Minto Metals Corp. (“Minto” or the “Company”) (TSXV: MNTO) today announced receipt of a 10-year Class 4 Quartz Mining Land Use Permit from the Yukon Government for exploration activities on its claims and provided an overview of its 2022 Exploration Program.

Minto received approval from the Chief of Mining Land Use for the Yukon for a 10-year Class 4 Quartz Mining Land Use Permit #: LQ00565.  The Permit, subject to certain restrictions and conditions, enables Minto to diamond drilling, geophysical surveys and other associated exploration land-use activities on its mining claims.  The Permit includes the Minto Mine Property which falls entirely within the R-06A Settlement Lands of the Selkirk First Nation and comprises 164 Quartz Mining Claims covering an area of 26 km2.  Refer to Figures 1 & 2 showing Minto’s land position in the Yukon and the Land Use Permit, LQ00565,  quartz mining claims, respectively.

Minto’s  long-term Exploration strategy mandates minimal disturbance which can be achieved through the utilization of modern state-of-the-art techniques in targeting and data acquisition.  Minto is fully committed to conducting exploration activities in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

“The issuance of this Exploration Permit is a key part of our strategy to reignite exploration efforts on the Minto claims after nearly a decade of no exploration drilling happening on this property.  We are excited to begin drill testing previously unexplored, high potential targets close to our existing mine operations infrastructure and hope to build upon our current 23 million tonne resource,” added Chris Stewart, President and Chief Executive Officer for Minto.  “We continue to work closely with the Selkirk First Nation and the Yukon Government on our permitting requirements and are pleased to have received our Exploration permit at this time.”

2022 Exploration Programming
The Board of Directors recently approved a CDN$9.2M exploration program for 2022.  The program will consist of:

  1. 30,000 meters of surface diamond drilling which will explore historical untested, high priority targets within 2 km of our existing mine operations as well as some delineation and infill drilling of potential new resource zones.  Paycore Drilling (paycoredrilling.com) has been retained as our surface diamond drilling contractor.  Figure 3 identifies the drill pad and collar locations for Exploration drilling in 2022 as they relate to current and past orebodies.  Figure 4 identifies the the drill pad and collar locations for Exploration drilling in 2022 as related to First Vertical Derivative Magnetics imagery from a 2019 UAV Magnetics survey.

  2. Surface geophysics which will include:
    1. Borehole Pulse Electromagnetic surveys of all-new drill holes.
    2. Passive Magnetotellurics survey to identify new drilling targets at depth beneath the current Mine infrastructure.
  3. Remote Sensing: procured Exploration Mapping out of Denver, CO will supervise and task a 1,993 km2 Worldview-3 Spectral Mapping satellite survey over Minto properties.  The Worldview-3 satellite captures information across the visible, near-infrared, and short-wave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum and is the highest spatial and spectral resolution satellite imagery commercially available.
    https://explorationmapping.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/1_a_WorldView-3_Benefits.pdf

  4. Minto has partnered with Goldspot Discoveries Corp. (“Goldspot” TSX.V: SPOT and OTCQX: SPOFF) to support Exploration efforts at Minto Metals.  Goldspot (https://goldspot.ca/) will assist by compiling and re-processing Minto geological data to support artificial intelligence and data science exploration methods. This will include re-processing and interpreting historical local and regional geophysics datasets, and developing enhanced geochemical models. Identification of new surface and underground targets are a priority, as well as an updated 3-D geological model.

Minto has also engaged Equity Exploration Consultants Ltd. to compile and maintain the company’s geoscientific and mining databases and to monitor ongoing Quality Assurance / Quality Control performance.  Minto has retained Bureau Veritas (https://group.bureauveritas.com/) for geochemistry services in 2022.

“2022 is going to be an exciting year for Minto,” stated David Benson.  “We look forward to working with our stakeholders, principally, the Selkirk First Nation, in advancing exploration within their traditional territory.”

The 2022 drill program has been designed to try and create resource additions in the near term and on an ongoing basis moving forward.  A large inventory of untested, high-priority exploration targets remain from previous operators where initial drill testing has not been conducted since 2012.  These untested, high potential targets include possible extensions to the Minto North, Area 2 and Ridgetop orebodies as well as zones at a depth between the Minto Main Pit and Minto North Pit.

All the current and historical orebodies were discovered via drill-testing chargeability targets generated from a Titan-24 DC-IP survey circa 2009-2010.  Minto will focus the 2022 drill plan on the remaining targets from that survey and will further supplement the target database and drill test new targets generated by the magnetotellurics survey in 2022.  This survey should identify additional targets below the penetrative depth of the Titan-24 survey.

Qualified Person(s)

The technical contents of this news release have been reviewed and approved by both David Benson, P.Geo. Vice President of Exploration and Chris Stewart, P.Eng., President & CEO of Minto Metals.  Both people are Qualified Persons as defined by Canadian Securities Administrators National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

Grant of Stock Options

In addition, the Company announced that its Board of Directors has approved the grant of stock options (the “Options”) exersiable for an aggregate of 705,626  common shares to the senior leadership team and executive officers of the Company in lieu of cash payments due under the 2021 Short Term Incentive Program.  The Options were granted pursuant to the Company’s 2021 Long Term Incentive Plan and are subject to the terms of the applicable option agreements and the requirements of the TSX Venture Exchange.  The Options are exercisable at a price of $2.60 per share for a period of five years from the date of grant.  The Options vested fully on the grant date.