VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 31, 2012) - Nickel North Exploration Corp. (TSX VENTURE:NNX) ("Nickel North" or the "Company") is pleased to release details of the VTEM-PLUS airborne electromagnetic survey carried out in May 2012 on our Hawk Ridge Ni-Cu-PGE (platinum group elements) project located on tidewater in northern Quebec. This is the first VTEM-PLUS airborne survey carried out on the property, and takes advantage of the enormous advances made in the field of time-domain electromagnetic airborne geophysics. Interpretation and preliminary analysis of the survey data was performed by Dr. Mark Shore (P.Geo.) and Dr. Larry Hulbert (P.Geo.), the details of which are presented below and seen in accompanying figure.
Highlights of 2012 Hawk Ridge Project VTEM-PLUS Airborne Electromagnetic/Magnetic Survey
- Successful state-of-the-art survey completed on schedule and under budget.
- 35 new target areas of favourable geophysical response for Ni-Cu-PGE targets identified.
- Over 500, near-surface high-conductivity anomalies exhibiting signatures characteristic of magmatic sulfides.
- Known copper-rich mineralized zones reveal their own distinctive geophysical signatures.
- VTEM-PLUS data enables first ever stratigraphic/subsurface mapping within non-magnetic zones at Hawk Ridge.
- Coupling of VTEM data and geological data and comparison to the known deposits at Hawk Ridge generate hybrid targets for upcoming drill season.
Nickel North's 2012 survey employed Geotech's advanced state-of-the-art VTEM-PLUS system. The survey covered 2,195 kilometres at close line spacing of 100 metres and was completed under budget and without incident. An advantage of this particular system, in addition to its high power and low noise levels, is that it also measures the along-line electromagnetic component which is critical to accurately locating, resolving and modeling near-surface conductive zones.
The criteria used to establish and prioritize anomalies included the detailed analysis of high conductivity and associated magnetic responses, in comparison to the electromagnetic and magnetic characteristics of the known deposits and mineralized zones at Hawk Ridge, as well as to geophysical responses of deposits in other nickel belts. Proximity to favourable mapped mafic and ultramafic rock units and their geophysically-inferred extensions was used in the ranking of conductors. The great majority of these new hybrid targets have not seen any modern or detailed exploration work in the past, and there is no record of them having been drilled by previous operators.
Detailed line-by-line profile analysis of the electromagnetic and gradiometer magnetic data has identified over 500 highly conductive anomalies. Some of these were known from older surveys, but the significance of the low-frequency time-domain VTEM survey as compared to past surveys is that it produces robust electromagnetic data with a better signal-to-noise ratio and over a wider dynamic range. This allows for a substantially greater degree of feature-specific target identification and effective prioritization among large numbers of these conductive anomalies. Equally important is that this new system is largely immune to magnetic effects that in some cases have been known to mask the response of very strong conductors. This is a key advantage in the development of the Hawk Ridge Ni-Cu-PGE Project where the sulphide nickel occurrences feature high conductivity in close proximity to magnetic host rocks.
Although massive pyrrhotite-rich nickel sulphide bodies are always highly conductive and usually magnetic, analysis of the VTEM responses over the known copper-rich mineralized zones and deposits at Hopes Advance Main, Gamma and Pio Lake has shown that they possess their own distinctive geophysical signatures. The new data shows them to be strikingly less conductive and magnetic than typical pyrrhotite-rich nickel deposits, even when good metal grades and thicknesses are present. This is encouraging because this geophysical contrast is likely due to the predominance of the non-magnetic and moderately conductive copper sulphide host mineral, chalcopyrite, which is common at Hawk Ridge. Additionally, the deposits in question are predominantly hosted within weakly magnetic to non-magnetic gabbro rather than magnetic ultramafic rocks.
By applying geographical information system (GIS) methods of analysis to the full Hawk Ridge survey area database using constraints of VTEM EM and magnetic data, known geology and known mineralization the Company has identified:
- 596 (or multiple) sites with Gamma Zone type geophysical characteristics.
- 219 (or multiple) sites with Hopes Advance Main type geophysical characteristics.
- 502 (or multiple) sites with Pio Lake type geophysical characteristics.
Further analyses and ground-truthing of these selected sites should lead to new discoveries of Hawk Ridge type mineralization in 2013. Prospecting and rapid screening can be efficiently carried out on many of these sites in the upcoming field season on the property, which features thin cover and better than 70% rock exposure.
Finally, a relatively novel and very useful development from the VTEM-PLUS survey was the ability to map near-surface stratigraphy and structure based on conductivity in both magnetic and non-magnetic areas of the property. Due to technical constraints (noise, limited system bandwidth, and magnetic interference and location errors) this was not feasible from the past airborne frequency surveys in the area. This new stratigraphic and structural control data has added insight into the disappearance of the high-grade Pio Lake "Gabbro Zone" mineralization south of a pronounced fault, and new ideas about where its possible extension may be located. If correct then the mapping of deep or offset extensions of other horizons such as the Pio Lake Main massive to semi-massive Cu-Ni-PGE sulphide deposit should also be possible using the same methods.
In addition to the 2012 geophysical aerial survey, Nickel North also carried out 7 diamond drill holes within the Hawk Ridge Project, as well as the re-assaying of select historical drill core. The objective of this portion of the Company's 2012 field activities was to confirm the accuracy of some of the extensive historical drill records from past operators. Additionally the Company carried out a fire-assay program to test for Platinum Group Elements, as well as cobalt and gold. These results will be released by the Company in due course.
About The Hawk Ridge Ni-Cu-PGE Project
The Hawk Ridge Ni-Cu-PGE Project (controlled 100% by Nickel North Exploration Corp) is located in an established mining district within the Labrador Trough in Quebec (rated #1 mining jurisdiction in Canada and recently rated #5 in the world by the Fraser Institute). The project is ideally located on tidewater on the west coast of Ungava Bay and covers 18,000 hectares of a highly anomalous 50 km belt of volcanic and sedimentary rocks hosting widespread copper-nickel sulphide mineralization. The property has an extensive work history dating back to 1961 (24,000 m drilling in 361 holes, approximately $20 million in expenditures) by several operators including Esso, SOGEM, Phelps Dodge and Falconbridge.
Other entities and projects currently active in the area include Goldcorp's Eleonore Mine which is currently under construction, as well as the Hopes Advance Iron Deposit, currently under development - along with proposed road and port facilities being considered under the Quebec government's $80 billion "Northern Mineral Development Initiative" supporting mining infrastructure in the province. Currently the Quebec government refunds 51% of all exploration and development expenditures in the northern portion of the Province.
Limited modern day sampling throughout the historical deposits and other areas at Hawk Ridge have detected significant platinum group elements as well as gold and cobalt, elements that were only sporadically assayed for by past operators.
Phillip Mudry, P.Geol., has reviewed the contents of this news release and is a Qualified Person as well as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Nickel North Exploration Corp.
About Nickel North Exploration Corp.
Nickel North Exploration Corp. is a Canadian based exploration company focused on defining a Ni-Cu-PGE resource on the Hawk Ridge Project in northern Québec. The board of directors, advisory committee and management team feature highly experienced mining industry professionals and technical experts with an extensive history of mineral discovery and mine development; corporate finance and capital markets; as well as corporate mergers, acquisitions and take-overs. Nickel North Exploration Corp. is a conscientious corporate citizen, maintains good relations with First Nations, and is committed to sustainable development. The Company was listed in August 2012 and trades under the symbol NNX on the TSX Venture Exchange. Its corporate mission to develop its flagship Hawk Ridge Project with the objective of becoming a pre-eminent supplier of copper, nickel and Platinum Group Elements for domestic and global export markets.
For more information on the company, please visit www.nickelnorthexploration.com.
ON BEHALF OF NICKEL NORTH EXPLORATION CORP.
Phillip Mudry, P.Geol., President and Chief Executive Officer
Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Statements
All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included herein are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "likely" and "intend" and statements that an event or result "may", "will", "should", "could" or "might" occur or be achieved and other similar expressions. Forward looking statements in this news release include statements that the geophysical contrast is likely due to the predominance of the non-magnetic and moderately conductive copper sulphide host minerals, chalcopyrite; further analyses and ground-truthing of the selected sites should lead to new discoveries of Hawk Ridge type mineralization in 2013; prospecting and rapid screening can be efficiently carried out on many of the sites in the upcoming field season on the property; the mapping of deep or offset extensions of other horizons such as the Pio Lake Main massive to semi-massive Cu-Ni-PGE sulphide deposit should also be possible; results from diamond drilling, as well as the re-assaying of select historical drill core, and a fire-assay program to test for Platinum Group Elements, as well as cobalt and gold, will be released by the Company in due course. Forward-looking statements are subject to business and economic risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results of operations to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations include fluctuations in commodity prices and currency exchange rates; uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and the geology, continuity and grade of mineral deposits; the need for cooperation of government agencies and native groups in the exploration and development of properties and the issuance of required permits; the need to obtain additional financing to develop properties and uncertainty as to the availability and terms of future financing; the possibility of delay in exploration or development programs and uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones; and uncertainty as to timely availability of permits and other governmental approvals. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and opinions of management at the date the statements are made. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
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