Alaska Energy Metals adds nickel resources to Nikolai project, Alaska

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Alaska Energy Metals Corp. [TSXV-AEMC; OTCQB-AKEMF; FSE-V7F] reported an updated independent mineral resource estimate prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 Standards for its 100%-owned Eureka deposit, Nikolai nickel project, Alaska, with an effective date of February 12, 2023.

The newly published 2024 MRE contains an addition of 813 million tonnes of Indicated resource, 896 million tonnes of Inferred resource (an increase of 180%) and a strip ratio decrease, when compared with the maiden resource published in 2023. The study was completed by Stantec Consulting Services Inc., and includes 35 historical drill holes, the data for which the company purchased in August 2023, and eight diamond drill holes (totalling 4,138 metres) drilled by the company on the project in 2023.

Alaska Energy Metals president and CEO Gregory Beischer commented: “In less than a year, we have taken an exploration concept to a substantial deposit of nickel and other critical metals. The mineral resource estimate update has produced a 180% increase in the inferred tonnage, and added substantial, new Indicated tonnage to the deposit. The update increases the nickel metal content of the deposit to over eight billion pounds (more than 3.7 million tonnes) with only a 0.01% grade decrease and a notably lower strip ratio.

“With this updated mineral resource estimate, the Eureka deposit of the Nikolai nickel project represents a globally significant accumulation of nickel and has now become one of the larger known nickel deposits in the United States. I am particularly encouraged by the delineation of a higher-grade core zone. The presence of this core zone could dramatically affect project economics in a positive way.”

Nikolai mineral resource estimate update: Total Indicated mineral resources of 3,877 million pounds (1,758,000 tonnes) of nickel, 1,276 million pounds (578,783 tonnes) of copper and 303 million pounds (137,438 tonnes) of cobalt, plus a total of four million ounces of platinum, plus palladium and gold in a constrained model totalling 813 million tonnes, at an average grade of 0.29 per cent total nickel equivalent, using a cut-off grade 0.20 per cent NiEq.

Total Inferred mineral resources of 4,225 million pounds (1,916,000 tonnes) of nickel, 1,040 million pounds (471,736 tonnes) of copper and 327 million pounds (148,324 tonnes) of cobalt, plus a total of 3.4 million ounces of platinum, plus palladium and gold in a constrained model totalling 896 million tonnes, averaging 0.27% total NiEq, using a cut-off grade 0.20% NiEq.

A higher-grade core zone has been identified within EZ2, and it shows continuity along much of the strike of the deposit. The higher-grade core contains an Indicated resource of 211 million tonnes of 0.34% NiEq and an Inferred resource of 154 million tonnes at a grade of 0.33% NiEq. This zone will continue to be evaluated, as it could positively affect project economics.

The 2024 MRE represents a significant, material tonnage increase in the MRE for the Nikolai nickel project compared with the maiden MRE.

The 2024 MRE is defined by 43 drill holes comprising 35 historic and eight holes drilled in 2023 by Alaska Energy. The drill holes provide confirmation that mineralization is interconnected across all three domains. The deposits remain open along strike and in the down-dip direction.

The 2024 MRE incorporates three zones (EZ1, EZ2, EZ3) of sulphide mineralization that cover 4.5 km (2.8 miles) of the Eureka deposit. The Eureka zone East and Eureka zone West MRE reported in the 2023 maiden MRE are now connected to form one continuous deposit.

As a consequence of joining the two deposits together, the strip ratio was significantly decreased from 3.7:1 to 1.5:1. Chrome and iron are also present within the deposit but have not been reported in the 2024 resource due to the lack of historical assay data and analytical methods used.

Reasonable prospects for economic extraction have been determined by calculating a recovered NiEq cut-off grade of 0.20% using the following assumptions: Mining costs of US$2.5/tonne; Processing costs US$25/tonne; and Processing recovery of 60%.

All deposits in the 2024 resource contain desirable nickel sulphide mineralization consisting of thick, layered horizons of nickel and copper sulphides, which are enriched in cobalt, chrome, iron, platinum, palladium and gold. Preliminary deportment assessments for the Eureka zone 2 mineralization were completed by Pure Nickel Inc. in 2014 and by the company in 2022. Results from these two assessments indicate an average of 83.4% of the total nickel is in potentially recoverable mineral phases of Ni sulphides and Ni-Fe alloys. The company also analyzed copper deportment, with an average of 74% of the total copper in potentially recoverable mineral phases of Cu sulphides and Cu oxides.

Chrome and iron have been identified as potentially significant co-products of mineralization at the Nikolai nickel project. Drilling completed by the company in 2023 indicated an increase from 0.18% to 0.28% in the mean chrome assays and an increase from 8.2% to 8.8% in the mean iron assays relative to the historical purchased data. The company has the objective of integrating these elements in future resource updates.

Located in central Alaska near existing transportation and power infrastructure, the Nikolai nickel project is well situated to become a significant, domestic source of critical and strategic energy-related metals for the American market.

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