CanAlaska Uranium to buy past-producing nickel mine in Manitoba

CanAlaska Uranium (TSXV: CVV) agreed today to go ahead with the purchase of 100% of the past-producing Manibridge nickel mine in the Thompson Nickel Belt, Manitoba, central Canada.

The mine is currently owned by Pure Nickel (TSXV: NIC). To acquire it, CanAlaska has to issue Pure Nickel 300,000 shares and 100,000 2-year warrants exercisable at $0.28/share, and pay $25,000.

The Manibridge Mine claims, which are to be consolidated with CanAlaska’s adjacent claims, total 270 hectares and are called Ore 5 and Ore 6. The Vancouver-based company explained in a media statement that such claims are subject to retained interests held by Glencore (LSE:GLEN; JSE:GLN) as part of a purchase agreement it signed with Pure Nickel back in 2007. The retained interest involves a Back-in Right for Glencore to purchase back 50% interest in the claims upon discovery of a NI 43-101 Mineral Resource of 15 million tonnes or greater, a 2% NSR, and off-take and marketing rights for all concentrate or product produced.

The Thompson Nickel Belt is the fifth largest and third highest grade sulphide nickel belt in the world.

The Manibridge nickel deposit was discovered in 1963 by Falconbridge following up on coincident magnetic and electromagnetic anomalies that were thought to be caused by an ultramafic body. The second hole of the program intersected the fringes of what would become the Manibridge mine.

A production decision was made in 1969 on an initial mineral inventory of 1,409,000 tonnes at an average grade of 2.25% nickel and 0.27% copper to a depth of 380 metres. The mine was operational from 1971 to 1977 with concentrate shipped to both Sudbury, Ontario and Thompson, Manitoba. Mining occurred to a depth of 300 metres and the mine infrastructure has since been reclaimed.

Thirty years later, in 2007, Crowflight Minerals and Pure Nickel formed a 50-50% joint venture to explore the area and intersected two new zones of nickel mineralization within 400 metres of the Manibridge deposit. The most significant results from drill holes MN08-01, MN08-02 and MN08-04 respectively include: 16.75 metres (55 feet) @ 1.38% Ni; 5.45 metres (17.9 feet) @ 1.18% Ni; and 6.3 metres (20.7 feet) @ 1.37% Ni.

The Thompson Nickel Belt is the fifth largest and third highest grade sulphide nickel belt in the world.