Mining Intelligence and News

NICO Project

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Mine TypeOpen Pit & Underground
  • Gold
  • Cobalt
  • Bismuth
  • Copper
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Transverse open stoping
  • Longitudinal stoping
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotNICO is a fully vertically integrated project that will include mining and concentrating ores in the Northwest Territories, and transportation of the metal concentrate to the proposed refinery in Alberta for further processing to high value metal and chemical products.


Fortune Minerals Limited 100 % Indirect
The NICO Project is 100% owned by Fortune Minerals Limited.



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Deposit type

  • Hydrothermal
  • IOCG


The NICO deposit can be classified as a hydrothermal iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) deposit.

The NICO deposit is hosted in iron- and potassium-altered, brecciated basement sedimentary rocks of the Treasure Island Group at and beneath the unconformity with the volcanic Faber Group rocks.

Cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper mineralization at NICO is intimately associated with a regionalscale metasomatic event and a later, more restricted, sulphide mineralizing event. Both the Treasure Island Group metasediments and the overlying Faber Group volcanics were subjected to intense regional potassium and iron metasomatism. In the NICO area, the combination of iron and potassium metasomatism has resulted in the creation of an assemblage of amphibole-biotite ± magnetite altered metasedimentary rocks which extend along strike for approximately 2 km. The deposit is hosted within a 200-m thick package of northwest-striking and northeast-dipping amphibole-biotite ± magnetite ironstone and schist and amphibole-biotite altered subarkosic wacke. The latter is considered to be the protolith to the ironstone/schist and becomes increasingly more abundant in the upper part of the hanging wall. The dominant amphiboles are iron-rich.

Sulphide mineralization is disseminated and makes up between 3% and 10% of the mineralized rocks. The sulphide minerals are predominantly aligned along the foliation planes. Only small native gold grains have been observed. These are mainly associated with sulphides, but also occur with silicate minerals such as feldspar (Thalenhorst and Farquharson, 2002). The sulphides consist primarily of cobaltite/cobaltian arsenopyrite,
bismuthinite and chalcopyrite.

Gold mineralization forms a central ‘bulls-eye’ to the deposit within the cobalt-bismuth core of the magnetite mineralization and is confined largely to the middle and lower zones. Two correlatable horizons of less altered subarkosic wacke partially demarcate the lower/middle and middle/upper zone boundaries (Thalenhorst and Farquharson, 2002). The upper zone is much more restricted in extent and the sulphide and Au-Co-Bi mineralization is weaker.

A minor amount of mineralization occurs in the overlying felsic extrusive/intrusive Faber Group units, and is hosted by east-west striking, sub-vertical, vein-like structures. The arsenopyrite in these near vertical zones was most likely introduced during the stage 6 mineralizing event. Sulphide intersections also occur in the cross-cutting quartz-feldspar and feldspar-amphibole ± quartz porphyry dykes. Many of the late stage felsic intrusions cutting the deposit have removed Co-Bi-Au mineralization and left blocks of relatively unmineralized rock in the centre of the deposit.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills


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Gold koz 814
Cobalt k lbs 69,526
Bismuth k lbs 102,082
Copper k lbs 11,195
All production numbers are expressed as metal in concentrate.

Production Costs

Cash costs Cobalt Equivalent USD 9.5 / lb *  USD
Cash costs Gold Equivalent USD 673.54 / oz *  USD
Cash costs Bismuth USD -10.18 / lb * **  USD
Cash costs Cobalt USD -5.19 / lb * **  USD
Cash costs Gold USD -702.12 / oz * **  USD
Assumed price Bismuth USD 12.6 / lb *  USD
Assumed price Cobalt USD 16 / lb *  USD
Assumed price Copper USD 3.25 / lb *  USD
Assumed price Gold USD 1,350 / oz *  USD
* According to 2014 study / presentation.
** Net of By-Product.

Operating Costs

UG mining costs ($/t milled) CAD 1.59 *  CAD
OP mining costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
Processing costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
Total operating costs ($/t milled) CAD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2014 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Initial CapEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Sustaining CapEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Total CapEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
OP OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
UG OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Processing OpEx $M CAD 422.4
Total OpEx $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Gross revenue (LOM) $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 7% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 7% $M CAD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe
After-tax IRR, %  ......  Subscribe

Required Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Dec 28, 2023


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