Nunavut hosts mineral deposits of diverse commodities across the territory. Many areas of Nunavut have been explored in the past and are no longer held under mineral tenure but still have immense potential for mineral discoveries or to expand on existing ones. This inventory of mineral projects that have been explored from 1997 to 2020 has been produced to highlight areas in which individuals or companies may choose to acquire mineral claims. The projects have primarily been identified from information included in the Nunavut Mineral Exploration, Mining and Geoscience Overview publication and its predecessor, the Exploration Overview for the Northwest Territories.
The inventory is presented as a user-friendly KML file that can be uploaded into Google Earth or other geospatial software packages. Selecting a project’s icon will bring up information including geological descriptions, types of exploration work that have been carried out, and best results from past work. Each project entry also includes references to available assessment reports users may consult for more detailed information about that project.
Classification of Projects
The projects are classified by tenure availability, indicated by a colour scale, and by commodity:
Green: properties whose areas of known potential are entirely or almost entirely unclaimed.
Yellow and orange: properties whose areas of known potential are partially to mostly claimed, respectively, and which may have potential in the surrounding area.
Red: properties for which the area with known potential and mineralization is almost entirely claimed, but may have potential in the surrounding area.
Projects have been grouped in folders sorted by commodity in the KML file so they can be filtered based on interest. The categories include:
Au: Au-only deposits or prospects
Cu-Au: Intrusion related gold-copper, VMS (precious metals-enriched)
Diamonds: Kimberlites, kimberlite indicator mineral occurrences
Fe : Iron ore, iron formations
Ni-Cu-PGE: Mafic intrusions, komatiites
REE-U-Li: Pegmatite related mineralization, LCT or NYF type
Sapphires: Calc-silicate pods
U: Unconformity-type U mineralization, pegmatites
Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag: MVT, reduction-oxidizing reaction type mineralization
Mineral Potential Classification
The mineral potential of the properties were estimated using a classification diagram that includes four main “type of work” categories:
prospecting or exploration
Each property is placed in one of the zones within the diagram based on work that has been completed on the property, and the number within that zone is the mineral potential value assigned to the property.
There are two exceptions in the diagram: 1) if drilling completed on the property returned anomalous geochemical values then the mineral potential value increases by one (indicated by an asterisk); 2) if there is an estimated resource on the property that is NI 43-101-compliant, the mineral potential value is automatically 6.
Below are the categories in which a property can be classified:
i – Insufficient Data (outside the diagram)
1 – Non-diagnostic geology
1 – Background geophysics
1 – Background geochemistry
1 – Grassroots, regional or patchy exploration/prospecting
2 – Favourable geology
2 – Anomalous geophysics
2 – Anomalous geochemistry
2 – Known mineralization, previous exploration program data
3 – Favourable geology + Anomalous geophysics
3 – Favourable geology + Anomalous geochemistry
3 – Anomalous geophysics + Anomalous geochemistry
3*/4 – Known mineralization, previous exploration program data + Anomalous geophysics
3*/4 – Known mineralization, previous exploration program data + Anomalous geochemistry
3*/4 – Favourable geology + Known mineralization, previous exploration program data
4 or 4*/5 – Any combination of 3 factors (Favourable geology, Anomalous geophysics, Anomalous geochemistry, Known mineralization, previous exploration program data)
5 – Combination of all 4 factors (Favourable geology, Anomalous geophysics, Anomalous geochemistry, Known mineralization, previous exploration program data)
6 – Combination of all 4 factors in addition to an NI 43-101 compliant estimated or indicated resource
4/6 or 5/6 – When two numbers are separated by a slash, the first number indicates the property mineral potential; the second number indicates that there is a resource estimate that is non-NI 43-101 compliant.
geological information is completely unavailable or is insufficient to determine if geology is favorable for exploration.
geophysical or geochemical surveys that have not resulted in identifying distinct anomalies within area of interest.
identified geological units, structures or rock types within an area that could host or correlate to known mineralization in the area or have been described in literature to have potential for certain deposit types.
key geophysical anomalies relating to rock types, structures, intrusions or mineral properties that could indicate potential for mineralization.
anomalous values found in stream sediment, till, heavy mineral separates, regional bedrock samples (not focused assay sampling), lake sediment, water.
identified source of mineralization within bedrock, multiple samples taken from mineralized area or mineralization that has been drilled.
Projects with Insufficient or Confidential Information
There are multiple projects without NUMIN references listed in the compilation. This indicates that either the project is recent and there is no publicly available assessment report linked to the project, or that no assessment reports documenting work on the property have been submitted. In the first case, the project will be kept within the KML file and more information about the exploration work and results can be found on the owner’s website. Older projects lacking a reference are classified as projects with insufficient information and are included in a separate folder within the KML file.
Note to readers: This document has been prepared based on information available at the time of writing. All resource and reserve figures quoted in this publication are derived from company news releases, company websites, and/or technical reports and other documentation filed with SEDAR. Users are directed to individual company websites for details on the reporting standards used. The authors make no guarantee of any kind with respect to the content and accept no liability, either incidental, consequential, financial or otherwise, arising from the use of these files.
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