Hard Creek Nickel
Turnagain Project
Show printable version of 'Turnagain Project' item in a New Window

Click to Enlarge
The Turnagain nickel property is situated immediately north of Turnagain River near its confluence with Hard Creek. The community of Dease Lake, on highway 37 some 400 kilometres north of the port of Stewart, is 70 kilometres west of the property. Helicopter access from Dease Lake involves a 20 minute flight. A secondary road extending easterly from Dease Lake has been used by large, articulated 4-wheel drive vehicles to convey large jade boulders from the Kutcho Creek area and to supply placer gold operations at Wheaton Creek over the past number of years. A branch of this road network extends into the Turnagain property; road distance to Dease Lake is about 100 kilometres. A 900 metres long dirt airstrip, constructed in the 1960s and situated within the claims area on the north side of Turnagain River, can accommodate small aircraft. This airstrip is immediately adjacent to Hard Creek's current camp facility. Previous exploration programs have made use of camp facilities at Wheaton Creek (Boulder) which is about 15 kilometres by road west of the property.

Dease Lake has three times a week scheduled airline service and offers some supplies and services. The communities of Terrace and Smithers in B.C. and Whitehorse in Yukon, are all several hundred kilometres distant and offer the best range of supplies and services which can be trucked to Dease Lake via highway 37.

Regional Geology

Click to Enlarge
The Turnagain nickel property is hosted by an Early Jurassic (190�1 Ma) Alaskan-type ultramafic intrusion within Paleozoic to Early Mesozoic metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks formerly assigned to Ancestral North America (Gabrielse, 1998, Erdmer et al., 2005). There is some uncertainty as to the age and origin of the country rocks adjacent to the Turnagain ultramafic complex, and Nixon (1998) presented two contrasting interpretations: 1) that the metasedimentary-metavolcanic rocks are autochthonous (part of the craton) and 2) that the Turnagain intrusion lies within a series of imbricated thrust sheets verging NE. However, new research indicates these rocks likely belong to either the Quesnel terrane or the Yukon-Tanana terrane (Scheel, 2007). The maximum depositional age of the metavolcanic rocks is Late Pennsylvanian-Early Permian (300 Ma) and their rare earth element signature is within the range presented by Ferri (1997) for the Lay Range Assemblage (Quesnellia) and the Klinkit Group (Yukon-Tanana)(Simard et al., 2003). Additionally, the metavolcanic rocks contain Proterozoic detrital zircon, indicative of some sediment input from the craton. These data indicate that the Turnagain ultramafic complex intruded parautochthonous (separated and re-joined to the craton) rather than autochthonous rocks, and is part of an accreted terrane.

The presence of subduction zone-related intrusive rocks, like the Turnagain intrusion, in rocks thought to be part of Ancestral North America is highly suspect as this relationship has not been observed elsewhere in the northern Canadian Cordillera (Mortensen, pers. comm., 2007). The second interpretation of Nixon (1998), that the Turnagain intrusion lies within an imbricated sequence of Late Paleozoic to Triassic sedimentary and volcanic rocks, is partially valid as other Alaskan-type intrusions are found exclusively in accreted terranes. Erdmer et al. (2005), however, observed the contact between graphitic rocks and metavolcanic rocks to be entirely conformable, and this relationship was also observed in drillcore from 2006 - there is no thrust fault contact between the graphitic and metavolcanic rocks. This indicates that the Turnagain ultramafic complex, which intruded these country rocks, intruded a previously unidentified parautochthonous terrane segment. The presence of the Turnagain intrusion proximal to a major structure (the Kutcho Fault) may be similar in tectonic significance to the major nickel-bearing ultramafic intrusions in the Canadian Shield. Indeed, the Quetico intrusions of the southern Superior craton are Precambrian versions of Alaskan-type intrusions (Pettigrew & Hattori, 2006) that occur along major structures.

A number of non-zoned, ultramafic bodies are exposed in rocks of the Cache Creek terrane, south and west of the Turnagain ultramafic body. Most of these are strongly serpentinized and host a number of asbestos and jade occurrances.

The above technical information and all the other technical information on this web-site pertaining to geology and drill hole data is under the supervision of Mr. C. Baldys, P. Eng., a Qualified Person consistent with policy NI 43-101.

Property Geology

Click to Enlarge
The Turnagain Nickel property covers the known extent of a zoned, Alaskan-type ultramafic intrusion, which measures 8 kilometres by 3.5 kilometres and is elongate in a northwest direction, conformable to the regional structural grain. The ultramafic body is in fault contact with Paleozoic to Early Mesozoic graphitic sedimentary rocks along its northern and eastern margins. The southern contact is not exposed, but several drill holes have penetrated the contact and intersected deformed, graphitic phyllites in fault contact with the ultramafic sequence. Partially digested inclusions of phyllite are also found within the ultramafic body and are abundant in the sulphide-mineralized zones, which suggest the inclusions locally control the nickel sulphide mineralization. Sulphur and lead isotopes from sulphide separates indicate that some crustal sulphur was added to the magmas which formed the Turnagain intrusion and that these inclusions led to the precipitation of sulphides from the melt (Scheel, 2007). Sulphide mineralization is described in more detail in the Resource section.

The ultramafic complex consists of a central, well exposed dunite core and an outer zone of less exposed wehrlite, olivine pyroxenite, pyroxenite and minor hornblendite. All of these rock types and gradations between them have been interpreted as crystal cumulates (Clark, 1980; Nixon, 1998). Narrow bands and schlieren of millimetre-sized chromite crystals have been noted in dunite exposures and drill core. Phlogopite is a minor accessory mineral, but is locally conspicuous in dunite and wehrlite.

Alteration varies from weak to intense serpentinization, with several ages and colours of serpentine present. Most of the prominent magnetic anomaly coinciding with the ultramafic body is thought to result from magnetite produced during serpentinization rather than from cumulus magnetite. Talc replacement of narrow felsic dykes and adjacent wall rock is often intense and is later than most of the serpentine alteration. Fine-grained tremolite often occurs with serpentine alteration but does comprise the majority of some core intervals.

The Turnagain ultramafic body is considered an Alaskan-type intrusion for the following features (Nixon, 1998):

  • orthopyroxene is lacking
  • clinopyroxene compositions are diopsidic and comparable to other Alaskan-type intrusions
  • ultramafic cumulates are restricted to mixtures of olivine and clinopyroxene with minor chromite, rare amphibole and trace phlogopite
  • localized chromitite layers in the dunite have been remobilized to form schlieren and syndepositional folds, features that are characteristic of all Alaskan-type intrusions in British Columbia.

Clark,T. (1980). Petrology of the Turnagain ultramafic complex, north-western British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 17, 744-757

Erdmer, P., Mihalynuk, M. G., Gabrielse, H., Heaman, L. M., & Creaser, R.A. (2005). Mississippian volcanic assemblage conformably overlying Cordilleran miogeoclinal strata, Turnagain River area, northern British Columbia, is not part of an accreted terrane. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 42, 1449-1465

Ferri, F. (1997). Nina Creek Group and Lay Range Assemblage, north-central British Columbia: remnants of late Paleozoic oceanic and arc terranes. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 34, 854-874

Gabrielse, H. (1998). Geology of Cry Lake and Dease Lake map areas, north-central British Columbia. Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin 504, 147p

Kucha, H. (2007). Summary of the mineralogy and geochemistry of pentlandite and related phases from Turnagain, B.C. Unpublished company report.

Nixon, G.T. (1998). Ni-Cu sulphide mineralization in the Turnagain Alaskan-type complex: A unique magmatic environment. Geological Fieldwork 1997, B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Paper 1998-1, 18-1 to 18-11

Pettigrew, N. T. & Hattori, K.H. (2006). The Quetico Intrusions of western Superior Province: Neo-Archean examples of Alaskan/Ural-type mafic-ultramafic intrusions. Precambrian Research 149, 21-42

Simard, R-L., Dostal, J., & Roots, C. F., (2003) Development of late Paleozoic volcanic arcs in the Canadian Cordillera: an example from the Klinkit Group, northern British Columbia and southern Yukon. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 40, 907-924

Scheel, J. E. (2007). Age and origin of the Turnagain Alaskan-type intrusion and associated Ni-sulphide mineralization, north-central British Columbia, Canada. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, University of British Columbia.

The above technical information and all the other technical information on this web-site pertaining to geology and drill hole data is under the supervision of Mr. C. Baldys, P. Eng., a Qualified Person consistent with policy NI 43-101.

AeroTEM© Electromagnetic and Aeromagnetic Survey

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
In September, 2004, Aeroquest Limited conducted a 1,870 line-kilometre helicopter-borne geophysical survey, centred on the Turnagain ultramafic intrusion but covering a 31 kilometre strike length of prospective claims. The survey employed Aeroquest's AeroTEM II time domain electromagnetic system in conjunction with a high-sensitivity cesium vapour magnetometer. Flight lines, nominally 200 metres apart when located outside of the Turnagain intrusion, were decreased to 100 metres spacing within the ultramafic and locally, in areas of particular interest, to 50 metres apart.

Results from the survey are illustrated in the two accompanying images. The Turnagain ultramafic intrusion is represented by a very strong, oval shaped, 3 kilometres by 8 kilometres magnetic anomaly with well defined margins. The intense magnetic response results mainly from fine grained magnetite associated with the serpentinization of dunite but with some contribution from cumulus magnetite, especially in the southwest portion of the anomaly. From the drilling done to date, a strong magnetic response is interpreted to indicate the presence of favourable ultramafic rocks, but there does not appear to be a correlation between intensity of magnetic response and sulphide mineralization in the Horsetrail-Northwest-Hatzl area. The source of the irregularly shaped, magnetic anomaly located immediately northwest of the Turnagain ultramafic has not been explained by limited surface work but is a target for future drilling.

The electromagnetic survey was designed to detect conductive sulphide horizons within the generally non-conductive ultramafic intrusion. The intense conductivity in the sequence of phyllitic rocks surrounding the ultramafic intrusion is related to graphite and pyrite on bedding and foliation planes and is of limited exploration interest. Of greater economic interest are the conductors located within the ultramafic intrusion along its southwestern contact and, to a lesser extent, close to the northern contact. Drill holes, located in the conductive Horsetrail and Hatzl areas, intersected a number of narrow conductors comprising net-textured to massive pyrrhotite-pentlandite, graphite veins and seams, various combinations of sulphide-graphite-magnetite and sulphide-bearing, hornfelsed inclusions. All these discrete conductors were often hosted in weakly conductive dunite and wehrlite mineralized with intercumulus pyrrhotite-pentlandite and intergranular graphite.

Drill testing of the conductive zones extending northwest from the Horsetrail area and in the northern portion of the ultramafic intersected net-textured pyrrhotite and graphite-rich intervals, usually without the wide intervals of intercumulus pyrrhotite-pentlandite mineralization so prominent in the Horsetrail-Hatzl areas. Several of these conductive areas remain prospective for nickel and platinum-palladium mineralization.

Net-textured pyrrhotite was intersected in a recent drill hole in the Cliff area, but additional drilling is required to explain the sources of the numerous electromagnetic conductors.

Soil Geochemical Survey

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
When Hard Creek geologists noticed strongly anomalous analytical results for copper, nickel, platinum and palladium in samples from several 2003 reconnaissance soil lines, the decision was made to cover the Turnagain ultramafic with a systematic soil survey. Beginning in 2004, soil samples were collected at 50 metre intervals along lines oriented north-south and spaced 200 metres apart. Sample density was increased in anomalous areas with infill lines on 100 metres, locally 50 metres, centres and samples collected every 25 metres. Samples were sent to Acme Analytical Laboratories in Vancouver where a 15 gram sample was leached in hot aqua regia and analysed by ICP-MS for an extensive suite of elements including Ni, Cu, Co, Pt and Pd. Reference pulps and duplicate samples were included with sample shipments as part of the QC/QA program. Data was processed by Colin Dunn, PhD., P.Geo., consulting geochemist.

The majority of the nickel values in the broad arc of anomalous nickel covering the northern portion of the ultramafic intrusion is probably derived from nickel in the silicate mineral, olivine, and is not directly related to nickel sulphide mineralization. The olivine rich dunite is well exposed and underlies much of this anomaly. In the vicinity of the Horsetrail deposit, the discrete nickel anomalies are often associated with sulphide rich outcrops or concentrations of rusty weathering, sulphide bearing boulders, but the locally thick overburden has likely interfered with the development of a more continuous soil anomaly in this area.

Two strong copper-in-soil anomalies occur 2.5 kilometres northwest of the Horsetrail mineralization. The larger of the two anomalies measures 1520 metres by 1080 metres and is separated by 200 metres of lower copper values from the second copper anomaly, which measures 920 metres by 640 metres. The larger copper anomaly overlaps a significant platinum-palladium soil anomaly, with platinum plus palladium values between 41 and 328 ppb in the core of the anomaly. Drill holes on the eastern and southern flanks of the platinum-palladium anomaly (DJ-DB Zones) have intersected platinum-palladium mineralization associated with chalcopyrite in magnetite clinopyroxenite. For example, hole 05-88 intersected 0.96 grams/tonne combined platinum and palladium across 49.3 metres and, more recently, hole 07-211 intersected 0.90 grams/tonne combined platinum and palladium across 36.0 metres. Additional drilling will be necessary test the rest of the soil anomaly and to determine the extent and significance of the platinum-palladium mineralization to date.

The limited drilling and sampling in the platinum-paladium soil anomaly, located northeast of the DJ-DB anomaly, has not explained the source of the anomaly.

2007 Drill Program

Click to Enlarge
Hard Creek Nickel completed its 2007 core drilling program in early November and received the final analytical results in mid-February 2008. Drill collar locations are shown on the map with analytical results for the 75 hole (24,900 metres) program discussed and tabled in the following news releases.

  • August 13, 2007; Hard Creek drills 292 metres of 0.28% nickel.
  • September 25, 2007; Hard Creek drills 120 metres of 0.33% nickel.
  • November 28, 2007; Hard Creek drills 0.70% nickel with 0.48g/t Pt+Pd over 8.0 metres.
  • December 19, 2007; Hard Creek Nickel intersects 20 metres of 0.24% Ni and 0.60 g/t Pt+Pd in new discovery area.
  • January 14, 2008; Hard Creek drilling expands on platinum and palladium discoveries.
  • February 29, 2008; Hard Creek drills 64 metres of 0.47% nickel.

Initial planning for the 2008 Turnagain drill program is underway.

2006 Drill Program

Click to Enlarge
The 2006 drill program consisted of 68 diamond drill holes for a total of 19,122 meters. The objectives of the program were to explore further areas of the ultramafic intrusion and secondly to expand the current resource.

This last phase of drilling resulted in the discovery of two new areas of mineralization, the Hatzl and Duffy, and provided additional testing of the Highland nickel area, originally discovered in 2005


Twelve of the reported core holes were drilled in the Hatzl area, located in the southern part of the Turnagain Ultramafic Complex directly to the southeast of the Horsetrail nickel deposit. The holes were drilled to test several airborne geophysical anomalies identified during 2004. Every hole intersected nickel mineralization consisting of disseminated and net textured pyrrhotite and pentlandite hosted by dunite and wehrlite. This mineralization is similar in texture and host rock to the Horsetrail nickel deposit. Significant intersections include:
  • 0.31% Ni over 68m, from 97m to 165m, in hole 06-155
    (including 0.40% Ni over 24m, from 129m to 153m)
    0.34% Ni over 36m, from 229m to265m, in hole 06-155
    (including 0.55% Ni over 12m, from 233m to 245m)
  • 0.31% Ni over 56m, from 228m to 284m, in hole 06-152
    (including 0.43% Ni over 24m, from 260m to 284m)
  • 0.30% Ni over 56m, from 24m to 80m, in hole 06-174
  • 0.28% Ni over 73.8m, from 160m to 233.8m (end of hole) in hole 06-153
    (including 0.34% Ni over 16m, from 196m to 212m)

The Hatzl area is situated 0.5km southeast from Horsetrail deposit and has received limited prior drilling along the southern ultramafic contact by Falconbridge in 1970 and Bren Mar in 1996. Drilling by Hard Creek in the Hatzl area was conducted on 100 and 200 metre spaced drill fences within a 1km x 0.5km area.

"This is an important discovery for Hard Creek and could extend the main Horsetrail deposit for another kilometre to the southeast," said Mr. Jarvis. "Additional drilling in 2007 will test the concept of the nickel deposit being continuous for over 2.5km in a northwest-southeast direction."

Hole # From (m) To (m) Length (m) Ni % Co %
06-151   8 76 68 0.22 0.013
  132 156 24 0.21 0.014
  184 196 12 0.21 0.013
  208 220 12 0.27 0.019
  240 256 16 0.22 0.015
  268 280 12 0.24 0.014
06-152   228 284 56 0.31 0.018
incl. 260 284 24 0.43 0.018
06-153   8 24 16 0.23 0.013
  104 128 24 0.24 0.017
  160 233.8 EOH 73.8 0.28 0.012
incl. 196 212 16 0.34 0.013
06-154   194 298.1 EOH 104.1 0.24 0.013
06-155   29 65 36 0.26 0.019
  97 165 68 0.31 0.021
incl. 129 153 24 0.40 0.020
  229 265 36 0.34 0.019
incl. 233 245 12 0.55 0.028
06-156   22 34 12 0.21 0.013
  46 78 32 0.23 0.013
  170 186 16 0.25 0.014
  214 226 12 0.26 0.014
  234 254 20 0.29 0.015
  258 274 16 0.21 0.013
06-157   40 68 28 0.22 0.013
  84 112 28 0.29 0.018
  120 132 12 0.32 0.025
  152 172 20 0.28 0.025
06-158   28 84 56 0.25 0.013
06-159   188 212 24 0.31 0.014
  292 316 24 0.23 0.013
06-173   52 76 24 0.29 0.037
  124 152 28 0.25 0.014
  164 318 154 0.24 0.013
06-174   24 192 168 0.27 0.013
incl. 24 80 56 0.30 0.014
  224 236.3 12.3 0.37 0.028
incl. 233 236.3 3.3 0.58 0.060
  248 260 12 0.23 0.015
  289.6 308 18.4 0.20 0.013
06-175   178 198 24 0.22 0.012
  266 318 52 0.25 0.011


Eight of the reported core holes were drilled in the newly discovered Duffy area, located in the northeastern part of the Turnagain Ultramafic Complex approximately 0.5km northeast of the Horsetrail nickel deposit. The holes were drilled to test the eastern contact of the complex and targeted coincident geophysical and geochemical anomalies. Seven holes intersected nickel mineralization. Significant intersections include:

  • 0.26% Ni over 96m, from 96m to 192m, in hole 06-132
    (including 0.30%Ni over 16m, from 120m to 136m)
  • 0.26% Ni over 68m, from 40m to 108m, in hole 06-134
  • 0.26% Ni over 96m, from 144m to 240m, in hole 06-134
    (including 0.32%Ni over 20m, from 184m to 204m)

"This discovery could extend the main Horsetrail deposit beyond the northeastern limits of the conceptual Horsetrail pit by over 500m. These are the first holes in this area and further drilling will be required to determine the extent of the Duffy area and its relationship to the Horsetrail deposit", said Mr. Jarvis.

Hole # From (m) To (m) Length (m) Ni % Co %
06-129   180 204 24 0.23 0.012
06-130   118 150 32 0.22 0.013
  158 182 24 0.22 0.013
06-131   9.2 120 110.8 0.23 0.013
  136 156 20 0.22 0.017
  228 240 12 0.22 0.012
  248 284 36 0.22 0.011
  308 320 12 0.26 0.015
  328 356 28 0.25 0.014
06-132   96 192 96 0.26 0.013
incl. 120 136 16 0.30 0.015
  240 266.8 EOH 26.8 0.21 0.011
06-133   18 66 48 0.22 0.013
  86 138 52 0.22 0.014
  150 208.8 EOH 58.8 0.23 0.012
06-134   40 108 68 0.26 0.013
  144 240 96 0.26 0.014
incl. 184 204 20 0.32 0.014
  316 328 12 0.21 0.012
06-168 No Significant Values
06-169   20 32 12 0.22 0.013
  88 116 28 0.21 0.013


Six of the reported holes were drilled in the Highland area, discovered in 2005 and located approximately 3km north-northwest of the Horsetrail deposit. Metallurgical tests performed on composite core samples from a 2005 drill hole, 05-85, produced sulphide concentrates averaging more than 20% nickel, 0.7% cobalt and from 3.5g/t to 5.1g/t platinum plus palladium (see October 31, 2005 news release). Hole 06-138 was drilled parallel to hole 05-85 from a site 120m to the east and intersected two long intervals of disseminated pentlandite in dunite. Flotation tests are planned on the reported intervals to compare them with those from hole 05-85. Significant intersections include:
  • 0.22% Ni over 78.5m, from 1.5m to 80m, in hole 06-138
    0.23% Ni over 60m, from 100m to 160m, in hole 06-138
  • 0.26% Ni over 36m, from 28m to 64m, in hole 06-140

Mr. Jarvis also reported that the 2006 drill program consisted of 68 diamond drill holes for a total of 19,122 metres. Of these, 8 holes were infill, 24 were stepouts and 36 were exploration holes. Including the current release, all of the 68 drill holes have had analytical results reported.

Hole # From (m) To (m) Length (m) Ni % Co %
06-135 No Significant Values
06-136 No Significant Values
06-137 No Significant Values
06-138   1.5 80 78.5 0.22 0.012
    100 160 60 0.23 0.011
    200 212 12 0.23 0.011
06-139 No Significant Values
06-140   28 64 36 0.26 0.011
  220 233.6 EOH 13.6 0.26 0.012

True widths are estimated to be approximately 80 percent of reported core intervals. Samples for analysis were 4 metres in length of split NQ-size core. Reference pulps with known nickel and copper values were inserted every 25 core samples and rock blanks inserted every 30 samples to monitor laboratory performance as part of the QC/QA program.

The nickel values reported above include nickel in both sulphide and non-sulphide minerals as total nickel. Total nickel and copper values were determined by ICP emission spectrometry following four acid digestion of a representative pulp sample. In addition all drill hole samples have been analyzed for nickel by sulphide specific method. Analytical work was conducted by Acme Analytical Laboratories Ltd., an ISO 9001 registered facility, located in Vancouver. ALS Chemex, an ISO 9001 registered facility, also located in Vancouver, is carrying out check analyses on ten percent of the samples.

DJ & DB Area - Platinum-Palladium Results

Eight holes were completed within the DJ, DB and Bench Pt-Pd prospect areas discovered in 2004 and situated two to three kilometres northwest of the Horsetrail nickel deposit. Tthree further holes tested airborne magnetic and electromagnetic anomalies located 5km northwest of the Horsetrail deposit, near the northwestern edge of the ultramafic complex.

The eleven holes reported below are part of a 68 hole, 19,122m drill program completed on the Turnagain nickel property in 2006. Results from the remaining 26 holes of this program are still pending.

The objective of 8 holes was to test for extensions of prospective platinum-palladium mineralized horizons identified during 2004 and 2005 exploration drilling. These horizons are magnetite-rich pegmatite, and occur within a large platinum-palladium-copper soil anomaly enhanced by several coincident geophysical anomalies. Similar horizons host economic Pt-Pd grades in other Alaskan ultramafic settings as well as deposits in platinum reef settings ( Stillwater , Montana and Upper Zone magnetite of the Bushveld, South Africa ). The drilling has extended the strike length of the platinum-palladium favourable horizon to a minimum of 1.1 km.

The 2006 exploration holes were step-outs from 2004-2005 drill intersections reporting up to 2.41 g/t Pt + Pd across 2.0m (DJ area) and 2.49 g/t Pt + Pd across 3.1m (DB area) within much longer, pegmatitic intervals carrying anomalous platinum and palladium (see November 30, 2005, News Release). The majority of the 2006 holes were oriented at an azimuth of 040 degree and inclination of -50 degree, near normal to the interpreted strike and dip of the Pt-Pd bearing pegmatitic units. The ratio of platinum and palladium is generally1:1 in the areas drilled to date.

Four holes drilled within the DB and Bench areas intersected magnetite-rich pegmatites carrying sulphides and low-grade Pt+Pd mineralization. Hole 06-161 contained the highest Pt + Pd intersection and returned 36.5 m of 0.59 g/t Pt + Pd. This interval, along with anomalous values intercepted in hole 06-102X, suggests a prospective, minimum strike length of 1.1 km for the Pt-Pd bearing horizon.

The holes drilled in the DJ area were testing for bedrock sources along the northern limit of a Pt-Pd-Cu soil anomaly. Hole 06-149 intersected two pegmatitic clinopyroxenite zones with anomalous Pt+Pd while holes 06-147, 148 and 150 encountered unmineralized mafic units and diorite dykes.

Three holes were drilled in the area near the north western edge of the Turnagain ultramafic approximately 4km northwest of the Horsetrail deposit. The holes were drilled to test airborne electromagnetic conductors identified during 2005. Hole 06-143 intersected 0.24% nickel and 0.28 g/t Pt + Pd over 37.0m, including an 8m interval grading 0.69 g/t Pt + Pd and a 4.0m interval grading 0.36g/t Pt + Pd. The two other holes, 06-141 and 142 intersected metasediments and talc-serpentine altered ultramafic units with no significant mineralization. Prospecting north of hole 06-143 followed the drilling program and identified disseminated pentlandite in dunite outcrops over a 1km strike length.

The results are listed below:

Hole # Area   From (m) To (m) Length (m) Ni % Pt + Pd (g/t)
06-102X Bench   144 152 8 - 0.31
      158 176 18 - 0.46
06-142     No Significant Values        
06-143 Mandible   150 187 37 0.24 0.28
    incl. 154 162 8 0.21 0.69
    incl. 169 173 4 0.24 0.36
06-146 Bench   No Significant Values        
06-147 DJ   No Significant Values        
06-148 DJ   No Significant Values        
06-149 DJ   8 16.9 8.9 - 0.61
      248 260 12 - 0.68
06-150 DJ   No Significant Values        
06-160 DB   No Significant Values        
06-161 DB   101 115 14 - 0.44
      125 161.5 36.5 - 0.59

Further drilling and ground magnetometer surveys are planned for 2007 to follow-up the Pt-Pd bearing horizons along strike to the northwest. In the DB area, the prospective zone is open northwest of the 49.8 metre long intersection of 0.96 g/t Pt + Pd, including a 0.5 metre interval of 4.88 g/t Pt + Pd, previously reported in hole 05-88. Similar prospective Pt-Pd horizons located at DJ area are interpreted to extend further northwest and to underlie an untested, 800 x 400 metre Cu-in-soil anomaly with values up to a maximum of 7164 ppm Cu. In addition, copper values exceeding 1000 ppm locally coincide with Pt + Pd up to 585 ppb.

The widespread, disseminated pentlandite mineralization discovered in the new area will be further investigated with additional sampling to identify further drill targets.

Mineral Resource

Description of Mineralization

Click to Enlarge
Claim staking and the initial exploration on the Turnagain property followed from the discovery of net-textured to semi-massive sulphides in ultramafic exposures in the Discovery, Cliff and Horsetrail areas. Exploration since 1996, and especially since 2002, has emphasized the broad zones of disseminated sulphide mineralization in the Horsetrail, Northwest and Hatzl areas. The sulphides in these areas, either disseminated or semi-massive, are invariably hosted by dunite and wehrlite or their altered equivalents near the southern and eastern margins of the ultramafic intrusion. There is a strong spatial association between the broad zones of intercumulus sulphides, partially digested sulphide bearing, meta-sedimentary xenoliths and carbonaceous or graphitic material, possibly also derived from xenoliths. The main mass of dunite, located in the northeastern half of the Turnagain ultramafic, is essentially devoid of sulphide minerals although the highly magnesian olivine is more enriched in nickel (up to 0.20 to 0.30 weight percent) than the olivine in the peridotites and olivine pyroxenites occurring in the areas of mineralization.

Within the broad zones of mineralization, intercumulus and blebby sulphides, consisting mainly of pyrrhotite and pentlandite with lesser chalcopyrite, range in grain size from 0.5 to 15 millimetres. Occasionally, the sulphide grains and blebs coalesce into zones of net-textured to semi-massive sulphides. Intervals of massive sulphides and rare sulphide matrix breccias are noted in drill core over intervals rarely exceeding several tens of centimetres. Narrow fracture-filling sulphide veins and lenses, commonly featuring chalcopyrite and minor pentlandite along with the more abundant pyrrhotite and located adjacent to dykes, altered xenoliths and areas of intense serpentinization, appear to be remobilized primary sulphides, possibly the result of a late magmatic or hydrothermal event.

Where serpentinization of the dunite and wehrlite is weak to moderate, the sulphides are generally in sharp contact with the silicate minerals. With increasing serpentinization, the rims of the sulphide grains and blebs are replaced by magnetite and are locally intergrown with serpentine flakes. Secondary nickel and copper sulphides, including violarite and valleriite, have been noted in zones of intense serpentinization.

Recent petrographic and microprobe studies of core samples from the Horsetrail Deposit (Kucha, 2007) have identified additional, accessory, nickel minerals including mackawinite, heazlewoodite, godlevskite and millerite.

Platinum group minerals identified include sperrylite, a platinum arsenide, sudburyite, a palladium stibnite and vysotskite, a palladium-iron-nickel sulphide. Platinum and palladium occur in equal amounts in all sampling and drilling to date.

The principal zones of sulphide mineralization identified to date on the Turnagain property include the Horsetrail, Northwest, Hatzl and Duffy. Other mineralized zones on the property include the DB-DJ, which hosts platinum-palladium mineralization, Highland and Discovery areas which host nickel-cobalt mineralization and the Cliff area, which hosts nickel-platinum-palladium mineralization.

Mineral Resource

An updated resource estimate, as at 25 September, 2007, was completed by AMEC Americas Limited of Vancouver, B.C. and was based on 42,128 metres of sampling in 16,421 intervals from 158 drill holes. Mineralization in the Horsetrail, Northwest, Hatzl and Duffy zones were included in the estimate. Using a 0.10% NiS* cut-off, the Turnagain property contains an estimated 489 million tonnes of Measured and Indicated Resources at 0.163% NiS* and an additional 560 million tonnes of Inferred Resources at 0.152% NiS*.

Mineral Resource Estimate Table

Cut-off Grade 0.10 % Sulphide Ni Tonnes (000) % Sulphide Ni % Total Ni % Co
Measured 59,464 0.184 0.250 0.011
Indicated 429,688 0.160 0.218 0.012
Measured + Indicated 489,152 0.163 0.222 0.012
Inferred 560,052 0.152 0.204 0.011

NiS* sulphide nickel

Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

The sulphide nickel and cobalt grades are based on a partial leach procedure using a mixture of concentrated hydrogen peroxide and ammonium citrate, which is believed to be selective in dissolving nickel and cobalt contained in sulphide minerals while leaving, untouched, the nickel and cobalt in silicate minerals. As a precautionary step, all the sulphide nickel grades were assigned a value of zero if the corresponding sulphur analysis was less than 0.2% S. This precaution could cause an underestimation of the nickel resource but limits the possibility of an overestimation of the nickel resource.

The block model was assigned mean bulk density values based on rock type. Mean bulk density varied from 2.97 to 3.14 grams/cubic centimetre with the bulk of the mineralization between 2.99 and 3.06.

Methodology & Quality Control

The mineral resources of the Turnagain deposit were classified in accordance with CIM Definition Standards and Best Practices referred to in Ni 43-101 and which have a reasonable expectation of economic extraction. Resource estimation was constrained by three-dimensional domain models developed from geological and analytical data. Block size for the estimation was 25 metres east x 25 metres north and 15 metres high. Drill hole analytical results were composited into fixed-length 15 metres down-hole composites.

Analytical samples from drill core were generally two metres in length (prior to 2006) and four metres in length (2006 and 2007) of split NQ-size core. Reference pulps with known nickel values were inserted every 25 core samples and duplicate pulps prepared every 30 samples to monitor laboratory performance as part of the quality control/ quality assurance program. Total nickel and cobalt values were determined by ICP emission spectrometry following four-acid digestion of a representative pulp sample.

All analytical work was conducted by Acme Analytical Laboratories Ltd., an ISO 9002 accredited facility. Check analyses, on ten percent of the samples, were carried out at ALS Chemex and IPL Ltd., both ISO 9001:2000 accredited facilities located in Vancouver.

A detailed discussion of the resource estimation is given Turnagain Nickel Project, British Columbia, NI 43-101 Technical Report on Preliminary Assessment by AMEC Americas Limited with an Effective Date of 25 September, 2007.

Hard Creek Nickel Hard Creek Nickel
Adnet Communications Inc.