VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 15, 2011) - North American Nickel Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NAN)(OTCBB:WSCRF)(CUSIP:65704T 108) ("NAN") is pleased to announce that it has acquired a Mineral Exploration Licence granting exclusive exploration rights to a 4,841 km2 area covering numerous high-grade nickel – copper sulphide occurrences associated with norite and other mafic-ultramafic intrusions situated along the southwest coast of Greenland. The new acquisition, called The Maniitsoq Project, is named after the nearest community which is approximately 160 km north of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland (Figure 1). Ports in this part of Greenland have a year-round shipping season.
Nickel Mineralization & Historical Exploration
Figure 2 shows the locations of thirteen of the more significant nickel showings within the Maniitsoq project, as well as the distribution of prospective mafic-ultramafic intrusions. Given its vast size and the abundance of nickel occurrences, the Maniitsoq area has seen relatively little exploration activity. The only drilling for nickel was done between 1965 and 1972 by a company called Kyrolitselskabet Øresund A/S (KØ). KØ drilled 119 shallow holes totalling only 6,287 metres. The drilling tested exposed sulphide mineralization and shallow electromagnetic (EM) anomalies directly associated with outcropping norites and other mafic-ultramafic intrusions. All but a few were drilled with portable Winkie drills and the average hole length was only 45 metres.
Nevertheless, numerous significant intersections were made, including:
- 9.85 metres averaging 2.67% Ni and 0.60% Cu at Imiak Hill, and
- 12.89 metres averaging 2.24% Ni and 0.63% Cu at the Fossilik showing.
These are historical results and have not been confirmed by North American Nickel Inc.
The Maniitsoq area is underlain predominantly by Archean gneisses. Supracrustal rocks comprise about 10% of the area and consist mainly of amphibolites, but cumulate mafic-ultramafic rocks also occur and locally contain nickel – copper mineralization. However, most of the nickel discovered to date is associated with younger, undeformed norite intrusions that are concentrated in (but not restricted to) a 15 km wide by 75 km long arcuate belt, referred to as the Greenland Norite Belt (GNB), that rims a large, complex known as the Finnefjeld gneiss complex (Figure 2).
Most Recent Previous Work
In 1995 Cominco Ltd, in conjunction with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), flew a large portion of the GNB with a GeoTEM fixed wing, airborne EM system. Relatively few EM anomalies were detected. Follow-up prospecting and limited surface geophysical surveys by Cominco in 1995 and 1996 and by Falconbridge Limited in 2000 did not lead to any drilling. Re-sampling of the KØ drill core and surface showings by both Cominco and Falconbridge did, however, confirm the generally high nickel tenor of the sulphides (recalculated to approximately 8% nickel in 100% sulphide in the case of Falconbridge's work).
NAN's Exploration Strategy
It appears that the rugged terrain of the Maniitsoq area, which often forced the pilot to fly well above optimum altitude, combined with relatively high system noise of the day's technology, and survey lines that in some areas were almost parallel to strike, hampered the ability of the GeoTEM system to detect buried sulphide bodies. NAN believes that the modern, time-domain, helicopter EM system would be a much more effective tool for exploring the Maniitsoq Project. Such systems were not available at the time Cominco and Falconbridge were active in the belt.
NAN's strategy for the Maniitsoq project is to select specific areas for detailed, high resolution, deep penetrating, helicopter EM surveys. Such systems can safely fly at low altitudes in rugged terrain and, by concentrating on smaller target areas, flight lines can be tweaked to ensure surveying is done perpendicular to local strike. Areas for surveying will be selected based on a compilation of previous work and a brief field inspection of the selected areas that is planned for later this summer. It is anticipated that helicopter surveying may commence as early as September. Observations will also consider the possibility that diamonds and/or rare earth element deposits might occur in the project area as both diamondiferous kimberlite and carbonatite intrusions have been found in the vicinity of the project.
It should be noted that GEUS is currently investigating the possibility that the Finnefjeld gneiss complex lies at the centre of an extremely large, deeply eroded impact structure and that the Maniitsoq norites may have been emplaced as a result of the impact. If this is the case it would add tremendous upside potential to the project as the Maniitsoq norites would be the only known nickeliferous norites associated with an impact outside of the Sudbury Basin. John Ferguson, of Spar Resources Pty Limited, and John Rowntree, of Hunter Minerals Pty Limited, further investigated the relevant geodata base and concluded that the Maniitsoq structure is compatible with a large deeply eroded impact site. Whatever their origin, the Maniitsoq norites are a compelling exploration target based solely on the quantity, quality and widespread nature of the associated nickel mineralization.
Intellectual Property and Data Acquisition Agreement
In conjunction with the acquisition of the Maniitsoq Mineral Exploration Licence, the Company has entered into an arm's length Intellectual Property and Data Acquisition Agreement (the "IP Acquisition Agreement") with Hunter Minerals Pty Limited ("Hunter") and Spar Resources Pty Limited. ("Spar"). Hunter and Spar studied the geological information relating to the region and further developed the impact structure hypothesis and approached the Company with the opportunity to acquire the intellectual property and data developed by them (the "IP Rights") and their assistance in connection with the acquisition of the Licence.
Pursuant to the IP Acquisition Agreement, Hunter and Spar have agreed to sell the IP Rights to the Company in consideration for the Company:
If the IP Acquisition Agreement is not accepted by the TSX Venture Exchange, or otherwise approved, the royalty percentage of the NSR to be granted to each of Hunter and Spar shall be automatically increased to 1.75% and NAN will have the right to reduce both royalties to only 1.0% upon the payment to each of Hunter and Spar (or their designates) of CDN$1,000,000.
To view Figures 1 and 2 accompanying this press release, please click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/nan815i.pdf
All technical information in this release has been reviewed by Dr. Mark Fedikow, P.Geo., who is the Qualified Person for the Company and President and Chief Operating Officer, North American Nickel Inc.
The Company has also agreed to issue 200,000 common shares to an arm's length party as a finder's fee in connection with the IP Acquisition Agreement. The finder's fee is subject to acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange.
About North American Nickel
North American Nickel is a mineral exploration company with properties in the Sudbury, Ontario and Thompson, Manitoba mining camps. The Company's initial focus is on two Sudbury, Ontario properties. The Post Creek property is strategically located adjacent to the producing Podolsky copper-nickel-platinum group metal deposit of Quadra FNX Mining. The property lies along the extension of the Whistle Offset dyke structure, which is a major geological control for Ni-Cu-PGM mineralization. The Bell Lake property is a 256-acre property that covers approximately one kilometre of the Mystery Offset dyke or MOD. The MOD is interpreted to be an extension of the Worthington Offset dyke which is a 10 to 11 kilometre-long mineralized structure that extends from the southwest margin of the Sudbury igneous complex. The Company also has option to acquire 100% ownership in the Woods Creek and Halcyon properties in the Sudbury area; and has acquired 100% ownership in the high-grade Ni-Cu-PGE South Bay property near Thompson, Manitoba and the large grassroots Thompson North and Cedar Lake properties, which are part of the world-class Thompson Nickel Belt in Manitoba. North American Nickel Inc. is a member of the North Shore Mining Group.
Statements about the Company's future expectations and all other statements in this press release other than historical facts are "forward looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and as that term defined in the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbours created thereby. Since these statements involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the Company's actual results may differ materially from the expected results.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.