Spurred by the rise in market values of iron concentrates and pellets, since the beginning of 2004, Niocan acquired, through staking, the mining rights on a group of 71 claims covering three iron magnetite mineral prospect. The “A” mineral prospect was made up of 36 claims, the “D” mineral prospect of 20 claims and the “E” mineral prospect of 15 claims, representing a total of 3,507 hectares. The Company doubled the number of claims in 2006 on mineral prospects “A”, “D” and “E” in order to add possibilities for mineralized extensions, and bringing this property to cover a total of 7,097.93 hectares. On November 1st, 2012, a total of 320 additional claims were staked around the three primary targets of the Company’s GWIP, bringing this project’s total claims to 460.
The property is located a few kilometres south of the Great Whale River. The “A” mineral prospect is located 65 km east of the villages of Kuujjuarapik and Whapmagoostui, on the shores of Hudson Bay, while mineral prospects “D” and “E” are located 20 km east and 40 km south east of mineral prospect «A» respectively. These mineral prospects are located on a rock plateau located 600 feet above sea level and mineral prospect “A” is an elongated mountain approximately 400 feet high known by the inuits as the iron mountain. The vegetation is scattered and is comprised of black spruce and moss. The climate is relatively dry with an annual average weather of minus 4 degrees Celsius, without permafrost. Further information on the description and location of the Great Whale Iron Project may be consulted in the report prepared by Met-Chem on August 31, 2006 as well as in the press release issued by the Company on February 22, 2010 which may be consulted at www.sedar.com.
The first exploration work on the property dates back to 1958 and was carried out by Little Long Lac Limited. From 1958 to 1960, the Company undertook a 17,000-metre drilling program (AX), of which 11,000 metres were on the “A” mineral prospect and 3,000 metres were done on each of the other two mineral prospects.
Metallurgical testing was done from composite samples obtained from the drill core intersects, as well as a bulk sample of 25 tonnes taken from mineral prospect “A”.
A number of studies were undertaken by independent consulting engineers on hydro-electric generation, the construction of a rail line to Hudson Bay and the construction of a deep-water port in Manitounuk Bay, located 20 km north-east of the villages of Kuujjuarapik and Whapmagoostui, which could accommodate 200,000 tonne cargo vessels.
In October 2012, the Company adopted a Work Program which consisted in the staking of additional claims, as further described herein, as well as in a regional airborne magnetics survey which was conducted in the vicinity of the GWIP, followed by a detailed airborne MAG-EM survey on the primary targets. The airborne surveys were conducted during the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. An analysis of this new data will help the Company delineate targets of greater interest for ground and field based follow-up.