Properties: Norton-McFaulds Lake Area Group of Properties
The Norton-McFaulds project consists of 11 claim blocks within a 600,000 square kilometre area in the James Bay Lowlands that has been subject to extensive claim staking and exploration activity as a consequence of a spectacular discovery of copper-nickel-PGE by Noront Resources in August 2007. This remote area is 400 km west of James Bay in Northern Ontario and is home to several First Nation fly-in communities; Webequie to the north, Lansdowne House to the southwest, and Martin Falls to the southeast.
This remote area is a “New Frontier” in that it is largely unexplored. In addition to the logistical difficulty presented by the lack of infrastructure, the terrain is flat and swampy, and bedrock exposures are rare. The eastern portion is covered by a veneer of younger limestone which masks the underlying discovery potential. The exception to this was exploration conducted by De Beers who had been pursuing the distinctive magnetic signature of kimberlite pipes in their quest for diamonds. This resulted in the discovery of the Victor deposit near Attawapiskat, 300 km to the east, in the late 1990's. Subsequently, diamond exploration was conducted by numerous other companies. The primary diamond exploration techniques involve drilling small magnetic anomalies. Drilling of one such anomaly resulted in the accidental discovery of Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) mineralization containing Cu-Zn-Pb-Ag by Spider Resources in 2002. During the subsequent 5 years, 9 other VMS bodies were discovered by Spider, with assays as high as 8.02% copper over 18.8 metres.
During the ensuing second rush of exploration activity, many other companies made discoveries. In September 2005, Probe Mines Ltd also discovered VMS mineralization while drilling, intersecting 3.1% copper over 7.8 metres. In June of 2007, MacDonald Mines Ltd discovered nickel mineralization, 0.40% over 4.5 metres. In September 2007 Noront made a spectacular discovery, now known as the “Eagle One” where one drillhole intersected 117 metres of 4.1% nickel, 2.2% copper, 2.1 g/t platinum, and 7.1 g/t palladium. To the east of this discovery, in October 2007, Freewest Resources intersected 14.1 metres of 30.73 % chrome. A third wave of claim staking was now well underway. In February, 2008 Noront announced the discovery of a second massive sulphide deposit 2 km south of Eagle One. In May 2008, a joint Venture between WSR, Metalex and Arctic Star intersected 22 metres of massive sulphides containing zinc and copper mineralization, followed by an announcement in June of 95 metres and 131.5 metres intercepts of massive and semi massive sulphides. In late June Probe announced that it had encountered a 30 metre thick horizon of coarse disseminated and massive sulphide 30 km east of Noront’s discovery. July 30th, 2008, Noront announces the discovery of 47.8 metres containing 34.9% chrome.
This pace of discovery is unprecedented in Canadian history. Never has so much, and such variety of base metal mineralization been discovered in such a short period of time. Two conclusions must be drawn from these events; that their is an abundance of undiscovered mineral deposits in an unusually metal rich area; that only a large well developed geological complex, similar that that in Sudbury, Bushveld or Norils'k could produce the quantity, variety and quality of mineralization discovered thus far. Only limited physical examination of the area has been undertaken by the Ontario Geological Survey (OGS), consisting of regional-scale mapping and airborne magnetic surveys at line spacing from 200 m to 400 m. Because of topography and overburden cover, geological exposures are scarce, and therefore an understanding of the geology of this area is so weak, that it is understandable that an extensive mineralizing system remains hidden. However, based on a few bedrock exposures, drill core and magnetic surveys, it can be seen that an extensive plutonic – volcanic system capable of producing this mineralization, and more, exists.
The company has had property in this area since 2000 when it acquired the “Norton” nickel-copper-cobalt deposit with a 43-101 compliant resource. At the beginning of 2008 the company acquired two properties on the basis of geological similarities to Norton; these are the Max and Ox properties. With additional information being generated by drilling at Noront’s discovery, the nature of this deposit became known; the mineralization was contained in a feeder dyke, with similarities to that found in Voisey’s Bay and Norils'k. This became a key to further property acquisition by the company. Feeder dykes, which feed or link magma chambers, can be interpreted from magnetic surveys. Several large layered mafic intrusions were known and had been mostly staked previously; however, the base of these intrusions, and the wallrock surrounding was left open for staking. The result was the staking of several properties and subsequently flying VTEM surveys to generate drill targets.