First Class Metals (LSE:FCM) has secured a new partner to aid in advancing its Canadian exploration program, with the LSE-listed company having completed a joint venture agreement with Canadian junior explorer Palladium One over the West Pickle Lake Project in Ontario.
Figure 1: West Pickle Lake Project
The joint venture’s establishment marks the end of two years of collaboration since the June 2021 agreement, resulting in Palladium One’s 80% ownership of the Canadian project, while First Class Metals retains 20%. The initial agreement enabled Palladium to acquire up to 80% by investing over C$325,000 in property exploration—an investment successfully fulfilled through the latest exploration campaign.
Palladium One’s exploration of the Project has also been highly promising, returning drill assays up to 10.0% Ni and 4.47% Cu, unearthing evidence that mineralisation may extend 2.5km and connect to its neighbouring RJ property.
Figure 2: Massive nickel-copper sulphides in drill core from West Pickle Lake, drill hole TK22-059
Under the joint venture, Palladium One remains the Project operator, enabling First Class Metals to retain property ownership and potential profits while concentrating its exploration efforts on its expanded portfolio. Specifically, this will prioritise First Class Metals’ recently acquired Zigzag Lithium Project, where an upcoming exploration program will build upon historic surface grades of up to 1.68% (Li2O).
Following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Whitesand First Nation, the Company is now cleared for exploration at the Project with the geological team poised to begin on-site work promptly to identify drilling targets.
While Palladium One will continue operations on West Pickle Lake, First Class Metals will also continue to operate in the area, in particular at its new Pickle Lake Project, which sits adjacent to West Pickle Lake and North Hemlo.
The Company said it will continue to explore its properties located contiguous to West Pickle Lake.
“The obvious merit of the exploration potential of the Pezim II block and environs has been validated by Palladium One exercising their right to enact the JV,” First Class Metals Chief Executive Marc Sale said.
“With a robust field programme in progress, we share their enthusiasm for the newly identified extensive anomalous nickel-copper zone. Furthermore, FCM is actively exploring the contiguous 100% owned areas for similar potential and this will include the OnGold area to the north.”
FCM’s London Stock Exchange-listed share price is currently trading at 9.25 pence (8:54 am UTC+ 8 hours).