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The Northern Miner: North American Nickel's interstellar story at Maniitsoq
AUTHORIZED REPRINT www.northernminer.com august 13-19, 2012 • VOL. 98, NO. 26 • SINCE 1915 North American Nickel’s interstellar story at Maniitsoq By Matthew KeevilVANCOUVER — It is not often that a 2% nickel and 0.43% copper at the ited anomalies at the time, though resam-mining company finds itself headlining Quagssuk target in hole 3; and 13 metres pling of the historic core by Cominco andspace publications and astronomy jour- of 2.24% nickel and 0.63% copper at the Falconbridge demonstrated a relativelynals, but that is exactly what happened Fossilik target in hole 1. high nickel tenor in the sulphides — withto North American Nickel (NAN-V, Cominco flew a large portion of the Falconbridge’s work showing 8% nickelWSCRF-O) when the Geological Survey Greenland norite belt in 1995 with a Geo- in 100% sulphide. According to Mark theof Denmark and Greenland announced tem fixed-wing airborne electromagnetic companies were on the right track, butthat the company’s Maniitsoq nickel- system. The company discovered lim- lacked the necessary technologies.copper project was the site of the Earth’soldest-known meteorite impact, datingback 3 billion years. Maniitsoq is located on Greenland’ssouthwestern coast — around 160 kmnorth of Nuuk, the country’s capital —and consists of 4,800 sq. km of exclusiveexploration licences. Data on the sitereaches as far back as the 1960s, includinggeophysical work by Falconbridge andCominco in the late 1990s. “What impressed me about the projectwas that Falconbridge reviewed all 119drill holes that a company from Denmarkhad completed in the sixties,” chairmanand CEO Rick Mark explains. “It’s reallyunusual for a company of our size to getour hands on solid information for a landpackage that big. Sometimes you see rocksampling, but to have that much historiccore was quite something — I mean, it isliterally ten years’ worth of work.” Historic drill work was completed bya private company from Denmark calledKyrolitselskabet Oresund in the mid-1960s, and includes 6,287 metres of drill-ing at an average depth of 60 metres. The work focused on exposed sul-phide mineralization and associatedelectromagnetic anomalies. Historic North American Nickelassay results include: 10 metres grading North American Nickel’s Maniitsoq nickel-copper project on Greenland’s southwestern2.7% nickel and 0.6% copper at the Imiak coast.Hill target in hole 9; 5 metres carrying 1
AUTHORIZED REPRINT www.northernminer.com august 13-19, 2012 • VOL. 98, NO. 26 • SINCE 1915 “We looked at the historic airborne distract from the story. But when we Mark says working in Greenland isdata, and figured probably two-thirds of made the announcement it ended up on similar to working in the Canadian Arc-the Cominco stuff wouldn’t have seen a these space-related websites and all over tic, though he is quick to point out thatthing because they had to fly too high the place, so we’re getting some more transporting fuel and supplies to campand too fast,” Mark comments. “We were exposure because it is a neat idea.” is easier because of the area’s nearbysort of familiar with that because we’ve To fund its 2012 exploration program, international airport, and the regionalworked with the Geotech’s VTEM sys- North American Nickel closed a US$3.4- port is ice free year-round. The companytem in the past, and we’ve told the ‘low million private placement with Sentient has a four-month exploration windowand slow’ story with helicopter technol- Global Resources Fund in late May. similar to operations in the Canadianogy for years. So with the helicopter- Sentient received 20 million units at 17¢ North, though it’s possible to set up win-born electromagnetic technology and per share. ter camps and extend work to 10 months,modern computing power, suddenly The company’s first step was to com- if the project moves to more advancedthese anomalies are popping up.” plete helicopter-flown VTEM surveys. stages. The story’s focus shifted slightly fol- North American Nickel received the re- North American Nickel maintains alowing news that North American Nickel sults from its airborne geophysical work tight share structure with the Sentientwas sitting on a major meteor impact site. on July 24, and found that Maniitsoq con- group and VMS Ventures (VMS-V,Anyone familiar with the Sudbury basin tained 50 conductive zones, many with VMSTF-O) — a company exploringin Ontario can attest to the potential geo- promising strike lengths. The company similar deposits in Manitoba and Ontariological implications of a large-scale me- identified 12 high-priority zones it in- that shares much of North Americanteoritic event. Major mining outfits like tends to target in a drill program sched- Nickel’s geological and managementVale (VALE-N) and Xstrata (XTL-L, uled for mid-August. teams — holding nearly 50% of the com-XSRAF-O) are still active in what has “The nickel tenure graph is strictly pany’s fully diluted position. VMS andbecome one of the richest mineral juris- diagonal, which means it is consistent Sentient also retain a first right, whichdictions in the world for nickel-copper across the entire seventy-five kilo- lets the companies maintain their shareand platinum group metal deposits. metres,” Mark concludes. “Now, at six- structure. “What we ended up looking at was the to eight-percent nickel, that can only North American Nickel has bouncedoriginal thesis of a long-lasting igneous happen if there are multiple events con- around the 12¢ to 18¢ range since earlyevent. We hadn’t thought too much tributing to the structure. We’re seeing April. The company received a bit of aabout the impact story in the beginning some light nickel mineralization at sur- boost on results from its airborne geo-because frankly, we weren’t sure the face, and according to our model the physical results on July 24, when sharesmarkets would be interested in that side mineralization should drop. And sure jumped 19% to a quarterly high of 22¢ atof it,” Mark explains. “Of course, it would enough, one hundred sixty metres down presstime on above-average, 231,000-be interesting to look at something sim- there are three football-field sized anom- share volumes. The company has 77 mil-ilar to the mineralized camps in the Sud- alies sitting there, and we’re hoping for lion shares outstanding for a $10.5-mil-bury basin, but we were worried it would nickel sulphide.” lion market capitalization. 2