Mineral Resource Estimate: Inferred Mineral Resources
Eureka Zone East: 88.6 million tonnes grading 0.35% NiEq% containing:
471 million pounds of nickel
165 million pounds of copper
34 million pounds of cobalt
548,700 ounces of platinum, palladium, and gold
Eureka Zone West: 182.8 million tonnes grading 0.28% NiEq% containing:
1,080 million pounds of nickel
208 million pounds of copper
81 million pounds of cobalt
792,400 ounces of platinum, palladium, and gold
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, November 20, 2023 – Alaska Energy Metals Corporation (TSX-V: AEMC, OTCQB: AKEMF) (“AEMC” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the first independent National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Deposits (“NI 43-101”) mineral resource estimate (“MRE” or “2023 Resource”) for its 100% owned Nikolai Ni-Cu-Co-PGE-Au Project (“Nikolai Project”) in Alaska, USA. The study was completed by Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., utilizing historical drill hole data the Company purchased earlier in the year. The effective date of the MRE is November 20, 2023.
Alaska Energy Metals President & CEO Gregory Beischer commented:
“The two areas in which we were able to calculate an inferred mineral resource, based only on historical drill holes, are approximately two kilometers apart. Other sparse, historical holes drilled between the deposits indicate a reasonable likelihood that further grid-based drilling will ultimately connect the two deposits together. The drilling we recently conducted in Summer 2023 will go part way towards joining the deposits together and is likely to further increase the contained metal in the deposits substantially. The rapid growth in resources speaks to the consistency and predictability of the deposit, which remains open in all directions. Eureka is quickly evolving into one of the larger nickel resources on the continent.”
The results of the 2023 Resource are reported below:
- Total Eureka Zone MRE contains an inferred mineral resource of 1.5 billion pounds of nickel, 372 million pounds of copper, and 115 million pounds of cobalt, plus a total of 1.34 million ounces of platinum, palladium, and gold in a constrained model totaling 319.6 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.30% total nickel equivalent (“NiEq”) using a 0.20% NiEq cut-off grade. See the detailed breakdown in Table 1 and Table 2 below.
- The Eureka Zone East MRE contains an inferred mineral resource of 471 million pounds of nickel, 165 million pounds of copper, 34 million pounds of cobalt, plus 549 kozs of platinum, palladium, and gold in a constrained model totaling 88.6 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.35% total NiEq using a 0.20% NiEq cut-off grade (Table 1 & 2).
- The Eureka Zone West MRE contains an inferred mineral resource of 1,081 million pounds of nickel, 208 million pounds of copper, 81 million pounds of cobalt, plus 792 kozs of platinum, palladium, and gold in a constrained model totaling 231 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.28% total NiEq using a 0.20% NiEq cut-off grade (Table 1 & 2).
- Deposits in the 2023 Resource are defined by 8 of 37 drill holes cored prior to 2023. Several of the remaining drill holes provide early confirmation that the mineralization is interconnected across all three deposits (Figure 1). The deposits remain open in all directions.
- The Eureka Zone East and Eureka Zone West MRE are located approximately two kilometers away from each other (Figure 1).
- Received and pending assay results from the eight-hole 2023 drill campaign are not included in the 2023 Resource. These eight holes were completed as ~250 to 300-meter (“m”) step-outs to build outward from the 2023 Resource for the Eureka East, Eureka Zone 2 (“EZ2”) deposit (Figure 1). An updated NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate is anticipated to be completed in 2024 with the additional drill results.
- Chrome and Iron are also present within the deposits but have not been reported in the 2023 Resource due to the lack of historical assay data and analytical methods used.
Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. The 2023 Resource estimate will be incorporated into a NI43-101 compliant technical report for the Nikolai project to be filed within 45 days.
Table 1: Nikolai Project Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) Effective November 20, 2023
- Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum (“CIM”) definitions are followed for classification of Mineral Resource.
- Base case cut-off grade is 0.20% Ni calculated from a Ni price of US$23.946/tonne (US$10.9 US$/lb), surface mining cost of US$2.50 per tonne, and processing costs US$25.00 per tonne.
- The Mineral Resource is reported from within economic pit shells whose extent has been estimated using a Ni price of US$23,946/tonne (US$10.9 US$/lb) and mining cost of US$2.50 per tonne, from a Ni equivalent grade calculated from Ni, Cu, Co, Pt, Pd, and Au, Ni recovery of 60% and 50% for other metals, fixed density of 2.80- and 45-degree constant slope angle.
- Metal pricing used to calculate Ni EQ is based on observation of monthly metal pricing for the past 24 months up to end-October 2023 with Ni at US$23,946/tonne (US$10.9/lb) (World Bank), Cu at US$ 8,768/tonne ($US4.0/lb) (World Bank), Co 45,000 US$/tonne (US24/lb) (Trading Economics), Pt at US$970/toz (World Bank), Pd at US$1,700/toz (Kitco), and Au at 1,855 (World Bank). Totals may not represent the sum of the parts due to rounding.
- The Mineral Resource estimate has been prepared by Derek Loveday, P. Geo. of Stantec Consulting Services Inc. in conformity with CIM “Estimation of Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserves Best Practices” guidelines and is reported in accordance with the Canadian Securities Administrators NI 43-101. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that any mineral resource will be converted into mineral reserve.
A sensitivity analysis is provided in Table 2, demonstrating the variation in grade and tonnage in the deposit at various cut-off grades. Constrained Mineral Resources are reported at a base case cut-off grade of 0.20% NiEq. The values in the table reported above and below the cut-off grades should not be misconstrued with a Mineral Resource Statement. The values are only presented to show the sensitivity of the block model estimates to the selection of cut-off grade. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate.
Table 2: Nikolai Project MRE Grade Sensitivity
Effective November 20, 2023
- CIM definitions are followed for classification of Mineral Resource.
- Base case cutoff grade is 0.20% Ni calculated from a Ni price of US$23.946/tonne (US$10.9 US$/lb), surface mining cost of US$2.50 per tonne, and processing costs US$25.00 per tonne.
- Mineral Resource are reported from within an economic pit shell whose extent has been estimated using a Ni price of US$23,946/tonne (US$10.9 US$/lb) and mining cost of US$2.50 per tonne, from a Ni equivalent grade calculated from Ni, Cu, Co, Pt, Pd, and Au, Ni recovery of 60% and 50% for other metals, fixed density of 2.80- and 45-degree constant slope angle.
- Equivalent grade formula is Ni EQ = Ni/1 + Cu/2.7309 + Co/0.5321 + Pt/0.0008 + Pd/0.0004 + Au/0.0004
- Metal pricing used to calculate Ni EQ is based on observation of monthly metal pricing for the past 24 months up to end-October 2023 with Ni at US$23,946/tonne (US$10.9/lb) (World Bank), Cu at US$ 8,768/tonne ($US4.0/lb) (World Bank), Co 45,000 US$/tonne (US24/lb) (Trading Economics), Pt at US$970/toz (World Bank), Pd at US$1,700/toz (Kitco), and Au at 1,855 (World Bank).
- Totals may not represent the sum of the parts due to rounding.
- The Mineral Resource estimate has been prepared by Derek Loveday, P. Geo. of Stantec Consulting Services Inc. in conformity with CIM “Estimation of Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserves Best Practices” guidelines and are reported in accordance with the Canadian Securities Administrators NI 43-101. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that any mineral resource will be converted into mineral reserve.
Figure 1. Eureka Zone overview displaying geology, the 2023 MRE block model, and drill hole locations. Note: Drill holes with reported NiEQ grades represent additional holes with interpreted intercepts of EZ2 mineralization but are not included in the2023 Resource due to drill spacing from the MRE.
Figure 2. Cross section through the Eureka East, EZ2 MRE. Note: Location of section A-A’ is located on Figure 1.
Figure 3. Cross section through the Eureka West, EZ2 & EZ3 MRE. Note: Location of section B-B’ is located on Figure 1.
MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATION CALCULATION METHODOLOGY
The geologic model used for the reporting of mineral resources is a 3D block model, developed using Hexagon Mining’s geological modelling and mine planning software, MinePlan version 16.0.4. The block model was developed using NAD 1983 UTM Zone 6N and is in metric units. The block size is 40 m (X), 20 m (Y) and 5 m (Z) rotated by 20 degrees toward the east to align the X-axis along strike at 110 degrees. The block model captures three mineralized ultramafic intrusive bodies (“zones” or “solids”) that dip towards the southwest at between 45 and 50 degrees.
These three zones are called Eureka Zone 1 (EZ1), Eureka Zone 2 (EZ2), and Eureka Zone 3 (EZ3) from south to north across the deposit, respectively. The three mineralization zones are further divided into west and east areas separated by faulting.
The mineralized zones were built using Seequent’s Leapfrog Geo software from a drill hole database of 37 drill holes. Mineral sample assays have been validated in eight (8) of the 37 drill holes and assay data from these holes has been used to estimate grades for nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), cobalt (Co), platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), gold (Au), silver (Ag), iron (Fe) and chromium (Cr). All metals, excluding Ag, Fe and Cr, have been used to calculate a Ni equivalent grade based on average (24 month) market prices. Only Au grades were capped prior to estimation at 55 parts per billion (ppb) for the Eureka 2 zone and 30 ppb for the Eureka 3 zone. Ni is approximately 76% of the total value of the metals included in the equivalent grade calculation.
Reasonable prospects for economic extraction have been determined by calculating a Ni cutoff grade of 0.20 percent (%) using the following assumptions:
- Mining costs US$2.5/tonne;
- Processing costs US$25/tonne;
- Overall processing recovery of 60%.
Resources are reported from within an economic pit shell at 45-degree constant slope using Hexagon mining Pseudoflow algorithm. No underground mining is considered. Assumed revenue used to drive the pit shell is US$10.9/lb Ni applied to a recovered Ni-equivalent grade assuming 60% recovery for Ni and 50% recovery for all other metal equivalents. This pit optimization does not represent an economic study. Future engineering studies will be needed to develop optimal bulk tonnage mining methods. The pit-constrained maiden MRE is at inferred-level of assurance based in the quantity of exploration data available for grade estimation. Mineral resources are only reported for the Eureka 2 zone and Eureka 3 zone.
The Nikolai Project Maiden MRE, with an effective date of November 20, 2023, is shown in Table 1 and associated grade sensitivity is shown in Table 2.
Mineral Resource Estimate Preparation
The MRE has been prepared by Derek Loveday, P. Geo. of Stantec Consulting Services Inc. in conformity with CIM “Estimation of Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserves Best Practices” guidelines and is reported in accordance with NI 43-101.
Mr. Loveday is a qualified person (“QP”) as defined in NI 43-101 and is independent of the Company. The QP is not aware of any environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio‐economic, marketing, political, or other relevant issues that could potentially affect this Mineral Resource Estimate. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that any mineral resource will be converted into mineral reserve.
All three deposits in the 2023 Resource contain desirable nickel sulfide mineralization consisting of thick, layered horizons of nickel and copper sulfides, which are enriched in cobalt, platinum, palladium, and gold. Preliminary deportment assessments for the EZ2 mineralization were completed by Pure Nickel Inc. in 2014 (press release dated April 22, 2014) and the Company in 2022 (press release dated September 29, 2022).
Results from these two assessments (Table 3) indicate an average of 83.4% of the total nickel is in potentially recoverable phases of Ni-sulfides and Ni-Fe alloys. The Company also analyzed copper deportment at that time, with an average of 74% of the total copper in potentially recoverable phases of Cu-sulfides and Cu-oxides. Additional deportment studies and bench scale testing are ongoing with core samples from the 2023 step-out drill program. Results from ongoing studies will be released when completed.
Table 3. Summary of Ni-Cu Deportment work complete on the Nikolai Nickel Project
Chrome and Iron
Chrome and iron have been identified as potentially significant co-products of mineralization at the Nikolai Nickel Project. In samples used to calculate the 2023 resource, there was incomplete iron assay data, and the analytical methods used to determine the concentration of chrome prevented the assessment of these elements. AEMC will continue to evaluate the chrome and iron numbers from the 2023 step-out drilling with the objective of integrating these elements in future resource updates.
Mr. Derek Loveday, P. Geo. of Stantec Consulting Services Inc. is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has prepared, or supervised the preparation of, or has reviewed and approved, the scientific and technical data pertaining to the MRE contained in this release, and will be preparing the NI-43-101 Technical Report for filing on SEDAR within 45 days.
Gabriel Graf, the Company’s Chief Geoscientist, is the qualified person, as defined under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and has reviewed and approved the technical information outside of the 2023 Resource estimate contained in this news release.
For additional information, visit: https://alaskaenergymetals.com/
ABOUT ALASKA ENERGY METALS
Alaska Energy Metals Corporation is focused on delineating and developing a large polymetallic exploration target containing nickel, copper, cobalt, chrome, iron, platinum, palladium, and gold. Located in central Alaska near existing transportation and power infrastructure, the project is well-situated to become a significant, domestic source of critical and strategic energy-related metals for the American market.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Gregory Beischer, President & CEO
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Gregory A. Beischer, President & CEO
Toll-Free: 877-217-8978 | Local: 604-638-3164
Sarah Mawji, Public Relations
Final Edit Media and Public Relations
Some statements in this news release may contain forward-looking information (within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation), including, without limitation, (a) that the Company will receive all assay results for samples submitted, b) that the Company will complete metallurgical and deportment studies, c) the estimation of Mineral Resources, (d) that the Technical Report will be completed and that it will be filed within 45 days, and (e) that an updated Mineral Resource is expected to be completed in 2024. These statements address future events and conditions and, as such, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date those statements are made. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements do not guarantee future performance, and actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include regulatory actions, market prices, and continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and 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 law, the Company assumes no obligation to update or to publicly announce the results of any change to any forward-looking statement contained or incorporated by reference herein to reflect actual results, future events or developments, changes in assumptions, or changes in other factors affecting the forward-looking statements. If the Company updates any forward-looking statement(s), no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.
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