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Transition Metals searching for next big find

August 13, 2013
by Scott Haddow
In: Exploration

Key projects across Northern Ontario

Transition Metals CEO Scott McLean never rests. He and his co-workers are always hunting down another mining project.

Scott McLean made a name for himself in the mining industry during a 23-year career with Falconbridge and Xstrata. A member of the team credited with the Nickel Rim South discovery, he’s now making a name for his new company, Transition Metals.

Transition Metals currently has more than 30 projects across Canada and the United States and is looking for more.

McLean left his job as senior exploration manager at Xstrata Nickel in 2007 and went to work creating a project generator business called HTX Minerals with another former Falconbridge/Xstrata employee and good friend, Kevin Stevens and David Elliot, one of the founders of Haywood Securities.

They spun out a junior explorer/project generator company called Transition Metals from HTX in 2010 and took it public in August of 2011. The company has been growing fast since then. (McLean received approval in late June to merge the two companies into one and run it is as a single entity called Transition Metals.) McLean is the CEO.

“In 2007, I was offered another job within Xstrata and I saw it as an opportunity to leave the company and go do something important on my own,” McLean said. “It’s exciting and something new and different. It has been a great learning experience.”

McLean’s passion for the mining business is undeniable. With every word, he speaks with conviction and his eyes light up. He earned a PDAC Prospector of the Year award in 2004, along with Stevens, for his role in the Nickel Rim discovery.

McLean makes the most of the opportunities afforded to him in the industry. It reflects strongly and consistently on Transition Metals, a multicommodity project generator business with a focus on Canada and backed by an experienced and resourceful team of geoscientists based in Sudbury.


The merger of the two companies offers shareholders greater geological expertise, a broader project portfolio, increased financial resources and shareholder liquidity. The project generator model Transition Metals uses increases the probability of new discoveries, minimizes shareholder equity dilution and leverages partner capital and expertise.

Transition Metals also has alliances with Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) and the Nunavut Resources Corporation to generate 50/50 joint ventures. These are integral because they fund exploration and minimize the need for Transition Metals to sell equity.

“We mitigate a lot of the risk associated with early stage exploration and we have many irons in the fire, creating many opportunities,” McLean said.

The 30-plus projects Transition Metals has going full tilt cover more than 2,000 square kilometres. The key projects for the company are Janice Lake; Aer-Kidd; Haultain; Itchen and a platinum project with Implats in northwestern Ontario. Janice Lake is in Saskatchewan and has big potential.

“It has all the earmarks of being a large tonnage at-surface sediment-hosted copper deposit,” McLean said. The Aer-Kidd Project is 20 kilometres southwest of Sudbury along the Worthington Offset Dyke and has McLean truly stoked.

“It’s a beautiful project,” he said. “It offers the opportunity to be a worldclass orebody.”

Haultain is 120 kilometres south of Timmins in the heart of the historic Gowganda silver camp and another project that excites McLean.

“It looks like a zinger,” he said. “Great gold grades coming out of the test holes. It’s a new discovery by us in 2010, with similar styles of mineralization as Kirkland Lake and high grade gold across a 1.5- kilometre strike length.”

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