International Nickel Ventures Corporation: Santa Fe/Ipora Nickel Joint Venture Advances Stage 2 Work Program of 38,300 Meters with 8 Drill Rigs
TORONTO, ONTARIO – (CCNMatthews – May 18, 2006) – International Nickel Ventures Corporation (“INV”) (TSX:NVC) is pleased to report on the status of exploration work at its Santa Fe/Ipora nickel laterite properties in Brazil. Teck Cominco Limited (Teck Cominco) and INV have been partners on the Santa Fe/Ipora nickel laterite properties since June 2005 with Teck Cominco as operator. The joint venture company, which has an option to earn a 75% interest in these properties, is owned 73% by Teck Cominco and 27% by INV. On the basis of historical data, a NI 43-101 technical report was completed by Spence Resource Management Inc. (SRM) and FSS Canada Consultants Inc. (FSS) on February 22, 2006 which determined an inferred 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 following is a summary of work that has been undertaken by Teck Cominco on the properties since June 2005, with Stage 1 conducted from June to December 2005 to determine the continuity of nickel resources utilizing 100 x 100 metre grid drilling. The current Stage 2 program, which commenced in January 2006, is approximately one-third completed.
Stage 1 Work Program: (June to December 2005)
A total of 9,970 metres in 691 drill holes on Santa Fe and 840 metres in 39 drill holes on Ipora were completed for a total of 10,810 metres in 730 holes. The total cost, including overhead charges and administration, was approximately Cdn $4.0 million.
The work was carried out to determine the continuity of nickel resources by drilling on a 100 x 100 metre grid where historical pits by previous operators yielded large areas of over 1% nickel. Results generally confirmed these mineralized areas and additional closer-spaced drilling on 50 x 50 metre centers was recommended.
Stage 2 Work Program: (January to December 2006)
Approved by the Santa Fe/Ipora joint venture, Stage 2 provides for a Cdn $10 million program including 38,300 metres of drilling to define measured and indicated resources, which will lead to a decision whether to pursue a feasibility study. Most of the drilling is expected to be completed by August 2006. Metallurgical test work has commenced and will continue through Stage 2.
The respective programs are outlined below:
At Santa Fe:
- 21,000 metres of in-fill diamond drilling on 50 x 50 metre spacings;
- 2,500 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling to expand known resources on two targets; and
- metallurgical testing on two bulk samples from mineral resource areas. At Ipora:
- 9,800 metres of diamond drilling on 100 metre centers in areas greater than 1% nickel; and
- 5,000 metres of RC drilling to expand known nickel mineralization and test other targets.
Depending upon the results of the mineral resource expansion and exploration drilling in the first part of the year, an increase to the Stage 2 program may be proposed to complete infill drilling on expanded and/or new mineral resource areas.
At April 30, 2006, the Stage 2 drilling program was approximately 35% complete. From inception to the end of April 2006, the Santa Fe/Ipora joint venture has drilled over 25,000 metres in a total of 1,858 holes with assays received for about 65% of these holes. Most of the focus has been on the Santa Fe property, where 5 drills are currently operating and the program is 58% completed. The program on Ipora has recently begun with 3 drills now operating.
The 50 x 50 metre grid drilling of the SW target at Santa Fe is nearing completion, although many of the assay results are pending. Selected highlights from the 50 x 50 metre drilling in the SW target are listed below:
|Hole No.||% Ni||% Co||% Fe||From (m)||To (m)||Length (m)|
Selected highlights from the 100 x 100 metre drilling in the other target areas at Santa Fe comprising the Central, SE and North targets are listed below:
|Hole No.||% Ni||% Co||% Fe||From (m)||To (m)||Length (m)|
At the Ipora property, where the program is just underway and only 15% completed with few assays available, initial results indicate a well developed mineralized saprolite profile.
The joint venture drilling program in Stage 2 involves a very large number of drill holes and, consequently, INV plans to release future drill assay results as they become available for significant segments of the program.
INV has prepared a table of all Santa Fe drill holes with assays which is available on its website and is being posted on SEDAR. The table shows 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. To date a total of 770 holes meet these criteria.
Also filed on INV’s website and attached are the following maps, all at 1:25000 scale:
(1) Santa Fe Project Area – Drilling Status Map showing completed and proposed drill holes;
(2) Ipora North Project Area – Drilling Status Map showing completed and proposed drill holes;
(3) Ipora South Project Area – Drilling Status Map showing completed and proposed holes.
This press release was prepared under the supervision and review of J. Alan Spence, President of SRM and Mohan Srivastava, President of FSS, both independent consultants to INV and Qualified Persons as defined under NI 43-101. 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 drill hole and assay data have been provided by Teck Cominco, 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, the Company has 100% ownership in an extensive land package of prospective nickel properties in Goias and Para States.
INV’s annual report, information circular and associated material have been mailed to shareholders and are also available on SEDAR and its website (www.nickelventures.com). INV’s Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, June 2, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. at the Toronto Stock Exchange Gallery, 130 King St. West, Exchange Tower, Toronto, Ontario.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties beyond the Company’s ability to control or predict which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. 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.
To view the Santa Fe Project Area – Drilling Status Map showing completed and proposed drill holes please click on the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/INVMAP1.pdf
To view the Ipora North Project Area – Drilling Status Map showing completed and proposed drill holes please click on the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/INVMAP2.pdf
To View the Ipora South Project Area – Drilling Status Map showing completed and proposed holes please click on the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/INVMAP3.pdf