INVENTORY FILE NO.
NAME OF PROPERTY
1975 - Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited
P.O. Box 40
Centre of Rim 16.
The deposit is situated in an altered peridotite (serpentinite) of
Precambrian age, which intruded gneissic country rock. The ultramafic intrusion,
striking N30°E and dipping 70°SE, is adjacent to and controlled by a strike
fault, which occurs as a zone of mylonite up to 50 feet wide in the
The percentage of nickel in the serpentinite determines the
low-grade (1-3% Ni) and high-grade (>3% Ni) zones. The low-grade zones are
irregularly distributed within the ultramafic body, while the high-grade zones,
lens-shaped in plan, are located close to the hangingwall. One high-grade zone,
with a strike length of 275 feet and thickness up to 100 feet (not true
dimensions – Coats et. al., 1972), appears to consist of three tear-drop shaped
Mineralization occurs as disseminated, net-texture and semi-massive
sulphides. Crystallization of pentlandite was followed by a
pyrite-pyrrhotite-pentlandite assemblage in an anhydrous environment prior to
the extensive serpentinization of the primary silicates (Coats and Brummer,
1970). Violarite is a common alteration of pentlandite and pyrrhotite forms
minute inclusions in pentlandite or is marginal to pentlandite grains.
Chalcopyrite also occurs.
Pegmatite dykes up to 50 feet wide, intersecting
the ultramafic body, contain up to 5% sulphides, including some pentlandite,
associated with biotite.
MINERALS OR PRODUCTS OF VALUE
EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The mine is located 4 km east of Provincial Road 391 about 32 km
southwest of the town of Wabowden.
In June of 1960 Falconbridge Nickel Mines,
Limited took out Airborne Permit 30 for one year. Airborne magnetic and
electromagnetic surveys were made. An anomaly was found in this area.
may not directly overlie the deposit but its history follows because the shaft
was sunk on this claim. Rim 16 (P92230) was staked by M. Fredette and assigned
to Falconbridge Nickel Mines, Limited in 1961.
The coincident magnetic and
electromagnetic anomaly, designated as W-50, was diamond drilled in 1963. The
second hole cut ore-grade mineralization (Northern Miner; Sept. 9, 1971).
Diamond drilling was done on Rim 16 in 1963, but it is not known if this was the
“discovery” drilling. The claim was grouped under mining lease M-7954 in 1966.
Drilling of the deposit resumed in 1967 (Written communication, Falconbridge,
Between 1966 and 1967 Amax Exploration, Inc. made an electromagnetic
survey as part of Airborne Permit 60. They found an anomaly in this
In May 1969 Falconbridge decided to bring the Manibridge
deposit into production (Williams, et al., 1974). It was described as a small,
high-grade nickel deposit estimated to contain 1 409 000 tons of ore (including
15% dilution) grading 2.55% nickel and 0.27% copper to the 1 250-ft. level
(Falconbridge Ann. Rept., 1969 and Coats and Brummer, 1970). Full production was
scheduled to be 13 700 000 pounds of nickel per year.
Shaft sinking began on
Rim 16 in 1969 and was completed to 1 425 ft. by the end of 1970. Before the
shaft was finished, three levels were opened to facilitate diamond drilling to
outline the orebody (Falconbridge 6 Month Interim Rept. to Shareholders). This
drilling confirmed the upper part of the orebody, which had been indicated by
surface drilling (Falconbridge Ann. Rept., 1970). Seven levels were established
at the following depths: 336 ft.; 512 ft.; 688 ft.; 864 ft.; 1 040 ft.; 1 192
ft.; and 1 296 ft. (Macke, 1974). A surface lease M-141 was taken out in
Partial production commenced on June 1971, averaging 500 tons milled
per day. By August 30 000 tons of ore stockpiled on surface had been milled.
Average milling grade was 1.55% Ni. Mining was carried out on the 688-ft. and 1
040-ft. levels. The bottom level was to be used as an exploration horizon
(Northern Miner; Sept. 9, 1971). In recent years the 1 200 (1 192 ft.) foot
level has been driven 800 feet north of the shaft to provide a base for deep
exploration. Drilling from this level has tested the ultramafic zone to a depth
of 2 400 feet below surface (Written communication, Falconbridge,
Production at Manibridge was 165 000 tons in 1972 and 136 000
tons in 1973 (Falconbridge Ann. Rept., 1973). By 1974 the mill was operating at
85% of its rated capacity of 1 000 tons per day. Mill feed assays range from
1.5% to 2.5% Ni with 0.15% Cu (Williams et al., 1974). Bulk concentrates are
shipped to Sudbury, Ontario.
Production commenced in June, 1971 at 500 t/day by August 1971, 30 000
t milled, et al., 1974.
Production during: 1972 – 165 000 t, 1973 – 136 000
t, Falconbridge Ann. Rept., 1973.
Production rate as of March, 1974 – 85% of
designed capacity. Designed capacity – 1 000 t/day. Williams et al.,
Airborne Permit 30; Non-confidential Assessment File; Mineral
Administration, Manitoba Mineral Resources Division.
Airborne Permit 60;
Non-confidential Assessment File; Mineral Administration, Manitoba Mineral
Coats, C.J.A., 1966: Serpentinized Ultramafic Rocks of
the Manitoba Nickel Belt; University of Manitoba, Unpublished Ph.D.
+Coats, C.J.A. and Brummer, J.J., 1970: Geology of the
Manibridge Nickel Deposit in Geoscience Studies in Manitoba; Geological
Association of Canada, Special Paper 9, p. 155-66.
Coats, C.J.A, Green, P.W.
and Wilson, H.D.B., 1976: Sulphide Mineralization in the Manibridge
Orebody; C.I.M. Bulletin, v. 69, n. 767, p. 154-9.
Coats, C.J.A, Quirke,
T.T., Bell, C.K., Cranstone, D.A. and Campbell, F.H.A., 1972: Geology and
Mineral Deposits of the Flin Flon, Lynn Lake and Thompson Areas, Manitoba, and
the Churchill-Superior Front of the Western Precambrian Shield; International
Geological Congress, 24th File; Manitoba Mineral Resources
Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited, NW 10, 63J; Corporation File;
Manitoba Mineral Resources Division.
Macke, W., 1974: Manitoba Mining
Operations; Unpublished Notebook, Engineering & Inspection Branch, Manitoba
Mineral Resources Division.
Quirke, T.T., Cranstone, D.A., Bell, C.K., and
Coats, C.J.A., 1970: Geology of the Moak-Setting Lakes Area, Manitoba;
Geological Association of Canada and Mining Association of Canada, 23rd Annual
Meeting, Field trip Guidebook, p. 22-23, 54-5.
Sabina, A.P., 1971: Rocks and
Minerals for the Collector, La-Ronge-Creighton, Saskatchewan, Flin
Flon-Thompson, Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Paper 71-27, p.
Williams, A.J., Boutin, E.A. and Wahn, I.E., 1974: Milling at the
Manibridge Mine of Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited; C.I.M.M. Bulletin,
March, p. 119-27.
*Map 63J/10, Muhigan Lake, (Topographic), Scale 1:50 000, Surveys and
Mapping Branch, Ottawa.
Map Moak-Setting Lakes Area, (Geology), Scale 1:126
720; accompanied Coats et al., 24th Session, International Geological
Map 2581 G, Muhigan Lake, (Aeromagnetic), Scale 1:63 360, Manitoba
Mines Branch and Geological Survey of Canada.
#Maps, NW 10, 63J (Claim),
Scale 1:31 680, “Circa 1975”, Claim Map Series, Mining Recording, Manitoba
Mineral Resources Division.
In 1970 Falconbridge Nickel Mines, Limited changed its name to
Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited.