Potential for High Nickel Recoveries at Imiak and Spotty Hill on North American Nickel's Maniitsoq Project Based on QEMSCAN Mineralogical Analyses

June 11, 2013

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 11, 2013) - 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 three samples of mineralized drill core selected by NAN from NAN's 100% owned Maniitsoq Ni-Cu-Co-PGE sulphide project in southwest Greenland. Two of the samples came from the Imiak Hill zone and one from the Spotty Hill zone.

The objectives of the study were to identify and quantify the nickel, copper and cobalt-bearing minerals within the samples and to determine the liberation and association characteristics of the nickel and copper sulphides. A copy of the report is posted on the NAN website ( Highlights and selected results are presented below.

John Pattison, North American Nickel's Chief Geologist states: "QEMSCAN is a new technology that gives us a detailed picture of the mineralogy of our sulphide mineralization and host rocks and how it might affect the metallurgy in a mining/processing scenario. At this early stage of exploration it is very helpful for management and investors to know that, based on the mineralogical characteristics of the samples analyzed, there is potential for high nickel recoveries from both the Imiak and Spotty Hill zones."


  • All three samples show high potential nickel recovery. Mineralogically limiting grade-recovery curves indicate maximum potential nickel grades of 35% at recoveries of 84 to 87%.
  • Pentlandite is the main nickel-bearing mineral and it contains 95.5 to 96.3% of all the nickel in the samples. Silicate hosted nickel comprises less than 1% of all the nickel.
  • Pentlandite P80 grain sizes range from 53 to 65 micrometre.
  • Total potentially floatable pentlandite ranges from 96.3 to 97.6%.
  • All copper is hosted by chalcopyrite. Chalcopyrite P80 grain sizes range from 30 to 40 micrometre.
  • Potential recoveries for copper are variable across the samples. Mineralogically limiting grade- recovery curves indicate maximum potential copper grades of 34% at recoveries of 52 to 77%.
  • Total potentially floatable chalcopyrite ranges from 87.1 to 95.4%.
  • Pentlandite and pyrite are the main hosts of the cobalt in the samples.


Modal Analysis

The modal analyses (in wt%) for the three samples are listed in Table 1. All three contain significant quantities of pyrrhotite and pentlandite (8.2 to 12.3%). Amphibole is the dominant silicate mineral in samples from Imiak Hill (L163163 and L163164) while orthopyroxene is the main silicate mineral in the sample from Spotty Hill (L163593).

To view Table 1, visit the following link:

Nickel, Copper and Cobalt Deportment

For the three samples, pentlandite contains 95.5 to 96.3% of the overall nickel in the sample while pyrrhotite hosts 2.7 to 4.0% and pyrite 0.02 to 0.17%. The silicate minerals (ortho- and clinopyroxene, amphibole and biotite / phlogopite) account for just 0.50 to 0.91% of the total nickel.

The copper in all three samples is contained entirely within chalcopyrite.

Cobalt is mainly contained within pentlandite (89.4%) in sample L163163 but in samples L163164 and L163593 it is split about evenly between pentlandite (45.4 to 54%) and pyrite (46 to 54.6%).

Grain Size

The P80s (80% passing criteria, represents the particle or mineral grain size at which 80% is finer than this value) of the minerals and overall particles are presented in Table 2.

To view Table 2, visit the following link:

Liberation Characteristics of Pentlandite and Chalcopyrite

In QEMSCAN liberation analysis, particles are classified into the following categories based on the exposed 2D surface area of the mineral-of-interest in percent:

Free = >95% surface area exposure of pentlandite (Pn) or chalcopyrite (Cpy).
Liberated = >80 surface area exposure of Pn or Cpy.
Non-Liberated but Floatable = Pn (or Cpy) with other mineral(s) combined show >95% surface area exposure, where Pn (or Cpy) shows >20% surface area exposure.
Not Floatable = Pn (or Cpy) with >20% surface area exposure combined with two or more other mineral groups or Pn (or Cpy) surface exposure is <20%.

The predicted flotation characteristics for pentlandite and chalcopyrite are summarized in tables 3 and 4, respectively. Total potentially floatable pentlandite ranges from 96.3 to 97.6% and total potentially floatable chalcopyrite ranges from 87.1 to 95.4%.

To view Tables 3 and 4, visit the following link:

Grade-Recovery Analyses

Mineralogically limiting grade-recovery analyses provide an indication of the theoretical maximum achievable elemental grade by recovery, based on the calculated mass of minerals and the total mass in each liberation category (individual particle liberation and grade). It is important to note that these results do not reflect any other physical factors (or flotation reagent kinetics) that could occur in the actual metallurgical process, such as possible fine-grained (<10 micrometre) sulphide and/or gangue entrainment (diluents) or very fine sulphide intergrowths on liberated grains that would make selective flotation difficult. Therefore, predicted results show much higher grade-recovery relationships than are actually achievable from the process. Nevertheless they do provide an indication of the potential nickel and copper recoveries. The mineralogically limiting grade-recovery curves for nickel and copper are presented in figures 1 and 2.

All three samples show remarkably consistent high predicted recoveries for nickel. For sample L163163, the grade-recovery curve indicates the maximum possible Ni grade is approximately 35% at a recovery of 86%. For L163164, the maximum possible Ni grade is approximately 35% at a recovery of 87%. For L163593 the maximum possible Ni grade is approximately 35% at a recovery of 84%.

For sample L163593, from the Spotty Hill zone, the maximum possible copper grade is approximately 34% at a Cu recovery of 72%.

Despite the fact samples L163163 and L163164 both come from the Imiak Hill zone and are contiguous samples in the same hole, their grade-recovery curves differ considerably. The curve for sample L163163 indicates the maximum possible Cu grade is approximately 34% at a Cu recovery of 52%. For L163164 the maximum possible Cu grade is approximately 34% at a Cu recovery of 77%.

Further study is required, but the relatively poor indicated recovery for sample L163163 may, at least in part, be related to the fact that of the three samples this one has the least amount of chalcopyrite.

To view Figures 1 and visit the following link:


NAN submitted the three drill core samples listed in Table 5 to SGS's Lakefield Advanced Mineralogy Facility for QEMSCAN mineralogical analysis. Two samples (L163163 and L163164) came from hole MQ-12-001, which was drilled on the Imiak Hill zone, and one sample (L163593) came from hole MQ-12-005, which tested the Spotty Hill Zone. Both holes were drilled in 2012 by NAN. The Imiak and Spotty Hill showings are located within 1.5 km of each other in the northern part of the Greenland norite belt on mineral exploration licence 2011/54 belonging to NAN.

To view Table 5, visit the following link:

SGS stage-ground the samples to 90% passing 150 micrometre (~80% passing 106 micrometre) and prepared a graphite-impregnated polished section from a sub-sample of each sample. The polished sections were then analysed by QEMSCAN.

QEMSCAN is an acronym for Quantitative Evaluation of Materials by Scanning Electron Microscopy. It is an automated system that is configured to measure mineralogical variability based on chemistry at the micrometer-scale. QEMSCAN utilizes both the back-scattered electron (BSE) signal intensity as well as an Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDS) signal at each measurement point. EDS x-ray counts or spectra are used to assign mineral identities to each measurement point by comparing against a known mineral species identification program (SIP) or database. Mineral speciation, quantitative modal abundance and elemental deportment can be determined. Textural information such as core mapping, particle and mineral grain size and shape, mineral liberation, mineral associations, porosity, and matrix density can be captured and reported numerically and graphically.

Qualified Person

All technical information in this release has been reviewed by Dr. Mark Fedikow, P.Geo, who is the Qualified Person for the Company and President, North American Nickel Inc.

About North American Nickel

North American Nickel is a mineral exploration company with 100% owned properties in Maniitsoq, Greenland, Sudbury, Ontario, and the Thompson, Manitoba nickel belt. VMS Ventures Inc. (TSX VENTURE:VMS) owns approximately 27.5% of NAN.

The Maniitsoq property in Greenland is a Camp scale project comprising 4,983 square km's covering numerous high-grade nickel-copper sulphide occurrences associated with norite and other mafic- ultramafic intrusions of the Greenland Norite Belt (GNB). The 70km plus long belt is situated along, and near, the southwest coast of Greenland, which is pack ice free year round.

The first two discoveries of economic mineralization at Imiak Hill and Spotty Hill confirm the high value and potential of the GNB.

The Post Creek/Halcyon property in Sudbury is strategically located adjacent to the producing Podolsky copper-nickel-platinum group metal deposit of Quadra FNX Mining. 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.

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.

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.

Contact Information:

North American Nickel Inc.

Rick Mark

CEO and Chair

604-986-2020 or Toll free: 1-866-816-0118

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