The Idefix Property is located 75 kilometres northwest of the Community of Kuujjuaq, in the Nunavik region of the province of Quebec. Geologically, it is situated at the northern end of the Labrador Trough of the Paleoproterozoic New Quebec Orogen, southeastern Churchill Province. Northern Shield currently holds a 100% interest in the the Idefix Property which currently consists of 45 claims covering 19.49 km2. The Idefix Property was staked in August 2011 over an area of known PGE mineralization, following on the work conducted by previous exploration companies and on regional prospecting by Northern Shield in the northern Labrador Trough in the summer of 2011. Exploration at the Idefix Property is supported by helicopter from Kuujjuaq with fishing and hunting lodges acting as site bases.
Geology and Mineralization
The Idefix Property is located in the Kaniapiscau Supergroup (also referred to as the Labrador Trough), which forms the western part of the Paleoproterozoic New Quebec Orogen, southeastern Churchill Province. The Labrador Trough is over 500 kilometres long and is composed of three cycles of sedimentation and volcanism, separated by erosional unconformities. Each cycle is further subdivided in groups and formations. The first two cycles are intruded by numerous tholeiitic, mafic-ultramafic sills (Montagnais sills). These sills are contemporaneous and comagmatic with associated volcanic rocks. The mineralization at the Idefix Property is found in a mafic-ultramafic sequence that is part of the Montagnais sills.
The original exploration focus at the Idefix Property was for reef-type PGE mineralization after the discovery of significant and extensive PGE mineralization in 2012 along a gabbronorite escarpment with grades up to 16 grams per tonne of platinum and palladium at a ratio of 1:3. However, during 2014 and 2015, significant advancements were made by Northern Shield in understanding the geology and geochemistry of the Idefix Property. The presence of large nickel-copper-PGE bearing sulphide globules seen in nearly every drill hole completed along the Idefix Ridge points to the possible existence of massive magmatic sulphides similar to a Noril’sk type model.
Idefix Property Exploration
After a year of thorough desk top studies and research on the northern Labrador Trough, in early September 2011, Northern Shield conducted a two-day reconnaissance exploration program on the Idefix Property. Twenty-five rocks samples were collected of which 21 were from the mafic-ultramafic sill and four from the country rock. Nine of the 21 samples collected from the mafic-ultramafic sill returned assays greater than 1 g/t Pt+Pd+Au with a high of 8.8 g/t Pt+Pd+Au.
During the three phases of the 2012 exploration season, 914 samples were collected and assayed. The results continued to show the Idefix Property as a target with potential to host a viable PGE deposit based on some high-grade PGE values and the continuous nature of the mineralization. The Idefix PGE mineralization at that time could be traced over 1.3 kilometres. Two-thirds of the 322 samples collected at Idefix assayed greater than 0.1 g/t Pt+Pd and 27 of those assayed greater than 1 g/t. Many of the higher grade PGE assays were sawn channel samples taken over widths of 1 metres including 15.6, 10.5, 7.6 and 6.4 g/t Pt+Pd.
In 2013, fourteen drill-holes totalling 1,501 metres were completed at Idefix. Drilling did not intercept similar grades of PGEs as seen on surface but did prove the existence of reef type mineralization averaging 0.2-0.4 g/t PGE over 16-34 metre widths that can be traced continuously for 3.5 kilometres and intermittently for a further 3.5 kilometres. Of the 1,614 samples collected at Idefix, 934 assayed greater than 0.1 g/t Pt+Pd+Au, highlighting the significant enrichment of PGE at Idefix.
In addition to the drilling, a new significant PGE mineralization was discovered in 2013, 900 metres immediately south of the Idefix Ridge. At La Colline, 41 of 92 surface samples collected over an outcrop measuring approximately 220 metres by 50 metres assayed over 1 g/t Pt+Pd+Au. This includes a zone defined by 34 continuous sawn channel samples which average 1.4 g/t Pt+Pd+Au, 0.28% Cu and 0.1% Ni over 31.35 metres within which there is a higher grade zone averaging 1.9 g/t Pt+Pd+Au, 0.38% Cu and 0.13% Ni over 15.85 metres. Samples at La Colline display interstitial and net-textured sulphides. The geochemical signature of the mineralization at La Colline is commonly associated with nickel-copper massive sulphides and one of the key indicators for a Noril’sk-type deposit at Idefix.
Noril’sk-Type Target at Idefix
During 2014 and 2015, Northern Shield reviewed and re-analysed the drill and sample information collected on Idefix during the 2012 and 2013 exploration seasons. The new information and interpretation indicated, with a high degree of confidence, that the reef-type mineralization was the result of the redistribution of nickel-copper-PGE sulphides in the magma from a massive sulphide source somewhere nearby in the sill and that PGE-rich nickel-copper massive sulphides (i.e. Noril’sk-type) should be the primary target model. As such the Company will focus exploration based a Noril’sk style model for Idefix and the Labrador Trough.
The basis of the Noril’sk model for Idefix is the presence of nickel-copper-PGE rich sulphide globules in 11 of the 14 drill holes completed at the Idefix Property. Globules are blebs of sulphide that have been transported away from a pool of massive sulphide over relatively short distances by an injecting pulse of magma during sill emplacement while the sulphides and host rock were still molten. The globules are delicate and rapidly deteriorate with distance from the source, meaning that the more large and cohesive the globules, the closer to the massive sulphide source.
The globules at Idefix can range up to 3 centimetres in diameter and contain approximately 2% nickel, 4% copper and 20 g/t palladium1.
1The XRF unit does not have the capability to detect platinum at the level present in the samples. As platinum to palladium rations at Idefix are approximately 1:3, the platinum values are estimated at one third of the palladium values.
2012 Drill Holes 2012-2013 Assay Results