Noble Mineral Exploration Inc. [NOB-TSXV; NLPXF-OTC; NB7-FSE] said Tuesday October 1 that it plans to create the Canada Nickel Company, an entity that will own a consolidated 100% interest in the Crawford nickel-cobalt sulphide project located in the Timmins-Cochrane area of northern Ontario.
The announcement comes on the same day that Spruce Ridge Resources Ltd. [SHL-TSXV] said it has agreed to sell its interest in the Crawford Project to Canada Nickel Co.
Noble also said it plans to distribute a significant portion of Noble’s interest in Canada Nickel to Noble shareholders and qualify Canada Nickel as a new public entity.
Canada Nickel will be led by Mark Selby, the former President and CEO of RNC Minerals Corp. [RNX-TSX], where he led the development of the Dumont nickel-cobalt project through to its current status as a fully-permitted, construction-ready project. Dumont is located in the Abitibi region of Quebec and contains the second largest nickel reserve and ninth largest cobalt reserve in the world.
Having previously held a senior management role at the company formerly known as Inco Ltd., Selby is recognized as a leading authority on the nickel market.
In addition, Noble said it plans to complete a fully subscribed $5 million private placement into Canada Nickel to fund the cost of the Crawford Project consolidation and continue exploration and mineralogical work to advance the project. Under the terms of the financing, Canada Nickel is planning issue 13 million common shares at 25 cents a share and five million flow-through shares at 35 cents each.
Noble shares advanced on the news, rising 28% or $0.025 to 11.5 cents on volume of almost 2.0 million. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of $0.06 and 15.7 cents.
The planned consolidation of the Crawford properties will be implemented under the terms of a binding letter of intent that has been entered into by Noble, Selby, Spruce Ridge Resources, and certain private investors.
Noble and Spruce Ridge are parties to a joint venture agreement dated May 4, 2018 that gives Spruce the right to earn up to a 75% interest in the Crawford Project. Spruce and the investors entered into a deal relating to the Crawford joint venture deal (dated September 9, 2018) under which the investors have the right to earn up to a 37.5% interest in the Crawford Project, leaving Spruce Ridge with 37.5%.
“What drew Spruce to this property originally was that it was underexplored, close to the Kidd Creek Mine and had several priority targets from a recently flown EM/MAG survey,” said Spruce Ridge President and CEO John Ryan.
“Our Phase 1 drilling program in December 2018 was successful in that three of the four holes drilled intersected serpentinized dunite with persistent nickel values greater than 0.25% nickel over core lengths of up to 291 metres,” Ryan said.
Nickel mineralization in Crawford Township was originally discovered by Inco during a 1960s exploration program that covered several townships north of the Kidd Creek Mine.
Selby described the timing of the discovery as “excellent.” “We are in a robust nickel market, increasingly driven by demand for nickel from the electric vehicle (EV) market which will require new nickel projects to be built over the coming decade,’’ he said.
Noble will wind up to with a 24% stake in Canada Nickel post-financing, leaving Spruce Ridge and the investors with 20% each, and the private placement group with 36%.