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North American Nickel Reports New QEMSCAN Results From Maniitsoq Nickel-Copper and Cobalt Mineralization

03/15/2017

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 15, 2017) - North American Nickel Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NAN)(OTCBB:WSCRF)(CUSIP: 65704T 108) (the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has received a report on the results of mineralogical studies performed by SGS Canada Inc. ("SGS") on four drill core samples of nickel-copper sulphides from the 2016 exploration program at the Maniitsoq Ni-Cu-Co-PGE sulphide project in southwest Greenland. The representative samples were obtained from the Mikissoq and P-058 mineralized norite intrusions at the Imiak Hill Complex and Fossilik area, respectively.

The objectives of the study were to determine the modal mineralogy, mineral texture, nickel, copper and cobalt deportment, and the liberation, association and exposure of the nickel, copper and iron sulphides of each sample. A copy of the report can be found on the Company website www.northamericannickel.com.

Report Highlights:

  • Nickel:
    • 93.5 to 95.9% of the total nickel in each sample is contained within pentlandite. Potential pentlandite recoveries range from 94.9 to 96.8% based on liberation, association and exposure characteristics of crushed samples stage pulverized to 90% passing 150 micrometres;
    • 2.3 to 4.4% of the total nickel in each sample is contained within pyrrhotite; and
    • Pentlandite D50 (µm) grain sizes range from 42 to 46 micrometres.
  • Copper
    • All copper is hosted by chalcopyrite. Potential chalcopyrite recoveries for the Mikissoq samples range from 90.6 to 94.3% based on liberation, association and exposure characteristics of crushed samples stage pulverized to 90% passing 150 micrometres. Potential chalcopyrite recovery for the P-058 sample is 75.2%; and
    • Chalcopyrite P50 (µm) grain sizes range from 26 to 34 micrometres.
  • Cobalt:
    • Pentlandite and pyrite are the main hosts of the cobalt in the samples.
  • Sulphide mineral species identified in each sample are pyrrhotite, pentlandite, pyrite and chalcopyrite.
  • Orthopyroxene, amphibole, feldspar and clinopyroxene are the major silicates. Talc was identified by QEMSCAN in all samples and confirmed by XRD in two out of the four samples. Talc abundances (in crushed samples) were 0.88% for the P-058 sample and 4.1 to 10.1% for the Mikissoq samples.

North American Nickel CEO, Keith Morrison, states: "The results from the 2016 samples, which include the new sulphide lens at Mikissoq, continue to demonstrate the consistent nature of sulphide mineralogy, nickel deportment and potential pentlandite recovery of the Maniitsoq sulphide zones. Next steps in the evaluation of selected sulphide zones are expected to include initial bench scale flotation tests which will provide a first look at actual versus estimated nickel recoveries."

SUMMARY OF KEY STUDY RESULTS

Four representative drill core samples were collected in 2016 from new intersections of nickel-copper sulphides and were submitted to SGS Canada Inc. in Burnaby, BC for detailed mineralogical study. Three samples were collected from the new Mikissoq sulphide lens at the Imiak Hill Complex and one sample was collected from the P-058 target in the Fossilik area (see Table 1 and Figure 1). Samples consist of magmatic disseminated to blebby to net-textured sulphides having a maximum sulphur content of 12.5%.

Mineralogical analysis was conducted by QEMSCAN (Quantitative Evaluation of Minerals by Scanning Electron Microscopy), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Electron Microprobe Analysis (EMPA). Samples were analyzed both as core pieces (for mineral texture) and also stage pulverised to 90% passing 150 µm for modal mineralogy, grain size and process mineralogy characteristics (liberation, association and exposure).

Key results of the study are summarized below. Further details including sample preparation, methodology, technical definitions, modal analyses, and details of mineral chemistry as well as liberation, association and exposure characteristics can be found in the SGS report posted on the NAN website.

Table 1: Mineralized Samples from Maniitsoq Exploration Targets used in the Mineralogical Study

Sample
Name
Target
Area
Hole # Ni (%) Cu (%) Co (%) S (%) Comments
D01728 P-058 MQ-16-105 1.42 0.10 0.04 6.54 Disseminated to blebby sulphides
D01729 Mikissoq MQ-16-117 2.10 0.21 0.05 7.06 Disseminated to blebby sulphides
D01730 Mikissoq MQ-16-117 3.63 1.07 0.06 12.50 Blebby to net-textured sulphides
D01731 Mikissoq MQ-16-113 1.84 0.32 0.03 7.41 Disseminated to blebby sulphides

Modal Analyses
The modal mineral abundances were determined in both drill core pieces and in crushed samples. Sulphide minerals comprise pyrrhotite, pentlandite, pyrite and chalcopyrite and the main silicate minerals are orthopyroxene, amphibole, clinopyroxene and feldspars. Talc was identified by QEMSCAN in all samples and confirmed by XRD analysis for samples D01728 from target P-058 and D01730 from Mikissoq. Talc abundances (in crushed samples) were 0.88% for the P-058 sample and 4.1 to 10.1% for the Mikissoq samples.

Grain size
The D50 (µm) passing values determined on the crushed samples are presented in Table 2. This value is defined as the median grain size within the sample where 50% of the particles are coarser and 50% of the particles are finer than the particle size stated.

Table 2: D50 Grain Size Distribution

Mineral D50 (µm) Sample ID
D 01728 D 01729 D 01730 D 01731
Pentlandite 45 42 46 45
Chalcopyrite 26 28 34 32
Fe-Sulphides 61 50 47 49
Hard Silicates 73 44 48 58
Soft Silicates 18 18 25 15
Carbonates 14 12 13 21
Oxides 19 18 16 17
Particle 73 49 54 61

Nickel, Copper and Cobalt Deportment

Elemental deportment for nickel, copper and cobalt in each sample were calculated using the EMPA and QEMSCAN data and are shown (in wt %) in Table 3. On average, pentlandite accounts for > 93% of the total nickel in each sample. Pyrrhotite accounts for 2.3 - 4.4% of the total nickel and silicate minerals account for the remainder. Chalcopyrite carries 100% of the copper. Pentlandite and pyrite are the main carriers of cobalt. The deportment of cobalt in the samples is linked to the relative proportions of pentlandite and pyrite in the samples.

Table 3: Summary of Nickel, Cobalt and Copper Deportment (Normalized)

Element Mineral Elemental Mass %
D 01728 D 01729 D 01730 D 01731
Nickel (Ni) Pentlandite 93.5 95.1 95.9 94.4
Pyrrhotite 4.42 2.31 2.88 3.39
Orthopyroxene 1.09 1.02 0.45 1.40
Clinopyroxene 0.25 0.02 0.15 0.36
Amphibole 0.60 1.06 0.24 0.17
Biotite/Phlogopite 0.02 0.12 0.00 0.02
Talc 0.07 0.40 0.34 0.26
Copper (Cu) Chalcopyrite 100 100.0 100.0 100.0
Cobalt (Co) Pentlandite 73.8 41.2 76.7 64.0
Pyrite 26.2 58.8 23.3 36.0

Potential Recovery of Pentlandite and Chalcopyrite

The potential recovery characteristics of pentlandite and chalcopyrite for the sample suite are summarized in Table 4. Potentially recoverable pentlandite ranges from approximately 95 to 97% for all samples. Potentially recoverable chalcopyrite ranges from approximately 90 to 94% for the Mikissoq samples and 75% for the P-058 sample. Talc could have a potential impact on the recovery of pentlandite through flotation unless managed during metallurgical processing, typically through the use of dispersants and talc depressants.

Potential recovery is the percent of the mineral (not value metal) that can potentially be recovered through flotation to produce a rougher concentrate. It is calculated using liberation, association and exposure of the grains (on a two dimensional surface area) and is used as a predictive tool to benchmark samples.

The following results are based on the mineralogical analysis and do not reflect other recovery factors that could occur in the actual metallurgical processes and should only be used as a guide to the metallurgical performance.

Table 4: Summary of Potential Recovery for Pentlandite and Chalcopyrite

Mineral Potential Recovery
(mass %)
D01728 D01729 D01730 D01731
Pentlandite Potentially Recoverable 94.9 96.2 96.8 96.8
Non Recoverable 5.1 3.8 3.2 3.2
Chalcopyrite Potentially Recoverable 75.2 93.9 94.3 90.6
Non Recoverable 24.8 6.1 5.7 9.4

Qualified Person

Expert services relating to the mineralogical study were provided by SGS Canada Inc. in Burnaby, BC, an independent service company. The work was carried out under the supervision of Ms. Dominique Lascelles (M. Eng.) and Ms. Sarah Prout (PhD), Manager of Metallurgy, Vancouver Metallurgical Operations and Senior Mineralogist, respectively, with SGS. The information in this release was reviewed and prepared under the direction of Patricia Tirschmann, P. Geo, Vice President of Exploration for NAN, who is a qualified person as defined by National Instruments 43-101.

About the Company

NAN is a mineral exploration company with 100% owned properties in Maniitsoq, Greenland and Sudbury, Ontario.

The Maniitsoq property in Greenland is a Camp scale project comprising 2,985 square km covering numerous high-grade nickel-copper sulphide occurrences associated with norite and other mafic-ultramafic intrusions of the Greenland Norite Belt (GNB). The >75km-long belt is situated along, and near, the southwest coast of Greenland accessible from the existing Seqi deep water port (See NAN News Release dated January 19, 2015) with an all year round shipping season and abundant hydro-electric potential.

The Company's Post Creek/Halcyon property in Sudbury is strategically located adjacent to the past producing Podolsky copper-nickel-platinum group metal deposit of KGHM International Ltd. The property lies along an interpreted extension of the Whistle Offset embayment structure. Such geological structures host major Ni-Cu-PGM deposits and producing mines within the Sudbury Camp.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" under applicable securities laws concerning the business, operations and financial performance and condition of the Company. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the success of exploration activities; impact of mineralogy, estimation of mineral resources at mineral projects of the Company; the future economics of minerals including nickel and copper; synergies and financial impact facilities; the benefits of the development potential of the properties of the Company and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are based on a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Many of these assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of the Company and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct.

Factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such forward-looking statements include variations in metal grades, changes in market conditions, variations in recovery rates, risks relating to international operations, fluctuating metal prices and currency exchange rates, and other risks of the mining industry, including but not limited to the failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated. The Company cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. Investors and others who base themselves on forward-looking statements should carefully consider the above factors as well as the uncertainties they represent and the risk they entail. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in this press release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws.

Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. Statements concerning mineral reserve and resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements to the extent they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered if the property is developed.

Statements about the Company's future expectations and all other statements in this press release other than historical facts are "forward looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and as that term defined in the Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbours created thereby. Since these statements involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the Company's actual results may differ materially from the expected results. For further information on the project, please see National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) technical report prepared by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (SRK) dated effective March 24th, 2016, titled "Independent Technical Report for the Maniitsoq Nickel-Copper-PGM Project, Greenland", available under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com or at www.northamericannickel.com.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Mark Fedikow
President
North American Nickel Inc.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

To view Figure 1, click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/8825m2.pdf

Contact Information:
North American Nickel Inc.
Jaclyn Ruptash
Corporate Communications
604-770-4334
Toll free: 1-866-816-0118