Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd
As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information
North American Nickel TSX.V – NAN has acquired a Mineral Exploration License on the southwest coast ofGreenland that grants exclusive exploration rights to a 4,841 sq km area.
NAN’s Maniitsoq property hosts numerous high-grade drill indicated and surface outcrop exposures of nickel – copper sulphide mineralization associated with mafic-ultramafic intrusions. Given its vast size and the abundance of nickel-copper sulphide occurrences, the Maniitsoq area has seen very little exploration activity.
The only drilling for nickel on the property was done between 1965 and 1972 by Kryolitselskabet Øresund (A/S-KØ). KØ drilled 119 holes totaling 6,287 meters – average depth 53 meters. The drilling tested exposed sulphide mineralization and shallow electromagnetic (EM) anomalies directly associated with the exposed mineralization.
- 9.85 meters averaging 2.67 per cent nickel and 0.60 per cent copper at Imiak Hill
- 12.89 meters averaging 2.24 per cent Ni and 0.63 per cent Cu at Fossilik
- 4.95 meters @ 1.97% Ni, 0.43% Cu at Quagssuk
The Greenland Norite Belt (GNB) is a 15 km wide by 75 km long “J” shaped belt that rims the Finnefjeld gneiss complex.
Cominco Ltd, in conjunction with the Geological Survey’s of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), flew a large portion of the GNB with an airborne fixed wing GeoTEM EM system in 1995, data acquisition was poor with relatively few EM anomalies detected reflecting the technology of the day.
Follow up prospecting and limited surface geophysical surveys by Cominco in 1995 and 1996, and by Falconbridge in 2000, did not lead to any new drilling. But retesting of KØ’s drill core and surface showings, by both Cominco and Falconbridge, confirmed the generally high nickelcontent of the sulphides – Falconbridge showed 8% nickel in 100% sulphide.
The Greenland Geological Survey (GEUS) is currently investigating the possibility that the Finnefjeld gneiss complex lies at the centre of an extremely large, deeply eroded meteor impact structure and that the Maniitsoq norites may have been emplaced as a result of the impact. If so the Maniitsoq norites would be the only other known nickeliferous norites associated with an impact outside of the Sudbury Basin.
John Ferguson, a world expert in meteorite impacts, and John Rowntree of Hunter Minerals Pty Limited (“Hunter”) investigated the relevant geo-data base and concluded that the Maniitsoq structure is compatible with a large deeply eroded impact site. Hunter approached NAN with the opportunity to acquire the intellectual property and data developed by them and offered their assistance in connection with the acquisition of the Mineral License.
Adam Garde, a Danish Geological Survey geologist, also argues that the Maniitsoq area isan impact structure much like the Sudbury Basin in Ontario, Canada.
Most of the nickel discovered to date on NAN’s Maniitsoq property is associated with norite intrusions that are concentrated in the GNB.
North American Nickel conducted a summer 2011 field campaign to confirm and sample known showings, locate significant historical drill holes and check targets identified from compilation of historical data. Electromagnetic anomalies – identified from a re-interpretation of the 1995 GeoTEM fixed wing survey – and other areas of interest derived from compilation of previous work and satellite imagery were also ground checked. NAN then integrated the results from the field program with its existing database of historical work to optimize the helicopter borne TEM survey carried out in September and October of 2011.
NAN’s strategy is to select specific areas for detailed, high resolution, deep penetrating, helicopter EM surveys. By concentrating on smaller target areas, flight lines can be tweaked to ensure surveying is done perpendicular to local strike.
The helicopter SkyTEM system has a much higher signal to noise ratio than the 1995 fixed wing survey and a helicopter can better maintain the required altitude above the ground to maximize the detection of geophysical signals. The 1995 fixed wing GeoTEM system was often forced to fly at a low angle to strike and well above (sometimes double or more) the necessary ground clearance due to the rugged terrain – a helicopter system is able to hug the terrain and survey perpendicular to strike. All this makes the modern helicopter TEM system better suited to locating the anomalies associated with the irregularly shaped nickel-copper sulphide bodies in the Maniitsoq project.
Two flight blocks (1&2), totaling 373 sq km, were selected. Helicopter surveying commenced in mid September and finished in early October with 2,217 line-kilometers of SkyTEM helicopter time domain EM (TEM) completed.
Block 1 hosts the largest of the known nickel bearing norite bodies and strongest nickel occurrences discovered to date. It is situated at the northern end of the GNB.
Block 2 covers a four kilometer long norite body northwest of the GNB.
“The 1995 GeoTEM fixed-wing survey was the only large scale, airborne Time Domain EM survey ever performed in the Maniitsoq nickel belt prior to our SkyTEM survey. The SkyTEM system has identified new EM targets. It is clear to us that we now have a powerful exploration tool that provides us new opportunities for the discovery of nickel-copper-platinium group metal deposits in an underexplored area of the world, adjacent to year round, ice free tide water.” NAN Chief Geologist John Pattison
Examination of the preliminary data indicated it is of good quality and that the helicopter was able to hug the terrain despite, at times, rugged topography. A final, leveled dataset and initial interpretation was received from SkyTEM. It was merged with NAN’s existing exploration database for Maniitsoq and thoroughly analyzed for conductive nickel sulphide targets.
Block 1 - A re-interpretation of historical aeromagnetic data has shown that in this part of the project area the noritic intrusions have a significant component of remnant magnetism giving them a very distinctive magnetic signature. Mapping of the distribution of this signature suggests that there are considerably more prospective noritic rock in this area than is exposed on surface.
In 1995, there were only three significant responses to the GeoTEM fixed wing survey and they were all single line anomalies associated with exposed mineralization at the Imiak Hill, Fossilik II and Spotty Hill showings. The cluster of 1995 anomalies on the west side of the block corresponds with a lake and is probably caused by conductive sediments.
2011 SkyTEM results from Block 1
Significant conductive target zones include:
Target B1-B: 850 m long, untested, conductor within an interpreted norite body.
Target B1-F: 300 m long untested conductor on the edge of an interpreted norite body.
Target B1-J: Very strong 200 to 300 m long conductor corresponding to Imiak Hill mineralization. This target was detailed and the results will be used to model the mineralization in three dimensions to determine if the mineralization has any depth extent.
Target B1-O: 300 m long untested conductor situated on cross-cutting structure near edge of a Proterozoic olivine diabase dyke.
Target B1-Q: 150 m long conductive zone corresponding to the Fossilik II mineralization. This target was detailed and the results will be used to model the mineralization in three dimension to determine if the mineralization has any depth extent.
Block 2 covers 21 sq km and is centered on a northeast-striking norite intrusion known as Pingo that is exposed over a strike length of more than four km. A short (61.88 m) hole was drilled near the centre of the exposure in 1970 and intersected 4.16 meters of sulphide mineralization averaging 0.58% nickel and 0.24% copper. This is the only recorded drilling on the intrusion.
The terrain in the Pingo area is extremely rugged and the 1995 GeoTEM survey was forced to fly with a ground clearance over 100 m above the mandated 125 m clearance, this, when combined with the relatively high system noise of the old technology, and survey lines that in some areas were almost parallel to strike, severely hindered the ability of the system to see prospective EM anomalies and no EM anomalies were seen in the original interpretation of the data.
NAN’s re-interpretation of the 1995 survey revealed three high priority EM anomalies forming a line that intersects the south edge of the Pingo norite.
The 2011 helicopter SkyTEM survey outlined eight target zones in Block 2.
NAN is modeling the SkyTEM Block 1&2 targets using three-dimensional software to determine the precise location and extent of the Maniitsoq property anomalies. This work will assist the Company in prioritizing potential drill targets for the 2012 exploration program.
The modeling is ongoing and expected to be completed early in the new year.
Issued and Outstanding: 55,058,193
VMS Ventures TSX.V – VMS Owns: 21,825,000
Cash: $1.2 million
@ $0.10 expire Dec. 28th 2012: 6,995,000
Cash Value: $.7M
@ $0.35 expire Nov. 24th 2012: 11,243,950
VMS owns: 5,000,025
Cash value: $3.9m
“Greenland” warrants are priced at @ $0.50, $0.70 & $1.00: 12,960,000
Cash value: $9.2m
Cash Value: $.8M
Fully Diluted: 91,606,950
Cash, Fully Diluted: $14.6M plus $1.2 = $15.9M
“It takes vast quantities of natural resources to build infrastructure to accommodate explosive growth in population, upward mobility, urbanization and industrialization.
Economic studies suggest that industrial metals and minerals consumption depends on the stage of development, the stages are normally divided in four, and are said to be dominated by 1) infrastructure development, defined by high use of cement and construction materials; 2) light manufacture, defined by high use of copper; 3) heavy manufacture, defined by high use of aluminum and steel; and 4) Consumer goods, defined by high use of aluminum, energy minerals and specialty steels (Source: USGS).
The stages are expected to take about 20 years each and begin at 5 year intervals, lasting for a total of 30 – 40 years, depending on political and macroeconomic conditions. China for instance, appears to have entered the heavy manufacture stage based on steel consumption, while India may be well into the light manufacturing stage.” Luisa Moreno Investingthesis.com
The evidence is mounting markets will get back to “normal”, the sovereign debt crisis be resolved and growth from China, India and Africa and other developing nations will continue – with or without the west.
There is no shortage of individual reasons, but when taken together the evidence starts to be overwhelming:
- Finite raw materials
- Unstable weather patterns
- Chronic supply constraints
- Increasing population base
- Growing global middle class
- Low real interest rates
- Shifting global trade patterns
- Continued monetization of European and US debt
- Persistent Dollar and Euro feebleness – our political masters attempting to devalue our way to prosperity
- The need for asset diversification
All of these reasons, working together, will translate into higher commodity prices. Today’s worries have only temporarily unseated the commodities super-cycle with the last sell-off being nothing more than a short downturn within a secular bull market for commodities.
In March 2009, nickel bottomed out at $9,693 per metric ton after a 22-month decline.
Nickel has just, for delivery in three months, risen 3.6 percent to $20,200 a metric ton.
At the same time copper for March delivery gained 1.3 percent to $3.8005 a pound on the Comex in New York.
Greenland is very mining friendly, hugely underexplored and very prospective for mineral discoveries.
NAN is using modern exploration tools in what is a district sized area and numerous quality drill targets are being located. A drill program will be conducted in 2012.
The area surveyed in 2011 comprises only 8% of the total Maniitsoq project. Based on the success of this program, additional areas are now being evaluated for further helicopter-borne surveying in 2012.
Diamondiferous kimberlite (diamond targets) and carbonatite intrusions (rare earth element targets) have both been found in the vicinity of the project.
For all these reasons North American Nickel should be on every investors radar screen. Is it on yours?
If not, maybe it should be.
Richard (Rick) Mills