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Ferguson Lake Project – Environment, Project Site, Infrastructure, And History

Environment, Project Site, Infrastructure, History > Environment


In the Ferguson Lake Project area, the Yathkyed – Ferguson – Kaminuriak Lakes area has low relief with numerous smaller lakes and a few large river systems, notably Kazan and Ferguson Rivers.  Terrain elevations in the area range from 200 to 275 metres (above sea level).  Elevations within the property area average less than 200 metres and range from about 100 m at the property’s eastern boundary to 290 m towards the north.  Bedrock is fairly well exposed on numerous low hills and ridges with glacial debris and tills in low lying areas.

The subarctic climate has long winters (October through April) with mean temperatures of -30° C.  A short summer season with mean temperatures in the 15° C range extends from July through mid-September.

Mineral exploration work is most conveniently carried out during the summer months and between March and May when geophysical surveys and diamond drilling can make use of ice-covered lakes.

The terrain is tundra barren grounds and the tree line is 150 km south of Ferguson Lake.  The vegetation is mainly dwarf birch, moss, and lichen.  Wildlife includes caribou, Arctic foxes, muskoxen, arctic hare, sik sik, wolves, wolverines, barren ground grizzly bears, and various species of birds.

Massive Sulfide Ore At Surface

Environment, Project Site, Infrastructure, History > Project Site

Project Site

Ferguson Lake Project Airfield

The Ferguson Lake Project property is situated west of Rankin Inlet in the Kivalliq Region of southern Nunavut Territory, Canada.  It is located some 240 km west of Rankin Inlet and 160 km south-southwest of Baker Lake.  The Ferguson Lake Project is central to the large property area and is midway between Yathkyed and Kaminuriak Lakes.

The property consists of 10 contiguous mining leases over an area of about 9,686 hectares.  All leases are 100% owned by Canadian North Resources Inc. All property mining leases remain active until 2028. The contiguous leases extend east, west, south, and northwest of Ferguson Lake between approximate UTM coordinates 6,970,000 mN and 6,978,000 mN, 600,000 mE and 620,000 mE,  Zone 14.

The project site is accessible by air from Rankin Inlet or Yellowknife, Northwest Territories on a gravel airstrip located at the Ferguson Lake Camp that is capable of handling moderately sized, wheel equipped aircraft.  Permits in place include a Camp Commercial Licence, Water Use Licence, Quarry License, and Right of Way permits for winter transport which allow for the ready resumption of activities across the entire property.

Marshalling supplies and services are transported from Churchill, Manitoba some 510 air-km southeast and Yellowknife about 900 air-km west of the project site.  Other fly-in provisioning is staged from Rankin Inlet and Baker Lake.  These communities serviced past exploration and operations, and current camp and site maintenance.

Churchill and Yellowknife are communities, with larger populations that are accessible by highway, have scheduled commercial airline services, and are major regional supply centers.  (Note: Churchill is not accessible by highway.) In previous programs, the provision of supplies, equipment, and fuel involved freighting by larger aircraft to the airstrip established on Ferguson Lake or transporting to the property by winter snow cat train from Baker Lake or Rankin Inlet.

Environment, Project Site, Infrastructure, History > Infrastructure


The Camp consists of a series of buildings capable of full housing and board service for up to 55 persons, equipped with a generator and heating facilities for all-year operation.  Support structures include heavy equipment workshops and housing for heavy equipment and carpentry, electrical equipment, and various vehicles.

The Camp offices are fully-equipped with computers, printers, and other equipment, filing and records storage, along with a site lab and inventory of cores and other samples.

Communications in this remote area is made possible by a satellite network, which provides for telephone, fax, and high-speed internet connections.

Equipment at the Camp includes: a Caterpillar D4 Dozer, Grader, Skid-Steer Loader, Excavator, Front Loader, and two Caterpillar Dump Trucks; a Bombardier Snowcat, Bombardier Snow coach, and seven snowmobiles; along with four 4×4 Quads and two GMC Crew Cab Pick-up Trucks.  Fuel barrels are stored within a lined berm at the camp and there is a separate storage area for bottles of propane.

Ferguson Lake Project Infrastructure

Environment, Project Site, Infrastructure, History > History


Ultramafic-mafic Intrusion Undeformed

Mineralization (Cu-Ni) at Ferguson Lake was discovered by Inco Ltd. in 1950.  Over a 5 years period, an all-season camp was constructed, and airborne and surface geophysics, geological mapping, and diamond drilling was completed.

The West Zone, East Zone, and Central Zone were extensively explored along with other targets.  A 10-ton bulk sample, extracted from the West Zone in 1953, was transported to Copper Cliff, Ontario, for mill testing.

In 1987, an independent reconnaissance of PGM potential was done with geological mapping around and within the Inco lease. This included 339 rock and 266 soil samples mainly from the West and East Mineral zones.

A field program in 1998 included updating survey controls at several points along the 1950’s Inco baseline, prospecting, and the collection and analyses of rock samples from the West, East, and other mineralized zones.

The 1999-2004 exploration programs in the West Zone traced intermittent bedrock exposures with geophysical surveys and diamond drilling of more than 150 holes (62,000 metres) drilled over 3 km of strike length.

  • Most of these holes intersected intervals of several metres with more than 1% combined Cu-Ni, including significant sections of  greater than  combined Cu-Ni plus PGM graders averaging more than 2 grams/tonne.
  • Surface sampling returned high PGM values of between 540 ppb and 1,170 ppb platinum and 1,250 ppb to 4,500 ppb palladium.

From 2005 to 2008, exploration set to delineate the extend and depth of the West Zone limits with shallow and deep diamond drilling and to further define PGM footwall mineralization

  • Significant intercepts were 8.1 g/t Pt and 12.2g/t Pd over 3.3.

In 2007, drilling centred on advancing the existing Inferred Mineral Resource into the “Measured and Indicated” categories of resources throughout the West Zone and the low-sulphide footwall PGM mineralization.  A National Instrument 43-101 mineral resource for the Ferguson Lake property in Nunavut, Canada was issued in 2011.

Over the 2009 to 2011 period explorations included further drilling within the main deposit and southwest of this West Zone (3 holes, 1,866 m) intersecting target mineralization zones.

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