Thursday, 31 July 2008

Pure Nickel Grabs The Attention Of Minesite Writer

Pure Nickel (TSX: NIC)
Basic Shares: 67.8 million
Fully Diluted: 92.4
This story was published earlier this week and provides a good synapses as to what is going on with Pure Nickel.

July 28, 2008

Pure Nickel Spends The Summer In Alaska Manning The MAN Nickel Camp

By Christian Gradley

Alaska is a tough place. The people are tough. The weather is tough. And the jobs are tough. But, in all that toughness is incredible beauty, and also, for David McPherson, chief executive of Pure Nickel, the potential for incredible profit. Mr McPherson, who has just returned to Toronto from visiting the company’s property in America’s “Last Frontier” says that he’s still amazed by the size of the company’s MAN Alaska project. While the Pure Nickel’s William Lake property benefits from the company’s resources and expertise in the winter, MAN is the company’s designated summer “play.” As Mr McPherson tells it, “this alternating cycle allows us to very effectively spread our scientific team between the two projects and, more importantly, it allows us to resist temptation”.

Located halfway between Anchorage and Fairbanks, MAN covers more than 800 square kilometres and is 100 per cent owned by Pure Nickel. The 2007 drill programme, which wrapped-up late last summer, focused on the Alpha Intrusive Complex. Revealed by the 3,400 metre programme on the property were mineralized horizons of disseminated nickel, copper and platinum group elements, thicker, deeper and longer than the company had previously believed. Results included a 77.4 metre hole averaging 0.26% nickel, 0.12% copper, 139 parts per billion (ppb) palladium and 62 ppb platinum.

So, on the agenda for this summer is a 3,500 metre drill programme that is to be centered on a site identified by newly completed geophysical modeling based on the laboratory measurements of the 2007 drill core. This new site, aptly named Beta Complex, “has enormous potential”, says Mr McPherson. He says that if the results come back as expected, then the drill programme will likely be expanded – possibly back into the Alpha Complex. With around C$7 million in the bank, money sure won’t be a barrier.

Pure Nickel has high hopes for the project and sees the potential to develop the entire MAN property into a nickel camp. Working towards this aim the company has sensibly decided to look actively for a major partner to provide funding. With high-grade nickel showings and a steady stream of interested visitors making the trip to Alaska, an announcement might just be forthcoming fairly soon.

Pure Nickel’s winter “play,” the William Lake project, is also benefiting from the company’s healthy coffers. Located in central Manitoba, 50 kilometres north of Grande Rapids, the William Lake project covers nearly 31,000 hectares. The company is especially excited about this property and Mr McPherson now feels confident in describing it as Pure Nickel’s “near-term commercial property.” The winter drill programme at William Lake, which wrapped up earlier this year, consisted of just over 7,500 metres in 15 holes. With the aim of establishing the continuity of known mineralization for a 43-101 compliant resource estimate, the company principally drilled above, below and on strike at 50 to 100 metre step outs. Results from the programme include 5.15 metres of 0.84% nickel, 9.1 metres of 0.89% nickel, and 17.16 metres of 0.51% nickel, including 5.65 metres of 1.02% nickel. Very encouraging results, to be sure. The company is now planning its next move on William Lake, and more will be revealed in the fall.

Given the size and potential of William Lake, it’s not surprising that in late 2007 Rockcliff Resources came a-knocking. In February, Pure Nickel granted an option to Rockcliff in which Rockcliff can earn up to a 70 per cent interest in the Tower claims – located north of the region Mr McPherson calls the company’s main area of interest. And following on from this, the company has recently pursued a number of other joint venture and earn-in option agreements for its other properties. In November, Pure Nickel entered into a joint venture at its Manibridge property with Crowflight Minerals. The two companies had neighbouring properties and given that, and the quality of Crowflight’s management, Mr McPherson says it was the logical move to make. Exploration at Manibridge is set to begin later this year.

Last year Pure Nickel raised C$36 million to fully fund operations into 2009. And good thing too, as the present markets are certainly not conducive to financing. But Pure Nickel hopes to add to its war chest in the fall, when the Milford Copper Property in Utah is set to begin production. At one time Milford was 100 per cent owned by Pure Nickel. Today, the company’s interests are in the form of a royalty capped at C$10 million, but it’s never bad news when juniors develop a steady revenue stream.

In the 1890s, gold rushes in Alaska saw thousands of prospectors flood the state. Seeking the illusive (elusive? – ed.) American Dream, most left penniless. Given the potential of Pure Nickel’s MAN property, maybe the prospectors of old should have been looking for nickel. What they could have done with today’s technology one can only imagine.