CANADIAN MINING PERSPECTIVES – Is Timmins the next nickel capital of Canada?

Marilyn Scales
Marilyn Scales

Geologists have long been fascinated by the mineral wonders near Timmins, Ontario. A hundred years ago they hunted gold in the Porcupine camp, and it is still producing. Fifty years ago they hunted copper at Kidd Creek, and that operation continues to grow. Now geologists are intrigued with the nickel potential of the rock formations near Timmins.

One nickel-copper mine 70 km north of Timmins came into production in 2004. That is the Montcalm mine belonging to XSTRATA NICKEL of Switzerland. In fact, the Montcalm mine and mill set a record for net nickel production10,600 tonnesin 2006. (

Now Vancouver-based PACIFIC NORTH WEST CAPITAL is moving aggressively into the nickel hunt near Timmins. Pacific, which can earn a 100% interest, and Xstrata have a joint venture known as the West Timmins project with claims adjacent to the Montcalm mine. The drill program there has been doubled since it began in mid-May. They are drill-testing deep conductive targets with coincident magnetic signatures similar to those found over the mineralization at the Montcalm mine.

Pacific has also acquired the Nickelmuir project, 70 km southwest of Timmins. Grab samples tested 0.94% Ni, 0.10% Cu, 0.27 g/t Pt and 0.2 g/t Pd. It is the potential for PGEs that makes nickel exploration so attractive these days. (

Vancouvers STARFIRE MINERALS plans to resume drilling later this month on its 100% owned Langmuir South nickel project, about 20 km southeast of Timmins. The plan is to follow up on high-grade intersections4.48% Ni over 5.55 metres and 3.51% Ni over 1.5 metresmade earlier this year. (

As the name suggests, the Langmuir South project lies immediately south of the Langmuir North project belonging to INSPIRATION MINING ( of Toronto. The Langmuir North property contains the No.2 mine that yielded approximately 1.35 million tonnes of ore with an average grade of 1.47% Ni.

Another Toronto-based company, TEMEX RESOURCES (, has acquired property nearby. It has an option to earn 100% interest in the LG property south of the Langmuir properties and immediately north of the Golden Chalice discovery. Temex is banking on an area of underexplored ultramafic rocks similar to those thought to host the new Chalice discovery and also the nickel mineralization at Redstone mine, the McWatters deposit and the Texmont mine.

Vancouver-based GOLDEN CHALICE RESOURCES is drilling what it calls its Langmuir property, located 30 km southeast of Timmins. Since drilling began in March 2007, the company discovered 72.50 metres of mineralization that assayed 1.14% Ni, 0.08% Cu, 0.02% Co, 0.11 g/t Pt and 0.26 g/t Pd. The same core length included two separate heavily mineralized intersections of 2.23% Ni over 17.10 metres and 1.74% Ni over 13.10 metres (

Admittedly with the exception of the Montcalm mine, these projects are all in the exploration stage of investigation. Sudbury, Ontario, is in no danger of losing its title as Canadas nickel capital for a while. But the nickel potential of the Timmins area deserves attention, and readers should keep an eye on projects such as these.


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