maniitsoq overview

The Maniitsoq property in Greenland is a district scale project comprising 2,985 square km covering numerous high-grade nickel-copper cobalt-PGM occurrences associated with mafic-ultramafic intrusions of the Greenland Norite Belt (GNB). This >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. Greenland is a democratic, pro-mining country with a transparent regulatory system, competitive mining tax and no land claim issues (Figures 1 and 2).The property is 100% owned by North American Nickel.

The project is centred approximately 125 km north of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, and consists of two, contiguous, Mineral Exploration Licences (registration numbers 2011/54 and 2012/28) situated just east of the towns of Maniitsoq and Napasoq.

Early historical work on the property (1959-1973) consisted of geological mapping, prospecting and shallow diamond drilling. The result was the recognition of a 15 x 75 km belt of nickel-copper-bearing norite intrusions referred to as the Greenland Norite Belt. There was some notable success in the historic drilling particularly at Imiak Hill with a 9.85 m intersection grading 2.67% Ni and 0.60% Cu. A large fixed wing GeoTEM survey covering the GNB was commissioned by the Geological Survey of Greenland and Denmark (GEUS) in 1995 and flown by Geoterrex Limited. Between 1995 and 2000, the survey was followed up by two major mining companies: Cominco and Falconbridge, neither of which conducted any diamond drilling. However, both companies re-sampled historical drill core and confirmed many of the historical high-grade intersections as well as the generally strong nickel tenor of the sulphide mineralization throughout the entire GNB.

Subsequent to property acquisition, NAN has flown 13,497 line km of helicopter-borne SkyTEM/VTEM surveys between 2011 and 2015. These surveys were focused mainly on the GNB but also included several other prospective sites within the project area. Flight line spacing was 100-200 m and over two hundred electromagnetic (EM) anomalies were identified. Selected conductors were modeled and drill tested and mineralized norite was intersected at a number of locations including at the P-004, P-013, P-030, P-053, P-058, P-097, P-136, P-146 and P-149 targets. During the period 2012 to 2014, over half of the diamond drilling carried out by NAN was completed at the Imiak Hill Complex to test three mineralized norite intrusions: Imiak Hill, Mikissoq and Spotty Hill. This work identified zones of disseminated to massive sulphides at all three locations including significant high grade intersections such as 18.6m of 4.31% Ni and 0.62% Cu in drill hole MQ-13-026 at Imiak Hill.

North American Nickel has successfully completed year one and two of the three year strategy to carry out follow-up drilling at multiple mineralized targets identified in 2015 and 2016 in order to determine if one or more zones have the merit to warrant delineation drilling in 2017.

In 2015, the Company implemented an $8.3M exploration program consisting of 5,655 m of diamond drilling in 30 holes, a 6,696 line km helicopter-borne geophysical survey, 61.7 line km of surface electromagnetic (EM) surveying, a gravity survey, a ground geology program and acquisition of state-of-the-art Worldview-3 satellite data across the entire property. Integrated with our other exploration datasets, this new imagery provides NAN with the potential to directly target mineralization on the ground and to vastly improve on the level of mapping detail. (see Figures 3 and 4).

2015 drilling highlights included:

  • Spotty Hill zone extended 80m in down plunge direction and still open
  • Geophysical indication that Mikissoq continues in a down plunge direction
  • New nickel-copper sulphide discovery at P-059
  • Six widespread regional Ni-Cu sulphide occurrences (P-013, P-030, P-032, P-053, P-058 and P-059) with significant 2015 drill intersections.

The Company utilized these advanced targeting methods and the increased understanding of the nature of the mineralization and host rock and for 2016 aggressively completed 9,596 metres in 30 holes and two hole extensions testing the down plunge, strike extension, continuity and tonnage potential of mineralized zones assay results for 2016 still continue to be received and collated.

2016 Results to date include:

  • New discovery of norite-hosted nickel and copper sulphide mineralization at Mikissoq
  • New high grade nickel sulphide discovery at P-013 SE
  • New high grade nickel sulphide intersections at the P-058 zone
  • The expansion of the P-053 nickel sulphide zone

The company has reached an important point in the exploration of the Maniitsoq property in that we have now identified multiple centers of significant Ni-Cu sulphide mineralization (Figure 5) coupled with a better understanding of the geological setting as well as the nature of the mineralization and related geophysical responses. In addition, NAN is developing new regional and prospect scale targeting tools. The company anticipates a large follow-up drilling program in 2017 to drill test targets of merit from 2016 which have displayed continuity amongst multiple mineralized zones and demonstrate improving mineralization grades and widths with depth and will also be continuing the systematic exploration of the Maniitsoq property.


High definition mineralogical studies utilizing Quantitative Evaluation of Materials by Scanning Electron Microscopy (QEMSCAN), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) have been carried out on mineralized samples from Imiak Hill, Spotty Hill, P-013, P-030, P-032, P-053, P-058 and P-149 (see links to reports below).

These studies determined modal mineralogy, mineral texture, nickel, copper and cobalt deportment and the liberation/association/exposure characteristics of nickel, copper and iron sulphides for each sample. Results to date have indicated the following:

  • Mineralization consists of pyrrhotite, pentlandite, pyrite and chalcopyrite
  • Pentlandite is the main nickel-bearing mineral hosting > 90% of the nickel in all samples
  • All copper hosted by chalcopyrite
  • Potential pentlandite recoveries of > 95% for all samples

Predominantly pentlandite-hosted nickel may be an advantage to potential future economics as this sulphide mineral form traditionally supports very high nickel recoveries from conventional metallurgical processes.

The Mineralogical Characteristics of Six Samples of Nickel Mineralization from the Maniitsoq Project, Southwest Greenland (QEMSCAN Report) February 2015

The Mineralogical Characteristics of Three Samples of Nickel Mineralization From the Maniitsoq
Project, Southwest Greenland (QEMSCAN Report) June 2013


Drilling in 2015 expanded the Spotty Hill zone by 80 metres in a down plunge direction and resulted in the intersection of additional nickel-copper sulphides at six regional exploration targets including P-013, P-030, P-032, P-053, P-058 and P-059.

The Maniitsoq mineralization typically consists of pyrrhotite, pentlandite, pyrite and chalcopyrite. Previous high definition mineralogical studies identified pentlandite as being the primary nickel-bearing phase hosting > 90% of the nickel and indicated potentially high nickel recoveries using convention mineral processing techniques.

In July 2015, SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. of Toronto, ON carried out a three week structural and lithological mapping program including review of 2015 drill core. This work led to a better understanding of the geological setting including the identification of a widespread sedimentary basin which was intruded by mafic to ultramafic intrusions of the Greenland Norite Belt (GNB) and later subjected to metamorphism and poly-phase deformation. These features are similar to those of the Thompson Nickel Belt.

NAN geologists completed detailed mapping over several mineralized norite intrusions in 2015. This information was used by SRK in conjunction with drilling data to carry out 3-D modeling of the deformed norites and related mineralization in order to aid in drill hole targeting and this methodology promises to be useful in future follow-up drilling.

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 2015, step-out drilling which targeted the projected down plunge extents of mineralized zones, but not necessarily specific EM plates, continued to intersect mineralized norite.

EM methods have proven successful at identifying the higher grade, more sulphidic portions of a given zone but are not as effective at outlining the overall envelope of mineralization which can include significant accumulations of disseminated, blebby sulphides and/or less interconnected sulphides. In 2016, the company plans to carry out Induced Polarization (IP) test surveys to determine if this method is useful in defining the overall extents of mineralized zones.

The 2015 airborne survey completed the VTEM coverage over the GNB as defined on the Maniitsoq property. During the period extending from late July through to mid-September, DigitalGlobe of Longmont Colorado successfully collected high spatial resolution multi-spectral Worldview-3 satellite data across the entire property. Integrated with the Company’s other exploration datasets, this imagery provides the potential to directly target gossanous mineralization on the ground and to vastly improve on the level of mapping detail across the property.

Drill collar information and significant assay data from the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 drilling programs are provided as links below:

Significant 2015 Drilling Intersections at Maniitsoq
Collar Coordinates for all 2015 Maniitsoq Drilling
Significant 2014 Drilling Intersections at Maniitsoq
Collar Coordinates for all 2014 Maniitsoq Drilling
Significant 2013 Drilling Intersections at Maniitsoq
Collar Coordinates for all 2013 Maniitsoq Drilling
Significant 2012 Drilling Intersections at Maniitsoq
Collar Coordinates for all 2012 Maniitsoq Drilling

Quality Control and Qualified Person

The drilling was completed by George Downing Estate Drilling of Canada utilizing a Boyles JKS 300 diamond drill rig. Drill core samples (41mm BTW) are cut in half by a diamond saw on site. Half of the core is retained for reference purposes. Samples are generally 1.0 to 1.5 metre intervals or less at the discretion of the site geologists. Sample preparation is completed at the ALS Minerals preparation lab in Öjebyn, Sweden. Sample pulps are sent by air courier to ALS Minerals analytical laboratory in Loughrea, Ireland. Blank samples and commercially prepared and certified Ni sulphide analytical control standards with a range of grades are inserted in every batch of 20 samples or a minimum of one per sample batch. Analyses for Ni, Cu and Co are completed using a peroxide fusion preparation and ICP-AES finish (ME-ICP81). Analyses for Pt, Pd, and Au are by fire assay (30 grams nominal sample weight) with an ICP-AES finish (PGM-ICP23).

All technical information has been reviewed by Dr. Peter Lightfoot, Ph.D., P.Geo., who is the Qualified Person for the Company, Chief Geologist, North American Nickel Inc.


In 2015, the Company continued its systematic evaluation of the Maniitsoq property, significantly expanding the existing exploration database, advancing the understanding of both the geological setting and the nature of the sulphide mineralization, refining geophysical targeting tools and continuing to intersect nickel-copper sulphide mineralization at multiple locations.

In 2016, NAN plans to implement a large delineation drilling program at mineralized zones prioritized from the 2015 program. A key component NAN’s evolving exploration strategy is the integration of conventional EM geophysical tools with new complementary targeting tools in order to define the extent of prospective norite stratigraphy and the full extents of mineralized zones.

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