BRAZIL and NORWAY - Toronto-based FALCONBRIDGE LTD. has made news this week on two nickel-exploration fronts.
Subsidiary Falconbridge Brasil Ltda. has discovered two new significant nickel deposits on its Araguaia nickel laterite properties in the Para State, northern Brazil. The deposits occur on properties owned by Falconbridge or where the company has the right to earn 100% interest. These are completely new grassroots discoveries in an area first drilled for base metals last October. Since then, 288 diamond drill holes (13,536 metres) have been completed at the Serra do Tapa deposit and 152 holes (4,257 metres) have been completed on the Vale dos Sonhos deposit, 10 kilometres southeast of Serra do Tapa. Infill drilling is continuing.
An initial analysis has shown the mineralization to be predominantly a combination of saprolite and transitional nickel laterite with only minor limonite.
The Serra do Tapa deposit has an exceptional thickness of the laterite profile; the weathered profile locally exceeds 100 metres thick. The deposit has been traced for approximately 5 kilometres in a north-south direction and remains open to the north and south. As it is known presently, it ranges from 800 metres to 1.5 kilometre wide with the eastern boundary not yet completely delimited. Of the 160 drill holes so far assayed, 116 contained mineralized intercepts with grades greater than 1% Ni and thickness of at least 2 metres. Overburden depth ranges from 0 to 50 metres and averages 10.5 metres.
Mineralization at the Vale dos Sonhos deposit has been identified along a 4-kilometre zone oriented approximately north-northwest and ranges from 1.2 kilometres to approximately 600 metres wide. Of the 116 drill holes assayed so far, 69 contained mineralized intercepts with grades greater than 1% Ni and thickness of at least 2 metres. Overburden ranges from 0 to 18 metres and averages 4.6 metres.
Diamond drill results are posted at www.falconbridge.com.
In other news, BLACKSTONE VENTURES INC. of Vancouver and Falconbridge subsidiary A/S SULFIDMALM have entered into an option and joint venture agreement, to explore five large, district-scale, nickel-copper-cobalt project areas in Norway. These five new project areasErtelien, Bamble, Evje, Hosanger and Skjaekerdalencover a prospective area of approximately 23,400 sq. km in southern Norway. This builds on the existing relationship between Blackstone and Falconbridge to explore for sulphide nickel deposits in Norway.
According to Dave Gower, general manager of nickel exploration for Falconbridge, "This land package represents a unique situation in that there are more than 30 known nickel occurrences, as evidenced by the numerous artisanal mines in the area, many that date to the late 1800s, that have never been explored using any modern techniques. In almost all cases the mining activity predates the diamond drill and the vast majority of these occurrences have only been mined to between 10 and 40 metres with no other evaluation of the depth potential."
Further information on each of the Norwegian project areas can be seen at http://blv.ca where a series of maps, photographs and images have been posted under South Norway Projects.