Tarsis Resources (CVE:TCC) has received its White River property in southwestern Yukon back from its optionee Driven Capital Corp (CVE:DVV), saying it now plans to determine the most effective means to advance the project.
The company said late Thursday that it was formally notified that Driven Capital will not be continuing with the option to explore Tarsis' White River property.
Tarsis is planning to analyze the data collected by Driven, which last year completed a first phase diamond drilling program of more than 1,300 metres in seven holes - spending around $833,000 at the site.
This was the first time the project had been drilled, said Tarsis, and while gold mineralization was detected in all holes, the grades and thicknesses did not meet Driven's expectations.
Driven also cited the "continuing difficult market conditions" for junior mineral exploration companies and the challenging financing environment.
Drilling primarily targeted the HG Zone, with five holes testing a 275 metre portion of the 1,000 metre long target, while single holes were located at the MB and Cool Zones.
No drilling was conducted at the MS2 showing, Tarsis said, where two select prospecting samples returned 18.9 and 3.25 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, with "strongly anomalous" accessory arsenic, bismuth, and tellurium.
The company added that two main areas of arsenic-copper/gold at the southwest and north anomalies require further exploration.
Tarsis functions on a prospect generator model - meaning it seeks out prospective exploration projects to acquire, and then vends or options them to partners for development. This model has allowed the junior to raise cash in an otherwise tough market.
"It's been really tough for junior companies to raise money that don't have a niche, a management team with particular experience, or a project that is appreciated," CEO Marc Blythe says.
"We have a strong group of supporters who like the prospect generator model, and for this reason, we haven't had difficulties to date."
Blythe points out that Tarsis has made efforts to maintain relationships with major companies that like its style of exploration or type of project, and could be sourced for financing.
Indeed, the company has strong backers. Kinross Gold (TSE:K) invested about a year and a half ago, and now has around a 9% stake, while Sprott's Rick Rule has a more than 10% interest. Almaden Minerals (TSE:AMM) also holds over 10%.
And there is even more proof that Tarsis hasn't had any trouble raising cash. Last October, it closed a financing for total proceeds of just over $1 million, raising double what it had originally anticipated. Backers in the offering included Sprott, and management, which holds a significant chunk of shares, among others.
Currently, Tarsis has nine properties in the Yukon, Canada, and one in Mexico, the Erica property, which the company earlier this month optioned to Osisko Mining Corp (TSE:OSK), already knocking off its main goal for this year.
The deal gives Osisko the right to earn up to a 75% interest by funding exploration and development of the property, and by making cash payments to Tarsis.
After completing the deal for Erika, the company's second priority this year is adding new properties in Nevada as well as in Mexico.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.