The Nuvilik property consists of two distinct claim blocks separated by 2.5 km and with a combined area of 99.8 km2 (245 claims). Located on the Ungava Peninsula in northern Québec, it is positioned in the central portion of the Cape Smith Belt approximately 90 Km SE of the coastal Inuit community of Salluit, and 80 km west-south-west of the Ni-Cu-PGE Raglan Mine complex. The property straddles the structural contact between the Chukotat Group ultramafic-mafic rocks and the westward continuation of the economically important mineralized Raglan Horizon. The south-flanking Povungnituk Group volcanic-sedimentary rocks also host the Chukotat Group ultramafic-mafic igneous rocks and are the westward continuation of the mineralized South Raglan Horizon.
Magmatic Ni-Cu sulphide showings associated with ultramafic-mafic rocks and geophysical anomalies have been identified across the northern portion of the Nuvilik property (Raglan Horizon), including the Ekwan Lake showing from which drill core assayed up to 1.84 % Ni and 0.81 % Cu over 6.5m and 1.3 % Ni, 0.8 % Cu and 1.0 g/t Pt+Pd over 0.32m. Additionally, in the southern portion of the property, a number of VMS-style showings have been identified, including the Getty showing with 12.4 % Zn and 80 g/t Ag. At least thirteen Ni-Cu-PGE exploration targets have been identified along the east-northeast-trending Raglan Horizon in the northern portion of the Nuvilik property. Other Ni-Cu and high grade Zn-Pb-Ag exploration targets have been identified elsewhere on the property.
The Nuvilik property is located on the Ungava Peninsula of northern Québec, within the Inuit-administered region of Nunavik. The Nuvilik property lies approximately 90 km south-east of the coastal community of Salluit, and approximately 80 km west-southwest of Xstrata ’s Raglan Mine. This property has no local infrastructure. Small airports are located near the Raglan Mine (Donaldson Airport), and at the Inuit communities of Salluit, Akulivik (180 km southwest) and Kangiqsujuaq (170 km to the east).
The Nuvilik property consists of two claim blocks separated by 2.5 km. The northerly Nuvilik Main block contains 203 contiguous claims with a combined area of 8247.57 ha and the Nuvilik NKS block contains 42 contiguous claims with a combined area of 1734.18 ha. The property is accessible by helicopter and part of the Nuvilik Main block by float or ski-equipped fixed-wing aircraft. Pure Nickel acquired 100 % ownership under a 2007 agreement with Xstrata. The western portions of the Nuvilik Main block and the northwestern portion of the Nuvilik NKS block lie within the Category 2 Inuit-owned land of the Salluit Inuit community.
The Nuvilik property lies within the central part of the Cape Smith Belt which is a Proterozoic sedimentary-igneous sequence of rocks that have been variably metamorphosed and deformed into an east-west trending fold and thrust belt. The central part of the Cape Smith Belt hosts world-class Ni-Cu-PGE magmatic sulphide deposits, which occur in ultramafic to mafic rocks of the Chukotat Group and are located in two main horizons. The Raglan Horizon occurs at the interface between the graphitic pelites and volcaniclastic rocks of the Povungnituk Group and ultramafic-mafic rocks of the Chukotat Group which also includes the Raglan Mine and the Katinniq deposit. The deposits of the South Raglan Horizon are associated with Chukotat Group ultramafic sills intruding sulphidic and/or graphitic pelitic to semi-pelites of the Povungnituk Group, and include the Nunavik Nickel Project deposits. These magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide deposits are on-strike with the Nuvilik property and approximately 80 km to the east and northeast.
The northern portion of the Nuvilik property is underlain by Chukotat Group ultramafic-mafic sills and volcanic flows. The south and southeastern portions of the Nuvilik property is underlain by a mix of Povungnituk Group mafic and felsic volcanics and volcaniclastic sediments, and subordinate Chukotat Group ultramafic-mafic sills. The dominant structural trend in all the Nuvilik property rocks is to the northeast.
Exploration HistoryIn the early 1960s, the Cross Lake, Katinniq and Donaldson Ni-Cu deposits were discovered by small companies that merged to become the New Québec Raglan Mines Ltd. (1965) that was controlled by Falconbridge Nickel Mines. These deposits and their host of east-west trending ultramafic to mafic
intrusive rocks are now called the Raglan Belt. Falconbridge Ltd. (now Xstrata Nickel) opened the Ni-Cu-PGE Raglan Mine in 1997. In 2009, Xstrata published that proven plus probable mineral reserves for the Katinniq deposit were 11.5 tonnes grading 2.94 % Ni, 0.77 % Cu and 0.07 % Co. Measured, indicated and inferred resources were stated at 30.4 tonnes grading 3.1 % Ni, 0.9 % Cu and 0.1 % Co. Exploration south of the Raglan Belt deposits, in the South Raglan (SR) Horizon, has also identified a number of new Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide deposits associated with ultramafic-mafic intrusions. These include the deposits of the Nunavik Nickel Project with a total measured resource of 560,000 tonnes grading 0.93 % Ni, 1.10 % Cu, 0.04 % Co, 0.60 g/t Pt, 2.66 g/t Pd and 0.10 g/t Au, with a total indicated resource of 21,342,000 tonnes grading 0.93 % Ni, 1.15 % Cu, 0.05 % Co, 0.54 g/t Pt, 2.17 g/t Pd and 0.14 g/t Au.
Within the area now defined by the Nuvilik property, Ekwan River Mines Ltd. (1957) identified several Ni showings with typical grades of 1.0 % Ni and 0.5 % Cu. Short drill holes near some of the showings obtained grades up to 1.84 % Ni and 0.81 % Cu over 6.5 m. Subsequent airborne and ground magnetic and electromagnetic surveys, prospecting and mapping between 1969 and 1987, identified a number of geophysical anomalies and expanded the geologic understanding of the property.
From 1995 to 1997, Falconbridge Ltd. conducted airborne (277 line-km) and ground (40.95 line-km) magnetic-electromagnetic surveys that were focused around the Lac Ekwan Ni-Cu occurrence associated with ultramafic rocks of the Chukotat Group. Additionally, the company completed six diamond drill holes for a total of 1,037.4m, and carried out detailed prospecting and mapping. The best drill intersection (hole EK96-02) was 1.3 % Ni, 0.8 % Cu, 1.0 g/t Pt+Pd over 0.32m. In 2004, Falconbridge Ltd. flew a 1,368.1 line-km, helicopter-borne AeroTEM EM and magnetic survey over the entire Nuvilik property. More recent work by Falconbridge Ltd. showed that high tenor sulphides are also present within ultramafic rocks in the eastern part of the Nuvilik Main block (e.g., 0.5 % Ni, 0.8 g/t PGE). As well, in the southern portion of the Nuvilik Main block, VMS-style Zn-Pb-Ag showings have been identified within Povungnituk Group felsic pyroclastic and gabbroic rocks and correspond to conductive anomalies. A highlight of this type of mineralization is the Getty showing of 12.4% Zn and 80 g/t Ag; about two km along strike to the northeast is another showing where a grab sample returned 2.7% Zn and 3.7 g/t Ag.
Pure Nickel purchased the Nuvilik property as part of the Xstrata Nickel Land Property Purchase in 2007. Xstrata retains certain rights with respect to the mining claims including (i) a 2 % NSR on each property (Pure Nickel has the right to retire one-half of this NSR for C$1,000,000); (ii) off-take and marketing rights for all concentrate or product produced from the properties; and (iii) a onetime back-in right to 50 % of any mining project having an economic threshold of 15,000,000 tonnes of resources unless such right has been previously exercised in respect of another property that was part of the Xstrata - Pure Nickel transaction.
In 2008, Pure Nickel Inc. and its joint-venture partner Minergy Ltd. of South Africa completed a 417 line km, helicopter-borne VTEM-magnetometer survey over two areas of the Nuvilik Main claim block. Additionally, geological mapping was carried out over the NKS block as this had not previously been done. An integrated geophysical interpretation was also prepared for the entire Nuvilik property using existing AeroTEM EM and magnetic data, geological mapping and surface grab sample assays.
TargetsThe Nuvilik property straddles the boundary between the Chukotat Group-dominated geology to the north and the Povungnituk Group-dominated geology to the south, and therefore includes rocks that are on strike and equivalent to the Ni-Cu-PGE mineralized Raglan and South Raglan horizons respectively. At least thirteen follow-up exploration targets have been identified along the east-northeast-trending Raglan Horizon in the northern portion of the Nuvilik Main block. A number of the targets are coincident with Ni-Cu-PGE showings associated with mafic-ultramafic rocks, as exemplified by the Ekwan Lake showing (DDH- 1.8 % Ni, 0.8 % Cu over 6.5 m, 1.3 % Ni, 0.8 % Cu and 1.0 g/t Pt+Pd over 0.32 m and grab samples with 0.74 % Ni and 0.39 % Cu).
In the Nuvilik NKS block and southern portion of the Nuvilik Main block (on strike and equivalent to the South Raglan Horizon), some of the mapped ultramafic-mafic rocks are in close proximity to geophysical anomalies and, as such, offer a number of targets for follow-up ground exploration. Additional targets in the same portion of the Nuvilik property are those associated with the high grade Zn-Pb-Ag showings, as exemplified by the Getty showing (grab- 12.4 % Zn, 80 g/t Ag).