North American Nickel Provides Maniitsoq Project Update and Strategy for 2018 Exploration

January 17, 2018

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- North American Nickel Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NAN) (OTCBB:WSCRF) (CUSIP:65704T 108) (the "Company" or “NAN”) is pleased to provide an exploration update and summary of significant results on its 100% owned Maniitsoq nickel-copper-cobalt-PGM project in Southwest Greenland.

In 2017, the Company implemented an $11.1M exploration program consisting of 8,767 metres of diamond drilling in 23 holes, two regional and four detailed induced polarisation (IP) surveys covering 13km2, surface and borehole electromagnetic (EM) surveys, borehole gyro, optical televiewer and physical properties surveys, a comprehensive review of geochemistry and petrology of the noritic intrusions, a surface geology sampling and mapping program, and 3D modeling of the mineral zones.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • In 2017, the Company continued its systematic evaluation of the depth extent of known mineral zones to identify thicker and more extensive sheets of breccia-style mineralization. This work continues to advance the understanding of the host intrusions and refine geophysical targeting tools. The result has been the intersection of significant nickel-copper sulphide mineralization at multiple locations.
  • The Mikissoq zone was extended by 60 meters down plunge; the P-013 SE mineral zone was extended for 140m down-plunge and the P-058 zone at Fossilik was extended to a vertical depth of 650 m. Extensive zones of melanorite were mapped in the footprint of the mineral zones of the Imiak Hill Complex (IHC) as well as Fossilik.
  • Petrological and geochemical studies of the differentiated mafic intrusions underscores the importance of melanorite as a host to high grade semi-massive breccia style nickel-copper sulphides enveloped in a halo of lower grade mineralization.
  • Interpretation of IP and gravity data coupled with petrology and geochemistry highlights the potential for the known mineral zones to expand in width within the adjacent melanorite intrusions.

Follow-up in 2018 will focus attention on the larger differentiated intrusions where more continuous zones of high Ni tenor breccia style sulphide mineralization can be identified by EM methods. The program of work will be driven by electromagnetic methods that are sensitive to the core zones of high grade Ni sulphide.

NAN CEO, Keith Morrison commented: “The extensive occurrence of sulphide mineralization with high nickel, copper and cobalt concentrations in sulphide continues to provide the focus for exploration in depositional environments where geological processes have concentrated the mineralization. The importance of the larger bodies of melanorite as hosts to more continuous zones of breccia style sulphide mineralization within a halo of disseminated sulphide is an important driver to the discovery of mineralization. Exploration in 2018 will focus attention on potentially more continuous breccia style mineralization contained in melanorite bodies at Fossilik and the IHC.”  

DRILLING

Drilling expanded the Mikissoq zone by 60 metres in a down plunge direction (News Release dated October 10, 2017), extended the P-013 SE mineral zone by 140m down-plunge (News Release dated November 14, 2017), extended the P-058 zone to a vertical depth of 650m (News Release dated November 23, 2017), and encountered new nickel intersections at the P-004 target at Fossilik (News Release dated December 18, 2017). The potential for the mineralized zone at P-058 to extend into a larger melanorite body is supported by geological, gravity, and IP data. The Mikissoq zone breccia sulphide mineralization is also open at depth, but the EM signature points back to the heart of the known mineral zone, and the IP response related to the known near-surface disseminated sulphide.

Table 1 gives a summary of selected drilling highlights for each of these mineralized areas and a location map (Figure 1) may be viewed using the link provided at the end of the release.  

TABLE 1:  Selected 2017 Assay Results from Mikissoq, Spotty Hill, P-058, P-004 and P-013 SE

Hole
Number

 From
(m)

To
(m)

Core
Length
(m)
Ni
%

Cu
%

Co
%

S %


Pt 
g/t

Pd 
g/t

Au 
g/t

*Ni Eq
%

 IHC: Mikissoq
 MQ-17-135 359.85 435.60 75.75 1.10 0.43 0.03 4.02 0.03 0.02 0.07 1.54 
  incl.359.85 370.10 10.25 2.29 1.33 0.05 8.83 0.03 0.03 0.21 3.43 
  and416.35 435.60 19.25 1.89 0.26 0.04 6.70 0.03 0.02 0.02 2.32 
  incl.417.00 423.00 6.00 2.94 0.29 0.07 10.72 0.02 0.02 0.01 3.55 
  and425.90 426.20 0.30 9.55 0.80 0.24 28.98 0.31 0.19 0.11 11.57 
 IHC: Spotty Hill
 MQ-17-143 381.00 388.80 7.80 1.35 0.26 0.04 5.42 0.25 0.28 1.32 2.30 
  incl.381.00 386.00 5.00 1.69 0.33 0.05 6.89 0.33 0.34 2.04 3.02 
  incl.381.00 382.00 1.00 1.62 0.93 0.04 6.15 0.34 0.37 10.00* 5.94 
 Fossilik: P-058
 MQ-17-146 408.30 410.20 1.90 2.51 0.15 0.08 14.94 0.00** 0.02 0.01 3.10 
  incl.408.30 408.90 0.60 4.70 0.40 0.18 30.89 BD 0.03 0.03 5.99 
  and409.80 410.20 0.40 4.73 0.07 0.12 23.67 0.01 0.04 0.01 5.51 
             
  451.50 462.20 10.70 2.53 1.26 0.07 14.63 0.06 0.02 0.03 3.70 
  incl.452.50 456.00 3.50 4.97 2.30 0.13 28.26 0.09 0.04 0.07 7.10 
  and458.00 460.20 2.20 3.35 1.31 0.10 19.16 0.13 0.02 0.01 4.74 
 Fossilik: P-004
 MQ-17-153 201.60 216.70 15.10 0.51 0.13 0.02 2.05 0.06 0.01 0.06 0.74 
  incl.208.00 216.00 8.00 0.76 0.18 0.03 3.18 0.08 0.02 0.07 1.07 
 P-013 SE
 MQ-17-140 247.35 268.20 20.85 0.65 0.47 0.02 2.77 0.11 0.05 0.22 1.13 
  incl.247.35 261.60 14.25 0.75 0.64 0.02 3.35 0.15 0.07 0.30 1.39 
  and267.00 268.20 1.20 1.65 0.12 0.04 5.61 0.05 0.09 0.05 2.00 
             
 MQ-17-142 298.00 303.70 5.70 0.50 0.51 0.02 2.48 0.07 0.06 0.66 1.13 

Notes:
Intervals represent core lengths, not necessarily true widths
*Ni EQ was calculated based on the following formula using London Metal Exchange cash offer prices for Ni, Cu and Co on January 12, 2018 and London Bullion Market Association metal prices for Pt, Pt and Au on January 12, 2018 (PM) and assuming 100% metal recoveries: 
*Ni EQ = Ni% + (Cu% x3.21/5.75) + (Co% x 34.25/5.75) + ((Pt g/t / 10000) x (991*14.5833/5.75)) + ((Pd g/t / 10000) x (1098 *14.5833/5.75)) + (Au g/t / 10000) x (1326.80*14.5833/5.75)) 
(Metal prices are per pound and in $US).

* Sample returned > 10 g/t and was cut to 10 g/t.
** Assay values for Pt is between 0.001 and 0.005 g/t, rounds to “0”
BD = Below Detection

Assays previously reported in news releases provided in the text.

GEOLOGICAL SETTING, MAPPING AND 3D MODELLING

In 2017, NAN geologists completed additional detailed mapping in and adjacent to the IHC and Fossilik areas, identifying new norite gossans and providing important structural information. Downhole gyro and optical televiewer surveys facilitated the collection of systematic subsurface structural data and downhole physical properties surveys provided magnetic, gamma, chargeability and resistivity data for comparison to surface geophysical survey results. Surface and borehole geochemical sampling results are being used to help identify melanorite stratigraphy. SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. continued to provide structural geology support and is currently completing updated 3D models for mineralized zones and the larger IHC and Fossilik areas.

This work, which will ultimately help direct exploration targeting in 2018, is leading to a better understanding of the geometry of the mineralized zones; the effects of structural offsets; the calibration of geophysical responses to sulphide volume and content and; and the importance of melanorite as sulphide hosts.

GEOPHYSICAL RESPONSE TO MASSIVE SULPHIDE 

Maniitsoq mineralization comprises disseminated, blebby, net-textured, semi-massive and massive sulphides. Secondary structural processes have affected primary sulphides resulting in the formation of stringers, veins, fracture fillings and sulphide breccia veins. The sulphide zones are commonly represented by multiple discrete EM plates and this is interpreted to be due, at least in part, to the remobilization and disruption of primary magmatic sulphides. In 2017, large (13km2) IP surveys, were carried out in the IHC and Fossilik areas to define the overall envelope of existing zones and extensions of mineralized norite stratigraphy. These surveys respond well to larger disseminated sulphide haloes that surround the breccia style of mineralization

The EM method remains a critical workhorse, and the application of this method in less deformed melanorite bodies where the mineralization is connected will be a focus for exploration in 2018.

MELANORITE FOCUS FOR FUTURE EXPLORATION

The Maniitsoq mineralization hosted in melanorite typically consists of disseminated sulphide containing a higher grade discontinuous breccia style of semi-massive sulphide mineralization. Previous work has established the very high nickel concentrations in 100% sulphide that support the economic viability of not just breccia styles of mineralization, but also the higher grade disseminated sulphide style of mineralization. Work in 2017 has focused on the identification of the most extensive melanorite intrusions using surface and borehole geochemistry, WV-3 satellite imagery, and information from previous EM and IP surveys.

In 2018, NAN plans to implement a large exploration program at Maniitsoq primarily comprising drilling and geophysical surveys supported by the collection of geological, geochemical and structural information and 3D modeling.  These efforts will be focussed on targeting the melanorite portions of prioritized intrusions, such as Fossilik, which are viewed as having the best potential to host economic accumulations of nickel sulphides.

PROJECT PIPELINE

In the context of rising nickel prices and positive developments in the electric vehicle market, NAN will look to enhance shareholder value by aggressively expanding its nickel sulphide project pipeline. NAN staff are proceeding with compilation work on prospective geological environments related to North American Archean cratonic margins where structural space controls the development of mafic-ultramafic intrusions. The objective of this work is to identify underexplored or unexplored open system intrusions where high large zones of high grade sulphide mineralization are controlled within the footprints of very small intrusions.

Ongoing work continues to improve the geological understanding and provide focus for exploration on the Post Creek Property at the NE margin of the Sudbury Basin. The property lies along the extension of the Whistle Offset dyke structure. Surface mapping and petrology has identified pods of quartz diorite and extensive domains of Sudbury Breccia along strike from the Whistle Offset.

Technical Information; Qualified Person

The Company is not aware of any legal, political, environmental or other risks that could materially affect the potential development of the project other than those set out in its annual information form filed on www.sedar.com. Please see below under the heading "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements" for further details regarding risks facing the Company.

All technical information in this release has been reviewed and approved by Peter C. Lightfoot, P.Geo. (Chief Geologist) and Patricia Tirschmann, P.Geo (VP Exploration), who are the Qualified Persons for the Company.

About North American Nickel

North American Nickel 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 with an all year round shipping season and abundant hydro-electric potential.

The 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 the extension of the Whistle Offset dyke 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 17th, 2017, titled “Updated Independent Technical Report for the Maniitsoq Nickel-Copper-Cobalt-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.

For more information contact:

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

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.

A PDF accompanying this announcement is available at http://resource.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/e6dabace-2e88-4798-a6fe-7391e1e7db6e

Primary Logo

Source: North American Nickel Inc.
604.770.4334 1.866.816.0118
C/o Bennett Jones LLP Attn: Sander Grieve 3400 - One First Canadian Place, P.O. Box 130,
Toronto, Ontario, M5X 1A4