Vancouver, British Columbia--(Newsfile Corp. - April 2, 2019) - North American Nickel Inc. (TSXV: NAN) (OTCQB: WSCRF) (CUSIP: 65704T 108) (the "Company") is pleased to provide a detailed summary including remaining results from the 2018 exploration program designed to test the relationship between high grade nickel and tenors of magmatic sulphide mineralization and the distribution of high magnesium oxide (MgO) melanorite rocks on its 100% owned Maniitsoq nickel-copper-cobalt-PGM project in southwest Greenland.
In 2018 NAN adapted a more aggressive drill targeting strategy which placed an emphasis on evaluating the roots of large intrusions at Maniitsoq that contained thick intervals of noritic rock with unusually high MgO concentrations. This new approach was driven by the technical data that indicated that the majority of the highest-grade mineralization comprising heavily disseminated, net-textured, breccia and massive sulphides are hosted within high MgO melanorite rocks. The connected nature of the sulphides in these styles of mineralization provides an exceptionally good target for deep-penetrating surface electromagnetic surveys.
Using this knowledge NAN was able to target drill holes to test both anomalies derived from deep-penetrating surface electromagnetic surveys and the larger volumes of prospective melanorite adjacent to the known mineral zones. The assays of core samples derived from each hole helped to map the distribution of high MgO rocks which provides a geochemical vector towards the prospective keel of the intrusion. The boreholes have provided the platforms and geometry to test for conductivity within the melanorite keel of the intrusion using downhole electromagnetic (EM) survey methods. Given the scale of a conductive target that would achieve an economic hurdle, the EM method can effectively test up to 200m away from the borehole.
Surface mapping, geochemistry, drilling, and geophysical technologies indicate that the prospective mineralized melanorite keel of the largest Greenland Norite Belt intrusion, Fossilik, is located at the southwestern end of the intrusion (see press release dated January 28, 2019). The 2018 program of work did not identify significant additional mineralization of the type encountered at P-058 and P-004 which are viewed as tectonically detached enclaves derived from the deeper keel of the intrusion. A similar approach was extended to the Imiak Hill Complex where exploration focused on the identification of the source of steeply-plunging detached zones of semi-massive, vein, and breccia style sulphide mineralization. At P-008, this approach was rewarded with the discovery of high Ni tenor, disseminated through semi-massive sulphide mineralization associated with melanorite (see press release dated November 19, 2018).
NAN CEO, Keith Morrison, commented: "NAN had a very productive drilling campaign during the 2018 season at Maniitsoq, completing 14,287.6m in 33 holes. The resulting large number of assays delayed receipt of results and hence the time required to get this information to the markets. The advancement in our drilling strategy to test prospective melanorite is expected to reduce the amount of drilling time and cost to fully evaluate the camp scale Maniitsoq property. The 2018 drilling confirmed the presence of melanorite at several of the priority Maniitsoq intrusions but did not demonstrate an economic mineralized system. NAN remains committed to Maniitsoq and we will apply our cumulative experience to continuing to explore there and along the west coast of Greenland. Details of the 2019 program are being developed and will be press released when completed."
Drill collar information and a summary of assays are provided in Tables 1 and 2 respectively and may be viewed using the link provided: Drill Collar Information & Selected 2018 Assay Results
The 2018 program was accomplished over a 15 week period and 33 holes were completed. These numbers include six holes drilled on the Qeqertaasaq Carbonatite Complex designed to test potential nickel targets and evaluate the strategic metal potential in this area. Exploration activity focused on the use of geological, geochemical and geophysical data to target the melanoritic keel zones of prioritized intrusions at P-030-031-032, and in the footprint of the Imiak Hill Complex (IHC; Figure 1).
The program included deep-penetrating, surface electromagnetic methods designed to optimize the detection of large conductive massive sulphide bodies at depth, coupled with borehole electromagnetic surveys (BHEM), structural geology, surface physical property, geochemical sampling, and 3D modeling.
IMIAK HILL COMPLEX
The Imiak Hill Complex is located approximately 8km north of Fossilik and comprises the Mikissoq, Imiak Hill and Spotty Hill sulphide zones. A number of additional mineralized norite intrusions containing melanorite occur within the footprint of the IHC, particularly to the west.
Four IHC Footprint intrusions collectively named G-017; G-025; G-026, and G-036 were evaluated in 2018. Seven drill holes (MQ-18-160, 165, 166, 170, 176, 178, 179) totalling 3,499.8m were completed to evaluate the most promising areas within the intrusions based on available geophysical gravity anomalies and 2017 IP anomalies. Geochemical data also vectored boreholes into areas within the melanorite keels and the contacts of these heavily deformed intrusions.
G-017 was drilled by holes MQ-18-170 and 178 to evaluate the depth potential of an area of melanorite outcrop that is associated with a gravity high. The two holes totaling 1,230.8m intersected one interval of melanorite at depth with no significant nickel or copper mineralization contained within broader intervals of weak to unmineralized norite and leuconorite.
G-025 is located on the western margin of the Imiak Hill Complex. The intrusion consists of discontinuous outcrops of a melanorite body that has complex contacts with the surrounding gneiss. Hole MQ-18-176 was designed to undercut previous historic surface grab samples with values of up to 0.79% nickel and 0.42% copper (see press release dated December 18, 2017). The hole was drilled to a depth of 516m and intersected a thick interval of melanorite with anomalous Ni and Cu contents extending from casing depth down to 424m. The best interval returned values of 0.54% nickel and 0.19% copper between 115.15m to 121.0m.
G-026 is located west of the Imiak Hill mineral zone and was tested with holes MQ-18-165, 166 and 179 totaling 1,174m. Hole MQ-18-165 was abandoned shortly after casing and restarted as 166, this hole targeted the interpreted base of the intrusion and exhibited a high degree of deviation. Hole MQ-18-166 failed to encounter any melanorite or nickel enrichment but MgO concentrations in the noritic rocks indicate a possible inversion of stratigraphy. Hole MQ-18-179 evaluated a discrete chargeability high coupled with a resistivity low in the SW portion of the intrusion. Noritic rocks with relatively low MgO concentrations were encountered throughout the hole. Two intervals of mineralization were encountered which assayed 0.43% Ni and 0.13% Cu over 7.0m from 382m to 389m, and 0.56% Ni and 0.17% Cu between 399.45m to 402m.
G-036 is interpreted to be a possible faulted and displaced continuation of the mafic intrusive host to the Imiak Hill mineral zone. The intrusion, which may represent the keel of the system, is marked by a gravity high. Borehole MQ-18-160 tested G-036 to a depth of 579m and intersected a thick sequence of melanorite with a distinct 30m zone of nickel and copper enrichment between 80m and 110m.This high MgO noritic unit returned a best interval of 0.37% Ni and 0.19% Cu over 1.65m at 93.35m. Variations in MgO concentration through the hole suggest a possible inversion of lithostratigraphy.
Spotty Hill P-055
Hole MQ-18-157 was designed to target a discrete gravity anomaly associated with an interpreted and projected melanorite keel roughly 300m down-plunge of known mineralization. Previous drill hole intercept values of 1.35% Ni and 0.26% Cu over 7.8m from hole MQ17-143 (see press release dated October 19, 2017).
The 778m long hole (MQ-18-157) intercepted the high MgO melanoritic keel but returned sub-economic values of 0.27% Ni and 0.07% Cu over 4.63m from 527.8m to 532.43m. BHEM follow up on the hole failed to generate any discrete anomalies in the near vicinity. There remains an unexplained gravity feature at depth, suggesting a possible stacking of melanoritic strata at depths exceeding 600m.
The P-030-032 target area is located in the southern portion of the Greenland Norite Belt and comprises a large, approximately two kilometre long, northeast-striking norite intrusion with surface gossans returning values up to 2.26% Ni, 0.67% Cu and 0.33g/t PGM's (see press release dated December 16, 2016).
Hole MQ-18-181 was drilled steeply westward into the P-032 area targeting an area of high MgO norites associated with a surface gossan that assayed up to 1.08% Ni and 0.47% Cu. The hole intercepted multiple thick sequences of weakly mineralized melanorite down to 597m. Mineralization was intersected between 194.10m and 196.80m with assays of 0.86% Ni and 0.19% Cu. The appearance of a systematic increase in MgO concentrations with depth suggests the primary keel of the intrusion extends below the depth of drilling.
MQ-18-188 was designed to evaluate the large P-031 noritic intrusion that occurs northeast of the P-032 sulphide zone. Grab samples at P-031 have previously returned values up to 0.49% Ni, 0.22% Cu and a combined PGM content of 0.7g/t. Unfortunately, the P-031 hole was shut down early in melanorite at a depth of 672m due to the termination of the 2018 exploration program. Analysis of drill hole chemostratigraphy indicates the intrusion becomes more primitive with depth and suggests the base or keel of the intrusion occurs at depths below current drilling.
A third hole in the intrusion, MQ-18-186 was completed to a depth of 417m with the goal of establishing whether mineralized melanorite extends below the near-surface P-030 mineral zone. The hole failed to intercept norite because the contact on the P-030 norite was shallower than expected. A follow-up BHEM survey failed to produce any anomalies.
Three holes totalling 1,017m were sited to evaluate the melanoritic Pingo dyke located approximately 23km northwest of the Imiak Hill Complex. The melanoritic intrusion has a linear surface expression over an interpreted strike of over 7km, and varies in width from 35 to 165m. Historic surface grab samples collected along the intrusion returned values of 0.78% Ni and 0.26% Cu; 0.74% Ni and 0.34% Cu; and 0.78% Ni and 0.23% Cu.
Hole MQ-18-183 indicates that the gossanous melanorite exposed at surface extends to depth. The changes in MgO concentration through the melanorite define a differentiation trend with a base or keel to the south suggesting the possibility the Pingo intrusion is a sill. BHEM did not identify strongly conductive plates in association with the intrusion.
Hole MQ-18-187 encountered noritic rocks underneath the surface outcrop of mineralized melanorite. The weakly conductive BHEM plates modelled from this hole point back towards the surface gossan and are coincident with the center of an intrusive body that varies from norite to melanorite over a vertical distance of ~300m.
3D modeling indicates the mineralized segment of the dyke has been tested for a conductive target satisfying an economic threshold above ~400m depth. The VTEM airborne geophysical response does not provide a focus for further evaluation of the strike-extent of the dyke.
OTHER NORITIC INTRUSIONS
P-005: MQ-18-164 was drilled to a depth of 122m to evaluate a previously identified VTEM anomaly modelled with a 252 Siemen conductance plate. The hole intersected weak but high nickel tenor stringer sulphide mineralization and returned a best value of 0.27% Ni and 0.22% Cu with 1.51% S over 1m. Follow up BHEM indicates an off-hole anomaly below the drill hole, suggesting the bulk of the mineralization potentially lies at depth.
P-012: MQ-18-159 targeted a near surface 400 Siemen conductance surface pulse EM anomaly and a historic 1483 Siemen off-hole anomaly, modelled from DDH MQ-15-093. The 329m borehole intersected stringer/vein sulphide mineralization hosted within mafic gneiss from 24.20 to 30.85m. The best assay returned 0.22% Ni, 0.14% Cu over 0.60m. There was no explanation for the deeper anomaly; a BHEM survey indicated that the plunge extent of mineralization is less than originally modelled.
P-293: Two holes, MQ-18-180 and 182 with a combined meterage of 338m were designed to evaluate a set of known VTEM anomalies located roughly 2km north east of the Mikissoq sulphide zone. Both holes intersected norite with associated barren sulphide mineralization.
QEQERTAASAQ CARBONATITE COMPLEX & IKERTOQ
A mineral licence over a highly prospective block of ground in the Greenland Norite Belt containing the Qeqertassaq Carbonatite Complex (QCC) was awarded to the Company in 2018 (see press release dated July 9, 2018). Compilation and re-interpretation of historic data for the property helped to focus exploration on the potential for nickel and rare and strategic metals.
Two holes were drilled to follow up on potential nickel sulphide targets. DDH MQ-18-168 and 169 totaled 553m and targeted EM anomalies detected during the 2018 surface EM program. MQ-18-168 encountered thin veins of barren pyrite and pyrrhotite. DDH MQ-18-169 intersected a 30m thick interval of conductive magnetite.
Four short drill holes totaling 752m targeted the concentric radiometric high developed at the periphery of the carbonatite intrusion where historic grab samples from the fenite zone contained elevated tantalum and niobium concentrations. Sporadic elevated results were received. DDH MQ-18-171, the easternmost hole, returned the highest Nb values of 3218 ppm over 0.9m and 3376 ppm over 0.3m. The highest Ta values occur in the northern part of the QCC with hole MQ-18-172 returning values of 166 ppm Ta over 0.5m and 163 ppm Ta over 0.15m (see table of intercepts using the link above). Host rocks for the mineralized intercepts include a mixture of weakly fenitized gneiss and mafic intrusive material. Mineralization tested to date is interpreted to occur along narrow irregularly-shaped veins and segregations in association with fenitized basement rocks
In March 2018, the Company was granted a license for exclusive exploration rights to an area located near Kangerlussuaq in west Greenland known as Ikertoq. During 2018, the Company completed sampling and mapping of the area. Historic grab samples with elevated Ni concentration and Ni tenor corresponded to 1-15cm wide pegmatoidal feldspathic veinlets cross-cutting dunite and peridotite at the center of the intrusion. No ultramafic-hosted disseminated magmatic sulphide was identified.
FOCUS FOR FUTURE EXPLORATION
NAN is committed to understanding and developing the Ni-Cu-Co-precious metal potential of prospective rocks of the norite belt and other prospective geological environments in Greenland. The company will continue to investigate the nickel potential of near-surface targets on its Maniitsoq Property, and carry out systematic geoscience driven evaluations to maximize the potential value of the project. In 2019 NAN will aim to identify, map and sample priority gossans at Maniitsoq with the ambition to acquire additional geoscience data needed to advance the opportunities to drill-ready targets.
The drilling was completed by Forage M3 Drilling Services Inc. (Canada) utilizing two Discovery EF-50F diamond drills and one Boyles JKS 300 diamond drill rig. Drill core samples (47.6 mm NQ and 42.1mm BTW) are cut in half by a diamond saw on site. Half of the core is retained for reference purposes. Samples are generally 1.0 to 1.5 metre intervals or less at the discretion of the site geologists. Sample preparation is completed at the GeoLAB Greenland ApS preparation lab in Nuuk, Greenland. Sample pulps are sent by air to the MS Analytical laboratory in Langley, BC, Canada. Blank samples and commercially prepared and certified Ni sulphide and/or Carbonatite REE analytical control standards with a range of grades are inserted in every batch of 20 drill core samples or a minimum of one per sample batch. Blank samples and/or commercially prepared and certified Ni sulphide and/or Carbonatite REE analytical control standards are also inserted into every batch of surface samples. Analyses for Ni, Cu and Co are completed using a sodium peroxide fusion preparation and ICP-ES finish (PER-700). Analyses for Pt, Pd, and Au are by fire assay (30 grams nominal sample weight) with an ICP-AES finish (FAS-113). Analysis for Carbonate Major Oxides are by Lithium Metaborate fusion with an ICP-AES finish (WRA-310). Analysis for Li, Nb, and Ta along with Rare Earth Elements (REEs) and Refractory elements are completed using a sodium peroxide fusion with ICP-ES/MS finish (PER-700R).
Technical Information; Qualified Person
The Company is not aware of any legal, political, environmental or other risks that could materially affect the potential development of the project other than those set out in its annual information form filed on www.sedar.com. Please see below under the heading "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements" for further details regarding risks facing the Company.
All technical information in this release has been reviewed and approved by Peter C. Lightfoot, Ph.D., P.Geo. (Consulting Chief Geologist), who is the Qualified Person for the Company.
About North American Nickel
North American Nickel is a mineral exploration company with 100% owned properties in Maniitsoq, Greenland and Sudbury, Ontario.
The Maniitsoq property in Greenland is a Camp scale permitted exploration project comprising 3,048 square km covering numerous high-grade nickel-copper + cobalt sulphide occurrences associated with norite and other mafic-ultramafic intrusions of the Greenland Norite Belt (GNB). The >75km-long belt is situated along, and near, the southwest coast of Greenland accessible from the existing Seqi deep water port with an all year-round shipping season and hydroelectric power potential from a quantified watershed.
The Post Creek/Halcyon property in Sudbury is strategically located adjacent to the past producing Podolsky copper-nickel-platinum group metal deposit of KGHM International Ltd. The property lies along the extension of the Whistle Offset dyke structure. Such geological structures host major Ni-Cu-PGM deposits and producing mines within the Sudbury Camp.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" under applicable securities laws concerning the business, operations and financial performance and condition of the Company. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the success of exploration activities; impact of mineralogy, estimation of mineral resources at mineral projects of the Company; the future economics of minerals including nickel and copper; synergies and financial impact facilities; the benefits of the development potential of the properties of the Company and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of the Company and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.
Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward-looking statements include variations in metal grades, changes in market conditions, variations in recovery rates, risks relating to international operations, fluctuating metal prices and currency exchange rates, and other risks of the mining industry, including but not limited to the failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated. The Company cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. Investors and others who base themselves on forward-looking statements should carefully consider the above factors as well as the uncertainties they represent and the risk they entail. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in this press release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. Statements concerning mineral reserve and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements to the extent they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered if the property is developed.
Statements about the Company's future expectations and all other statements in this press release other than historical facts are "forward looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and as that term defined in the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbours created thereby. Since these statements involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the Company's actual results may differ materially from the expected results. For further information on the project, please see National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) technical report prepared by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (SRK) dated effective March 17th, 2017, titled "Updated Independent Technical Report for the Maniitsoq Nickel-Copper-Cobalt-PGM Project, Greenland", available under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com or at www.northamericannickel.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
North American Nickel Inc.
For more information contact:
North American Nickel Inc.
Toll free: 1-866-816-0118
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Figure 1: Location of 2018 Drilling
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