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Canada Nickel Achieves 62% Nickel Recovery and demonstrates improvement in metallurgical performance at Crawford Project

Oct 5, 2021

Canada Nickel Company Inc. has announced substantial metallurgical improvements that deliver increased recoveries of nickel, iron and cobalt, as well as enhanced iron magnetite concentrate quality, at its 100% owned Crawford Nickel Sulphide Project.

“I am very pleased with this step change in metallurgical performance that our team has unlocked during this phase of flowsheet optimization," said Mark Selby, Chair and CEO. "The nickel recovery is substantially higher than the 4-5 percentage point improvement in nickel recovery the Company is targeting for the feasibility study. The improvement in grade and recovery of iron in the magnetite concentrate that has already been unlocked is excellent. I cannot underscore enough the importance of these results, as we believe all of these improvements provide additional value to the project and each percentage point improvement in nickel recovery would yield a US$92 million improvement in the value of the NPV8% of the project, based on the PEA metrics.”

Mr. Selby continued, “Additionally, we continue to aggressively advance on the work programs to complete an updated Crawford resource and feasibility study. We have 5 drill rigs at site – 2 of which recently began geotechnical drilling to support the feasibility study. Our infill drilling at Crawford and exploration drilling programs remain inline with our expectations. Unfortunately, assay results remain very delayed with results from one provider now 16 weeks delayed.”

Flowsheet Development program
A key focus of the feasibility study activities is the continued improvement in flowsheet performance given its potential to add significant value to the project, particularly as less than one year of work had been completed on the project before results of the PEA were announced on May 25, 2021.

The locked cycle test (“LCT”) conducted at XPS Expert Process Solutions, a Glencore Company (“XPS”), was the first LCT completed since releasing the PEA. The LCT was completed to measure the impact of flowsheet improvements made over the past four months. The sample selected for testing was a pentlandite dominant sample with a nickel head grade of 0.35%, an iron head grade of 6.0% and a sulphur to nickel ratio of 1.1. This sample was selected because it is a representative sample of what is expected to be processed in Phase 1 of mill operation.

The flowsheet utilized in this test included changes to reagents, grind sizes, and position of magnetic separation in the flowsheet. No further details are being provided at this time as the Company believes these improvements are a proprietary competitive advantage.

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