Drilling at Alexo Credit: Class 1 Nickel and Technologies
Class 1 Nickel and Technologies has tabled an updated resource estimate for its wholly owned Alexo-Dundonald nickel project, 45 km northeast of Timmins in Ontario.
The updated resource consists of four deposits – Alexo North and South, and Dundonald North and South, and includes both a pit-constrained and an out-of-pit component.
Total indicated resources now stand at 1.3 million tonnes grading 0.99% nickel, 0.04% copper and 0.02% cobalt, with a further 1 million out-of-pit inferred tonnes at 1.08% nickel, 0.03% copper and 0.02% cobalt. The indicated resource, derived using a $30-per-tonne processed net smelter return cut-off, contains 27.4 million lb. of nickel, 1 million lb. of copper and 660,000 lb. of cobalt. Inferred resources, established based on a $90-per-tonne NSR, add 23.9 million lb. of nickel, 630,000 lb. of copper and 450,000 lb. of cobalt to the mineral inventory.
These resources are contained within a package of mafic to ultramafic rocks, which cut across the 20-sq.-km property.
In addition to updating the resource, Class 1 has also recently completed an airborne geophysical survey over the land package, with results still pending. A surface exploration program, which would include diamond drilling, is expected to follow, to test the resulting priority targets and step out the current mineralization.
With this work underway, the company is looking to complete a preliminary economic assessment on the property, with a view of direct shipping the nickel-bearing material from the property.
Alexo-Dundonald previously operated under a direct-shipping model; between 2004 and 2005, there were small-scale open pits at the site with mined material shipped off-site for processing. In 2011, additional mining took place, with processing under a custom agreement with Glencore’s Strathcona process facility.
Also in 2011, Xstrata Process Support (now Glencore Nickel) performed scoping-level metallurgical testing on the Alexo South material, which included a custom flowsheet assessment.
“This project has indicated the viability of a direct shipping model on several occasions in the past,” Benjamin Cooper, the company’s president, said in a release. “This time, we are operating in a rising class 1 nickel market with truly global demand and our company is envisioning a much bolder, larger, stronger approach utilizing greater financial backing and capacity with a plan to ship more mineralized material, faster and more efficiently than previously possible. This approach is anticipated to fund deeper drilling and a systematic mineral resource expansion to scale-up production.”
According to William Stone, senior associate geologist with P&E Mining Consultants, the group that prepared the latest resource estimate, the host rocks at Alexo-Dundonald are “part of a regional geophysical trend that extends tens of kilometres westward and includes the giant Kidd-Creek base metal VMS mine and even the Montcalm nickel mine, 100 km away.”
In the release, Stone added that this regional trend has not been systematically explored for nickel using modern exploration methods.
The Alexo deposit was first discovered in 1907, and between 1913 and 1919, generated 51,857 tons at 4.4% nickel and 0.6% copper, from depths within 38 metres of surface.
For more information, visit www.Class1Nickel.com.