Canadian Mining Journal

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NICKEL EXPLORATION – Falconbridge, Noranda update activities

TORONTO - Last week NORANDA and FALCONBRIDGE provided an update on their most significant exploration projects. A s...


TORONTO – Last week NORANDA and FALCONBRIDGE provided an update on their most significant exploration projects. A summary of the seven most promising sites was given.

At its Fraser-Morgan nickel project in Sudbury, Falconbridge made a new nickel discovery in Zone 11, about 350 metres northeast of the current resources in Zones 8 and 9. The Fraser Morgan area on the north range of the Sudbury Igneous Complex has been under investigation since 1995. Measured and indicated resources in Zones 8 and 9 total 4.88 million tonnes at 1.80% Ni, 0.56% Cu and 0.06% Co. Inferred resources for Zones 8, 9 and 11 are estimated to be 2.1 million tonnes grading 1.8% Ni, 0.5% Cu and 0.1% Co.

A new nickel discovery was made in Norway at the Espedalen joint venture of a Falconbridge subsidiary, SULFIDMALM, and BLACKSTONE VENTURES. The area was the home of copper production from 1666 to 1750 and of nickel production from 1848 to 1878. Drilling intercepted significant nickel mineralization at the Stormyra discovery where two drill holes spaced 200 metres apart intersected 6.91% Ni over 1.9 metres within a 14.6-metre intersection grading 1.73% Ni; and 2.07% Ni over 2.7 metres. Only two holes have been drilled on this zone and it is open in all directions. When the current $1-million winter drilling and geophysical program is completed, Blackstone will have the right to vest in the property.

At Matagami, Que., Noranda made a new zinc discovery at the Renaissance showing located 7 km from the company’s Matagami concentrator. Last October the results of assays from hole MC-04-07 ran a length-weighted 14.891% Zn, 1.65% Cu, 36.4 g/t Ag and 0.68 g/t Au over 9.5 metres. Since then six more widely-spaced holes have been drilled on the showing to delineate the mineralization.

In Argentina, the feasibility study and resource estimate are being updated for the El Pachon copper project located at an elevation of 3,600-4,100 metres in the province of San Juan. Noranda bought the property from CAMBIOR and COMSUR for US$30 million. Mineral resources are estimated to be 724 million tonnes (measured and indicated) grading 0.65% Co, 0.014% Mo and 2.6 g/t Ag plus 560 million tonnes (inferred) at 0.52% Cu, 0.14% Mo and 2.26 g/t Ag.

Noranda is following up on porphyry copper discoveries made at the West Wall and El Morro joint ventures in 2001. Diamond drilling is underway at the West Wall project (with MINERA ANGLO AMERICAN CHILE) located 150 km northeast of Santiago. Drilling is also underway 650 km north of Santiago at the El Morro project (with METALLICA RESOURCES). At a 0.5% Cu cut-off, El Morro has inferred resources of 340 million tonnes grading 0.67% Cu and 0.52 g/t Au.

And in Papua New Guinea, new drill results have been released from the Frieda River porphyry copper project. Noranda subsidiary NORANDA HIGHLAND is earning a 72% interest from HIGHLANDS PACIFIC. Significantly, drill hole 015NOR04 returned 214 metres at 2.2% Cu, and drill hole 019NOR04 assayed 46 metres at 9.7% Cu from the drill-testing for extensions to the Nena copper/gold deposit.

Maps of the drill hole locations and further details for these projects are available at www.Falconbridge.com and www.Noranda.com.