QUÉBEC NICKEL COMPLETES 2023 EXPLORATION PROGRAMS AT ITS DUCROS NICKEL-COPPER-PGE PROJECT
Vancouver, British Columbia, December 13, 2023 – Québec Nickel Corp. (CSE: QNI; FSE: 7lB; OTCQB: QNICF) (“QNI” or the “Company”) reports the completion of its 2023 exploration programs at its 100% owned Ducros Property, located 85 kilometers northeast of Val-d’Or, Québec.
Summary of 2023 Work Programs & Results:
- Drilling of almost 18,000 metres in 50 holes across the Ducros Property
- Scoping-level metallurgical study of Fortin Sill Zone Ni-Cu-PGE sulphides
- Discovery of multiple large Ni-Co-bearing ultramafic intrusions
- Numerous new Ni-Cu-PGE targets identified through Artificial Intelligence targeting study
- Start of project environmental baseline study work
David Patterson, QNI’s CEO and Chairman, comments “I want to congratulate and thank the Ducros project team for accomplishing so much work during the year. Between the unusually warm winter to start the year off and the two-month work stoppage during the summer because of the unprecedented forest fires in this part of Québec, it’s been very challenging to get our work programs completed this year. I am very confident the results from the large amount of work done over the past two years has set the table for continued success at Ducros.”
2023 Exploration Diamond Drilling
The 2023 drilling program tested a wide variety of prospective Ni-Cu-PGE targets across the entire Ducros Property. In total, 17,815 metres were completed in 50 holes at multiple target areas such as the Ducros Ultramafic Sill Complex (DUSC), the Ducros Sill Trend, the Q-Zone Target as well as at the greater Fortin Sill Zone area. Of note, and as previously announced, two large nickel + cobalt-bearing ultramafic intrusions were discovered at the Ducros Sill Trend and Q-Zone target earlier this year (see July 12, 2023 and September 12, 2023 News Releases for more information).
Drilling at the Fortin Sill Zone began in April with the completion of four short holes at the main Ni-Cu-PGE showing. These HQ-diameter holes supplied the materials required for a scoping-level metallurgical test program of the Fortin Sill Zone sulphides. Upon the lifting of the summer 2023 forest fire-related work stoppage, drilling at Fortin Sill resumed in August. The program was designed to explore for additional Ni-Cu-PGE sulphides at regular intervals along strike of the main outcropping mineralized zone. A total of eight holes for 5,883 metres was completed over a distance of approximately 1.2 kilometres along the interpreted strike of the Fortin Sill Zone. Downhole electromagnetic geophysical surveys were completed in four of the longer holes in efforts to locate sulphide-related conductors. Although this new drilling encountered mafic and ultramafic intrusive rocks as far away as 750 metres from the Fortin Sill Zone, no new Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization was identified in this new drilling.
Fortin Sill Zone Metallurgical Study
As discussed in the Company’s May 10, 2023 News Release, SGS Canada was contracted to complete a scoping-level evaluation of the amenability of the Fortin Sill Zone to produce saleable Critical Metals concentrate. A total of 150 kilograms of Ni-Cu-Co-PGE-Au mineralized HQ diameter drill core was collected and delivered to SGS’s Québec City laboratory for the study. The scope of the work program includes bond ball mill grindability testing, floatation test work, solid-liquid separation testing and environmental analyses. As of this news release, the test program is approximately 95% complete and the delivery of the results and interpretative report is expected in the coming weeks.
AI Targeting Project
In October 2023, QNI released the results from a Ducros property-wide Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted Ni-Cu-PGE targeting exercise that was completed by ALS GoldSpot Discoveries Ltd. (ALS GoldSpot). The results of this study are highlighted by the identification of more than a dozen new and untested nickel-sulphide targets distributed across the Ducros Property (see October 3, 2023 News Release for more details, Figure 1). The unique geological and geophysical fingerprint of the Ni-Cu-PGE Fortin Sill Zone was used to train ALS GoldSpot’s SmartTARGETTM targeting AI algorithms.
In parallel with the AI targeting project, ALS GoldSpot also completed a litho-structural reinterpretation of the Ducros Property. It is expected this new geological interpretation will greatly enhance the Company’s exploration efforts going forward by allowing future work programs to focus on the most prospective Ni-Cu-PGE targets within the large >15,000 hectare Ducros property.
Environmental Baseline Studies
In March 2023, Québec Nickel commissioned BluMetric Environmental, of St-Laurent Québec, to complete a baseline description of the hydrological and biological characteristics of QNI’s Ducros property and surrounding lands. Together with its partner, T2 Environment, of McMasterville Québec, BluMetric technical teams completed two separate site visits during the 2023 field season to obtain the necessary samples and data for the study. The results from this first year’s work are being synthesized into a final report, which is expected to be delivered early in the new year and will serve as the basis for future environmental baseline and monitoring work.
Figure 1. Map of the Ducros Property showing the locations of select AI-derived nickel-sulphide and nickel-cobalt targets in relation to the Property’s primary target areas underlain by the newly interpreted geology.
Other Exploration Work
In addition to the work summarized above, the Company completed further studies during the year that have greatly advanced the understanding of the Ducros Property geology and have led to the development of new highly prospective Ni-Cu-PGE targets. Examples of some of these other studies include the semi-automated detailed petrographic characterization of 33 drill core samples collected from the 2022 & 2023 exploration drilling programs. This work, which was completed by IOS Services Géoscientifiques inc. (IOS), of Ville de Saguenay, Québec, builds upon the petrography IOS and the micro-XRF work completed by the Mineral Deposit Research Unit of the University of British Columbia completed in 2022.
In addition, to follow-up on positive results of a 2022 biogeochemistry orientation survey completed across much of the Ducros property, over 500 additional samples were collected during the 2023 field season at the Fortin Sill Zone. The samples were collected from a 50 metre by 50 metre-spaced northwest-southeast oriented grid covering an area of ~2.5 kilometres long by 750 metres wide and included the Fortin Sill Zone surface showing and its interpreted strike extension. Results from the 2022 and 2023 biogeochemistry surveys were fed into the AI targeting exercise completed by ALS GoldSpot. Distinctive biogeochemical anomalies coincident with Fortin Sill Zone are highlighted as well as additional anomalies along the interpreted strike from the Zone in areas that have yet to be drill tested.
About Québec 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.
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.
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.