International Nickel Ventures Corporation: Drilling Progress at Santa Fe/Ipora Nickel Projects Leads to Initiation of Scoping Studies
TORONTO, ONTARIO – (CCNMatthews – July 27, 2006) – International Nickel Ventures Corporation (“INV”) (TSX:INV) is pleased to report on the progress during June 2006 of the ongoing drill program at the Santa Fe and Ipora nickel laterite properties in Goias State, Brazil with partner and operator, Teck Cominco Limited (“Teck Cominco”). Based on drilling to date, three mineralized areas have been well defined at the Santa Fe property within a 10 km by 5 km area, while at the Ipora property 70 km to the south, drilling has identified three mineralized zones at Rio dos Bois to the north and two mineralized zones at Morro do Macaco to the south.
During June, the Santa Fe/Ipora Joint Venture drilled a total of 750 holes for almost 9,500 metres, bringing total drilling since inception of the Joint Venture programs to over 41,500 metres in 3,177 holes. The current drill program at Santa Fe is almost complete as scheduled, with about 10% of the program remaining. At Ipora, the drill program has progressed to 60% completion and continues to produce encouraging results.
In view of the excellent progress achieved to date, scoping studies have been initiated with GRD Minproc (“Minproc”) and Golder Associates Ltd. (“Golder”) being retained. The Minproc scoping study will evaluate the capital and operating costs of a hydrometallurgical plant for processing nickel laterite ores at two production rates – 30,000 and 60,000 tonnes per annum nickel product in order to confirm the commercial and technical viability of the proposed project and define the scope for future studies. The Golder study will focus on the geotechnical and hydrological considerations such as plant site, water supply, effluent and tailings disposal, water balance and reclamation. Both studies are expected to be completed by the end of September 2006.
Santa Fe Property Drilling
At the end of June 2006, the current drill program at the Santa Fe property was 90% complete with 557 holes drilled during the month at 50 x 50 and 100 x 100 metre spacings for a total of 5,594 metres. The planned Southwest target drilling has been completed, defining a zone extending about 2.5 km long by 0.5 to 1.0 km wide hosting mineralization greater than 1% nickel, which remains open to the southwest. The sub-horizontal mineralized zone is at an average depth of 4 metres with an average thickness of 3 metres, suggesting a potential stripping ratio of slightly higher than 1:1. Drilling was also completed at the Southeast zone, 3 km to the east, while some drilling continues at the west portion of the 3C quadrant located between the Central and SE targets. As the mineralized zones now appear to converge, the target names have been replaced by a quadrant system (see map attached: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/727INV_santa%20fe%20map.pdf).
Selected highlights from the month's drilling in the Southeast zone are listed below:
|Hole No.||% Ni||% Co||% Fe||From (m)||To (m)||Length (m)|
Ipora Property Drilling
Excellent progress was made in June at the Ipora property. Three diamond drills and one reverse circulation (“RC”) drill have completed 60% of the planned program for a total of 3,895 metres in 194 holes at 100 x 100 metre spacings. In July, two drill rigs were mobilized from Santa Fe to focus on the Ipora project for the remainder of the program. Ongoing drilling at Ipora has identified three main targets in the Rio dos Bois region in the north and two main targets in the Morro do Macaco region in the south (see map attached: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/727INV_ipora%20map.pdf).
Selected drilling highlights from the month's drilling at Rio dos Bois are tabulated below:
|Hole No.||% Ni||% Co||% Fe||From (m)||To (m)||Length (m)|
INV has prepared tables of all Santa Fe and Ipora drill holes with assays which are available on its website and are posted on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The tables show composite values in nickel, cobalt and iron for intersections that meet or exceed a 1.0% nickel grade cut-off with a minimum thickness of 1.0 metre.
An additional 116 RC drill holes totalling 3,000 metres have been proposed in the Morro do Macaco region following up an area where two historical pits showed encouraging nickel intersections.
This press release was prepared under the supervision and review of J. Alan Spence, President of Spence Resource Management Inc. and Mohan Srivastava, President of FSS Canada Consultants Inc., both independent consultants to INV and Qualified Persons as defined under National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators. Spence and Srivastava were retained by INV to prepare a technical report on the mineral resources of the Santa Fe and Ipora deposits which was published and filed on www.sedar.com on February 22, 2006 (the “Technical Report”). (The Technical Report summarizes an inferred mineral resource of 63.4 million tonnes grading 1.41% nickel using a 1.0% nickel cut-off and a minimum thickness of 1 metre.) The drill hole and assay data (from SGS) for this release have been provided by Teck Cominco Limited, with industry standard QA/QC procedures in place. Independent assessment including site visits, review of QA/QC protocols and check results were made by Spence and Srivastava during the preparation of the Technical Report.
INV is a Canadian mineral resource company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of nickel projects in Brazil. Its primary asset is an option to acquire, with partner and operator Teck Cominco, a 75% interest in two advanced-stage nickel laterite deposits, Santa Fe and Ipora, in the Goias nickel camp of Brazil. In addition, INV has 100% ownership in an extensive land package that has increased in the last month from 130,000 hectares to 200,000 hectares of prospective nickel properties in Goias, Para and Tocantins States. This includes the recently optioned Aviao property located 55 km from Falconbridge Limited’s significant Araguaia nickel laterite discoveries in Para State.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties beyond INV’s ability to control or predict which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters, future price of nickel, changes in labour costs or other costs of production, failure of plant equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, possible variations in mineral grade or recovery rates and other general risks of the mining industry. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, refer to INV’s filings with Canadian securities regulators available on www.sedar.com or the Company’s website at www.nickelventures.com.