Ferguson Lake Project
The Ferguson Lake Project consists of 10 contiguous mining leases over an area of about 9,686 hectares (96.9 km2). All leases are 100% owned by Canadian North Resources Inc. The property is situated in the Western Churchill Province and northwestern Hearne domain area with mainly Archean metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks and extensive gneissic terrains.
The Western Churchill Province encompasses diverse geological environments spanning 1.5 billion years and is the host to various types of mineral deposits. Known mineral deposits, prospects, and mining operations include mafic – ultramafic magmatic nickel-copper-cobalt-PGM, orogenic (mesothermal) lode gold, volcanic-hosted copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver, unconformity-associated uranium prospects, and diamonds associated with Phanerozoic kimberlite.
The Ferguson Lake area covers an extension of the Yathkyed Greenstone Belt. The belt is a strongly deformed, gneissic suite of Archean supracrustal and intrusive rocks, and variably deformed Proterozoic plutons and dykes. The Archean gneissic rocks are intruded by Archean granodiorites, quartz monzonites, and a variety of mafic intrusions including diorites and gabbros.
The oldest rocks in the southern and northeastern parts of the Ferguson Lake Project property are fine- to medium-grained amphibolites. These are the metamorphic products of original mafic and intermediate volcanic rocks of Archean age (2.5 to 4 billion years ago, Gya).
The Archean rock sequence includes sulphide, oxide, and silicate banded iron formations in a number of localities. These are inter-layered with the more widespread quartz-feldspar-biotite (hornblende) gneiss (mineralization host sequence).
Across the property, these units have been intruded by Archean granitic fine grained gneiss and pegmatite. A variety of younger Proterozoic (0.5 to 2.5 Gya) dykes, sills, and irregular intrusions cut through these older rocks.
- Extensive magmatic BM and PGM mineralization zones were tested and three of the ten zones were defined from 191,000 metres drilled in 623 holes.
- Three most-drilled mineralized zones (East Zones, West Zone, and West Zone Extension) are spatially related to the same gabbro unit that is between 10 metres and 600 metres thick.
- This unit has been traced by intermittent exposures and by diamond drilling over a strike length of more than 15 kilometers east and west of Ferguson Lake.
The above map, from left to right, displays the South Discovery Zone, 119 Zone, the West Zone , West Zone Extension, West Zone South, Central Zone, East Zone I and II , the M-Zone, and Anomaly 51 along the over 15-km long magmatic sulphide mineralization belt.
Most of the lithologic units on the property have been subjected to high-grade metamorphism and deformation. Structural evaluation in the area focused on two of the principal mineralized zones, East (Section A-B) and West Zones (Section C-D).
It is interpreted that intricate folding of the gneissic rocks and the target amphibolites (gabbros) produced arch and trough-style structures. The East and West Zones are believed to lie within the south limb of an over-turned, trough or canoe-shaped structure plunging on both ends and modified by numerous faults and shear zones.
The West Zone open pit and underground mineralized bodies were defined from some 36,764 core samples collected totaling 44,152 metres of assayed materials. Sulphide zones occur mainly within the upper, structural hanging wall portion of the north-dipping gabbro units and are marked on surface by prominent gossans that are up to 25 metres wide and several hundred metres long.
Other sulphide zones identified in the eastern area includes; the Central Zone, M-Zone, Anomaly 51, and East Zone extensions and in the west includes the West Zone South, 119 Zone, and South Discovery Zones.
The extensive target mineral zones across the Ferguson Lake Property are magmatic copper-nickel-cobalt massive sulphide deposits with palladium, platinum, and rhodium mineralization. These zones are spatially related to mafic (and ultramafic) intrusions, which are principally in the form of fine- to coarse-grained gabbros. A second type of mineralization consisting of low-base metal sulphides with high-PGM grades is situated significantly beneath and along the footwall walls of these massive sulphide lenses within the mafic-ultramafic intrusions.
Previous mineral deposit modeling and re-examination of historic resources for the main West Pit and West Extension Zones has shown that enlarged pods of better grades of BM and PGM metals mineralization are present within massive to semi-massive sulphide lenses and stringers within zones, and have have thicknesses between two and tens of metres.
Very thick (up to 71.3 m) PGM mineralization zones associated stringer/disseminated sulphides occur in the footwall structures of the northeast-dipping gabbro units in 10 mineralized zones. Previous assay results show high-grade PGM values up to 103g/t palladium and 43.36g/t platinum in these low-sulfide zones. Selected previous assay results are presented in Table below:
Potential for High-Grade Mineralized Bodies
- Historic resources previously modeled at only Cu + Ni + Co NSR cutoffs of C$75 (open pit); and C$110 (underground) at 2011 metal prices. Potential to add significant tonnage and value with the addition of PGM (palladium, platinum, and rhodium) grades.
- Mineral deposit modeled for massive sulfides (>50%); but, significant PGM-rich mineralization is hosted in disseminated or low- sulfide zones. Potential is high to add significant PGM rich tonnage by including these low- sulfide zones.
- The Rhodium content of the mineralization has never been systematically evaluated. Multiple intersections such as 1.25 m of 0.46 g/t Rh and 1.6 g/t Pd in hole FL04-195 and 1.6m of 0.32 g/t Rh and 1.2 g/t Pd in hole FL05-230 in Cu-Ni-Co sulphides were reported.
The target zones are magmatic Cu-Ni-Co sulphide deposits with PGM. The highest PGM grades are situated tens of metres beneath and along the footwalls of the massive sulphide lenses. These target zones are spatially associated with the gabbro intrusions that are 10 to 600+ meter thick and extend over 15 kilometers mineralization belt.
The plan is to expand the Base Metal and PGM resource by diamond-drilling exploration for high-grade PGM and massive sulphide zones along the mineralization belt, to remodel the resource estimates, to expand metallurgical testing, to update technical reports, to advance to feasibility studies. These work plans are scheduled over the 2021-22 period with expectations for definition drilling, environmental field studies, metallurgical testing, and development activities into 2023 and beyond.
- Re-model and re-estimate resource to include PGM in the cutoff grades.
- Expand metallurgical tests with current and alternative processing technologies for target PGM and Base Metals.
- Drilling for high-grade nickel-copper massive sulfides with the ultramafic intrusions and high-grade PGM resources in the low-sulfide mineralization zones.
- Establish high-grade resources for PGM in low sulfide zones with definition drilling along the known mineral zones.
- Environmental / engineering studies and community engagement