Québec Nickel Corp. announced the start of a scoping-level metallurgical test work program at its 100% owned Ducros Project near Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Québec. The objective of the metallurgical work program is to perform a preliminary evaluation of the amenability of the Fortin Sill Zone to produce saleable Critical Metals-bearing (Ni-Cu-Co-PGE+Au) concentrate. SGS Canada (“SGS”) has been contracted to complete the study at its Québec City laboratory facility.
The metallurgical study has been initiated to follow-up on significant drilling results returned from the Company’s 2022 exploration program at Fortin Sill Zone including 31.00 metres of 0.37% Ni, 0.40% Cu, 176 ppm Co and 0.55 g/t Pt-Pd-Au in hole QDG-22-09 (see May 16, 2022 News Release), 43.39 metres of 0.24% Ni, 0.25% Cu, 146 ppm Co and 0.35 g/t Pt-Pd-Au in hole QDG-22-28 (see August 30, 2022 News Release) and 11.80 metres of 1.44% Ni, 1,49% Cu, 461 ppm Co and 2.79 g/t Pt-Pd-Au in hole QDG-22-29 (see August 30, 2022 News Release).
Metallurgical Drilling and Sampling
In April 2023, the Company completed several HQ diameter drill holes at the Fortin Sill Zone which will supply fresh material for the metallurgical test work program. The dedicated metallurgical holes were designed to twin previously completed holes at Fortin Sill Zone and targeted three distinct styles and grades of mineralization including:
- Low grade disseminated and blebby sulphide mineralization with a target average grade of 0.30% nickel + copper
- Moderate grade blebby to heavily disseminated mineralization with a target average grade of 0.75% nickel + copper
- High-grade net texture to semi-massive mineralization with a target grade of greater than 1.50% nickel + copper
A total of 150 kilograms of mineralized HQ diameter drill core has been collected and delivered to SGS for the study comprising three 50-kilogram samples of each of the styles and target grades of mineralization. Photographic examples of some of the sampled drill core that will be used for this work program are presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Select photographs of some of the metallurgical test work program drill core provided to SGS Canada. A – blebby sulphide mineralization from hole QDG-23-29M at 22.00 metres depth (HQ core, long dimension of photograph is 8 cm); B – net texture sulphides from hole QDG-23-29M at 36.45 metres depth (HQ core, long dimension of photograph is approximately 6.0 cm); C – disseminated and semi massive sulphides from hole QDG-23-29M at 36.60 metres (HQ core, long dimension of photograph is approximately 6.0 cm); and D – semi massive sulphide vein from hole QDG-23-28M at 41.25 metres hole depth (HQ core, long dimension of photograph is approximately 6.0 cm).
Metallurgical Test Work Program
SGS has been contracted to complete a scoping level metallurgical test work program to evaluate the amenability of the Fortin Sill Zone to produce a saleable Critical Metals (Ni-Cu-Co-PGE+Au) concentrate(s). The scope of the work program includes:
- Bond ball mill grindability testing
- Floatation test work
- Solid-liquid separation testing
- Environmental analyses
As part of the work program, the study will evaluate if efficiencies and/or recoveries can be optimized by producing a combined nickel-copper concentrate or separate nickel and copper concentrates. The work will also evaluate how the other metals of interest, for example cobalt, platinum, palladium, and gold, will behave under different recovery scenarios. The flowsheet comparison will be performed on a blend of the three sample types, representing low, moderate, and high-grade Ni-Cu-Co-PGE-Au mineralization, and culminate in a locked cycle test on the blended composite and batch rougher and cleaner tests and locked cycle tests on the grade variability samples using the best performing flowsheet.
The 150 kilograms of core samples arrived at the SGS facility at the end of April and preliminary work has begun. The work program is estimated to be completed in Q4 2023.
Core Processing & QAQC
Québec Nickel has implemented a quality assurance and quality control (“QAQC”) program for its drilling programs to ensure best practices for logging, sampling, and analysis of its drill core as well as for the collection and analyses of rock samples. This includes the regular insertion of geochemical blanks, duplicates and multiple Ni-Cu-PGE-Au certified reference material standards (CRMs) into the sample stream.
Drill core is collected by Ducros Project personnel daily from the drill rigs and transported in secured core boxes to QNI’s core logging facilities in Lebel-sur-Quévillon. Logging is completed on laptops and data is captured using fit-for-purpose computer software.
Core destined for geochemical analyses is identified and labeled by core logging geologists and subsequently sawed in half by a diamond blade. One half of the NQ-diameter core sample is placed in a labeled and secured sample bag. The remaining half of the core sample is returned to its core box for archiving. All core samples are transported from QNI’s logging facilities to either AGAT Laboratories’ sample preparation facility or SGS’s sample preparation facility, both located in Val-d’Or, Québec, in secured and numbered rice bags by Project personnel.
AGAT Laboratories and SGS operate under a Quality Management System that complies with the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard. Analysis for precious metals (gold, platinum, and palladium) is completed by Fire Assay with an ICP-OES finish while analyses for nickel, copper and 41 other elements are performed using AGAT’s and SGS’s 4 Acid Digest – Metals Packages, with an ICP-OES finish.
Gary DeSchutter, M.Sc., P.Geo., Vice-President of Exploration for Québec Nickel Corp., and a Qualified Person (“QP”) as defined under National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”), has reviewed, and approved the scientific and technical content of this press release.
ABOUT QUEBEC NICKEL CORP.
Québec Nickel Corp. is a mineral exploration company focused on acquiring, exploring, and developing critical metals (Ni-Cu-Co-PGE) projects in Québec, Canada. The Company has a 100% interest in the Ducros Property, consisting of 282 contiguous mining claims covering 15,293 hectares within the eastern portion of the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Québec, Canada. Additional information about Québec Nickel Corp. is available at www.quebecnickel.com.
The CSE has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. Neither the CSE nor its Market Regulator (as that term is defined in the policies of the CSE) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer and Director
1 (855) 764-2535 (QNICKEL)
CAUTIONARY AND FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements”. All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical facts that address events or developments that the Company expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “projects,” “potential” and similar expressions, or that events or conditions “will,” “would,” “may,” “could” or “should” occur. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market, or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that such statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates, and opinions of the Company’s management on the date the statements are made. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements if management’s beliefs, estimates, opinions, or other factors should change.