The Government of the Northwest Territories has accepted a letter of offer from Fireweed Zinc Ltd. to purchase the Mactung tungsten deposit.
Under the terms, 100 per cent ownership of the Mactung property was sold for a total purchase price of $15 million.
The GNWT’s ownership of the MacTung deposit and the former Cantung Mine, located near the Yukon border, was the result of the previous owners, North American Tungsten Corporation Limited, going bankrupt in 2015. The territorial government then put the properties up for sale in February 2019.
The GNWT acquired the property for $4.5 million in order to “protect the economic value of the property’s tungsten deposit for future development.”
Tungsten prices have improved significantly since 2015, and Mactung hosts one of the world’s highest grade deposits.
“Tungsten is a specialty metal with unique marketing and supply chain characteristics,” reads a GNWT news release issued on June 7. “It is classified as a critical metal of strategic importance to many nations, including Canada and the United States.”
The GNWT has kept Mactung regulatory authorizations and mineral interests in good standing. The GNWT has spent $346,521 to maintain the property and its assets, with the federal government covering the bulk of the costs, into the tens of millions.
Though the GNWT and federal government wanted to sell the Cantung Mine and Mactung property as a package deal, this wouldn’t pan out as receipt of an acceptable bid for both properties was not received.
No concessions, subsidies or incentives were negotiated with Fireweed Zinc as part of the transaction.