North American Nickel has initiated a geophysical survey program consisting of surface time-domain PEM and gravity surveys at the Imiak Hill Conduit Complex (IHCC) of its Maniitsoq exploration project in southwest Greenland. Crone Geophysics of Mississauga, Ontario, is performing the geophysical work.

North American Nickel President Mark Fedikow said, “Our deepest hole to date at Imiak Hill in the IHCC intersected high-grade massive sulphide nickel-copper mineralization 185 m below surface. The new geophysical ground surveys are designed to look below that depth and define the extent and shape of our high-grade mineralized zones, providing plunge, strike and dip attitudes for the mineralization.

Drilling at the IHCC over the past two drill seasons has intersected significant nickel-copper-cobalt-PGM mineralization. Drill intercepts have included 24.75 m of near-massive to massive sulphide grading 3.19% nickel, 1.14% copper, and 0.11% cobalt, including 17.91 m of 3.8% nickel, 1.42% copper, 0.13% cobalt, and 0.01 g/mt platinum group metals.

Erdene Resource Development Corp. has entered into a strategic alliance with Teck Resources for option and private placement agreements to fund and explore Erdene’s mineral tenements in the Trans Altay region of southwest Mongolia. Initially, the program will focus on the company’s Khuvyn Khar copper porphyry prospect, as well as exploration of select targets across the Trans Altay region.

The Khuvyn Khar license hosts multiple copper and molybdenum mineralized porphyry centers, with several kilometers of altered intrusive with associated copper geochemical anomalism. Multiple copper mineralized zones have been intersected in wide-spaced drilling, including 34 m of 1.3% copper and 9.24 g/mt silver.

The focus of the initial program will be to further define priority drill targets through a program of drill core re-logging, detailed surface alteration mapping, geologic mapping, and geochemical and geophysical surveys to be carried out in the second and third quarters of 2013. Drilling will be considered by a joint technical committee following completion of the surface work program.

Once Erdene has spent 85% of the proceeds from the Teck financing on the initial program, Teck will have the option to acquire up to a 75% interest in designated projects through a two-stage option process by funding exploration expenditures of up to $10 million on the Khuvyn Khar project and up to $5 million on each of the other existing or acquired projects so designated within the Trans Altay project area.

Malbex Resources has entered into an option agreement with Barrick Gold relating to Malbex’s Del Carmen project in the El Indio gold belt, San Juan province, Argentina. Barrick will be the operator of the project and can earn a 51% interest by incurring an aggregate of $21 million in exploration expenditures on the project on or prior to the fifth anniversary of the execution of a shareholders’ agreement.

In the two years following the first earn-in period, Barrick will have the option to further increase its ownership to 75% by incurring an aggregate of $20 million in additional exploration expenditures.

The Del Carmen concessions total 15,129 ha. The project hosts two large hydrothermal alteration systems that are the focus of exploration. The principal target is a Veladero-style, high-sulphidation epithermal gold-silver system.

Copper Fox Metals reported that Desert Fox Copper, a wholly-owned subsidiary, has initiated a diamond drilling resource verification program at its Van Dyke oxide copper deposit in the Globe-Miami district of Arizona. The program is designed to confirm a historical resource estimate completed by Occidental Minerals in the early 1970s.

The current drill program will also test the potential for sulphide copper-molybdenum mineralization below the oxide zone.

Occidental’s historical estimate is quoted as 119.2 million st, averaging 0.52% copper using a 0.20% copper cutoff for 1.2 billion lb of total copper. Occidental estimated that approximately 62% of the deposit was oxidized but did not explore for sulphide copper mineralization below the oxide zone.

In the late 1970s, Occidental conducted in-situ leach (ISL) testing on the Van Dyke oxide copper deposit, consisting of drilling injection and recovery wells into the deposit and circulating solution to recover copper. This test work suggested that up to 80% of the oxide copper could be recovered using enhanced stimulation of the deposit. In the late 1980s, Kocide Chemicals reported production of 4 million lb of copper from the Van Dyke oxide copper deposit, also utilizing ISL.

A resource estimate based on the Van Dyke verification drilling program will provide input for a preliminary economic assessment that is scheduled for completion in 2014.