Québec Nickel Corp. (“QNI” or the “Company”) is pleased to report the results from an Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) nickel-sulphide-focused targeting exercise at the Company’s Ducros claims which has recently been completed by ALS GoldSpot Discoveries.
- AI-driven targeting algorithms have been trained using the unique geophysical, geological and geochemical fingerprint of the Ni-Cu-PGE Fortin Sill Zone;
- Numerous new nickel sulphide targets generated through the work across the Ducros property, including several that occur adjacent to the Fortin Sill Zone, the recently discovered Q-Zone and along strike from the Ducros Sill Trend;
- The geological interpretation of the Ducros Property has been updated to help guide future exploration.
In April 2023, QNI retained ALS GoldSpot Discoveries (“ALS GoldSpot”) to undertake a comprehensive review and synthesis of the vast amount of exploration data collected at the Ducros Property to date, enhancing ongoing exploration efforts. The objectives of the study were two-fold: firstly, to generate meaningful nickel-sulphide-focused targets across the property using its proprietary SmartTARGETTM AI technology, and secondly, to use the new exploration data to reinterpret the geology underlying the Ducros claims.
The unique fingerprint of the Ni-Cu-PGE Fortin Sill Zone was used to train the SmartTARGETTM targeting algorithms. This involved the integration and synthesis of multiple exploration datasets including the recently completed VTEMTM, airborne gravity, high-resolution drone magnetics and Lidar surveys, along with the data from two seasons worth of surface biogeochemical surveys and the Ducros diamond drilling assay, lithogeochemical and geotechnical databases. ALS GoldSpot used its Supervised Learning (“SL”) and Semisupervised Learning (“SSL”) algorithms on 25-metre and 10-metre datastacks during its study.
More than a dozen new nickel-sulphide targets have been generated by the study, the locations of which can be seen in Figure 1. Of note, several of the new nickel-sulphide targets, which are characterized as having a geophysical conductive response comparable to that of the Fortin Sill Zone, lie along strike of the Fortin Sill Zone, immediately adjacent to the recently discovered Q-Zone, within the southern portion of the Ducros Ultramafic Sill Complex and along strike to the south of the Ducros Sill Trend (Figure 1). As part of the targeting exercise, several new non-conductive large-tonnage nickel-cobalt anomalies were also generated (Figure 1), similar in character to the Q-Zone and Ducros Sill Trend.
In parallel with the AI targeting project, ALS GoldSpot also completed a litho-structural reinterpretation of the Ducros Property. Due to the relatively thick and consistent blanket of surface cover at the property, the new geological interpretation leans heavily on short wavelength airborne magnetic data in combination with the growing Ducros drillhole database. The results of this new geological interpretation can be seen in Figure 1 and are highlighted by a better understanding of the primary geological structural framework of the Ducros property and how this affects the interpreted location and extent of some key mafic-ultramafic intrusive bodies. It is expected this new geological interpretation will greatly enhance the Company’s exploration efforts going forward by allowing future work programs to focus on the most prospective Ni-Cu-PGE targets within the large >15,000-hectare Ducros property.
Ducros Property Exploration Update
As announced on August 9, 2023, the Company reports the program of exploration drilling and down-hole geophysics at the Fortin Sill target area continues as planned. The new drilling at Fortin Sill is focused on exploring for additional Ni-Cu-PGE sulphides down-plunge and along strike of the main outcropping mineralized showing. Up to 5,000 metres of drilling is planned for this phase of work, which will explore at depth beneath the Ni-Cu-PGE Zone as well as more than two kilometers of strike length of prospective geology. This work will also test the geological model discussed in the Company’s December 15, 2022 news release. Downhole electromagnetic geophysical surveys are being used to identify and target accumulations of conductive Ni-Cu-PGE sulphides during this phase of drilling. Since the restart of drilling in August, a total of five deep holes have been completed and are currently being logged and sampled, three of which have been surveyed with down-hole geophysics to date. This phase of drilling is expected to continue until later this fall and possibly into the winter months, depending on local ground conditions.
The Company is happy to announce that David Patterson, Executive Chairman of QNI, has returned to his role as QNI’s Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2023. Richard Dufresne has stepped down from the role and has resumed his duties as a Director of QNI. The Company wishes to thank Mr. Dufresne for taking the helm of the Company in April 2023 (see April 19, 2023 News Release) on short notice and successfully leading QNI through a challenging forest fire-shortened summer exploration season.
Gary DeSchutter, M.Sc., P.Geo., Vice-President of Exploration for Québec Nickel Corp., and a Qualified Person (“QP”) as defined under National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”), has reviewed, and approved the scientific and technical content of this press release.