Pure Nickel Inc. (TSX: NIC, OTCBB: PNCKF) has reported results from a successful exploration season at its MAN, Alaska property.
The objectives of the 2010 program were surpassed by the discovery of stratiform Platinum Group Element (PGE) horizons and the intersections of narrow, high grade nickel-copper massive sulphide.
Analysis of over 3,400 assay core samples has revealed stratigraphic horizons in the Alpha and Beta Complexes that have elevated platinum and palladium values strongly suggesting that stratiform PGE mineralization (platinum + palladium) is present, similar to that found in other stratiform PGE bearing complexes elsewhere in the world. Laterally extensive platinum and palladium cyclicity patterns have been recognized over a distance greater than 2.7 kilometers in the Alpha complex, and share common features to the large layered intrusions of Bushveld (South Africa) and Stillwater Complexes (USA). In addition it is the first time that narrow intersections of high grade semi-massive sulphide lenses were discovered returning grades of 3.42% nickel and 4.27% copper.
Dr. Larry Hulbert, Chief Consulting Geologist, D.Sc., P.Geo. commented, "By utilizing state of the art geological and geophysical analysis our exploration efforts at MAN continue to provide increasing optimism for the property. The geochemistry of the drill core is starting to reveal that PGE mineralized horizons are present and that they are remarkably similar to that of the PGE-bearing reef environments seen elsewhere in the world." Dr. Hulbert earned his doctorate of science during 5 years work and study on the Bushveld Complex in South Africa.
The property is currently under a joint venture agreement with ITOCHU Corporation of Tokyo. ITOCHU could earn up to 75% by incurring $40 million of exploration expenditures on the MAN property by 2013. To date ITOCHU has earned a 30% interest in the property by funding US $14 million on exploration since 2008.
During the 2010 exploration program the Company completed approximately 6700 metres of drilling, in a total of nine holes; six holes on the 30 km long Alpha Complex and three holes on the southern Beta complex.
Highlights from the 2010 drill program include:
- Two discrete PGE-enriched horizons have been identified on the Alpha Complex.
- The shallowest and thinnest PGE horizon (~ 12 m) was intersected at approximately 100-130m below surface and can be correlated in drill holes PNI-10-028,033,035 and 036 over a strike length of 2.67 km.
- A thick (> 20 meters) disseminated sulphide horizon averaging 2.47% sulphide in drill hole PNI-10-036 is also observed in hole PNI-10-028 at least 2.67 km apart. The relatively high Pt + Pd concentrations in rocks with such low sulphide content, and the associated well developed metal cyclicity recorded in these rocks is a characteristic feature of low-sulphide PGE-enriched environments that host reef type PGE mineralization.
- Drill hole PNI-10-036 returned combined Pt + Pd assays of 318ppb over greater than 20m. In previous year's (2003) drill hole FL-009 (located 1.2 km east of PNI-10-036) returned assays of 1175 ppb Pt and 1022 ppb Pd (returning a combined Pt + Pd of 2.197 gms/ton) over 2.7 meters in rock with an average sulphide content of 2.97 %. This suggests that a favourable magmatic environment was operative to develop Platinum Group Element enriched horizons in the central portion of the Alpha Complex.
- Hole PNI-10-036 returned a combined Pt and Pd value of 252.8 ppb over 165.9 metres. Typical background value of combined Pt and Pd in a peridotite ranges from 2.8 ppb to 29 ppb (Crocket J. H., 2002, Platinum-Group Element Geochemistry of Mafic and Ultramafic Rocks. CIM Special Volume 54, p. 177-210).
- Several thin (7-11cm) semi-massive nickel and copper sulphide zones were intersected in drill holes PNI-10-028 and 10-035 on the Alpha Complex, returned a maximum of 3.42% Ni and 4.27% Cu.
- Several drill holes (PNI-01-028, 029, 030, 033, 035, 036) encountered multiple disseminated sulphides zones ranging from 14.9 m to 139.75 m in thickness of disseminated nickel mineralization returning grades greater than 0.23% Ni.
The lengths reported are drill intersected core lengths and do not represent true widths.
"Every year of exploration advances our understanding of this vast property and continues to show increasing evidence of economic precious and base metals mineralization. Our confidence in the potential of this property took another step forward in 2010," commented David McPherson, Pure Nickel CEO and President. "As our exploration programs continue to evolve the property's mineral potential, we will be focusing on the new horizon with a minimum 2.7 km strike length of platinum-palladium mineralization, the semi-massive high grade nickel-copper intersections and the emerging gold prospects in the Northern section of the property."
Dr. Larry Hulbert, D.Sc.,P.Geo. is Pure Nickel's Chief Consulting Geologist and is the designated Qualified Person (Q.P.) for the MAN Project. Phillip Mudry, P.Geol. is the Chief Exploration Consultant for Pure Nickel Inc. and supervised drill hole planning, implementation and quality control/quality assurance programs at the MAN project for 2010.
Core samples were delivered to Alaska Assay Laboratories preparation facilities in Fairbanks, Alaska for crushing and pulverizing. Pulps of the core were then forwarded to Acme Analytical Laboratories, Vancouver and chemical and assay analysis were conducted on the entire 2010 drill core (half cut NQ core). A 4 acid digestion followed by multi-element ICP-MS analyses was conducted on all samples. Analyses for platinum, palladium and gold were performed on a 30 gram fire assayed sample with an ICP-MS finish. QA/QC programs employ the insertion of external standards (certified CANMET reference material) and blanks every 20 samples. Acme Analytical Laboratories completes its own internal QA/QC by inserting a standard, blank, pulp duplicate, in every batch of 20 analyses. QA/QC compliance was rigorously checked on a continuous basis during the exploration program.
Source: Pure Nickel Inc.