The NICO Project is comprised of a planned open pit and underground mine, mill and concentrator in the NWT and a planned hydrometallurgical refinery in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland northeast of Edmonton to process metal concentrates into value added products. Mineral Reserves for the NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper deposit contain 33.1 million tonnes containing 37.3 million kilograms of cobalt, 1.1 million Troy ounces of gold, 46.3 million kilograms of bismuth, and 12.3 million kilograms of copper.
Drilling was carried out at the end of 2021 to test four prospects identified in earlier geophysical surveys and a 1997 drill program. Recent drilling successfully confirmed continuity of cobalt-gold-bismuth and local copper mineralization in the Peanut Lake Zone, located 800 metres southeast of the NICO Deposit and also identified a potential east strike extension of the deposit.
Fortune completed 13 cored drill holes in 2021, totalling 2,482.31 metres, supported in part by two Mineral Incentive Program grants from the Government of the Northwest Territories, totalling C$244,000. Four holes were drilled to test the continuity of mineralization at Peanut Lake where drilling in 1997 had identified multiple intercepts in five holes with gold grades exceeding 1 g/t over 3-metre core lengths with significant cobalt and bismuth values.
A new hole (21-008) was drilled to test the continuity of mineralization in a 135-metre wide gap between Holes 97-090 and 97-092, and intersected three significant intervals of mineralization, including 3.17 metres averaging 0.423% cobalt, 0.554 g/t gold, and 0.369% bismuth at a depth of 28.7 metres, including 1.05 metres, grading 0.995% cobalt, 0.247 g/t gold, and 0.562% bismuth; 4.8 metres, averaging 0.118% cobalt and 0.500 g/t gold at a depth of 8 metres, including 1.98 metres, averaging 0.261% cobalt and 1.135 g/t gold; and 2.31 metres, averaging 0.108% cobalt and 0.874 g/t gold at a depth of 139.6 metres, including 1.16 metres, grading 0.203% cobalt and 1.635 g/t gold.
The 21-008 intersections correlate well with the earlier intercepts in Hole 97-090, located 78 metres to the east that included 0.355% cobalt, 1.105 g/t gold, and 0.049% bismuth over 3 metres at a depth of 6.4 metres, and 0.148% cobalt and 0.435 g/t gold over 3 metres at a depth of 57.5 metres, plus 0.123% cobalt and 0.14 g/t gold over 3 metres at a depth of 69.5 metres. The 21-008 intersections also correlate with the intercepts previously identified in Hole 97-092 located approximately 70 metres to the west, which included 0.113% cobalt and 0.885 g/t gold over 1.76 metres, and 3 metres, grading 1.82 g/t gold.
Holes 21-009 and 21-014 tested the strike continuity of the Peanut Lake Zone east and west of the aforesaid holes, respectively and identified multiple zones of lower grade cobalt-gold mineralization. These, together with the results of the five 1997 drill hole intercepts, indicate continuity of economically interesting mineralization over a minimum undelimited 400-metre strike length. Hole 21-007 overshot the mineralized horizon but provides useful information to define the trend and geometry of the Peanut Lake Zone for drilling.
Six holes were drilled to test for an east strike extension of the NICO Deposit beyond a fault that was previously believed to terminate the east end of the deposit. Three holes (21-003, 21-015 and -016) tested for north lateral and depth displacement of the deposit beyond the fault and intersected economically interesting grades over narrow widths. Hole 21-015 intersected 0.110% cobalt and 0.599 g/t gold over 1.98 metres at a depth of 210.52 metres, including 1.08 metres, grading 0.219% cobalt and 0.312 g/t gold. Hole 21-016 intersected mineralizaion, averaging 0.034% cobalt over 6 metres at a depth of 43 metres, including 0.92 metres, grading 0.042% cobalt and 0.111% bismuth.
The NICO Deposit is locally open for potential expansion at depth. The 2021 drill program verified good potential to delineate additional resources along the east projection of strike from known NICO Mineral Reserves, and particularly in the Peanut Lake Zone. There are also several untested geophysical anomalies identified on the NICO leases and surrounding areas. In addition, the Sue-Dianne Deposit remains open for potential expansion.
Fortune also owns the satellite Sue-Dianne copper-silver-gold deposit 25 km north of the NICO Deposit and is a potential future source of incremental mill feed to extend the life of the NICO mill and concentrator.