Chairman: R. David Russell
President and CEO: David McPherson
Senior Geologist: Jon Findlay
Pure Nickel Inc. had drills turning on two Alaska projects in 2013: the Man nickel-copper-platinum group element project situated in the Wrangelia Terrane of the Southcentral region of the state; and the Salt Chuck palladium-gold project on Prince of Wales Island. Itochu Corp., Pure Nickelís partner at Man, has invested roughly US$22.4 million on exploration at the project since 2008. This work has earned the Tokyo-based company a 30 percent interest in the project and led to the discovery of what the partners believe is a distinct stratum of platinum-palladium-gold-copper-nickel mineralization across a wide swath of the central portion of the 181.5-square-mile (470 square kilometers) property. This zone, which has been dubbed Eureka, is a subset of the 21-mile- (33 kilometers) long Alpha mafic-ultramafic complex that stretches across the central portion of the Man property. Eureka consists of a broad interval of disseminated sulfide mineralization that straddles the contact between gabbroic and ultramafic rocks in the northern half of the east-west trending Alpha complex. The zone was first recognized in 2010 drill holes PNI-10-35 and PNI-10-36. Hole 35 cut 32 meters averaging 0.169 grams per metric ton platinum-palladium-gold, 0.1 percent copper and 0.23 percent nickel. Hole 36 cut 165.5 meters averaging 0.272 g/t platinum-palladium-gold, 0.13 percent copper and 0.28 percent nickel. A 2012 drill hole, PNI-12-063 confirmed the continuity of the mineralization with an 80.95-meter interval averaging 0.315 g/t platinum-palladium-gold, 0.17 percent copper and 0.25 percent nickel.
Pure Nickel said that a review of past drilling on the property shows that all drill holes intersecting the Eureka zone stratigraphy have encountered disseminated sulfide mineralization with strikingly similar grades along seven kilometers (4.5 miles) in the central part of the Alpha Complex. To confirm this find, Itochu agreed to invest US$3.5 million to complete a 2,200-meter drill program focused primarily on delineating this prospective zone along the seven kilometers where PGE mineralization has been tapped to date. This drilling is anticipated to form the basis for a maiden resource estimate for the Man project. Pure Nickel believes Eureka has the potential to stretch along the entire length of the Alpha complex.
Upon completion of its summer exploration program at Man, Pure Nickel returned for a second season of drilling at Salt Chuck, where the temperate Southeast Alaska climate favors year-round drilling. The historical Salt Chuck Mine produced some 300,000 metric tons of ore, reported by U.S. government summaries (1948) to average 0.95 percent copper, 1.96 g/t palladium, 1.12 g/t gold and 5.29 g/t silver. The mine was the largest producer of palladium in the USA during its era of production. Although this palladium potential is what inspired Pure Nickel to acquire the Salt Chuck property in 2007, the companyís enthusiasm for the project is heightened by a high-grade gold discovery made in 2012. Targeting a geophysical and geochemical anomaly that indicated a palladium deposit may be lying in wait, last yearís 1,700-meter drill program instead hit nearly one-ounce-per-metric ton gold at an area at the western end of the property known as North Pole Hill. NPH-12-04, the gold discovery hole, cut 2.58 meters averaging 29.1 g/t gold, 14.1 g/t silver and 0.79 percent copper; and included 0.35 meters averaging 127.8 g/t gold, 57.6 g/t silver and 2.78 percent copper. Considering the high-grade gold tapped under a relatively weak gold anomaly,
Pure Nickel Senior Geologist Jon Findlay took another look at the geochemical data from Salt Chuck and identified areas that show much higher concentrations of gold in soil samples. This investigation provides Pure Nickel with two gold targets to follow-up on. Pure Nickel hopes the expansion drilling around hole 4 will form the basis for an initial resource in the immediate area of the discovery, while exploration holes to test a 2,000-meter trend of geochemical targets will begin to reveal a much bigger gold-system at Salt Chuck. While gold has grabbed the spotlight at Salt Chuck, broad zones of anomalous palladium concentrations encountered at greater depths, continue to provide tantalizing clues to the platinum group metal the property is known for. NPH-12-09, drilled 550 meters southwest of hole 4, cut 5.49 meters averaging 1.2 g/t gold. NPH-12-02 cut 50.1 meters averaging 138 parts-per billion (0.138 g/t) palladium, including 234 ppb (0.234 g/t) palladium over 12.85 meters. NPH12-04 cut 43.5 meters averaging 94 ppb (0.094 g/t) palladium. Pure Nickel says these anomalous intersections appear to reflect primary magmatic mineralization, and they raise the possibility that remobilized palladium mineralization, such as at the Salt Chuck Mine, may be associated with other structures not yet encountered in the North Pole Hill area.
Cash and short-term deposits: C$1.43 million (at May 31, 2013)
Working capital: C$2.51 million (at May 31, 2013)
Market capitalization: C$2.04 million (at Sept. 7, 2013)
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