Wolfden's drilling encountered excellent nickel-copper-cobalt grades over mineable widths
Great infrastructure: Flin Flon - Snow Lake greenstone belt features 3 operating mines, 2 concentrating facilities and 1 zinc processing plant
Excellent potential to expand on the limits of known Ni-Cu mineralization on the Rice Island deposit and to make additional discoveries elsewhere on the property
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION AND LOCATION:
The 100%-owned Rice Island property comprising 2,611 hectares, was acquired by claim staking in May of 2015 (772 hectares) and by option agreement in September of 2016 (1,839 hectares). It is situated 10 kilometres south-southeast of the Town of Snow Lake in west-central Manitoba within the Snow Lake-Flin Flon greenstone belt. It is well located with respect to infrastructure including power, labour, supplies and mineral processing facilities situated in the nearby mining communities of Snow Lake and Flin Flon. Proximity to such infrastructure enables the Company to explore the property year-round and at reasonable cost (Figures 1 & 2).
PROPERTY OVERVIEW AND HISTORY:
The Rice Island nickel-copper-cobalt deposit was explored by drill programs completed by Inco Ltd. (1949-1950 and 1967). Inco's historic drilling included intercepts of 2.63% Ni, 0.98% Cu over 10.30 metres, 2.39% Ni, 1.24% Cu over 10.06 metres, 1.02% Ni, 0.85% Cu over 35.57 metres, 1.03% Ni, 0.50% Cu over 22.86 metres, 4.31% Ni, 1.28% Cu over 5.18 metres and 3.20% Ni, 1.23% Cu across 5.95 metres.
All of the documented drilling completed during the above periods utilized very small diameter drill core (AX) and the only surveying of drill holes employed during those times were dip tests, utilizing hydrochloric acid etching on test tubes. Upon review of all available data, it is clear that the Rice Island nickel-copper deposit and property have not been explored utilizing modern-day high-resolution techniques.
REGIONAL AND PROPERTY GEOLOGY:
The property is located in the Proterozoic-age Snow Lake-Flin Flon greenstone belt of the Churchill Province, comprising part of the Canadian Shield. Regionally, lower-most felsic and mafic volcanic rocks of the Amisk group occur to the west of the Rice Island property and host several volcanogenic copper-zinc massive sulphide deposits situated nearby. Such deposits include Stall Lake (6.26 MT at 4.33% Cu, 0.48% Zn), Anderson Lake (3.19 MT at3.45% Cu, 0.10% Zn) and Rod No. 2 (0.65 MT at 6.15% Cu, 2.85% Zn). Further to the west-northwest within the same package of bi-modal volcanic rocks, is the currently producing Lalor volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, owned by Hudbay Minerals (Reserves; 11.3 MT, 0.63% Cu, 7.8% Zn, 1.6 g/t Au, 23.8 g/t Ag, Resources; 3.6 MT, 2.4% Cu, 5.6% Zn, 3.5 g/t Au, 21.2 g/t Ag, Gold Zone: 6.2 Mt, 0.4% Cu, 0.47% Zn, 4.7 g/t Au, 31.5 g/t Ag).
Clastic sediments comprising greywacke and siltstone of the uppermost Amisk group, overlie the bimodal volcanic suite and occur on the Rice Island property. These sediments are intruded by the Rice Island intrusion, comprising gabbro and ultramafic rocks that hosts the Rice Island nickel-copper-cobalt deposit. The Rice Island intrusion belongs to a syntectonic group of plutons that are spatially associated with and are earlier phases of large batholithic complexes in the Snow Lake area, including the Jackfish Lake pluton and the Tramping Lake pluton (Figure 3).
THE RICE ISLAND NICKEL-COPPER-COBALT DEPOSIT:
The deposit occurs at the southwest end of Rice Island and is interpreted to have formed as the result of magmatic segregation occurring at the basal contact of the gabbro-ultramafic intrusion and underlying clastic sedimentary rocks. Mineralization occurs largely at the base of the intrusion (Main Zone) but also in lesser amounts in the sediments, as disseminated, stringer, semi-massive and massive pyrrhotite, pentlandite and chalcopyrite. The gabbro-ultramafic intrusion is wine glass-shaped in cross-sectional view with an underlying sub-vertical feeder zone (New Lower Zone). It has northerly strike and plunges steeply (-60 degrees) to the east-northeast in plan view (Figure 4).
The deposit is thought to have formed in an embayment or depression at the contact between the Rice Island gabbro-ultramafic intrusion and underlying sediments. It comprises a conduit or pathway of enhanced fluid flow that may be components of a larger more dynamic magmatic system. Recent discoveries of these deposit types suggests that relatively small mafic-ultramafic intrusions, can host economic nickel-copper deposits that in the framework of a regional fluid flow system, can contain several deposits that can form in clusters (Eagle deposits, Michigan and Tamarack deposits, Minnesota).
WOLFDEN'S 2015-2016 EXPLORATION PROGRAM RESULTS
During the fall of 2015 and winter of 2016, Wolfden completed 6,676 metres of drilling comprising 29 drill holes (Figure 5). Twenty six (26) of the holes were completed on the Rice Island deposit while an additional 3 holes tested outlying geophysical targets. Wolfden's drilling in combination with the historic drilling has delineated the deposit over a strike length 450 metres and to a vertical depth of 500 metres (Figure 6). The deposit comprises a Main Zone of semi to massive pyrrhotite, pentlandite and chalcopyrite situated near the base of the intrusion, overlain by a zone of blebby, disseminated sulphides.
The most significant development yielded by Wolfden's drilling was the discovery of the New Lower Zone that comprises a vertically-oriented feeder zone that enters the Rice Island intrusion at its base. Both the Main Zone and New Lower Zone are open along strike and to depth (Figures 7 & 8).
VTEM Airborne Geophysical Survey:
A property-wide airborne geophysical survey utilizing the VTEM system of Geotech Ltd. was completed by Wolfden over the entire property, employing 50-metre spaced lines over the deposit locale and 100-metre spaced lines distal from the deposit. The intention was to obtain a geophysical signature over the known nickel-copper mineralization and to look for similar signatures elsewhere on the property, in the search for additional satellite deposits.
The VTEM survey data indicates that the Rice Island Ni-Cu deposit is reflected by a bulls-eye-shaped magnetic high, semi-coincident with a strong electromagnetic conductor that is situated immediately to the west of the magnetic peak. A series of similar looking anomalies (to that of Rice Island) situated along trend to the southwest and northeast from Rice Island, offer potential for the discovery of additional magmatic nickel-copper deposits. A series of attractive targets (with a similar geophysical signature as the Rice Island deposit) situated to the west of the Rice Island deposit have not been drill tested and will be targeted in upcoming drilling campaigns (Figure 9).
Fixed-Loop Electromagnetic Survey:
A fixed-loop EM survey (FLEM) was completed in the locale of the Rice Island deposit and its projected northern extent (Figure 10). Strong conductors were defined by the survey in the immediate locale of the Rice Island deposit. The strongest conductor immediately underlying the Main Zone of the deposit, appear to be reflecting the New Lower Zone. Weak to moderate conductors were defined to the northeast of the known deposit as well. Additional FLEM surveying is required immediately to the southwest of the Rice Island deposit; strong conductors defined by the VTEM survey require ground follow-up prior to diamond drilling.
PRIORITY EXPLORATION TARGETS:
Diamond drilling is clearly warranted immediately to the southwest of the Rice Island deposit (Figure 11). A series of conductors closely associated with a magnetic high defined by the VTEM survey, likely represent the southwest extension of the Rice Island deposit. These conductors have not been drilled and will be given top priority. Wolfden drill holes located at the southwest end of Rice Island returned excellent results including 2.57% Ni, 1.07% Cu, 0.08% Co over 17.4 metres, 1.14% Ni, 0.70% Cu, 0.06% Co over 14.1 metres, 1.07% Ni, 0.83% Cu, 0.10% Co over 6.3 metres and 1.23% Ni, 0.80% Cu, 0.13% Co over 2.6 metres. Fixed-loop EM surveying will be completed over the VTEM conductors to better characterize them, prior to diamond drilling. The FLEM survey and diamond drilling will be completed after freeze-up given that they are under the waters of Wekusko Lake.
A second priority for drilling will be to test the New Lower Zone at increasing depth. Modelling of the VTEM and FLEM conductors associated with the New Lower Zone indicate that mineralization persists to some depth (see Figures 7 & 8). The goal here is to increase the size of the known deposit and to follow the conduit or path of fluid flow.
The third priority will be to drill test the series of conductors (coincident with magnetic highs) located to the west of the Rice Island deposit near the west shoreline of Wekusko Lake. As far is known, minimal diamond drilling has been completed on these targets that have a similar geophysical signature as that of the Rice Island deposit.