Millrock generates attractive nickel target
Small block of the Eureka Zone could host 400,000 metric tons North of 60 Mining News – October 7, 2022
Last updated 10/20/2022 at 2:39pm
Millrock Resources Inc. Oct. 5 reported that its geological team has identified a section of the Eureka Zone on its Nikolai project in Alaska that could be upgraded to an NI 43-101-compliant inferred resource containing roughly 400,000 metric tons of nickel enriched with copper, cobalt, and platinum group metals with around seven new drill holes.
Discovered by INCO Ltd. in the 1990s and explored by Pure Nickel Inc. from 2007 through 2014, the Eureka zone extends for about 10 miles (16 kilometers) across the Nikolai project.
In February, Millrock announced that it had staked 104 state mining claims covering this nickel-copper-cobalt-PGM mineralized trend about 80 miles (130 kilometers) by road south of Delta Junction, Alaska.
Based on data from INCO's historical drilling at Eureka and resampling of drill core completed by Millrock, along with positive mineralogy results, the company has identified a 400- by 300- by 400-meter block of mineralized rock that could easily be upgraded to a modern resource.
Holes drilled by INCO in this area include:
• FL-003, which cut 269 meters averaging 0.37% nickel-equivalent, which accounts for the value of the copper, cobalt, and platinum group metals also present.
• FL-006, which cut 160 meters averaging 0.41% nickel-equivalent.
While historical data from INCO does not provide enough density for NI 43-101 compliance, it is estimated that the exploration block outlined by Millrock contains between 140 million and 211 million metric tons of rock averaging between 0.28% and 0.42% nickel-equivalent.
"Our exploration geologists have outlined a block of mineralized rock that could likely be converted to a NI 43-101-compliant inferred resource with a single drill program estimated to cost approximately C$2 million," said Millrock Resources President and CEO Gregory Beischer. "If successful, Millrock estimates the resulting inferred resource may comprise a deposit with approximately 400,000 metric tonnes of contained nickel metal, plus copper, cobalt, and platinum group metals."
And this only represents a small block of the 3,500-meter trend of similar mineralization detailed by geophysics and drilling completed by Pure Nickel.
Previous versatile time domain electromagnetic geophysical surveys at Nikolai outlined a roughly 500-meter-thick VTEM anomaly that extends 3,500 meters northwest from the resource block identified by Millrock.
Pure Nickel carried out drilling along this section of the Eureka Zone. Highlights from eight regularly spaced Pure Nickel holes drilled along this anomaly include:
• 224.6 meters averaging 0.23% nickel, 0.06% copper, 0.017% cobalt, 39 parts per billion platinum, 81 ppb palladium, and 8 ppb gold in hole PNI-10-0035.
• 319.7 meters averaging 0.25% nickel, 0.09% copper, 0.018% cobalt, 54 ppb platinum, 117 ppb palladium, and 13 ppb gold in hole PNI-10-036.
• 205.2 meters averaging 0.24% nickel, 0.09% copper, 0.017% cobalt, 61 ppb platinum, 122 ppb palladium, and 19 ppb gold in hole PNI-13-069.
Because Millrock geologists do not have access to Pure Nickel's complete dataset, these holes were not included in its assessment of the resource block outlined.
A recommended program of 2,750 meters of drilling in seven holes, along with the data from historical drilling, is expected to provide a drill density to calculate a resource in the block Millrock did outline to kick off exploration.
If historical drill data can not be obtained from Pure Nickel, the publicly reported drill results and the VTEM anomaly should provide confidence for systematic step-out drilling for at least 3,500 meters northwest of the initial resource block.
Given the global appetite for the nickel, cobalt, and copper needed for electric vehicles and renewable energy, the initial resource area and expansion potential at the Eureka Zone is an attractive target.
"Other companies exploring similar deposits have significantly higher market capitalization than Millrock. Establishing an inferred resource at Nikolai could substantially increase the value of the company," said Beischer. "The planned drilling program would delineate an inferred resource over a 400-meter-long strike length. However, indications from sparse drilling along strike in both directions indicate the suspected deposit may be in excess of five kilometers long and contain a very large, albeit low-grade metal endowment."