Québec Nickel Corp. (“QNI” or the “Company”) is pleased to report drilling assay results from its Ducros Ni-Co-Cu-PGE project, located 85 kilometers northeast of Val-d’Or, Québec. Results discussed herein come from multiple drill holes completed at the southern margin of the large 25 square kilometer Ducros Gabbro target this spring. The newly discovered nickel and cobalt-bearing ultramafic intrusion, now referred to as the “Q-Zone”, has a surface geophysical footprint of approximately two square kilometers.
- Hole QDG-23-306 intersected dunite for most of its 567-metre length and returned 0.22% nickel + 122 ppm cobalt over 164.50 metres;
- Hole QDG-23-307 returned 0.20% nickel + 107 ppm cobalt over a 249.00 metre core length which includes a higher-grade subinterval of 182.80 metres @ 0.21% Ni + 109 ppm Co;
- The surface geophysical footprint of the Q-Zone spans approximately two kilometers long by one kilometer wide.
Richard Dufresne, QNI’s interim CEO and director, comments “…this is the second discovery of a large nickel + cobalt-bearing ultramafic intrusion at Ducros made by our exploration team during the first half of this year. These results, combined with the high-grade nickel-copper-PGE sulphide zone we have at Fortin Sill, make us a very rare Abitibi-focused junior exploration company that can boast of having these two styles of nickel targets in its inventory. We look forward to seeing what else this prospective property has to offer.”
The Q-Zone lies at the southern edge of the large five by five-kilometer Ducros Gabbro target, which is interpreted to be a large gabbroic intrusion, as outlined in the Québec Government’s digital SIGÉOM database. The airborne geophysical data collected by QNI in 2022 demonstrates the Q-Zone is characterized as having a strong magnetic high signature, divided into southern, central and northern lobes.
Previous exploration conducted in the Q-Zone target area is limited to a single 145-metre-long hole drilled in 1957 that encountered mostly gabbroic rocks (Québec Government assessment report GM 38569). In addition to this lone drill hole, Québec Nickel completed a till sampling program during the spring of 2021 approximately two kilometers west of the Q-Zone target. The results of this till sampling program as summarized in the Company’s September 23, 2021 News Release.
Q-Zone Drilling Results
Hole QDG-23-301 was collared to the test a portion of the southern lobe of the Q-Zone magnetic anomaly. The hole encountered a thick succession of intercalated mafic, ultramafic and sedimentary rock units with multiple narrow intervals of gabbronorite and serpentinized dunite. No significant assay results were returned from this hole.
QDG-23-303 was drilled towards the northwest to test the southern lobe magnetic high and encountered ultramafic intrusive rocks throughout most of its 351-metre length (weakly to moderately serpentinized peridotite to dunite). Assay results for this hole include 0.17% nickel and 114 ppm cobalt over 322.77 metres and includes a 52.50 metre interval of 0.20% Ni + 115 ppm Co at the bottom of the hole.
Hole QDG-23-304 was collared approximately 800 metres northeast of QDG-23-303 and was drilled towards the southeast to evaluate the margin of the Q-Zone central lobe magnetic anomaly. The 315-metre-long hole drilled through a mixed package of felsic to intermediate and mafic dykes, including quartz monzonite and gabbro until 242 metres depth after which the hole cored through 75 metres of mafic volcanic country rock. No significant assay results were returned from this hole.
QDG-23-306 was directed towards the northwest to test the central lobe of the Q-Zone magnetic high. After collaring in sedimentary rocks at 42 metres hole depth, QDG-23-306 encountered 40 metres of gabbro before coring a 475-metre-long interval of variably altered ultramafic rocks (dunite). Assay results from this hole are highlighted by 0.22% Ni + 122 ppm Co over the final 164.50 metres of the hole.
Hole QDG-23-307 was collared 275 metres northwest of QDG-23-306 and also drilled towards the northwest to locate the contact between the ultramafic intrusion and surrounding host country rocks. The hole collared in the variably altered dunite intrusion at 30 metres hole depth and remained in this ultramafic until 310 metres hole depth where it cored through a 50-metre-long interval of gabbro before encountering a mixed interval of mafic volcanics, sediments and thin ultramafic dykes until the end of the 402-metre-long hole. Hole QDG-23-307 returned 0.20% Ni + 107 ppm Co over 249 metres core length starting at 30 metres down hole and includes a 90-metre-long interval assaying 0.22% Ni + 114 ppm Co.
Hole QDG-23-308 was collared approximately 500 metres to the north of QDG-23-307 and was drilled towards the east within the northern lobe of the Q-Zone magnetic high feature. The 267-metre-long hole collared in variably altered dunite at 63 metres hole depth and remained in the ultramafic intrusion for its entire length. The hole was terminated earlier than planned due to the onset of the spring thaw, which necessitate the demobilization of the drill from the field. Assays are pending for this hole however results are expected to be in-line with the results from the holes drilled immediately to the south.
These drilling results in combination with the modeled geophysical fingerprint of the target area indicate the Q-Zone spans approximately two kilometres in a northeast-southwest direction by about one kilometer in width. The discovery of the Q-Zone, another large nickel + cobalt-bearing ultramafic intrusion, and the Ducros Sill Zone (see results in July 12, 2023 News Release) makes this the second such discovery by the Company during the first half of 2023.
Core Processing & QAQC
Québec Nickel has implemented a quality assurance and quality control (“QAQC”) program for its drilling programs to ensure best practices for logging, sampling and analysis of its drill core as well as for the collection and analyses of rock samples. This includes the regular insertion of geochemical blanks, sample duplicates and multiple Ni-Cu-PGE-Au certified reference material standards (CRMs) into the sample stream.
Drill core is collected by Ducros Project personnel daily from the drill rigs and transported in secured core boxes to QNI’s core logging facilities in Lebel-sur-Quévillon. 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 facilities to AGAT Laboratories’ and/or SGS Canada’s sample preparation facilities in Val-d’Or in secured and numbered rice bags by Project personnel.
SGS Canada and AGAT Laboratories operate under a Quality Management System that complies with the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard. 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 and SGS’s 4 Acid Digest – Metals Packages, with an ICP-OES finish.