Québec Nickel Corp. ("QNI" or the "Company") is pleased to announce it has added a third diamond drill rig to the Ducros Project, located approximately 80 kilometres northeast of Val-d'Or, Québec. Following the Company's recent drilling success at the Fortin Sill Zone, including a 8.43 metre-long intersection assaying 1.85% Ni, 1.65% Cu (3.50% Ni + Cu), 576 ppm Co and 3.27 g/t Pt-Pd-Au in hole QDG-22-29 (see August 30, 2022 News Release), a third drill rig was recently mobilized to project and is being used to accelerate the current and ongoing 20,000 metre drilling program.
The focus of work for the third machine is to advance the understanding of the size and geometry of the Fortin Sill Zone. The first drill continues to systematically test the interpreted strike extents of the Ni-Cu-PGE-mineralized body as well as other geophysical & geological targets in the general area that are interpreted to be potential continuations of the Fortin Sill Zone and/or new mineralized intrusions.
As announced in the Company's September 20, 2022 News Release, a second drill was mobilized to the property in September to begin a 3,000 metre program at the Ducros Ultramafic Sill Complex (DUSC) target area (Figure 1). To date, just over 50% of the planned drilling at the DUSC target area has been completed. The DUSC drilling program is currently paused during the fall moose hunt and will resume later in October.
QNI's CEO, David Patterson, comments "…considering the outstanding results we've seen so far from drilling at the Fortin Sill Zone, it was obvious we needed to ramp-up the work here to better understand what it is we have at Fortin. At the same time, we didn't want to sacrifice the important work that's going on elsewhere at the project, including the drilling at the DUSC target, so it only made sense to add another rig to the project. We're looking forward to sharing the results of all this hard work really soon."
Fortin Sill Ni-Cu-PGE Zone Drilling Summary & General Exploration Update
The Phase II drilling program began this past April at the Fortin Sill Ni-Cu-PGE showing and started with the collaring of hole QDG-22-09, which was designed to verify the results returned historical hole GCF-08-07, which intersected 0.82% Ni + Cu and 0.65 g/t Pt-Pd-Au over a core length of 20.7 metres at a downhole depth of 4.50 metres. Assay results from QDG-22-09 improved upon the historical drill intercept in terms of both overall grade and core length (see May 16, 2022 News Release for more information). Two additional holes were completed from the same set-up as QDG-22-09, namely QDG-22-10 & 11, to test for the continuity of the Ni-Cu-Co-PGE-Au mineralization on section with QDG-22-09 and GCF-08-07. This drilling was successful at expanding the mineralized zone at Fortin Sill on section to the southwest (see June 6, 2022 News Release for more information and Figure 2 below).
In light of these strong results, a number of step-out holes were collared to the southeast of the Fortin Sill Zone discovery outcrop, including drill holes QDG-22-28 and QDG-22-29. Previously reported assay results are summarized below in Table 1 and are highlighted by a 35.63 metre-long intersection that returned 1.13% Ni + Cu, 238 ppm Co and 1.01 g/t Pt-Pd-Au, and includes higher grade sub-intervals of 1.44 % Ni, 1.49 % Cu, 461 ppm Co and 2.79 g/t Pt-Pd-Au over 11.80 metres and 1.85% Ni, 1.65% Cu (3.50% Ni + Cu), 576 ppm Co and 3.27 g/t Pt-Pd-Au over 8.43 metres in hole QDG-22-29. Of note, a one-metre-long sample from hole QDG-22-29 containing heavy net-texture chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite (35-40% total sulphides) returned 1.98% Ni + 2.77% Cu (4.75% Ni + Cu), 624 ppm Co and 5.78 g/t Pt-Pd-Au. A drill section and plan map showing the location of drilling at the Fortin Sill Zone are provided below as Figures 2 & 3. Assay results for the four additional holes completed from the same location as QSDG-22-28 & QDG-22-29 are pending and will be released when available.
Ducros Property Exploration Update
As announced in QNI's June 13, 2022 News Release, the Company initiated multiple work programs during the summer to support the ongoing 20,000 metre drilling campaign. The Company is pleased to report these work programs have either been completed or are in the final stages of completion and include:
- Channel sampling:
- An additional 17 channel samples spanning a continuous 16.98 metres were collected from the Fortin Sill Zone discovery outcrop (Channel 6). Assay results have been received and can be viewed in QNI's corporate presentation at: www.quebecnickel.com and here.
- Property-wide biogeochemistry survey:
- A black spruce bark sampling program, which covers the majority of the >15,000-hectare Ducros property, was completed during this summer. The final data set will comprise multi element analyses from almost 900 samples and includes data from more than 100 samples collected from a tightly spaced orientation survey grid over the greater Fortin Sill target area (~25 m X 25 m sample spacing) . Results have been received for approximately 90% of the samples. A subject matter expert (SME) has been retained to review and interpret the data and a final report is expected before the end of the year.
- High-resolution satellite imagery:
- The collection of 50 cm resolution satellite imagery over the entire Ducros project area was completed in September. The final processing of the data is in progress.
- Fixed-wing gravity survey:
- A fixed-wing airborne gravity survey covering the entire Ducros project area has also been completed. The data are currently going through final QAQC checks and processing. These data will be incorporated into the project database and used to aid in the interpretation of the overall geology and structure of the Ducros property.
- High resolution drone magnetic surveys over specific targets:
- In addition to completing 260 line-kilometres over the Fortin Sill Zone area, an additional ~3,000 line-kilometres of high-resolution drone magnetic surveys were completed over specific target areas across the Ducros claims at 25 to 35 metre line spacing. The results from these surveys have been received and are currently being processed and merged/integrated with the other datasets and have greatly helped in the refining of current and future drill targets.
Core and Rock Processing & QAQC
Québec Nickel has implemented a quality assurance and quality control ("QAQC") program for its Ducros Project, to ensure best practices for logging, sampling and analysis of its drill core as well as for the collection and analyses of surface rock samples. This includes the regular insertion of geochemical blanks, duplicates and multiple Ni-Cu-PGE-Au certified reference material standards (CRM's) into the sample stream.
Drill core is collected by Ducros project personnel daily from the drill rigs and transported to QNI's core logging facility in Val-d'Or in secured core boxes. Logging is completed on laptops and data are captured using fit-for-purpose computer software.
Core destined for geochemical analyses is identified and labeled by core logging geologists and is then sawed in half by a diamond blade. One half of the NQ-diameter core sample is placed in a labeled and secured sample bag. The remaining half of the core sample is returned to its core box for archiving. All core samples are transported from QNI's logging facility to AGAT Laboratories' sample preparation facility in Val-d'Or in secured and numbered rice bags by project personnel.
AGAT Laboratories is accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 and ISO 9001:2015 standards. Analysis for precious metals (gold, platinum, and palladium) is completed by Fire Assay with an ICP-OES finish while analyses for nickel, copper, and 41 other elements are performed using AGAT's 4 Acid Digest - Metals Package, with an ICP-OES finish.