NI 01
Namew Lake
1988-Hudson Bay Mining and
Smelting Co. Ltd.
1906-201 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, MB, R3B 3K6
The Pas
Uncertainty (m)
UTM Zone
L.S./Quarter Section
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).
Copper, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and zinc.
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 4th, 1975.
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. 1003).
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.
In 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 dip.
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.
Diluted 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, 1987):
· An electron microprobe study of samples by P. Sotka and A. Hakli;
· 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 ; and
· An analysis of highly saline ground-water samples found near the shaft with slightly anomalous nickel concentrations, by the Hudson Bay Environmental Control Department.
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).
On 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.

Canadian Mines Handbook 1994: Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd.; Canadian Mines
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, 1986;

Globe and Mail 1988: Globe and Mail August 2, 1988.

Manitoba Mines Branch: Corporation Files; Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited (1984
Annual Report).

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;
supplement November 1987).

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, p.216-225.

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, p.109.

Northern Lights 1985: Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited, .v. 45, No. 1
(summer), p.4-7;

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)

Northern Miner 1989: Northern Miner (January 12, 1989).

Phillips, P., 1988, Namew Lake nickel; in The Northern Miner Magazine, v. 3, No. 11
(November issue), p.14-15.

*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
Pas region; 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, 1988.

Winnipeg Free Press 1988: New nickel mine open for business; Winnipeg Free Press, November
16, 1988.

Whiteway, P. 1988: A quiet giant; Northern Miner Magazine, v. 3, No. 11 (November issue),
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 1:250 000.

Geological Survey of Canada 1985: Map NN-14-M, The Pas, Manitoba and Saskatchewan;
Geological Survey of Canada, magnetic anomaly map, scale 1:1 000 000.

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 1:63 360.

Manitoba Mines Branch: #Claim Map series 63K/4NW, circa 1987; Mining Recording,
Manitoba Mines Branch, claim map, scale 1:31 680.

Pickell, J.R., 1987: Map; 1:11 520 scale, geological map, accompanying Paper by J.R. Pickell
(May 1987); Manitoba Mines Branch.

Singhroy, V. and Werstler, R. 1980: Map 1 (North Half), Quaternary geology of The Pas region;
1:100 000 scale, accompanying Manitoba Mineral Resources Division, Report GR80-2.

Singhroy, V. and Werstler, R. 1980: Map 2, Sand and gravel resources, 1:200 000 scale,
accompanying Manitoba Mineral Resources Division, Report GR80-2.

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 1:250 000.
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).
Compiled/Revised by:
01-88 06-02