in some areas into the earliest Ordovician (Tremadoc). The content of organic matter is commonly in the order of 10%, locally over 20% and very occasionally up to almost 30%. In areas such as Närke, Ostergötland and Kinnekulle, that have not been influenced by temperatures in excess of 100°C, the brown shales yield significant amounts of oil (Fischer assays of 6 to 7%). In other areas, oil-yields are lower or absent; the shales are darker in colour, the organic matter varying in maturation from bituminous to semi-anthracitic or even anthracitic and graphitic towards the interior of the Caledonides.

These organic-rich shales, composing the Alum Shale Formation, are remarkable for their syngenetic concentration of a variety of trace elements, in particular, uranium and vanadium, but also molybdenum, nickel, zinc, copper, rare earth elements, potash and phosphate. Throughout Scandinavia, uranium contents are highest in the Peltura scarabaeoides zone reaching a maximum of 306 ppm over a thickness of 3.6 m in the Ranstad area of the Billingen-Falbygden outlier. Vanadium contents generally (Jämtland excepted) do not exceed 1,000 ppm in the Upper Cambrian but rise rapidly between 2,000 to 3,000 ppm in the Dictyonema zones of the Tremadoc. Even in areas where the general level of these trace elements is lower, the variation in their concentrations is closely related to the stratigraphy. This may also be the case further to the south and southwest where black shales of similar age occur in Poland, in the Anglo-Welsh area, and in eastern Canada on Avalon and in the Maritime Provinces.

The Alum Shale Formation contains Sweden's most important reserve of fossil energy; oil yields are significant and greatly increased by retorting in hydrogen under pressure. The formation contains the largest uranium resource in Europe, the uranium-rich unit of the Billingen-Falbygden outlier alone containing about a million tonnes of uranium. In the Caledonides, tectonically repeated alum shale successions, several tens of meters thick, contain a combination of unusually high trace element concentrations (200-240 ppm U, 350-400 ppm Mo, 1500-2000 ppm V). The Alum Shale Formation has considerable economic potential1.

Figure 2: Viken Property Mineral Licenses

Figure 2: Viken Property Mineral Licenses

The Polymetallic Viken Deposit

The Viken Deposit is situated in the province of Jämtland, approximately 570 km northwest of Stockholm, Sweden. Infrastructure is well developed in the area with daily air service, as well as rail and truck freight services. Electrical power and modern communications are also readily available in the area.

The Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) carried out work on the Alum Shales from 1977 to 1978 and drilled approximately 19 holes within and in the vicinity of the Viken Deposit.  In 2005, Continental Precious Minerals Inc. (CPM) purchased mineral licenses that covered prospective Alum Shales where CPM drilled 26,293 m in 133 holes from 2006 to 2008 to delineate the Viken Deposit.

CPM retained P&E Mining Consultants Inc. to carry out a Resource Estimate and PEA in 2010 that resulted in the following historical estimate: 

Table 1: 2010 Viken Deposit Historical Mineral Resource Estimate2

2010 Viken Deposit Historical Mineral Resource Estimate
Classification Tonnage (k tonnes) Grade Contained Metal
V2O5 (ppm) U3O8 (ppm) Mo (ppm) Ni (ppm) V2O5 (Mlbs) U3O8 (Mlbs) Mo (Mlbs) Ni (Mlbs)
Indicated 23,610 3,130 190 280 320 162.8 9.9 14.7 16.5
Inferred 2,830,757 2,680 170 240 320 16,716.1 1,037.7 1,516.5 2,015.7

Notes:

  • The mineral resource estimates contained in this table are considered to be “historical estimates” under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”). A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as a current mineral resource, and the Company is not treating these historical estimates as current mineral resources. The mineral resource estimate should not be relied upon. The Company would need to conduct an exploration program, including twinning of historical drill holes in order to verify the Viken Deposit historical estimate as a current mineral resource.
  • The categories of mineral resources were classified under the previous definition standards and do no match the current definition standards in NI 43-101.
  • Weighting of composite samples by linear Ordinary Kriging was used for the estimation of block grades. Kriging parameters were based on the grade-element variography derived from the mineralized shale domain. A block discretization level of 5 x 5 x 2 was used during kriging. The mineralized shale domain was treated as a hard boundary, and data used during estimation were limited to composite samples located within the mineralized shale domain wireframe. Only blocks wholly or partially within the mineralized shale domain were estimated. The mineralized shale domain was treated as a hard boundary, and data used during estimation.
  • During the first pass, four samples from each of three drill holes within 110m of the block centroid were required. All block grades estimated during the first pass were classified as Indicated.
  • During the second pass, blocks not populated during the first pass were estimated. A minimum of three and a maximum of six samples from one or more drillholes within 330 m of the block centroid were required. All block grades estimated during the second pass were classified as Inferred.
    An internal break-even cut-off grade of US $7.50/tonne was used in reporting this historical estimate.

In 2012, a bio-heap leach scenario was evaluated, and P&E Mining Consultants were retained again to conduct an Updated Technical Report, Resource Estimate and Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Viken Deposit with the following historical estimate:

Table 2: 2014 Viken Deposit Historical Mineral Resource Estimate3

 

2014 Viken Deposit Historical Mineral Resource Estimate
Classification Tonnage (k tonnes) Grade Contained Metal
U3O8 (ppm) Ni (ppm) Cu (ppm) Zn (ppm) U3O8 (Mlbs) Ni  (Mlbs) Cu (Mlbs) Zn (Mlbs)
Indicated 43,000 190 340 100 410 18.0 32.0 10.0 38.0
Inferred 3,019,000 170 340 120 420 1,145.0 2,230.0 799.0 2,802.0

Notes:

  • The mineral resource estimates contained in this table are considered to be “historical estimates” under NI 43-101. A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as a current mineral resource, and the Company is not treating these historical estimates as current mineral resources. The mineral resource estimate should not be relied upon. The Company would need to conduct an exploration program, including twinning of historical drill holes in order to verify the Viken Deposit historical estimate as a current mineral resource.
  • The categories of mineral resources were classified under the previous definition standards and do no match the current definition standards in NI 43-101.
  • Block grades were estimated using Ordinary Kriging of capped composite samples. Only blocks wholly or partially within the mineralized shale domain were estimated, and between six and fifteen samples from two or more drill holes within 660 m of the block centroid were used for estimation. A small area in the Southern portion of the deposit with an average drillhole spacing of approximately 120 m has been classified as Indicated.
  • An internal break-even cut-off grade of US $11.00/tonne was used in reporting this historical estimate.

The Viken Deposit is a polymetallic shale resource contained within the Cambrian Viken Shale which regionally is referred to as the Alum Shale. The Alum Shale is enriched in metals such as vanadium, uranium, nickel, copper, zinc, and molybdenum. It occurs over a significant area in Sweden and is locally valued as a bituminous shale with recoverable hydrocarbons. The Alum Shale is regionally extensive in Sweden.

The stratigraphy across the Viken Mineral License application consists of upper Middle and Upper Cambrian age Alum Shale occurring as both in situ and fault detached blocks, with the latter having greater potential for economic mineralization due to imbrication of mineralized blocks. The Alum Shale is mostly exposed at surface and is underlain by Proterozoic granites and gneisses thrust Eastward over Archean granitic basement rocks. The thickness of the Alum Shale host rock has been tectonically thickened from 20 to 30 m by thrusting and folding during the Silurian to approximately 180 m.

Mineralization of potential economic significance is hosted in Middle and Upper Cambrian Alum Shale, with the Upper Cambrian age strata more enriched in vanadium and uranium than the Middle Cambrian1. Vanadium occurs within the lattice of a mica mineral named roscoelite. Uranium values are predominantly associated with sub-micron-scale uraninite crystals. Nickel, molybdenum, copper and zinc are present as sulphides.

Figure 3: Viken nr 1 Mineral License and Viken Deposit Outline

Figure 3: Viken nr 1 Mineral License and Viken Deposit Outline

References:

1 Andersson, A. , Dahlman, B . , Gee , D. G . , and Snäll, S . , 1985: The Scandinavian Alum Shales. Sveriges geologiska undersökning, Ser. Ca, No. 56, pp. 1-50. Uppsala 1985.

2 "Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Viken MMS Project, Sweden” for Continental Precious Minerals Inc. dated October 19, 2010 with an effective date of September 10, 2010.. P&E Mining Consultants Inc., EHA Engineering Ltd., and G.A. Harron & Associates Inc.

3 “Updated Technical Report, Resource Estimate and Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Viken MMS Project, Sweden” for Continental Precious Minerals Inc. dated February 27, 2014 with an effective date of February 6, 2014. P&E Mining Consultants Inc.

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