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Canada Nickel, Crawford Project on track and expands it’s potential

Mar 1, 2022

By Kevin Vincent
The trajectory of Canada Nickel Company (CNC) continues to put a smile on the faces of global investors. CNC’s CEO Mark Selby has been playfully suggesting that Sudbury’s iconic Big Nickel may need to be moved to Timmins.
Of course, Selby is just teasing the market, but his playful undertone is also a serious signal that CNC’s Crawford Township project is emerging as a legitimate contender to become Canada’s next big nickel producer in a global market where the appetite for electric vehicle minerals is skyrocketing.
The company began trading on the TSX in late February 2020 and two days later announced a maiden resource estimate at Crawford, which is just north of Timmins and in the long shadows of the historic Kidd Creek base metal complex.
Since then the company has been on a flurry of acquisitions and deals that have positioned CNC as the Porcupine Mining Camp’s next rising star.

Exciting times for Canada Nickel

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In November, CNC concluded 18 separate transactions resulting in the outright acquisition or earn-in to 13 additional target properties within a radius of 95 km of the company’s flagship Crawford Nickel-Sulfide Project, consolidating Canada Nickel’s position in the Timmins area.
Each of the additional properties contains one or more ultramafic targets based on combinations of historical geophysical work and drilling over the past 65 years.
“The acquisition of these highly prospective target properties represents a transformational milestone for Canada Nickel, on par with the initial discovery of our flagship property, Crawford. The consolidation of these properties underscores our strong belief in the district-scale potential of the Timmins region and in our journey to become a leader of the Next Generation of Nickel Supply – large, scalable, low carbon nickel supply,” said Mark Selby, Chair & CEO of Canada Nickel. “These properties have combined target structures 40 times the scale of the structure which hosts our current Crawford Main Zone resource (contained nickel of 1.56 million tonnes M&I + 0.76 million tonnes inferred), and like Crawford, all these target structures are near excellent infrastructure. Each target has had some amount of historical work, and in some cases, much more than Crawford did initially, confirming these targets contain the same serpentinized dunite and/or peridotite that hosts Crawford mineralization and, as our last release reported, has the potential to permanently sequester CO2.”
The big unknown all along was whether the deposit would “give up” the nickel easily. It’s one thing to know it’s there, it’s another thing to extract the mineralization profitably.
Late last year, the company announced further results of metallurgical testing at its Crawford Nickel Sulphide Project that continue to demonstrate significant improvements in metal recoveries relative to the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”).
The latest metallurgical test work results are from a sample taken from the South Low Grade region of the Crawford Main Zone. The achievement of 61% nickel recovery from a low-grade sample is consistent with results from other samples in October of 2021. The company is commencing the first phase of metallurgical variability testing for the feasibility study to better understand metallurgical performance from samples taken throughout the Crawford resource.
“These metallurgical testing results continue to demonstrate the potential from our flowsheet optimization program to deliver improvements in recovery well in excess of the 4-5 percentage point improvement that we are targeting for our feasibility study,” said Mark Selby, Chair and CEO.
“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. While we continue to expect a broad range of recoveries from the samples which will be tested during the variability program, the ability to achieve 60+% recovery from samples from the lower grade portion of the resource is an excellent outcome.”
In December, CNC announced they were looking for US$10 million and Auramet International LLC quickly came to the table. Auramet is one of the largest physical precious metals merchants in the world with over $22 billion in annual revenues and provides a full range of services to all participants in the precious metals chain, from extraction and production to manufacturing and consumption.
Auramet has also provided term financing facilities in excess of $850 million to date in the mining sector and is looking to grow its capital investment business in the precious metals and battery-related metals mining space.

Canada Nickel Announces Successful Drill Results from Recently Acquired Deloro target and Provides Corporate Update

On Jan. 24, 2022 the Company announced assay results from its Mahaffy, Dargavel, Kingsmill, and MacDiarmid properties, and provided an update on drilling and corporate activities.
In addition to completed drill assay results, partial assays have been received to date from 11 holes drilled at the Company’s Nesbitt property – these results have also been in line with expectations and will be released when all assays are received.
“I’m very excited to start the year with successful drilling of Deloro - the first of the thirteen targets we acquired at end of last year and the first step in confirming the potential of the Timmins Nickel District. After two very successful years in 2020 and 2021, the year 2022 sets the stage for Canada Nickel to move to the next level with the formal launch of Crawford permitting this quarter, an updated resource next quarter, and a feasibility study expected to be completed by the fourth quarter, which is just over three years from our Crawford discovery,” said Selby. “I am also pleased to expand our capabilities with the latest additions to our team. Canada Nickel is well-positioned not only for success this year but for continued success in 2023 and beyond as we advance Crawford towards production.”
Steve Balch, VP Exploration, added, “Today’s successful assay results from our initial set of properties outside of Crawford and the success of the first hole at Deloro confirm our targeting approach is correct. Deloro is a great first example having intersected mineralized dunite from just two metres below surface over a length 480 metres. This year we will move beyond our flagship Crawford property and start exploring our thirteen newly acquired regional properties, confident that our targeting approach will yield multiple discoveries. With over 40 km2 of ultramafic rocks yet to explore, we believe our project has the potential to grow to a massive scale. I look forward to further success as we continue to delineate this potential during 2022.”
All 20 holes from the regional drill program intersected thick sequences of peridotite and/or dunite with some holes collared in, or ending in, volcanics. The highest-grade intersection was 0.34% nickel over 28.5 metres in Dargavel hole DAR21-01 (0.30% cutoff) within a larger zone grading 0.30% nickel over 162.0 metres (0.25% cutoff) starting at 375 metres downhole. The thickest interval of mineralization was in Kingsmill drillhole KML21-01 which intersected 0.24% nickel over 334.5 metres starting at 16.5 metres downhole. The overburden encountered was highly variable with as little as 12.5 metres at Nesbitt and as much as 160 metres at Mahaffy.
The Company continues to aggressively advance Crawford and expects to deliver a feasibility study by the fourth quarter of 2022 based on a resource update provided in the second quarter of 2022. The Company also expects to file the initial project description which will formally begin the permitting process for Crawford during the first quarter of 2022. The feasibility study is expected to be delivered just over three years from when Canada Nickel was formed and began drilling the fifth hole on the property.
As the company expects to complete the feasibility study for Crawford this year and intends to continue to advance the project towards production, the Company has continued to build the team to ensure we are successful in meeting our objectives for 2022 and beyond. The Company has promoted Christian Brousseau to the position of Vice President, Capital Projects and has appointed Desmond Tranquilla as Project Director. Mr. Brousseau will be responsible for completion of the Crawford Feasibility Study and leading the execution team to develop the Project through to production. Mathieu Boucher has also been appointed as Manager, Environment.

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