Ni-Cu-Co-PGE Samapleu discoveries, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa

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On January 15, 2009 (“Effective Date”), Sama Nickel entered into a Syndicate Agreement (“SA”) with La Société pour le Développement Minier de la Côte d’Ivoire (“SODEMI”), a parastatal organization, whereby Sama Nickel has indicated a particular interest in the exploration of an area covered by Permit No. 123 (“PR123”), held by SODEMI, located in Côte d’Ivoire.  PR123 encompasses approximately 446 square kilometres.

Upon execution of the SA, Sama Nickel became responsible to finance exploration work programs on behalf of the SA during the exploration phase of the project through completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study (“BFS”).  SODEMI will not contribute to work conducted under the SA.  On October 25, 2015, Sama Nickel and SODEMI extended certain terms of PR123 resulting in a license extension to October 25, 2017.

The ownership of the future JV shall be allocated as follows:

Sama Nickel

60%

SODEMI

30%

Côte d’Ivoire Government

10%

100%

The company’s exploration objective is to delineate massive sulphide reservoirs that could be the source of high grade nickel (“Ni”) – copper (“Cu”) – palladium (“Pb”) lenses intercepted in shallower boreholes at the Samapleu deposits.

The Table 1 has select highlights of high-grade drill results at the Samapleu and Yepleu deposits (Figure 1).

Table 1: Highlight table of high-grade drill intercepts previously reported

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In 2013, Sama purchased their first Coreteck track mounted CSD1300G wire line drill rig. A second drill rig was purchased in 2014. Since then, all drilling activities were performed internally. Table 2 summarizes the drilling programs from July 2010 to September 2016.

Near surface exploration at the Samapleu Project (< 150 m deep) returned centrally located massive sulphide lenses and veins stock works encased in a thick halo of disseminated sulphide.  Nickel and copper tenors of up to 4-5% and 6-8%, respectively, were obtained in massive sulphide material. Eleven boreholes were drilled testing the Tri-dimensional Conductivity Depth Imaging (“CDI”) targets. All high priority CDI targets could be related to the presence of mineralization in various concentrations including semi-massive to massive lenses within what Sama believes to be the mineralized trend extending at depth and laterally.

Hole SM44-693140 intercepted a continuous mineralized zone of 149 m grading 0.30% nickel 0.29% copper, 0.04% cobalt, 0.42 grams per tonne (“gpt”) palladium. The interval started 347 m from surface and included several semi-massive high grade sulphide lenses, including a 30 m combined interval grading 0.50% nickel, 0.89% copper and 0.83 gpt palladium within intercepts of up to 2.06% nickel and 1.54% nickel.

Hole SM44-683140B intercepted a total of 91m of mineralized pyroxenite with several semi-massive to massive sulphide stringers and lenses before being terminated within the mineralization due to maximum depth capability of our drill rig. Tenors of up to 6.55% copper and an interval of 3.4 m grading 1.12% nickel, 0.50% copper and 1.61 gpt palladium were intercepted at the bottom of the hole which suggest that the mineralization continued at depth.

Hole SM44-428267 intersected 54 m of mineralized pyroxenite, grading 0.96% nickel, 0.76% copper and 0.74 gpt palladium, including a combined 8.0 m of massive sulphide grading 4.08% nickel, 2.43% copper & 2.92 gpt palladium at the Samapleu Main deposit

Several holes should be deepened using a more powerful drilling rig to fully test the bottom of the pipe-like intrusion that forms the large fold and returns very strong conductivity responses over a strike length of 1.6 km and links the Samapleu Main and the Extension 1 deposits.

Drilling results confirm the pipe-like intrusion as a 1.6 km long, large fold linking the Samapleu Main and the Extension 1 deposits and solidifies the geological model at depth.

It is planned to perform down hole electromagnetic surveys (“DHTEM”) on the SM34-564718 at the Samapleu Main deposit and the recently drilled 342 m long GR72-787708 at the Grata property.

Table 2: Drilling programs from July 2010 to September 2016

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Samapleu Extension 1 Deposit

The Samapleu Extension 1 deposit was discovered by Sama in June 2010 and is located 1.3 km to the north of the Samapleu Main deposit.  The surface expression of the ultramafic‑mafic geological host of the Samapleu Extension 1 deposit and the newly discovered SM34 Sector is approximately 2,000 m long by 50 m to 200 m wide and is still open in both directions.  The ultramafic‑mafic host is oriented northeast‑southwest.

Sixty-four boreholes for 11,557 m were drilled since 2010 at the Samapleu Extension 1 deposit.  Borehole SM24-112519 returned 122.0 m grading 0.44% nickel and 0.32% copper and 0.94 gpt of palladium, including 11.0 m @ 1.88% nickel, 0.78% copper and 2.84 gpt palladium; borehole SM25‑080542 returned 38.5 m at 0.46% nickel and 0.50% copper and 0.85 gpt palladium and 0.12 gpt platinum; and borehole SM25‑039587 returned 129.2 m at 0.26% nickel and 0.17% copper, including 0.41 gpt palladium and 0.06 gpt platinum.

Yepleu Occurrence

On June 6, 2013, Sama announced the discovery of mineralized surface outcrops grading up to 1.39% nickel and 2.26% copper sulphide (tested using a hand‑held Niton XRF analyzer) located 18 km southwest of the Samapleu nickel-copper Deposit.

The discovery, named Yepleu, shows outcrops with up to 25% disseminated sulphide mineralization in mafic and ultramafic rocks and strong mineralization seen at surface on several other outcrops along a NW-SE strike length of 1.7 km, with some of them showing continuous mineralized horizon of up to 25 m strike length.

The sector corresponds to a strong HTEM chargeability anomaly that covers an area of 6 km by 4 km and appears to be open to the west, southwest and south.

The disseminated mineralization is typically characterised by fine isolated grains to large granular aggregates of nickel, copper and iron sulphides.  Sulphide phases observed so far include pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, pentlandite and minor pyrite.  Pentlandite occurs as inclusions in pyrrhotite.  Disseminated sulphide occurs as fine grains of 0.5 to 1 millimetre in diameter, showing a high ratio of pyrrhotite versus chalcopyrite.  Sulphide veinlets and fine filaments are also present.  Composite grains of sulphide material are dominant, forming sulphide masses of odd shapes ranging from a few millimetres up to several centimetres in any one dimension.  The semi-massive mineralization lenses show between 30% to 70% sulphide minerals.

Hole YE40-438348 (614 m deep) drilled in November 2015 (Figures 2 & 3), aimed at testing the geophysical anomaly interpreted from the 2013 HTEM.  As expected, the borehole intercepted a sub-horizontal sequence of 366 m thick of alternating diorite/anorthosite and mafic units, part of the Yacouba layered complex, intruding the Archean gneissic host rock and named the Upper Sequence.

A mineralized horizon of 6 m of nickel-copper mineralization, ranging from disseminated to semi-massive sulfides material is located between 360.65 m and 367.30 m, marking the bottom contact of the Upper Sequence. Below 366 m, another layered sequence is present showing a package of diorite/anorthosite together with pyroxenite also intruding the gneissic host rock, named as the Lower Sequence.  The borehole was terminated at 614 m for a technical reason, without reaching the targeted depth for the HTEM anomaly.

The disseminated and semi-massive sulphide mineralization of borehole YE40-438348 is characterised by aggregates of nickel, copper and iron sulphides, named pentlandite, chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite, respectively.  Pentlandite occurs together with pyrrhotite, while the chalcopyrite, being the third mineral of global abundance appears either mixed with the pentlandite or as late sulfide centimetric veins crosscutting the pentlandite-pyrrhotite material. Contacts between the semi-massive sulphide material and the surrounding quartzo-diorite with disseminated sulphides are irregular and sharp indicating that the semi-massive sulphide material has intruded the pyroxenite host originating from a source that is yet to be discovered. Preliminary results using a hand held Niton portable XRF analyser returned an interval of 6.65 m grading 0.30% nickel and 0.26% copper, including 0.55 m at 0.90% nickel and 0.80% copper. This mineralisation is identical in nature to the mineralisation observed near the surface in all the other boreholes drilled in 2014 at the Yepleu prospect.

A subset of the 2013 HTEM survey was re-interpreted by the Danish geophysical group Aarhus Geophysics using the Electromagnetic inversion methodology to validate Sama’s interpretation. Aarhus’ inversion model confirmed the presence of a conductor and that the area near the borehole YE40-438348 is the most conductive in the Yepleu area.

Sama is planning to perform a DHTEM in YE40-438348 to acquire more precision on the target at depth prior of executing additional boreholes, there is no execution date set yet for the DHTEM.

Mineral Resource

On December 22, 2015, the Company filed a revised 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate at the Company’s Samapleu Property.  The revised mineral resource estimate includes an indicated mineral resource of 14.1 Mt grading 0.24% nickel and 0.20% copper and containing 74.5 Mlb of nickel and 61.2 Mlb of copper, together with an inferred mineral resource of 26.5 Mt grading 0.24% nickel and 0.18% copper and containing 134 Mlb of nickel and 107.2 Mlb of copper (Table 3).

 

Table 3: Samapleu Project Mineral Resources at 0.10% nickel cut-off grade, December 2015.
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Figure 2: Surface geology and deep target at Yepleu/Zérégouiné (PR 123 – PR 300), cross-section A-A’ shown at figure 3.
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Figure 3: Cross-section at Yepleu showing hole YE40-436348 terminated short of the target for a technical reason. A mineralised horizon of 6.65 m grading 0.30% nickel and 0.26% copper, including 0.55 m at 0.90% nickel and 0.80% copper was intercepted at the interface between two layer assemblages