The company aims to expand the near-surface resource base of 16.3 million tonnes at 0.72% nickel, 0.33% copper and 0.033% cobalt for 116,800 tonnes of contained nickel, 54,000 tonnes copper and 5,300 tonnes cobalt via drilling and to support the potential future development of a significant, low-cost mining operation.
Simultaneously, the company is also exploring for new, world-class nickel sulphide deposits within the Lynn Lake project area, including at the FLC, which is just five kilometres to the south.
Executive managing director Brett Smith said: “We’ve been exploring Fraser Lake since about 2016 and we’ve intersected a lot of magnetic sulphide out there.
“It’s just recently through new geophysical processing that we’ve been able to pull together the framework and understand this system.”
New geophysical targets
The company is confident that new targets generated from geophysical processing could unlock a new nickel sulphide system at FLC, having previously used the same approach of Magnetic Vector Inversion (MVI) testing at the Lynn Lake Mining Centre.
Smith said: “We’ve tested this new geophysical processing method on the mine site, and it’s proved quite extraordinary.
“We’ve gone down to around 6 kilometres in depth and looking back we can say that the processing we were doing previously was only effective to about 200 metres.”
The method has proved capable of defining magnetic ore bodies within the FLC down-dip from drill defined mineralisation.
The application of MVI has advanced the geological understanding of the FLC.
The MVI identified a magnetic high on the flat basal contact of the FLC, which is potentially a basal accumulation of sulphide just west of the company’s initial Matrix Trend target and similar to major global nickel-copper magmatic sulphide deposits.
Smith said: “We’ve reprocessed some of these geophysics and that’s really unlocked a lot of information at depth and it’s pulled together some of our surface known mineralisation, so we’ve ended up with this target that’s sitting in a very good location.
“It’s right beside our best drill holes to date of about 3 metres at 0.7% nickel and copper and cobalt and it’s a few hundred metres away from where we’re drilling at the moment.”
Drilling was paused due to poor surface conditions from the spring melt but is planned to recommence in the near future.
Smith said: “The centre of the target is about 450 metres and we think we’ll hit the base of it at 500 metres, so we don’t have far to go.
“We’ve started to see some sulphide increase with depth towards this geophysical target.
“It’s quite a consistent target over a 300-metre strike length at least.
“I’m pretty sure we’ll hit sulphide but whether there’s any nickel or copper with it – that’s the question.”