LLRIB members hear about Nickle exploration in two projects in northern Saskatchewan

Fathom Nickel, out of Calgary, have two permits for nickel exploration in northern Saskatchewan, the Albert Lake and the Gochager Lake in the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB).

Ian Fraser, CEO of Fathom Nickel, made presentations to update LLRIB members in Stanley Mission and in La Ronge Jan. 31.

The projects are early in the process, Fraser said.

“We are a nickel explorer. Our focuses are two projects … We are a long ways from any potential development … right now, we’re focused on demonstrating that both properties do have the potential to host nickel deposits,” Fraser said in an interview with the Northern Advocate.

The company is interested in a particular form of nickel, nickel sulphite, which would be used primarily in stainless steel, he said.

The search for the nickel has risen in the  “last three to four years and is primarily used in stainless steel and it’s “used in batteries to power electric vehicles, and that’s really attractive,” Fraser said.

Fathom Nickel has permits for each of the areas being explored. One was granted in November 2023 and is slated for expiration in November 2025 and the other will be expiring in July of this year and a new application has been submitted, which Fraser said, “should take effect immediately.”

There was a small mine in production at the Albert Lake site from 1965 to 1969, “and the production grades from that small mine to this day rank as some of the highest production grades ever produced in Canada, so I think there’s more of it and that’s what we are aiming to do,” Fraser said.

Fathom Nickel is a small company based in Calgary, with permits in other parts of the country.

“If we are successful, we will engage with a company that would be able to exploit a potential resource. Finding a deposit is one thing and then getting it out of the ground – it’s  just a completely different skill set and just another level of required capital. So, this company is a small company,” he said.

It is solely an exploration company founded in 2015. The company remained private until 2021 when it became public.

Fraser said, he thinks there is more potential for nickel mining in Saskatchewan, particularly based on some of the work done in the late. 1960s.