VMS Ventures

The success of this junior company has to do with knowing when to change direction

by Breanne Massey
Photo of Rick Mark

Rick Mark, CEO of VMS Ventures, understands the importance of change. — Photo courtesy VMS Ventures

VMS Ventures is one of Manitoba's busiest junior companies.

The company, formerly known as Rare Earth Metals Corp. (REM) when it was founded in 1996, focused on exploring rare earth metals until 2007. Then the company changed directions—one of the best decisions it has ever made.

“We decided to focus on what Manitoba is good at,” said Rick Mark, CEO of VMS Venutres. “That’s VMS deposits, which are copper-zinc deposits, and they’re prevalent up around Flin Flon and Snow Lake.”

According to Mark, VMS Ventures currently owns the second largest property package in Manitoba.

“We brought in a very experienced guy who had worked for the government for 40 years who knew the province extremely well from a geological perspective," said Mark, "and that allowed us to take on the property package we have today.”

Mark credits the success of VMS Ventures largely to a team of talented technicians, like John Pattison, the chief geologist of VMS Ventures, and Neil Richardson, the newly appointed chief operating officer of VMS.

“Neil’s an incredible force of nature,” said Mark. “He’s a fabulous guy and he’s made a huge difference to how we operate. I can say pretty confidently that the technical team is as good as any in the junior space and we’re financed well enough to let these guys do their work. It’s a really exciting opportunity for us and our shareholders to have this kind of depth in our technical team with the kind of land package we have already established.”

VMS Ventures Corporate Timeline & Exploration Highlights

Aug. 1996   Rare Earth Metals Corp. (REM) is incorporated. Principal business activity is the exploration and development of mineral properties in Canada. The company would later change its name from REM to VMS Ventures (VMS) in January 2007.

June 2002   The company is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange as a Tier 2 mining issuer under the symbol REM.

Dec. 2005   VMS separates its gold and silver assets into a newly created corporation, Harvest Gold.  VMS continued to hold its base and specialty metals assets, while Harvest Gold held the gold and gold-silver assets.

Aug. 2006   VMS enters into a property option agreement with W. Bruce Dunlop Limited (BDL) to option the Reed Lake copper-zinc property. The property is located 50 kilometres southwest of the mining community of Snow Lake, Manitoba, and is situated within the southern part of the Flin Flon-Snow Lake greenstone belt.

Jan. 2007   Following the company’s name change, it is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange as a Tier 2 mining issuer under the trading symbol VMS.

Oct. 2007   VMS announces its Reed Lake discovery hole intercept including 10 metres of 11.19 per cent copper.

Nov. 2007   VMS acquires a 50 per cent interest in Reed Lake claims from BDL. The Reed Lake discovery garners worldwide attention. VMS completes a $19.5-million private placement. VMS trades over 331 million shares in 2007.

Dec. 2008   VMS acquires a 100 per cent interest in Reed Lake claims from BDL.

May 2010   VMS buys into a private placement of North American Nickel Inc. (NAN). VMS currently holds a 45 per cent interest in NAN.

July 2010   VMS enters into a joint venture with HudBay to develop the Reed Lake deposit and two claims to the south. HudBay has a 70 per cent interest and VMS has a 30 per cent interest in the joint venture.

Aug. 2010   HudBay begins drilling at Reed Lake.

April 2011   The Cowan River Zone discovery intersects 9.81 per cent copper over 1.37 metres in hole RE-11-001.

May 2011   The Super Zone discovery intersects 7.44 per cent copper over 7.18 metres in hole RLE006.

Dec. 2011   The Reed Copper Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) is released and production decision approved by HudBay Minerals board of directors.

Feb. 2012   VMS begins drilling on its 100 per cent-owned Cowan River Project near Snow Lake.

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