Muskox Project, Nunavut, Canada

Project Snapshot

Status

Exploration stage - Camp Scale Opportunity

Location

Nunavut, Canada

Commodity

Nickel, copper, and platinum-group metals (PGM)

Ownership

100% Owned mining claims

Current exploration

Generating Targets and preparing for a 2022 field visit.

  • Overview

    The Muskox Property is located in Nunavut, Canada approximately 400 km north of Yellowknife, NT and 140 km south of the community of Kugluktuk, NT. The property is within the Kitikmeot Region of NT and is comprised of 12 mining claims and 2 prospectors permits for a total of 45,250 hectares. The Muskox Property represents a camp scale Ni-Cu-PGM opportunity related to the Proterozoic aged Mackenzie magmatic event that has similarities to many of the world's other well known nickel camps including Noril’sk, Voisey’s Bay and Sudbury.

  • Project Presentation

    • Muskox Property - Q2 2022
      View PDF
  • Brief History

    The Muskox Intrusion was discovered in the 1950’s by Inco during an airborne survey identifying tens of km’s of gossans extending across the tundra. Inco completed an extensive exploration program including drilling a total of 117 holes which returned significant intersections at Pyrrhotite Lake including 5.48 m @ 3.21% Ni, 7.60% Cu and 16.0 g/t PGM and at Speers Lake including 1.13 m @ 3.5% Ni, 9.3% Cu and 22.0 g/t PGM. Inco abandoned the property in favor of new discoveries in the Thompson Nickel Belt. 

    Between 1960 and the mid 2000’s several other junior and major companies, including BHP, Equinox Resources, Muskox Minerals, Anglo American Exploration Ltd and Silvermet Inc., conducted exploration programs on the property.  Highlights from the work include drilling completed by Equinox Resources Ltd. at Pyrrhotite Lake which returned 13.74 m @ 2.0% Ni, 4.8% Cu and 5.8 g/t PGM. The last active exploration program completed on the Muskox Intrusion was Silvermet Inc. in 2008.

  • Geology and Mineralization

    The Muskox Intrusion is one of the largest and least deformed layered mafic to ultramafic bodies in the world. It intruded as an elongate funnel-shaped body along a feeder dyke to the Coppermine flood basalts, at or near the unconformity between the underlying Early Proterozoic (1.8 to 2.1 Ga.) schists and gneisses of the Coronation Supergroup and the overlying undeformed rocks of the Hornby Bay and Dismal Lake groups (the basal strata of the Coppermine Homocline). The exposed portion of the intrusive complex is approximately 125 km long, and ranges in width from 200 m - 600 m in the keel dyke to 11 km in the main body of the intrusion. Three deep drill holes collared by the Geological Survey of Canada during the 1960’s intersected a stratigraphic thickness of 1,900 m in the central exposed portion of the intrusion. Magnetic data indicate that the intrusion continues at least 100 km to the north of the last exposure, under the Coppermine Homocline. Gravity data suggest that it is even larger, and may continue northward for 250 km from its northernmost exposure. The Muskox Intrusion is thus interpreted as the magma chamber for the early Coppermine flood basalts, with the dense, Mg-rich olivine cumulates remaining behind in the magma chamber while less magnesian basalts erupted to flood the surface.

    Because of the gentle north dip of the Muskox Intrusion (and overlying rocks of the Coppermine Homocline), increasingly deep levels are exposed south along the length of the intrusion. South of the Coppermine River, the layered series is eroded, and only the feeder dyke is exposed. This feeder dyke thins from as much as 600 m near the Coppermine River to 200 m along its exposed length of at least 60 km to the south.

    The geology of the Muskox Intrusion is comprised of 4 key units called the Keel (Feeder) Dyke, Marginal Zone, Layered Series and the Roof Zone.

    Keel (Feeder) Dyke: Exposures of the Feeder Dyke of the intrusion extend about 60 km south of the Coppermine River from the main body of the intrusion. The dyke ranges from about 200 m to 600 m in width and exhibits steeply dipping walls. The contacts of the dyke with the hornfels country rocks are composed of gabbronorite or bronzite gabbro, and this lithology comprises the bulk of the dyke for much of its length. Disseminated to massive sulphides occur locally within the dyke. 

    Marginal Zone: The contact between the intrusion and the country rocks is defined by a margin zone on both the east and west sides of the Muskox Intrusion. The margin zone contains a succession of lithologies from hornfels at the contact, to gabbronorite, olivine gabbro, and feldspathic peridotite towards the centre of the intrusion. The margin zones thicken from approximately 60 m at the keel dyke in the south, to approximately 150 m at the northern end of the exposed part of the intrusion.  Sulphides (pyrite, chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite) are typical minor phases in the outer part of the margin zone. Locally, semi-massive to massive sulphides occur within the marginal rocks, and this mineralization commonly extends short distances into adjacent country rock. 

    Layered Series: The central part of the Muskox Intrusion north of the Coppermine River consists of layered ultramafic to mafic rocks. This Layered Series comprises at least 42 gently dipping layers of ultramafic and mafic cumulates recording cyclic magmatic injections. Layered series peridotites and feldspathic peridotites locally contain concentrations of interstitial to net-textured sulphides. The sequence also includes layers and lenses enriched in chromite. The most prominent chromite-rich layer, known as the Chromitite Reef, is lithologically similar to the Merensky Reef and UG-2 Chromitite of the Bushveld Complex.

    Roof Zone: The roof of the intrusion occurs above the layered series and consists of a granophyric zone and a breccia zone. The breccia zone above the granophyre contains angular pieces of quartzite, argillite and gabbro derived from overlying lithologies. In places, the breccia zone consists of in situ blocks of quartzite permeated by networks of granophyric gabbro veins.
     

  • Exploration Database

    In 2021, SPC Nickel acquired a large comprehensive database related to the exploration of Muskox Intrusion. The proprietary database, that is exclusive to SPC, represents over 15 years of exploration and four multi-year programs conducted back to 1955 and is estimated to easily be equivalent to cost 15 million dollars in modern exploration expenditure. The database includes results from over 5,600 line km of airborne magnetics and electromagnetic surveys, 466 line km of ground geophysics which include VLF, HLEM, Gravity, MT and AMT. It also includes geological and geochemical data from over 261 diamond drill holes totaling more than 35,000 m.

  • Maps and Figures