Mactung: the world's largest high-grade tungsten deposit

By Lanre-Peter Elufisan
Fireweed Metals announces its Mactung tungsten project's capacity after signing a definitive asset purchase agreement and making a robust mineral inventory

Fireweed Metals Corp, a Canadian mining exploration and mineral development company, has released a new resource estimate for its Mactung tungsten project, said to be the world's largest high-grade tungsten deposit.

In a statement, Brandon Macdonald, the CEO of Fireweed Metals, said, "In one year, we have gone from signing an initial Letter of Intent to a Definitive Asset Purchase Agreement to the publication of a new mineral resource for Mactung. We have taken the historic resource through a process involving re-logging, re-sampling, and a rigorous, modern estimation methodology, and confirmed an impressive and world-class tungsten resource at Mactung."

He added, "Mactung's unmatched combination of grade and scale establishes it as a strategic critical minerals project for the West, with the underground resource alone able to supply much of North America's expected demand for decades."

The current mineral resource at Mactung ranks it as the world's largest high-grade tungsten resource. It is a clear statistical outlier in terms of grade and contained metal. In late 2022 and early 2023, Fireweed collected bulk density and assay data to re-sample Mactung's historical drill core. As a result, they have made a new geological interpretation of the deposit, leading to a robust estimate of the mineral inventory at Mactung and providing a solid foundation for future mine development studies.

History and potential resources at Mactung

Going by the estimates, the potential exploration target at Mactung is between 2.5 and 3.5 Mt at a grade of between 0.4 and 0.6% WO3 in addition to the current mineral resources disclosed in the news release. Mactung is located 13 km north of Fireweed's Macmillan Pass Project camp in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It was discovered and staked in 1962 by an Amax company geologist. 

The property changed ownership several times and was acquired by North American Tungsten Corporation ("NATC") in 1997. In 2007 NATC published updated mineral resources, and in 2009 published a positive feasibility study. However, the Government of Northwest Territories ("GNWT") purchased the Mactung Project for $4.5 million in 2015 and obtained Class 4 Mining Land Use Approval in 2020 for mineral exploration activities in the Yukon. Fireweed signed a definitive asset purchase agreement for the Mactung Project with the GNWT earlier this year. 

Tungsten is the hardest metal with the highest melting point, which makes it an important and often essential metal for automotive, technology, energy, military, and manufacturing industries. China dominates world tungsten production, and there is currently limited Western tungsten production, which has led tungsten to be listed as a critical mineral by the US and Canadian governments.

Fireweed acknowledges that the lands it explores are within the asserted territories of Indigenous Peoples. Therefore, it will sustainably conduct mineral development activities collaboratively with indigenous groups and local communities. It will establish a respectful and safe working environment, set high environmental stewardship standards, undertake studies and implement measures to address local interests and issues.

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