ONTARIO – Toronto-based FNX MINING has advanced the exploration drift a further 20 m in the high-grade massive sulphide zone on the 2450 level in the 2000 deposit at the Podolsky copper-nickel project near Sudbury. The spectacular mineralization has now been penetrated to 26.5 m. (See CMJ Net News, Aug. 8, 2007.)
Material from the first borehole drilled 18 m horizontally into the zone returned assays of 25.6% Cu, 1.6% Ni and 20.6 g/t Pt+Pd+Au. The total precious metals (TPM) finding was further calculated at 6.2 g/t Pt, 12.0 g/t Pd and 2.1 g/t Au. The overall size of the high-grade massive sulphide zone is unknown but is not expected to have extensive strike or plunge lengths.
With such promising numbers in hand, FNX has allocated $18.0 million for underground exploration of the Podolsky North and Nickel Ramp deposits, both of which are part of the Podolsky project. Work will include ramping, 1,600 m of lateral development, mapping, sampling and drilling.
The North deposit is footwall-type, vein-dominant and very similar to the Podolsky 2000 deposit. It is exposed at surface (the 2003 Yellow Brick Road showing) and plunges to the south towards the 2000 deposit to a depth of at least 180.0 m vertically. It is characterized by a stockwork of high-grade copper, nickel and platinum-palladium-gold-bearing massive sulphide veins similar to those of the 2000 deposit. The previously published NI43-101-compliant indicated resource for the North deposit is 117,800 tonnes at 6.56% Cu, 0.66% Ni and 6.9 g/t TPM. The deposit is open at depth and has potential to contain additional resources.
The ramp for the North deposit will be 375.0 m in length and will provide for crosscut drifting into the deposit as well as platforms for extensive underground drilling. Pending positive results from this work, a decision to go from pre-production development to full production is expected in late 2008. In this scenario, a full production rate of 315 to 150 t/d is tentatively scheduled from the North deposit in 2009.
The Nickel Ramp deposit is a disseminated sulphide, contact-nickel-type deposit and is the down-plunge extension of the previously mined Whistle open pit deposit. The mineralization consists of strongly disseminated blebby sulphide and local massive sulphide zones hosted by Sublayer Norite. A previously published NI43-101-compliant inferred resource for this deposit totalled 6.1 million t of 0.75% Ni and 0.21% Cu. A 6,095-m surface drilling program has been initiated at the Nickel Ramp deposit to provide data to facilitate further geological and resource modeling, and to refine the planned underground advanced exploration program. The surface drill program is scheduled to be completed in December 2007.
Total ramp development at Nickel Ramp is planned for 1,225 m; it is designed to provide drill platforms for a 13,600-m underground definition drill program and to allow crosscut drifting into the deposit as well as geological mapping and sampling. The objective of the advanced underground exploration program is to define a large, low-grade, nickel contact deposit that can be bulk mined at low cost. A production decision based on the results of the advanced exploration program is expected in early 2009.
To view maps of the Podolsky mine, visit the following links: www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/podF10904.pdf and www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/podF20904.pdf.