Lynn Lake is one of Canada's largest nickel producing regions, having mined in the order of 22.2 million tons at 1% nickel and 0.5% copper between 1953 and 1976, when the bottom fell out of the nickel price and mining ceased.
In 2015 Corazon took the strategic step of consolidating the entire Lynn Lake nickel field under its ownership - the first time this world-scale nickel belt had been controlled by one company - and set about the systematic exploration of the project. This has included multiple phases of drilling, supported by detailed targeting work, led by world-leading nickel sulphide expert Dr Larry Hulbert.
This foresighted approach hasn't always been rewarded by investors, but fast forward to 2021, and this may be all about to change as Corazon is currently undertaking its next phase of drilling - with the potential prize being a major new nickel sulphide discovery.
"We have identified six priority drill targets, and the program is initially targeting the three highest priority targets, with approximately 1,600m of drilling, before we progress to the other targets," explains Corazon managing director Brett Smith.
"The highest priority target is the South Pipe, an exciting new target situated on recently granted tenure in the southern region of the project, and we have just received approval to drill the South Pipe and this will also be done in the current program.
"The point of difference for the company and investors right now is the fact that our technical approach to exploring Lynn Lake has given us a deep understanding of the geological and geophysical setting at the project, such that we have been able to continually refine our exploration and targeting techniques, to the point that we now believe we may be on the cusp of the major discovery we've always been chasing."
With the world crying out for quality new nickel projects to feed the growing demand for electric vehicles and new battery technologies - nickel is a major, core component of these leading-edge batteries - Corazon's timing couldn't be better
It is Corazon's approach to drill targeting for this current phase of drilling, something it sees as a major breakthrough, that has the company so bullish for its discovery prospects - but more of the detail later.
With the world crying out for quality new nickel projects to feed the growing demand for electric vehicles and new battery technologies - nickel is a major, core component of these leading-edge batteries - Corazon's timing couldn't be better.
Tesla chief Elon Musk has publicly urged miners to produce more nickel. "Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way," Musk has declared.
The narrative around the pending global adoption of battery-powered electric vehicles isn't new. It has been a constant thematic for nickel - and other ‘battery metals' such as lithium and graphite - for at least the past five years.
But up to this point, this looming paradigm shift hasn't really taken hold in commodity markets and investment markets. It is generally accepted that at some point in the future the masses will all be driving around in electric vehicles - but just not right now.
But this is all starting to change.
Governments are implementing policy around the adoption of electric vehicles, and major vehicle manufacturers are following suite and committing to the production of electric vehicles and investment in EV technology. Audi's new e-tron electric vehicle, and its supporting global advertising campaign, is a prime example
The UK government has announced plans to ban the sale of combustion engines by 2030 - and the European Union is reportedly proposing to do so even sooner, by 2025. Similarly, Tesla and Uber have announced plans to have the entire Uber ride-share fleet 100% electric by 2030.
Add in the fact that Corazon's Lynn Lake project, in the central Canadian province of Manitoba, is located literally on the door-step of the massive US electric vehicle market, and within easy shipping access for major European markets, and it is plain to see that it is in prime position to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the nickel market.
Lynn Lake is an established mining district with excellent infrastructure, courtesy of its extensive previous mining operations, and Manitoba is recognised as one of the best mining provinces in Canada.
Corazon has long seen Lynn Lake as a potentially highly significant nickel sulphide development opportunity project.
"Our focus has always been on advancing the project to a point where it is development-ready at a time when there is a strong price environment for nickel, which would make the project a particularly attractive development proposition," says Smith.
This has equated to extensive exploration programs, and lots of them, and has delivered notable success including a significant high-grade discovery of 23.75m at 3.34% Ni, 1.54% Cu at the EL target, at the historic Lynn Lake Mining Centre.
The company's strategy has been to build a significant JORC 2012 resource base at the Lynn Lake Mining Centre, while at the same time pursuing new, world-class nickel sulphide discoveries within the Lynn Lake project area.
The rationale is clear and simple; add more resource tonnes at good grades to enhance the economics of any future mining operation at Lynn Lake.
Corazon's resource at Lynn Lake currently stands at 15.3Mt at 0.72% Ni, 0.34% Cu, 0.034% Co (at a 0.5% Ni cut-off) for total contained metal of 110,400t Ni, 51,400t Cu, 5,200t Co (in the indicated and inferred categories).
The company is of the view that it is easily upgradeable to the higher measured JORC category, with minimal further drilling.
The resource was calculated from only five of 11 known deposits at Lynn Lake, with multiple other drill-defined areas of mineralisation yet to be included in resource studies. This indicates the potential for further substantial upgrades to the Lynn Lake resource.
From a metallurgy perspective, Corazon has undertaken multiple testwork programs, and the successful results have de-risked the project from a metallurgy viewpoint.
But it is the targeted exploration in the wider Lynn Lake project area, that is the core focus of the company's activities.
Exploration has focused on the Fraser Lake Complex (FLC), an area 5km south of the Lynn Lake Mining Centre. To provide some context as to the potential of the FLC, it is twice as large as the ‘A Plug' at the Lynn Lake Mining Centre - which produced 18Mt at 0.88% Ni plus 0.47% Cu when the project was previously in production.
Corazon is targeting new, large Lynn Lake-style nickel sulphide discoveries at the FLC, and over the course of its exploration programs, has continued to enhance its understanding of the area's geology and refine its exploration approach accordingly.
This has culminated in an aerial magneto-telluric (MobileMT) geophysical survey being flown over the Lynn Lake project area, which Corazon describes as a "game changer".
"We have a strong sense that our 2021 exploration work will lead us to the discovery we have been looking for at Lynn Lake"
Some background and explanation are required here.
Standard electromagnetic (EM) geophysics surveys are typically the most common method used to detect massive nickel sulphides.
However, at Lynn Lake the effectives of EM surveys have been impacted by surficial conductive lake deposits, barren sulphidic sediments and other rocks, which have inadvertently presented as conductor anomalies, and have contributed to false-positive results for the massive nickel sulphides that Corazon is targeting.
In search of a solution, and a more precise targeting tool, Corazon has come across the MobileMT geophysical survey. MobileMT is a next generation geophysical survey, which has been used to great effect by a number of major tier 1 mining companies, and is able to distinguish the targeted magmatic nickel sulphides from other sulphide occurrences.
The company has been delighted with the results and believes that by combining the MobileMT results with its extensive bank of existing geophysical and drilling results, it may have discovered the key to unlocking massive nickel sulphide deposits at Lynn Lake.
All of which leads to Corazon's current phase of drilling (put together from the results of the MobileMT survey) and the current sense of anticipation within the company.
"We have a strong sense that our 2021 exploration work will lead us to the discovery we have been looking for at Lynn Lake, and our current phase of drilling represents the start of that," enthuses Smith.
Corazon may just be ready to become the overnight success it has always been chasing.