The Wellgreen Resource area of the Nickel Shäw Project in Canada. (Credit: Nickel Creek Platinum Corp.)
The Nickel Shäw Project is one of the largest undeveloped nickel sulphide and Platinum Group Metals (PGM) deposits in North America (Credit: James St. John/ Flickr)
Drilling results at the project. (Credit: CNW Group/Nickel Creek Platinum Corp.)

The Nickel Shäw Project in Canada is one of the largest undeveloped nickel sulphide and Platinum Group Metals (PGM) deposits in North America, with more than 2.4 billion pounds of nickel, 1.2 billion pounds of copper, 6.9 million ounces of PGMs and 137 million pounds of cobalt in the measured and indicated mineral resource categories.

The project is being developed by its 100% owner Nickel Creek Platinum.

The property features an extensive nickel (Ni)- copper (Cu)- cobalt (Co)-PGM mineralised system in mafic/ultramafic intrusions related to Triassic-age flood basalts.

Nickel Creek Platinum announced the results of a positive pre-feasibility study (PFS) for Nickel Shäw Project in August 2023.

According to the PFS, the project will entail an initial capital expenditure of C$1.7bn ($1.25bn) over the three-year pre-production period and an additional C$600m in sustaining capital over the 19 years of life of mine (LOM).

Location and Accessibility

The Nickel Shäw Project is located around 317km northwest of Whitehorse city in the southwest of Yukon Territory in Canada. The site can be accessed by an all-weather road from the paved Alaska Highway, which connects to deep sea ports in Haines & Skagway Alaska.

Overall, the project comprises 711 mineral claims and 91 mining leases in seven groups totalling an area of 14,650 hectares (ha).

An all-weather NAV CANADA-maintained airstrip is situated around 30km southeast of the project site at Burwash Landing.

Ownership History of the Nickel Shäw Project

In April 1999, Kaieteur Resource Corporation (formerly International All-North Resources), Northern Platinum, and J. Patrick Sheridan entered into the agreement related to Northern Platinum’s interest in the Arch Joint Venture.

According to the agreement, Northern Platinum agreed to purchase All-North interest in the project from Kaieteur. The agreement confirmed that Northern Platinum received the remaining 80% interest in the project apart from the 20% it already had in the property.

Northern Platinum was acquired by Prophecy Resource in September 2010, becoming the 100% owner of the property.

In June 2011, Prophecy transferred all its North American platinum and nickel assets and 100% interest in the project to 0905144 B.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific Coast Nickel.

Immediately after the transaction, Pacific Coast changed its name to Prophecy Platinum and then, to Wellgreen Platinum in December 2013.

Wellgreen again renamed itself to Nickel Creek Platinum in January 2018.

Geology and Mineralisation

The Nickel Shäw Project hosts the main Ni-Cu-Co-PGM Wellgreen deposit, as well as the Arch, Burwash, Formula, Musk and Quill claims.

The Wellgreen deposit lies within and along Upper Triassic (Kluane) ultramafic-mafic body’s lower margin, situated within the Quill Creek Complex.

The main structure of the Quill Creek Complex, the Wellgreen Deposit, and Quill intrusions stretches 4.7km and is up to 1km wide. A smaller mass of similar intrusive called Arch intrusive is located along strike to the northwest.

The Burwash intrusion lies to the southeast of the complex and is a continuation of the Quill intrusion.

Mineralisation at the property is primarily located within the Quill Creek Complex with the main zone having a strike length of 1.7km and thickness ranging from 20m on the western end to nearly 300m at the eastern end.

The depth of the mineralisation also ranges from several metres at the west of the deposit to more than 500m at the east.

The mineralisation of the project is divided into Far East, East, West, and Far West Zones with the connecting Central Zone, while the North Arm Zone is interpreted to be a splay off of the Far East Zone.

The easternmost part of the Wellgreen Deposit intrusion falls under the Far East Zone.

Nickel Shäw Mineral Resource Estimate

In June 2023, an updated mineral resource estimate for the project was published by Nickel Creek.

The revised estimate for the Wellgreen Deposit increased measured mineral resource tonnage by 31% to 122,363 kilo tonnes (kt) and indicated mineral resource tonnage by 37% to 314,332kt.

Contained Ni in the two categories jumped by 31% to 2.47 billion lbs. The grades largely remained unchanged with the measured and indicated mineral resource grades at 0.26% Ni, 0.13% Cu, 0.014% Co, 0.23 g/t Pd, 0.22 g/t Pt and 0.04 g/t Au.

Mining and Ore Processing

The Nickel Shäw project is expected to use conventional open pit methods to ensure economic extraction of minerals.

The ore will be transported to a primary crusher situated adjacent to the pit via trucks. It will be conveyed out of the valley to a 45,000 tonnes per day (tpd) ore concentrator.

A conventional Ni-Cu-PGM flotation concentrator will deliver bulk Ni-Cu-PGM concentrate or alternatively into split concentrates of nickel and copper.

On average, the annual LOM concentrates production is expected to be 103,100 dry metric tonne (dmt) of Bulk concentrate, 95,000dmt of Ni concentrate and 19,600dmt Cu concentrate.

The concentrate will be trucked 480km to the Port of Skagway Ore Terminal for deliveries.

The tailings from the project will be deposited in a tailings storage facility beside the concentrator. The Ni-Cu-Co-PGM project will source power primarily from a liquified natural gas (LNG) power plant.

Contractors Involved

AGP Mining Consultants and Independent Mining Consultants prepared the 2018 NI 43-101 Resource Update report of the Nickel Shäw Project.

The PFS for the project was prepared by AGP Consultants.