The Apex Zone is located approximately 2 kilometres south of the Bowden Lake Deposit, and 3 kilometres north of the Bucko Lake Deposit, near Wabowden Manitoba in what CaNickel and Xstrata (formerly Crowflight and Falconbridge) are calling the Thompson Nickel Belt South Project Area. This area was initially identified by cursory investigative drilling conducted by Falconbridge in 1971 following-up results from a geophysical survey which identified an anomalously high magnetic response.
A review of the data from the high resolution magnetic geophysical survey flown in late 2005-early 2006 by Xstrata - CaNickel revealed that this area bore a similar geophysical signature to that observed at the nearby Bucko Nickel Deposit and warranted further investigation because of its potential to host similar mineralization as Bucko. As such, the target area was made a priority for drilling during the 2006 winter exploration season.
The Apex Discovery is particularly relevant given its shallow depth, close proximity to the Bucko Deposit and potential to be an additional source of possible satellite feed to the Bucko mill.
The objective of exploring the Apex deposit was to identify additional nickel resources with potential to support a satellite deposit to planned operations at the Bucko Lake Deposit.
One diamond drill hole (W111-04) drilled up-dip of A 06-01 was drilled by Falconbridge in 1971. The hole confirmed the presence of ultramafic rocks (the rocks known to host the nickel mineralization in the area), but failed to encounter significant nickel mineralization.
A MIDAS, high resolution helicopter-borne magnetic geophysical survey was flown over portions of the TNB South Project Area in late December 2005 and was concluded in early January 2006 (refer to press release dated December 20, 2005). This type of survey was selected due to its ability to hyper-accurately collect magnetic data over the targeted areas. Upon completion of the survey, the data was processed using 3-D magnetic inversion techniques which enable the accurate modeling of the distribution and geometry of ultramafic bodies (ultramafic bodies of rock are directly associated with nickel deposits in the Thompson Nickel Belt) within the subsurface in 3 dimensions, including the potential identification of unknown and "blind" ultramafic rocks.
Based on the result and interpretation of this high resolution magnetic geophysical survey and historical data it was recognized that the area bore a similar geophysical signature to the mineralization associated with the Bucko Nickel Deposit, located approximately 3 kilometres to the south. One hole for this area was proposed during the 2006 Winter Drill Program. Based on the positive results obtained from hole A 06-0, 1 a second hole A 06-02 was drilled 75 metres down dip from it. Down-hole electromagnetic (EM) geophysical survey results received from holes A 06-01 and A 06-02 identified an off-hole EM response to the south of both holes. Company was working closely with project operator Falconbridge Limited to plan a follow-up program for the summer to further test the potential of the Apex Zone which remains open both at depth and along strike (News Release April 27, 2006 and May 11, 2006).
Summary of results from drill hole A 06-01 and A 06-02
|Hole A 06-01||191.0||202.4||11.4||37.3||0.91||0.04|
|Hole A 06-01||196.3||211.2||15.0||49.1||0.80||0.0|
CaNickel commenced the 2007 Thompson Nickel Belt (TNB) regional exploration program (News Release February 6, 2007) and completed 5 drill holes totalling 2106 meters within Apex zone (News Release May 8, 2007). Highlight results include drill hole AP07 - 01 which intersected 53.0 metres (173.9 feet) grading 0.66% nickel, including 6.3 metres (20.5 feet) grading 1.13% nickel. The drilling had further defined the extents of the main mineralized corridor and indicated that the deposit remains open for further expansion at depth below 300 metres vertical.
Near the Apex target, three holes for 718 metres were completed for winter 2008 exploration drilling. The holes were drilled to test exploration targets located more than 500m north and south of the previously defined resource at Apex. One hole (AP08-02) was lost in casing and did not reach its target objective. Holes AP08-01 and AP08-03 intersected magnetic gneiss which explained the targeted geophysical anomaly. The resource potential at Apex zone remains open for expansion at depth (News Release May 20, 2008). No further exploration work has been carried out on Apex zone since the end of 2008 winter exploration drilling program.