As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information
One of the most famous large, high-grade sulphide nickel deposits might be Voisey’s Bay.
In 1993, Albert Chislett and Chris Verbiski, while exploring for diamonds discovered significant sulphide mineralization south of Nain, Labrador.
Drilling at the site – now known as Discovery Hill – commenced in late 1994.
The second drill hole returned 41 meter’s of2.96% Ni, 1.89% Cu and 0.16% Co. The third, fourth and fifth drill holes returned similar grades.
An electromagnetic (EM) survey was done. Most rocks don’t conduct electricity, sulphide minerals do. Electromagnetic surveys take advantage of the fact that the iron sulphide pyrrhotite is a good conductor of electricity. A primary electromagnetic field is generated penetrating into the subsurface where it generates a much weaker secondary field around any conductive rocks in the area. Results indicated the presence of material that conducts electricity. A large EM anomaly had been found, it was drilled and the rest is mining history.
Hole VB-95-07 returned 104 m of high-grade massive sulphide core grading 3.9% Ni, 2.8% Cu and 0.14% Co. They had found the Ovoid, a huge, bowl-shaped accumulation of massive sulphides containing 32 million tonnes grading 2.83% Ni, 1.69% Cu and 0.12% Co.
Within a year, deep drilling east of the Ovoid had discovered a second nearby sulphide zone – the Eastern Deeps. A third discovery, the Reid Brook Zone was made just to the west of the Ovoid.
Several things stand out regarding the Voisey’s Bay deposit:
- The realized potential for additional discoveries, after the initial discovery, is extremely high because of the depositional model of these types of deposits.
- The Ovoid can be mined very easily, and extremely economically, by open-pit methods. It is the deposits ‘starter pit’ and makes mining the Eastern Deeps, Robert Friedland’s ‘Ocean of 1% nickel’ all that more attractive.
- At Voisey’s Bay a lot of high-grade nickel sulphide ore is close to surface and to deep-water access. Voisey’s Bay might be the only place in the world where this situation exists. The high price tag for Voisey’s Bay ($4.3b) was because the deposit was a game changer in the nickel sector. Nothing like it had been found before, and nothing like it has been found since.
Or has there?
Speculative fear (of missing out) and greed (reaping the great rewards associated with world class discoveries) has got to be on your radar screen.
If they aren’t, they should be.
Richard (Rick) Mills
About Richard Mills:
Richard lives with his family on a 160 acre ranch in northern British Columbia. He invests in the resource and biotechnology/pharmaceutical sectors and is the owner of Aheadoftheherd.com. His articles have been published on over 400 websites, including:
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