MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.

MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.

January 18, 2010 08:00 ET

RETRANSMISSION: MacDonald Mines Completes Major Review on its Ring of Fire Properties; Drilling Planned for February

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2010) - MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:BMK) ("MacDonald Mines" or the "Company") announces that it has completed a comprehensive review of all exploration work on its properties in the Ring of Fire area of James Bay. The catalyst for this initiative was the emergence of Cliffs Natural Resources ("Cliffs") as an interested party along with Noront Resources ("Noront") in the acquisition of Freewest Resources ("Freewest").

If the impending Freewest shareholders meeting scheduled for January 25, 2010 approves the Cliffs - Freewest transaction then MacDonald Mines believes that this will be the tipping point for renewed exploration in southern James Bay. The total quoted investment required to develop the Freewest chromite mine is in the order of $1.5 billion with infrastructure estimated to comprise approximately $700 million of the total. The infrastructure necessary for the development of the Freewest chromite deposit is anticipated to significantly change the economics of neighbouring deposits, including those belonging to MacDonald Mines.

Review of Data Indicates Numerous Signatures Similar to Noront and Freewest

MacDonald Mines initiated a total review of its land holdings, and presents its opinions relating to previous drill results and all geophysical data. From the start, MacDonald Mines airborne survey's over all its properties were flown at a minimum of 100-metre line spacing. The existing data relating to the Company's land holdings in the James Bay area, in conjunction with new modeling techniques and interpretation, is expected to play a major role in the Company's future exploration initiatives.

An in-depth evaluation and re-interpretation of the geology has indicated that the Company's King, Hornby, Richmond, Bay, Adelaide, Wellington and McNugget properties all encompass geology with numerous anomalous geophysical signatures similar to those seen on adjacent Noront, Freewest and Probe properties.

The review of the Company's existing data by Hadyn Butler, P.Geo. and Randall Salo, P. Geo. was augmented by the addition of Quentin Yarie, P. Geo. who provided an in-depth geophysical perspective. The resulting collaboration and review provided MacDonald Mines with several targets that warrant further exploration work including diamond drilling. MacDonald Mines also employed the services of Dr. Larry Hulbert, D.Sc.,P. Geo. in the analysis of the data.

Hadyn Butler and Dr. Larry Hulbert have extensive experience and knowledge of Archean type mineralization patterns (nickel, gold and VMS) in Northern Ontario and elsewhere. Hadyn Butler has more than 40 years of geological experience and over 30 years consulting experience with the former INCO Ltd worldwide. Dr. Larry Hulbert, is a recognized expert in magmatic Ni-Cu-platinoid exploration and formerly worked at the Geological Survey of Canada with a global focus on nickel deposits.

Hornby Property

MacDonald Mines Hornby Property is located directly southwest of the Freewest land position. The Company believes that after conducting the review of its airborne survey, the Hornby Property has the potential to host the extension of the Freewest chrome deposits. 

McNugget Property

A review of the existing data on the McNugget Property has shown that it hosts both geophysical and geological signatures indistinguishable from those of seen on Noront's properties. Of particular interest were the following results from MacDonald Mine's 2007 drill program:

  • Drill hole MN07-46 encountered sulphide in peridotite throughout its entire 170 meter length and assayed 0.18% nickel over 112.0 meters including 0.20% nickel over 41.0 meters.
  • Drill hole MN07-47 encountered 0.36% Cu, 10.6% Zn, 3.7% Pb and 115 g/t Ag over 3.0 meters in volcanic rocks.

The extensive disseminated nickeliferous sulphide intersection in hole MN07-46 indicates that appropriate units have a strong potential to host nickel deposits within McNugget. Furthermore, significant anomalous samples of gold, copper and zinc were intersected by reconnaissance drilling.

A re-evaluation of existing borehole locations by Quentin Yarie, P. Geo., indicates that the boreholes were located based on anomalous geophysical responses from Max-Min data collected over airborne VTEM anomalies. Further review of these data sets has indicated that the Max-Min anomalous responses were not coincident with the deeper penetrating VTEM data, suggesting that many of the VTEM anomalies were unlikely to have been adequately tested or explained.

Chromite, Nickel and Base Metals Targeted for February Diamond Drill Program

MacDonald Mines is currently remodeling drill targets for both nickel and base metals based on its new models and re-interpretation of past data and is planning a diamond drill program for February. The Company also intends to further investigate the geophysical anomaly associated with Freewest's chromite discovery during this upcoming diamond drill program.

MacDonald Mines also believes that exploration from 2005 to 2008 may have identified chrome in a number of it's previous drill holes on the McNuggett Property. MacDonald Mines has confirmed these drill locations and will undertake a total analysis of the drill core, with expected completion by the end of January.

MacDonald Mines Exploring Synergistic Opportunities with Key Companies

Given Macdonald Mine's 6 years experience in James Bay, the Company understands and recognizes the high cost of exploration in the area. With its new exploration model, these costs will be even higher because of the deeper drilling that will be necessary to quantify many of its identified targets. Recognizing this, MacDonald Mines is also looking at potential synergistic opportunities with key explorers in the region. In seeking out any synergistic arrangement, MacDonald Mines feels very strongly that it maintains an active exploration role in the James Bay. 

Ring of Fire Well Mineralized

Hadyn Butler commented as follows, "The greenstone belts of the "Ring of Fire" in northern Ontario are remarkably well mineralized. The combination of nickel sulphide (Ni-Cu-PGE), VMS (Cu-Zn-Ag), chromitite, potentially vanadiferous titanomagnetite, lead and gold is rare. VMS drill intersections in the southern portion of the "Ring of Fire" occur over a distance of at least 70 kilometers in a similar stratigraphic suite - from MacDonald Mine's McNugget Property to Spider/KWG's earlier discoveries north of McFaulds Lake. 

Disseminated nickel sulphide found previously by MacDonald Mines on the McNugget Property are located 45 kilometers from, and are in similar stratigraphy to Noront's Double Eagle high-grade Ni-Cu-PGE discoveries - indicating a series of large mafic-ultramafic actively mineralized magma chambers around the nose of the "Ring of Fire." Freewest's chromitites occur in these chambers adjacent to and on strike from very large differentiated mafic-ultramafic chambers that appear to host nickel sulphide, chromitites and vanadium-potential titanomagnetites across MacDonald Mine's properties."

"In short," continues Mr. Butler, "MacDonald Mines appears to have similar stratigraphy and similar drill intersects of mineralization potential. The scale of these mineralized chambers is such that exploration to date has only established their presence and mineralization types. Indeed, current exploration in the Ring of Fire should still be considered due to the large strike length of the pregnant greenstones. Apart from known discoveries, there are many geophysical targets yet to be drilled."

Management Team Adds Vice President of Exploration

Kirk McKinnon, President & CEO is pleased to announce that Quentin Yarie, P.Geo., has formally accepted a key management position with the Company as Vice President of Exploration. 

Quentin Yarie, P.Geo., brings over 20 years project management and business development experience. In addition to his most recent position as a Senior management with Geotech Ltd., Mr. Yarie has held positions of increasing responsibility with a number of Canadian-based geophysical service providers. From 1992-2001 Mr. Yarie was a partner of a specialized environmental and engineering consulting group where he managed a number of large projects including the ESA of the Sydney Tar Ponds and the Maritime and Northeast Pipeline project.

Mr. Yarie augments the Company's strong geological consulting team of Hadyn Butler, P. Geo., Dr. Larry Hulbert, D.Sc., P.Geo. and Taiga Consultants by adding a geophysical focus to MacDonald Mine's exploration strategy.

About MacDonald Mines Exploration Inc.

MacDonald Mines is a mineral exploration company with an established history in the exploration of gold and base metals. MacDonald Mines has set upon a strategic direction of exploration in the Canadian Northlands, with particular focus on the "Ring of Fire" in James Bay,Ontario, it's joint-venture with Virginia Mines in Quebec and now the LaRonge area in Saskatchewan.

In 2008, MacDonald Mines was ranked second in the TSX Venture 50's Annual Ranking of Top Canadian Mining Companies and trades under the symbol BMK.

More detailed information is available on the website at

Quentin Yarie, P.Geo., is the qualified person in regard to the technical data contained within this news release and will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the the Company's exploration programs.


2,100,000 options were issued to Consultants, Directors, and Officers of the Company on January 15, 2009 under the terms of the incentive stock option plan of the Company filed with the TSX Venture Exchange and approved by shareholders at the last Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Company held on June 11, 2009. The options are exercisable at a price of $0.21 per share for a period of four years and are subject to a four-month hold period from the date of the issuance.

Cautionary Statement:

The foregoing information may contain forward-looking statements relating to the future performance of MacDonald Mines Exploration Inc. Forward-looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from MacDonald Mines plans and expectations. These plans, expectations, risks and uncertainties are detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by MacDonald Mines with the TSX Venture Exchange and securities regulators. MacDonald Mines does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

Contact Information

  • MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.
    Brent Nykoliation
    Vice President, Business Development
    (800) 818-5442 or (416) 364-4986
    (416) 364-2753 (FAX)
    MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.
    Kirk McKinnon
    President & CEO
    (800) 818-5442 or (416) 364-4986
    (416) 364-2753 (FAX)
    MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.
    Richard Schler
    Chief Operating Officer & CFO
    (800) 818-5442 or (416) 364-4986
    (416) 364-2753 (FAX)