INVENTORY FILE NO.
NAME OF PROPERTY
1988-Hudson Bay Mining and
Smelting Co. Ltd.
Winnipeg, MB, R3B 3K6
Description of the deposit is from Pickell (1987). The deposit occurs
600 m from the southeastern shore of Namew Lake, under 6 m of water and
40 m of flat-lying Ordovician dolomite and sandstone. It consists of a
"pipelike" ultramafic sill that strikes 350°, dips 48°SW and plunges 30° NW,
above the 335 m level, and 45° below the 335 m level (Fig. 1). Its "abrupt
upward termination" distinguishes it from other similar mafic/ultramafic sills
in the area. "The ultramafic body typically has moderately well-foliated,
biotized and chloritized margins". Olivines, throughout the ultramafic body,
have undergone a mild (to moderate) serpentinization. The average composition of
26 samples of the ultramafic host-rock "lies on the boundary between basaltic
and ultramafic komatiites".
The sill occurs near the interface between
magnetite-bearing diorite sills and aplitic quartz-monzonite gneisses (Fig. 2).
A metadiorite unit appears to be spatially related to the sill; it has a coarse
salt-and-pepper texture, sharp, intrusive contacts and is cut by pegmatite,
aplite, massive violarite-violaritized pentlandite-pyrite-chalcopyrite and white
carbonate-chlorite stringers. Aplite-pegmatite veins, that cut all
country-rocks, are chalcopyrite-enriched next to the deposit; the veins account
for less than 10% of the ultramafic pipe.
The deposit comprises a high-grade,
0.3 m to 4.0 m thick layer of a "near solid sulphide-cemented, aplite breccia
ore" consisting of violarite, chalcopyrite, pyrite/marcasite and minor amounts
of partially violaritized pentlandite, which forms a conductive halo around the
top 170 m of the ultramafic pipe. A lower grade, 3 m to 30 m thick zone of a
disseminated-sulphide, ultramafic-hosted, ore that accounts for 87% of the
drill-indicated tonnages above the 335 m level; and a relatively sulphide-poor
zone below the 335 m level (Fig. 1).
The disseminated sulphide ore in the
base and central core contains up to 15%, 3 mm to 10 mm blebs of pentlandite,
chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and/or pyrite. Paragenesis reported by P. Sotka and A.
Hakli is pyrrhotite, pentlandite, pyrite, followed by chalcopyrite; also
identified was a grain of michenerite (PdBiTe) as an inclusion in pyrrhotite.
Preliminary sulphur isotope analyses suggests that the sulphur is
mantle-derived. The ore also contains less than 5% finely disseminated magnetite
that seems to increase in the basal sections.
The Cu:(Cu+Ni) ratios vary from
0.23 in the breccia ore, to 0.28 for the main ore type, and average 0.30 for 26
selected ultramafic samples; Ni:Co ratios average 67 (Pickell, 1987:25).
MINERALS OR PRODUCTS OF VALUE
Copper, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and zinc.
EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The Namew Lake shaft is located near the southeastern shore of
Namew Lake, 25 km west of the town of Atik, and 64 km south of Flin Flon.
It lies 1.6 km east of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.
On November 13,
1973, Reservation 122 (77 216.8 ha) was issued to Hudson Bay Exploration and
Development Company Limited (HBED). It was reported that 6619.1 km (4113 mi.) of
fixed wing EM surveys were flown between August 1973 and July 1974, followed by
10.24 km (6.36 mi.) of HLEM, and 33.89 km (21.06 mi.) of Turam surveys
(non-confidential parts of Reservation 122 file). Exploration was also done
under Airborne Permit No. 119, which was issued from June 1974 to July 1975; it
was reported that 2974.3 km (1848.2 mi.) of airborne electromagnetic and
airborne magnetometer surveys were flown in two directions, N-S and NW/SE, in
conjunction with Reservation's 121 and 122. Reservation 122 lapsed on August
On January 11th, 1980, Canadian Nickel Company Limited obtained
Permit 37 which covered 44 986.5 ha (111 160 acres). Airborne electromagnetic,
magnetometer and radiometric surveys totalling 4934 km were flown over Permits
36, 37 and 38 that year. Airborne anomalies were identified 8.5 km SSE, and 8.8
km SE of the deposit (Non-confidential Assessment File No. 92473, 92755).
Another area located 4 km NE of the deposit was explored by VLEM, ground
magnetometer surveys and two drill-holes totalling 335.2 m: drill-core assays
returned minor amounts of platinum and palladium (See: Mind No.
Meanwhile, in late 1980, HBED conducted airborne electromagnetic and
magnetometer surveys. The EM30- Mark III airborne EM survey results (November
1980) coupled with previous assessment history helped identify geophysical
targets in the immediate Namew Lake area. The anomaly associated with the
deposit was a "moderately, conductive, short, undrilled, isolated conductor",
strong on two flight lines spaced at 200 m, weak on two other lines, and had a
coincident 50 gamma magnetic anomaly. Soon after, on December 5, 1980, two
claims, CB10845 (252.94 ha) and CB10846 (222.99 ha), were staked in Namew
Lake, adjoining the western boundary of Permit 37, by Brian Murray (assisted by
M. Sewap) HBED; the claims were recorded January 6, 1981. A short time later, on
January 22, 1981, Permit 37 was reduced to 14 964.6 ha (36 977 acres), thereby
opening up the area east of the claims, CB10845 and CB10846, for staking.
April 1982, 1332 ha surrounding CB10845 and CB10846 were staked by E. Bjornson
(CB13373, CB13374, CB13376) and I. Bjornson (CB13370-72, CB13375, CB13379) of
HBED. An Apex Maxmin II horizontal loop survey, using a 180 m coil separation
and an 888 hz frequency, was conducted on Namew Lake. In 1982, a 335 m
long ground EM response was located. The ground magnetometer survey indicated
little magnetic variation in readings near the deposit.
The discovery of the
deposit was announced in March 1984. The 'discovery' hole (ddh-Res-13) had been
targeted on the 1982 ground EM response. Permit 59 covering 16 683 ha was taken
out over the previous claims by HBED on April 30, 1984. In October 1984, Questor
Surveys Limited carried out an Input Mark VI time-domain EM survey, and detected
a six channel input anomaly over the deposit at a ground clearance of 117 m.
Pickell (1987:9) reports: "The 400 m long, isolated, conductive body had an
apparent conductivity-thickness value of 49 siemens, an indicated depth of 85 m,
and a coincident 29 gamma magnetic anomaly" and a steep westerly
Delineation drilling, consisting of at least 39 drill-holes, was carried
out in 1984 and 1985. "The holes were drilled at 200 ft. (60.96 m) centres to
intersect the zone at the 300, 600, 800, 1000 foot (91, 183, 244, 305 m) levels
below surface. One hole has been drilled to the 1 200 foot (366 m) level"
(Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited, Annual Report 1984). The zone was
defined at the 75 m and 180 m levels with a strike length of about 300 m (Globe
and Mail, March 14, 1985). Drill-core assay results of about 0.7% Cu and 2.8% Ni
over widths ranging from 1 to 24 m (including 4.59% Ni, 2.15% Cu over 7.3 m, and
1.78% Ni, 1.07% Cu over 26 m) were reported. An unweathered
pyrrhotite-pentlandite-pyrite-chalcopyrite zone, assaying 0.81% Cu, 11.56% Ni,
was reported in a drill-hole intersection of 5.85 m of massive sulphide ore. The
sinking of a 411.48 m deep exploratory shaft began in 1985.
recoverable ore reserves between the 61 and 335 m levels were estimated at 2.58
million tonnes (t) with a grade of 2.44% Ni, 0.9% Cu, 0.102 g/t Au, 4.11 g/t Ag,
0.479 g/t Pd, 0.651 g/t Pt. It is estimated that 76% of the Ni, 81% of the Cu,
93% of the Au, 82% of the silver, 81% of the palladium, and 87% of the platinum
occur in the lower grade orebody; the rest is in the breccia ore. Reserves were
calculated using a 15% dilution factor, a 94% mining recovery factor, a specific
gravity of 3.5 for the breccia ore, and a specific gravity of 3.1 for the
disseminated sulphide ore.
In 1985, airborne vertical gradient (gradiometer),
total field magnetometer, and VLF surveys, initiated by the Geological Survey of
Canada, in 1980, over the Project Cormorant area, were extended into the
Namew Lake area. Mineralogical studies on the deposit include (Pickell,
· An electron microprobe study of samples by P. Sotka and A.
· Preliminary Pb-S isotope and 73 whole rock major and trace element
analyses of samples by the Geological Survey of Canada;
· A whole rock
geochemical study of the deposit by G.R. Parslow of the University of Regina ;
· An analysis of highly saline ground-water samples found near the shaft
with slightly anomalous nickel concentrations, by the Hudson Bay Environmental
In 1986, it was announced that Outokumpu Mines Limited (a
subsidiary of Outokumpu Oy' of Finland) and Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting
(H.B.M.& S.) had signed a letter of intent to jointly explore and develop
the property (Northern Miner, September 15, 1986). H.B.M.& S. is a unit of
Inspiration Resources Corporation of New York which is a major unit of South
Africa's Anglo American Corporation (Financial Post, October 19, 1985), also
controlled by DeBeers Consolidated Mines of South Africa (Winnipeg Free Press,
May 16, 1985).
In early 1987, the 3-compartment rectangular shaft was
completed, and Permit 59 was cancelled. Outokumpu Mines bought a 40% interest in
the deposit for $5.2 million (Northern Miner, May 18, 1987). On July 29, 1987,
Production leases F and G were applied for. On December 29, 1987, the claims
were transferred to H.B.M.&S.
Costs of bringing the property into
production by late 1988, was estimated at $68.5 million (a 1900 t (2100 ton) per
day concentrator, designed and constructed by the engineering division of
Outokumpu, is included). Production costs were to be split 60/40 between
H.B.M.& S. and Outokumpu Mines Limited.
The deposit has been developed on
two main levels: cross-cutting had been done on the 120 m level; drifting on the
320 m level (where a water-bearing fault zone was intersected). The longhole
raise mining method is to be used in this area. Drift-and-fill mining was used
for the narrower mining widths above the 120-m level (Whiteway, 1988).
November 15, 1988, the mine was opened. As of 1989, the mill was operating at
about 400 t per day (Northern Miner, January 12, 1989). When in full production,
the mine was expected to produce 476 000 t (525 000 tons) of ore annually
yielding 62 000 t (68 000 ton) of Ni concentrate, with minor amounts of platinum
and palladium, and 12 200 t (13 500 ton) of Cu concentrate (Northern Miner,
November 23, 1987). Hudson Bay's 60% share of the ore was to be processed at
Sherritt Gordon Mines Limited's refinery in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, while
Outokumpu's was sent to Inco's refinery in Thompson, Manitoba and H.B.M.&
S.'s refinery in Flin Flon.
As of June 1992, proven and probable resources
were 763 000 t, averaging 1.52% Ni, and 0.46% Cu. in the fourth quarter of 1993,
with the shaft at 411 m, (1350 ft), Namew mine closed due to resource
depletion (Canadian Mines Handbook, 1993-94).
In 1993 and 1994, H.B.M. &
S. carried out geophysical surveys and drilling in the area, in search of new
base metal deposits.
Blair, B.B. 1987: Project Cormorant; Interpretation of sub-Phanerozoic
geology; in Manitoba
Energy and Mines, Minerals Division, Report of Field
Activities 1987, Report GSC-5, Project C.1.2.1, p.168.
Handbook 1994: Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd.; Canadian
Handbook, 1993-94, p. 183.
Flin Flon Reminder 1987: Flin Flon
Reminder, July 3, 1987.
Geological Survey of Canada 1986: Sub-Paleozoic
geology of the Cormorant Lake map area,
Manitoba (compiled by Taiga
Consultants Ltd.); GSC Open File 1381.
Globe and Mail 1985: Globe and
Mail March 14, 1985;
Globe and Mail 1986: Globe and Mail September 10,
Globe and Mail 1988: Globe and Mail August 2, 1988.
Mines Branch: Corporation Files; Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited
Manitoba Mines Branch: Corporation Files;
Outokumpu Mines Limited.
Manitoba Mines Branch: Corporation Files;
Parmlee Mining Company Limited.
Manitoba Mines Branch: Non-confidential
Assessment Files; File Nos. 92473, 92471, 92755,
92080; Reservation 121/122
(non-confidential parts), 91707.
Manitoba Mines Branch: Index to
Non-confidential Assessment Files; (Open File Report OF86-5;
McCabe, H.R. 1985: Stratigraphic mapping and
stratigraphic and industrial minerals core hole
program; in Manitoba Energy
and Mines, Mineral Resources Division, Report of Field Activities 1985,
McRitchie, W.D. and Hosain, I. 1985: Project Cormorant:
sub-Paleozoic investigations south of
Flin Flon and Snow Lake; in Manitoba
Energy and Mines, Mineral Resources Division, Report of Field Activities 1985,
Northern Lights 1985: Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited,
.v. 45, No. 1
Northern Miner 1986: Northern Miner
(September 8; September 15, 1986)
Northern Miner 1987: Northern Miner
(May 18; October 26; November 16; November 23, 1987)
Northern Miner 1988:
Northern Miner (August 8, October 31, November 21, 1988)
1989: Northern Miner (January 12, 1989).
Phillips, P., 1988, Namew
Lake nickel; in The Northern Miner Magazine, v. 3, No. 11
*Pickell, J.R., 1987: The Namew Lake nickel-copper
discovery, Flin Flon, Manitoba; in Manitoba
Mines Branch, Corporation File,
Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited.
Singhroy, V. and Werstler,
R. 1980: Sand and gravel resources and Quaternary geology of The
Manitoba Department of Energy and Mines, Mineral Resources Division, Geological
Report GR80-2, 60p.
Thompson Citizen 1988: Inco will not be renewing
contract with Sherritt Gordon; Thompson
Citizen, August 12,
Winnipeg Free Press 1988: New nickel mine open for business;
Winnipeg Free Press, November
Whiteway, P. 1988: A quiet
giant; Northern Miner Magazine, v. 3, No. 11 (November
Department of Mines and Technical Surveys and the Province of
Manitoba, Department of
Natural Resources 1962: Map 7024G, Cormorant Lake;
Department of Mines and Technical Surveys and the Province of Manitoba,
Department of Natural Resources, aeromagnetic map, scale 1:250
Geological Survey of Canada 1985: Map NN-14-M, The Pas, Manitoba and
Geological Survey of Canada, magnetic anomaly map, scale 1:1
Geological Survey of Canada 1987: High resolution aeromagnetic
vertical gradient and total field
surveys in the Flin Flon and Root Lake
Areas, Manitoba and Saskatchewan; GSC Open File, 1625, Geological Survey of
Canada, scale 1:20 000.
Manitoba Mines Branch and Geological Survey of
Canada 1963: Map 2451G, Namew Lake,
aeromagnetic map, scale 1:63
Manitoba Mines Branch: #Claim Map series 63K/4NW, circa 1987; Mining
Manitoba Mines Branch, claim map, scale 1:31 680.
J.R., 1987: Map; 1:11 520 scale, geological map, accompanying Paper by J.R.
(May 1987); Manitoba Mines Branch.
Singhroy, V. and Werstler,
R. 1980: Map 1 (North Half), Quaternary geology of The Pas region;
scale, accompanying Manitoba Mineral Resources Division, Report
Singhroy, V. and Werstler, R. 1980: Map 2, Sand and gravel
resources, 1:200 000 scale,
accompanying Manitoba Mineral Resources Division,
Surveys and Mapping Branch 1988: Map 63 K/4, Namew
Lake; Surveys and Mapping
Branch, Ottawa, topographic map (3rd Edition),
scale 1:50 000.
Taiga Consultants 1986: Map 63K, Cormorant Lake; GSC Open
File 1381, Geological Survey of
Canada, geological map, scale 1:250
1. Higher-grade nickel intersections generally occur in top 275 m of
the pipe in the hangingwall, occasionally in the talcose sections of the
footwall (Pickell 1987:23).
2. Formational conductors in the area, outline a
NE-trending anticline with an axial trace running from the SE corner of
Namew Lake to Simonhouse Lake; the deposit apparently lies on the west
limb. Parmlee Mining (in 1957) also noted the existence of a major fold axis
from Namew Lake to Simonhouse Lake.
3. The deposit is similar to the
'EL' orebody at Lynn Lake (See: Mind No. 637), and to the Pechenga region of the
USSR near the Norwegian border (Pickell, 1987).