By Matt Deller, Senior Geologist
The Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum group metals deposit will be the first mine developed in the Ring of Fire. But soon after, Noront will start ore production from its Blackbird chromite deposit located less than a kilometer away. For this reason, Noront’s geologists are taking another detailed look at all the information related to Blackbird.
When a deposit is initially discovered, geologists often do not have a good understanding of its geology or why certain mineralization is located where it is. Early stage exploration focuses more on defining a deposit’s potential value (size and grade), rather than understanding its location and how it formed.
Once a deposit is determined potentially economic, a strong geological model is needed to take the analysis to the next stage. This requires sufficient information for the engineers to initiate mine design. Data that must be gathered includes rock types surrounding the ore, structures that may cause issues with ground stability, and alteration of the rock that may impact mineral recovery.
A lot of drilling was completed on Blackbird between 2008 and 2010, and a great deal of information was collected. We are taking this data, looking at the geology of the area with a larger view, collecting new data where needed and putting all that information together into a 3D model.
This will be a vital step in the successful development of Blackbird, which we hope will be our second mine.