Espedalen Nickel Project Under Option - Norway

Espedalen Ni (Cu-Co) Project

 

The Espedalen Project lies approximately 50 km north of Lillehammer and 170 km north of Oslo in southern central Norway.  The Project is well served with transport infrastructure, being accessible by sealed roads and close to rail links with connections to ports in southern Norway as well as to Glencore’s Nikkelverk nickel refinery 350 km to the south.

 

The Espedalen Project comprises 16 granted exploration concessions that cover a combined area of 139.9 km2. The project currently contains two JORC (2012) resource deposits, which are detailed below;

 

• Stormyra deposit comprising 1.16Mt @ 1% Ni, 0.42% Cu & 0.04% Co and classified as Inferred in accordance with JORC (2012)
• Dalen deposit comprising 7.8Mt @ 0.3% Ni, 0.12% Cu & 0.02% Co and classified as Inferred in accordance with JORC (2012)

 

A 2023 infill drilling programme at the Stormyra deposit was designed to confirm mineralisation and test for extensions to the mineral resource which remains open in multiple directions. A programme of 19 drillholes for a total of 1,650m of drilling was completed which confirmed mineralisation over a strike length of 1.2km, including positive intercepts towards the southeast extension. Drilling at the southerly extension of the Stormyra deposit intersected mineralisation at a grade of 1.25% Ni over 2.1m in drillhole ES2319, confirming the southeasterly extension of the Stormyra orebody and representing a viable drill target likely to further increase the resource.

 

Table 1 below provides a summary of the best intercepts from the 2023 drilling programme, the majority of which returned significant intersections of nickel, copper and cobalt.

Espedalen Project Table

Significant geophysical targets remain to the south of the resource, with geophysical data suggesting several hundred metres of additional strike length to test. Additionally, a further 10 high quality nickel targets remain within our licence that all have grade thickness intercepts in excess of 5% Ni.

 

Historical Work & Geology

 

Mining in the area dates from 1666, when copper was discovered in the Espedalen valley, with mining continuing intermittently until 1750.  Following a short hiatus, further nickel mining occurred between 1848 and 1918 from several small mines, including Vesle in the southwest of the Espedalen Project area.  Total production from the Espedalen region is estimated at 100,000 tonnes at an average grade of 1.0% Ni, 0.4% Cu and 0.06% Co.

 

In 2003, Falconbridge Limited was granted tenements in the Espedalen valley and initiated several campaigns of ground and heli/airborne electromagnetic geophysical surveys generating numerous drill targets.  In 2004, Falconbridge concluded a joint venture agreement with Blackstone Ventures Limited, and between 2004 and 2008, Blackstone and Falconbridge completed 167 diamond drill holes totalling 23,362.9m, across the Espedalen Project area, defining significant accumulations of nickel sulphide mineralisation at the Stormyra (54 drill holes for approximately 8,609 m) and Dalen prospects (33 drill holes for approximately 4,924 m) and generating numerous other nickel prospects.  Exploration ceased during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and ultimately unable to raise further funding, Blackstone relinquished the Espedalen Project in 2011.

 

The nickel mineralisation at the Espedalen Project is hosted within differentiated mafic and ultramafic bodies referred to as the ‘Espedalen Complex’ and was dated to have an age of 1,510-1,520 Ma (Corfu and Heim, 2013).

 

Mineralisation comprising mainly pyrrhotite, pentlandite and chalcopyrite with or without pyrite is found as massive to network textured and disseminated sulphide zones.

 

The geology displays striking similarities and is often compared to the world-class Voisey’s bay deposits.

Espedalen Project 1

Figure 1. Geology of the Espedalen licence area with the locations of the key prospects

Espedalen Project 2

Figure 2. Ground magnetic image of the Stormyra deposit with locations of historic drill holes, 2023 drill holes and significant intercepts, and location of the potential southeastern extension to the resource