First two holes cut thick nickel sulfide zones expected at Eureka, and bonus mineralized zone.
Alaska Energy Metals Corp. Oct. 16 reported that assays from its first two drill holes at Nikolai confirm the grades and consistency of the disseminated nickel sulfides in the Eureka Zone that runs roughly 10 miles (16 kilometers) across this nickel-copper-cobalt-platinum group metals project about 55 miles south of Delta Junction, Alaska.
Nikolai’s Eureka zone was first identified by an INCO Ltd. geological team led by Alaska Energy Metals President and CEO Greg Beischer in the 1990s. At the time, however, the disseminated sulfide mineralization at Eureka was not considered economic in a market where nickel was primarily used in steel alloys, and there were still enough supplies of higher-grade massive sulfide nickel to meet that demand.
Shrinking quantities of high-grade nickel and exploding demand for this metal used in the lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles have created a market for very large but lower-grade nickel deposits like Eureka.
To begin building a resource at Eureka, Alaska Energy Metals completed 4,138 meters of drilling this year in eight holes.
The first hole of this program, EZ-23-001, was collared 100 meters southwest of hole PNI-10-036 drilled by Pure Nickel Inc. in 2010. The remaining seven holes were drilled at approximately 250- to 300-meter offsets to test grade and thickness along a 1,200-meter section of the Eureka Zone.
Some highlights from historical Eureka Zone drilling completed by Pure Nickel include:
- 224.6 meters averaging 0.23% nickel, 0.06% copper, 0.017% cobalt, 0.081 grams per metric ton palladium, 0.039 g/t platinum, and 0.008 g/t gold in hole PNI-10-0035.
- 319.7 meters averaging 0.25% nickel, 0.09% copper, 0.018% cobalt, 0.117 g/t platinum, 0.054 g/t palladium, and 0.013 g/t gold.
- 205.2 meters averaging 0.24% nickel, 0.09% copper, 0.017% cobalt, 0.122 g/t palladium, 0.061 g/t platinum, and 0.019 g/t gold in hole PNI-13-069.
- Alaska Energy’s drilling is tapping similar grades over wide widths; highlights include:
- 341.6 meters averaging 0.23% nickel, 0.08% copper, 0.02% cobalt, 0.107 g/t palladium, 0.051 g/t platinum, and 0.011 g/t gold in hole EZ-23-001.
- 296.6 meters averaging 0.23% nickel, 0.09% copper, 0.02% cobalt, 0.115 g/t palladium, 0.052 g/t platinum, and 0.013 g/t gold in hole EZ-23-002.
“We intersected exactly what we expected with these initial holes,” Beischer said. “The main Eureka Zone appears to be remarkably persistent and homogeneous in metal concentration and the width of the mineralized zone is quite significant.”
What was not expected is a potential fourth strata of mineralization below the three that had previously been identified at Eureka.
Alaska Energy had previously recognized three subzones of mineralization – Upper, Core, and Lower – at Eureka. The 341.6- and 296.6-meter intercepts noted above represent the composite of the three, with the Core zone tending to be higher grade than the other two.
The company’s first two holes, however, cut another mineralized stratum below the Lower zone. Highlights from drilling this lower unit include:
Alaska Energy Metals Corp.
Hole EZ-23-001 cut 341.6 meters averaging 0.34% nickel-equivalent before encountering 49.4 meters of a previously unrecognized zone averaging 0.21% nickel-equivalent.
- 49.4 meters averaging 0.15% nickel, 0.02% copper, 0.02% cobalt, 0.017 g/t palladium, 0.031 g/t platinum, and 0.008 g/t gold in hole EZ-23-001.
- 61.8 meters averaging 0.15% nickel, 0.03% copper, 0.01% cobalt, 0.019 g/t palladium, 0.028 g/t platinum, and 0.009 g/t gold in hole EZ-23-002.
Both of these holes ended in this new lower unit of mineralization, leaving it open at depth. Alaska Energy is evaluating its recently purchased historical Nikolai drill hole dataset for indications of whether this lower unit could be a separate mineralized intrusion along the entire strike length of the Eureka Zone.
“Two additional, parallel zones of mineralization may have been revealed within the current and historical drilling datasets,” said Beischer. “With all the historical drill hole logs and assays now in hand, we see potential to accelerate the publication of a maiden resource at what we view as an emerging base metal district.”
Originally Posted: Mining North News