Canada Nickel Company Inc. (TSX.V: CNC) (OTCQX: CNIKF) is advancing the next generation of nickel-cobalt sulfide projects to deliver the metals needed to power the electric vehicle (EV) revolution and feed the high growth stainless steel market. The company is one of only a few new sources of potential supply outside Indonesia and China.
Canada Nickel possesses industry leading nickel expertise and is focused on low risk, well established mining jurisdictions. The company has launched wholly owned subsidiary NetZero Metals Inc. to develop zero-carbon production of nickel, cobalt and iron and has applied in multiple jurisdictions to trademark the terms NetZero Nickel, NetZero Cobalt and NetZero Iron. Canada Nickel is also pursuing development of processes to allow net zero carbon production of these elements.
Canada Nickel is currently anchored by its 100% owned flagship Crawford Nickel-Cobalt Sulfide Project with large-scale potential located in the heart of Ontario’s prolific Timmins-Cochrane mining camp, adjacent to major infrastructure.
The company believes the EV industry and many other consumer sectors have an urgent need for zero-carbon metal this decade, not in 20-25 years as contemplated by some resource companies. Canada Nickel also believes that nickel supplies from Indonesia and other Pacific island nations, typically controlled by Chinese-owned companies, are not the answer for batteries needed by GM, Ford and the European automakers working to develop and manufacture EV models.
The company is headquartered in Toronto.
Crawford Nickel-Cobalt Sulfide Project
The Crawford Nickel-Cobalt Sulfide Project is the largest sulfide discovery since the early 1970s and contains the fifth-largest nickel sulfide resource in the world, based on Measured & Indicated resources, according to the latest update. The Crawford project is expected to be one of the largest base metal mines in Canada based on results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment. Early projections by Canada Nickel estimate that the project has the potential to produce 50,000 tons of nickel per year. The company is now in the final stages of completing the project’s feasibility study.
The project is projected to produce 2.8 tons of CO2 per ton of nickel equivalent production, which is 89% lower than the industry average of 34 tons of CO2 per ton of nickel equivalent production.
The company is taking significant steps toward developing the Crawford project as a net zero carbon producer. In addition to harnessing the natural ability of the project’s geology to act as a carbon sink through spontaneous reaction of the host rock once exposed to atmospheric conditions called mineral carbonation, Canada Nickel has discovered a new way to enhance carbon capture, termed In Process Tailings (IPT) Carbonation. This act of conditioning the tailings with a concentrated stream of carbon dioxide before deposition has been demonstrated at lab scale to achieve carbon capture at a rate 8-12 times faster than naturally occurring sequestration, achieving more than 60% of the capture that had previously taken six days.
These latest results move the company further toward production of Net Zero Nickel™ and generation of 21 tonnes of CO2 credits per tonne of nickel, which would produce an estimated average of 710,000 tonnes of CO2 credits annually and 18 million total tonnes of CO2 credits over the expected life of mine. IPT Carbonation does not require complex new technologies and major process modifications and could encourage the development of a net zero carbon industrial cluster centered around the Crawford project.
Canada Nickel in January 2023 announced that its latest test work results support the incorporation of carbon capture and storage into the Crawford project. The company believes that utilization of existing process streams should allow IPT to be efficiently engineered and incorporated into the project’s flowsheet, with an integrated feasibility study for the project expected in the second quarter of 2023.
In December 2022, Canada Nickel announced its engagement on Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. (“Deutsche Bank”) and Scotiabank – two of the world’s leading investment banks with a broad base of mining and industrial expertise – as financial advisors for the equity component of the project financing for the Crawford project. In the same release, the company announced the completion of another significant permitting milestone by filing the detailed project description with the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. Canada Nickel targets receipt of permits by mid-2025, with construction to immediately follow.
The Reid Nickel Property is located just 16 kilometers southwest of Crawford, or 37 kilometers northwest of Timmins, and contains an ultramafic body with a target geophysical footprint of 3.9 square kilometers. Preliminary assay results from Canada Nickel’s summer/fall drilling program confirm the presence of mineralized dunite, as well as currently undefined higher-grade sections. Partial assay results confirm expected nickel grades. Nickel mineralization in serpentinized dunite was found in all 16 holes drilled to date.
The Sothman Nickel Property is located 70 kilometers south of Timmins. Five drill holes on the eastern half of the target anomaly confirmed the continuation of ultramafic lithologies, primarily peridotite, with moderate to strong serpentinization and variable amounts of mineralization throughout.
The company in December 2022 announced positive drilling results from its ongoing regional exploration campaign at its Reid and Sothman properties. These latest results continue to reinforce the success of Canada Nickel’s geophysical targeting approach and increase the probability of success at the company’s other 20-plus properties within its 42 square kilometers of geophysical targets.
Building on this momentum, Canada Nickel in December 2022 announced its entry into a deal to acquire a 100% interest in the past producing Texmont property situated between the company’s properties south of Timmins. As noted in the news release, the acquisition of the Texmont property provides near-term smaller scale production potential and is highly complementary to the company’s large-scale Crawford and regional nickel sulphide projects.
Global demand leaves the market fundamentally short of nickel in the medium- and long-term. Global primary nickel demand will likely reach 3 million tons in 2022, up from 2.4 million tons in 2020, according to the International Nickel Study Group (INSG).
The INSG says primary nickel production is forecast to hit 3.1 million tons in 2022. Indonesia, the world’s largest nickel miner, halted exports of unprocessed nickel ore in January 2020, due to a government-imposed ban. Indonesia has floated the concept of a nickel cartel whose member nations would exert influence over world nickel supply and prices, similar to OPEC’s pricing power over oil.
Benchmark Minerals, a leading EV supply chain research firm, projects that, by 2035, world demand for nickel will double from current levels to 6 million tons annually. That growing demand represents a need for new nickel production equivalent to 70 mines the size of Canada Nickel’s Crawford Project.
Mark Selby is Chairman, CEO and Director of Canada Nickel. He was formerly President and CEO of RNC Minerals, where he led a team that successfully raised over $100 million and advanced the Dumont nickel-cobalt project from initial resource to a fully permitted, construction-ready project. He has held senior management roles with Quadra Mining, Inco and Purolator Courier, and was a partner at Mercer Management Consulting. Since 2001, he has been recognized as one of the leading authorities on the nickel market. He graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce.
Wendy Kaufman is CFO of Canada Nickel. She has 25 years of experience leading publicly listed mining companies in project financing, capital structuring, capital markets, accounting and internal controls, tax, and financial reporting and public disclosure. She was also previously CFO at Khiron Life Sciences Corp. and held CFO and senior finance positions at Pasinex Resources Limited, Primero Mining Corporation and Inmet Mining Corporation. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.
Steve Balch is VP Exploration at Canada Nickel. He is an Ontario registered geoscientist with 32 years of experience in geophysics, specializing in magnetic and electromagnetic methods. He founded Triumph Instruments and developed the AirTEM system, a multi-coil helicopter-borne EM system that is in use worldwide. He has also been active in borehole geophysics and helped develop new technologies including north-seeking gyros, temperature compensated induction conductivity probes, UAV-based magnetometers and high sensitivity magnetic gradiometers.
Christian Brousseau is VP Capital Projects at Canada Nickel. He is a professional engineer (P.Eng) with over 30 years of experience in engineering, design and construction in the Canadian mining industry, including six years as Project Director for the Dumont Project and three years as the Engineering and Construction Manager for Detour Gold. Prior to Detour, he held various construction management positions at Osisko’s Malartic Project and at Goldcorp’s Éléonore Project. He also spent eight years at Falconbridge supervising and managing various capital projects.
- Canada Nickel in December 2022 announced positive drilling results from exploration at its Reid and Sothman properties.
- The company in November 2022 announced recovery of valuable by-products from a processing pilot test, including cobalt, palladium, platinum and chromium.
- Canada Nickel announced in November 2022 improvements to its accelerated CO2 capture process.
- Canada Nickel announced in October 2022 it closed a secured loan with Auramet International of $10 million.
- Canada Nickel has engaged Deutsche Bank and Scotiabank as financial advisors for the Crawford Nickel Sulphide Project.
- Projections indicate that, by 2035, world demand for nickel will double from current levels to 6 million tons annually.