Western Metals builds North American presence
Western Metals has entered into an agreement with BHP Billiton for the option to acquire a 100 percent stake in the highly prospective Snowbird nickel and base metals project in the Northwest Territories, Canada. The project consists of claims comprising 261.3sqkm within the Snowbird Tectonic Zone, located 625km northwest of the city of Thompson, on the margin of an ancient continent that hosts the Thompson, Raglan and Voisey's Bay nickel deposits. Western Metals Managing Director, George Bauk said the acquisition builds on the company’s North American presence and base metals portfolio, representing its first significant nickel project. “This acquisition continues our strategy to pursue high value commodities in the most prospective terrains,” Mr Bauk said. Encouraging results from various exploration programs in the Snowbird area conducted by Phelps Dodge from the late 1950s through to 2000 were reviewed by BHP Billiton in 2005, and led to a helicopter-supported reconnaissance geological mapping, geochemical sampling and a VTEM airborne electromagnetic survey of the area. Interpretation of the VTEM data resulted in the identification of a number of EM bedrock anomalies and confirmed the presence of elevated Cu-Ni sulphides in boulders. These anomalies represent drill-ready targets and will be explored by Western Metals. Surface sampling at Snowbird has been reported from previous work that yielded assay values up to 2.92% Cu and 2.29% Ni from surface grab samples. Trench sampling was reported to include assays of 22.2% Zn, 4.7% Pb, 2.85 g/t Au, and 976g/t Ag. Western Metals will have the right to purchase 100 percent interest in the Snowbird tenements by paying a non-refundable US$250,000 cash payment following a due diligence period, drilling one hole to test anomaly KB-1, and paying a further cash payment of US$1,250,000 by July 31, 2009. Mr. Bauk said the project was a rare opportunity for Western Metals to explore for a large high-grade nickel deposit in a poorly explored portion of the prospective Superior Craton margin.