Canadian uranium and lithium interests come first, while Trinex Minerals moves into exploration


  • Trinex Minerals is focused on advancing its critical mineral projects in Canada
  • The primary focus is on its uranium project in the Athabasca Basin and its lithium projects in the Northwest Territories
  • Uranium mineralization has already been intersected at Gibbons Creek and further geophysical surveys are underway
  • Exploration also on the lithium projects during the Canadian summer

Switching from one sector to another is not an easy decision for a young natural resources company, although its smaller size and ability to make quick decisions make it ideally suited to do so when the situation requires it.

That's exactly the decision former base metals firm Todd River Resources made after acquiring a package of three lithium exploration projects in Canada's Northwest Territories in late 2023, which it described at the time as a “transformational” package.

With this shift to critical minerals came a name change Trinex Minerals (ASX:TX3) to reflect this change in direction.

Since then, the Company has further reinforced its commitment to critical minerals with the acquisition of the Gibbons Creek Uranium Project in the Athabasca Basin

Managing director Will Dix told Stockhead that while the company (as Todd River) had been working on base metals in the Northern Territory and Western Australia since 2017, the board decided about a year ago to focus on critical minerals and opportunities both onshore as well as on land to pursue offshore.

“At the end of September last year we signed a contract for some Canadian lithium deposits in the Northwest Territory,” he noted.

“That was the beginning of the new company, until that point we were called Todd River Resources. It was the trigger for the name change and rebranding.

“We are committed to Canada and our focus is there. Since then, other opportunities have arisen, one of which culminated in us completing the Athabasca uranium deal.”

He added that while the company retained its Australian assets, it remained heavily focused on Canada for at least the next 18 months to two years, with equal priority given to both Gibbons Creek and the Northwest Territory lithium deposits.

Gibbons Creek Project Location. Image: Trinex Minerals

Well understood uranium system

TX3 signed a binding letter of intent in February 2024 to acquire an initial 51% interest in the 139 square kilometer Gibbons Creek Project on the northern flank of the highly prospective Athabasca Basin, known to host a significant number of the world's best uranium mines.

Dix said the decision to acquire Gibbons Creek was equal parts opportunistic – since the project was offered to the company – and strategic, recognizing that there would be ups and downs in the lithium market and that it was important to “have one to have a “second strand” in front of our bow”.

“In the long term, the uranium industry will grow. There is a global consensus that while we want to be part of this energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources or less polluting energy sources, from a pollution or carbon emissions perspective, I think uranium plays a very big role in that,” he said.

He added that while Australia is a big jurisdiction for uranium, there are political barriers to its development, adding that he is not a big fan of going to developing countries to look for uranium.

In contrast, the Athabasca Basin was an area the company had long had its eye on, and the project came to life at a good time for it.

“Gibbons Creek is very close to the infrastructure and that creates added value. We can literally drive from where we are in Stony Rapids and have the rig on site in 20 minutes,” Dix noted.

“This is quite unusual for any type of exploration project.”

The project is fully permitted for exploration. Three priority targets – Airstrip, Hocking West and Butler Lake – have been identified for immediate follow-up work and drilling.

“Gibbons Creek is a relatively well-explored uranium system because it is an unconformity or basinal mineralization,” Dix said.

“We generated a number of goals there. The first and easiest point to explore is the Airstrip Prospect.

“We have just completed drilling there and announced a few weeks ago that we had received good indications of uranium mineralization in the first drill holes there.”

Two of the first three holes drilled by TX3 in the prospect intersected uranium mineralization; the results are expected at the end of April.

Dix adds that the company will conduct further geophysical surveys before drilling to explore other opportunities within the project.

“Butler Lake is the key project and we will definitely be conducting further geophysical surveys this year. Then I can imagine us drilling there next winter and then in Hocking West next January.

Prospects for Gibbons Lake. Image: Trinex Minerals

Stay at the forefront of the lithium business

TX3 also plans to advance its lithium projects this summer, which total approximately 500 km2 of land.

The main focus will be on the large, approximately 350 square kilometer Halo Yuri project, which is the northernmost of the three areas.

The company has already accelerated planned ground exploration to determine the potential of its pegmatite systems, of which there are hundreds according to current satellite imagery.

“There is already good evidence that there are pegmatites containing spodumene there. One has been confirmed in the northern part of the project,” Dix said.

“This work program is about being on site, taking reconnaissance sampling, doing mapping, getting a really good feel for where the opportunities might be at Halo-Yuri, and then we'll get to drilling 12 months later .”

“In the other two projects we have spodumene at Ross Lake, pegmatite, which is several hundred meters long and 25 to 30 meters wide.

“We are in the process of finalizing the drilling permit application, which is due to be submitted in the next week or so.

“On our third lithium project, the MAC project, we have received some new land that we have added to the original acquired land and we need to do some initial work again, particularly in the southern part.”

“This will also happen in the Canadian summer.”

Trinex Minerals' lithium projects in the Northwest Territories. Image: Trinex Minerals

Looking for opportunities and Australian projects

Dix noted that the company continues to look for opportunities in Canada, particularly in the lithium and uranium sectors

“Obviously it’s about creating wealth and value for shareholders,” he added.

“We can only do this through good science, good geology and good exploration practices with the ultimate goal of making a discovery.”

TX3 has also begun initial discussions with several companies about some of its Australian projects, with Dix saying that while it is still early days, it would certainly consider the right proposal.

“Given the current market situation, it will be difficult to do anything with some of them and we may end up selling some of them,” he noted.

“But those that have intrinsic value, like Mount Hardy, would have to be the right kind of opportunity for us, preferably one that allows us to continue to be exposed to it, otherwise we're happy to hold on to it.”

Board and financing

However, companies are not just about their projects; their leadership also plays an equally important role.

Dix is ​​a geologist with 23 years of experience in base metals, gold and uranium exploration and mining, including seven years with successful international nickel producer LionOre Mining International.

Managing Director Su-Mei Sain is a chartered accountant with 20 years of experience, mostly in the mining sector.

Dix points out that she has worked with the company for many years and is a strong supporter of its financial planning.

“Edward Fry, our chairman, has been instrumental in the work we have done in Australia on land access and Indigenous connections, and he carries out the same role with Canada's First Nations,” he added.

Fry is currently managing director of Gimbulki, a homegrown mining company he founded in 2002. He held senior management positions at Normandy Mining and was manager of international logistics and marketing for that company's base metals portfolio.

The remaining non-executive director is Geoffrey Crow, who has been with Todd River since its inception and brings a capital markets perspective to the board thanks to his 28 years in corporate finance, stockbroking and investor relations.

“We feel like we cover all disciplines and work very well together. “There’s a lot of trust between the four of us,” Dix said.

“We always discuss until everyone agrees, and that’s usually pretty easy for the four of us.”

TX3 is also well funded with around $4 million in the bank, which Dix says is enough to complete all planned work programs for at least the next 12 months.

“This sets us apart from a lot of juniors out there who need to raise money to keep working,” he concluded.

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. Although Trinex Minerals is a Stockhead advertiser, it has not sponsored this article.