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Archer Exploration Advances Winter Exploration Program at Grasset in Quebec

Apr 6, 2023

Archer Exploration Corp. announced early results from its 2023 winter drilling program at the Grasset Nickel Project located in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt of Quebec, Canada. The company’s winter exploration program started in February 2023 includes drilling, geophysics and basal till sampling. 

Among the highlights are the results from Hole GR23-02 where drilling intersected 3 metres true thickness of barren volcanogenic massive sulphides close to H1 horizon at a depth of 795 metres, confirming the presence of an important source of sulphur required for nickel, copper, and platinum group elements magmatic sulphide mineralization.

The newly intersected massive sulphides are only 35 m from the deepest historical high-grade mineralized intercept found in 2018  while targeting an area 70m below this intercept (GR18-102A: 2.76% Nickel Equivalent over 0.51m) . 

"The information collected to date is not only very encouraging but will prove invaluable in guiding the remainder of our winter drilling program at Grasset., “  said Tom Meyer, Archer’s Chief Executive Officer. 

“We will now test high-priority shallow targets with the objective of discovering nickel sulphide mineralization immediately northwest of the current Grasset resource,” added Meyer. “ We look forward to updating our shareholders as we advance the pilot hole deep drilling program."

The primary objective of the winter program at Grasset is to test the vertical continuity of the Hole 1 and Hole 3 mineralized zones at depth and to explore for additional high-grade Ni-Cu-PGE magmatic massive sulphide lenses proximal to the current resource. 

Early geological interpretations led Archer Exploration  o conclude that the most efficient and cost-effective method of exploring the sub-vertical ultramafic host unit was to drill a vertical pilot hole between the H1 and H3 zones and utilize directional drilling to control several 'branch holes' that would test the H1 and H3 zones at depth. In addition to the pilot hole and directional drilling program at Grasset, a 20-hole sonic drilling program and ground geophysical survey are now underway and progressing as planned. 

Other results included:


Drilling of the initial pilot hole, GR23-01, began in early February with an ultimate vertical depth target of 1,500m. As GR23-01 progressed at depth, a zone of steeply dipping faults was encountered, which led to caving within the hole and placed significant additional pressure on the drilling rods. As drilling continued, the down-hole debris created several technical challenges and ultimately reduced the pace at which drilling could continue.

Notwithstanding the challenges with the fault zone, horizons of softer soapstone and altered ultramafic rocks were also encountered that prevented the precise course correction of the hole when required. The deviation of the hole through the fault and the softer rock was too extensive to warrant continuing, and the decision to abandon the hole was made after reaching a depth of 446m.


A second pilot hole, GR23-02, was collared 130m southeast of GR23-01 with an 87-degree dip and a northwest azimuth, aligned to favour the natural deviation tendencies within the softer rock units (Figure 2). As with GR23-01, the objective of GR23-02 was to target potential zones of high-grade nickel mineralization beneath the thickest, richest part of the current mineral resource. In addition, GR23-02 was also targeting a potential extension of H1, 70m below the deepest mineralized intersection to date, which is approximately 775m below the surface (GR18-102A: 2.76% Ni over 0.51m within 0.41% Ni over 14.15m).

GR23-02 also encountered challenging ground conditions. A second fault at a depth of 674m was crossed, and the hole could not be stabilized. Once again, caving into the hole added significant pressure to the drill rods and sent debris to the bottom of the hole. The hole was cemented to stabilize the fault zone, at which point directional drilling (GR23-02W1) was utilized to drill through the cemented fault from a depth of 674m (Figure 3). The drilling conditions continued to prove challenging, and the heavily fractured and blocky ground conditions caved into the hole. Additionally, the hole deviation increased at depth, as did the risk of losing the directional drilling device, and the hole was abandoned at a depth of 874m.

Prior to ending the hole, GR23-02 cut 14.25m (true thickness of 3m) of volcanogenic massive sulphides, mainly barren pyrite with traces of pyrrhotite, within felsic tuffs. This is an extremely important geological feature as it confirms that the ultramafic rocks were intruded within sulphide-rich volcanics. The assimilation of volcanogenic sulphides by a nickel-rich ultramafic magma is an essential element for the precipitation of nickel sulphides in the magmatic-nickel metallogenetic model. These results highlight the importance of completing our testing of this deep target zone below the historical nickel intercept within GR-18-102A as it may represent the upward tip of a building zone of magmatic massive sulphides at depth. 

Although the first two drilling attempts did not reach their targets, valuable geological information was collected. The holes intersected graphitic mudstones 60-80m farther to the southwest than expected, indicating that the entire stratigraphic sequence, including H1 and H3, is displaced in that direction at depth.

Next Steps

An early winter thaw has temporarily paused the deep pilot hole program as the Company shifts to a program more suitable for spring drilling. A drill is being mobilized and will test high-priority shallow targets immediately northwest of the current Grasset resource.

Large loop, high-power downhole electromagnetic and gravity surveys are also planned to assist in targeting mineralized extensions of H1 and H3 at depth.

The development of our deep directional drilling techniques at Grasset will grant Archer cost-effective exploration avenues as we further explore the 23km ultramafic-rich corridor of Grasset.

Archer Exploration is a Canadian Ni-Cu-Co-PGE focused exploration and development company with an extensive portfolio of assets in Quebec and Ontario, Canada. The Company's flagship asset is the Grasset Project, located within the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, with an Indicated Resource of 5.5Mt @ 1.53% NiEq. In addition, the Company holds a strategically significant portfolio of 37 properties and over 300 km2 in the world-class mining district of Sudbury, Ontario.

For further information: 
Tom Meyer, President & Chief Executive Officer, 
Tel: +1 866.899.7247 (RCHR),
 Email: tom@archerexploration.com


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