The Somanike project comprises 95 claims over a 45 km2 surface area and is located about 25 km north-west of the town of Malartic, in the Abitibi region of Québec. The Somanike project was named as part of the signing of a cooperation agreement between Sphinx and the Abitibiwinni first nation, based at Pikogan, Québec.
The project covers a favourable strike length of over 14 km and is comprised of Archean volcanic rocks (the Malartic and Louvicourt groups) and sedimentary rocks of the Kewagama group. This area represents the extension of volcanic units found in the Val d’Or area, which is well known for its many volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits and gold deposits. The project area includes a sequence of ultramafic rocks located south of the Mainville South regional fault and wedged between the La Motte pluton to the north, the Preissac pluton to the south and the La Corne pluton to the east. The geology of the area is essentially composed of komatiites, peridotites pyroxenites and both mafic and felsic volcanic rocks. A sedimentary unit, locally bearing massive sulphides (pyrrhotite and pyrite), is also observed in places. These lithologies belong to the La Motte-Vassan Formation, at the base of the Malartic Group. Lithogeochemistry data from historical drill holes indicate the presence of ultramafic rocks.
The initial project area was covered by a VTEM survey that produced excellent magnetic responses and local conductive targets. Three target areas were refined on the ground using focused ARMIT surveys.
A 4-hole drill program was completed in 2015 totalling 917 metres. The holes confirmed the presence of more intrusive ultramafic rocks (peridotite) than previously known in the eastern part of the project area. The intersected ultramafic rocks correlate very well with new magnetic trends returned from the VTEM survey and enhance the prospectivity of the entire area. Drill results include the first nickel-bearing sulphide intercept from the project, which returned 1.41% Ni, 0.05% copper, 0.30 g/t palladium and 0.04 g/t platinum over 0.5 metres. The high-grade intercept is surrounded by anomalous Ni-Cu-PGE values in sulphides within ultramafic rocks and intermediate lapilli tuffs. The mineralization remains open in all directions. The ultramafic rocks are likely feeders to komatiite flows known in the area. High-grade mineralization is directly associated with peridotite and supported by additional intervals of anomalous nickel in sulphides. To test the potential extensions of the nickel-bearing sulphides, down-hole EM surveys were completed in two holes to assist with future drill targeting. Several priority drill targets have been identified. On the basis of the results obtained to date, Sphinx has designed a follow-up exploration program which includes drilling of high priority targets. Sphinx is currently seeking of a partner to fund the drilling program.
Further to the initial program described above, Sphinx expanded its land position through two strategic acquisitions.
In 2015, Sphinx signed an acquisition agreement with Royal Nickel for the purchase of 100% of the Marbridge mine concessions and eight nearby claims by issuing 2,000,000 common shares. Royal Nickel also received a 2% NSR on the Marbridge mining concessions and Sphinx has the right and option to purchase this 2% NSR for $2,000,000. The 8 mining claims remain subject to a 2% NSR in favour of Jefmar Inc. and Sphinx has the right to purchase 50% of this NSR for $1,000,000.
The Marbridge underground nickel-copper mine produced 774,227 tonnes of ore grading 2.28% nickel and 0.1 % copper between 1962 and 1968, with 4 deposits being discovered by prospecting and surface drilling between 1957 and 1966. Marbridge is the only nickel mine in the Abitibi region to date. The deposits were previously operated under a joint venture between Falconbridge Nickel Mines and Marchant Mining, and then owned by Royal Nickel. An airborne electromagnetic survey was conducted by Royal Nickel over Marbridge in 2014. Results from this survey, and work conducted on the by Sphinx in 2014 and 2015, including drilling has defined several priority drill targets. There is significant potential for the discovery of high grade Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide deposits typical of the Raglan (Québec) and Kambalda type deposits (Western Australia).
In 2015, Sphinx also signed a definitive agreement to acquire 7 claims from Globex Mining Enterprises Inc. (“Globex”) in the area of the Somanike project, now 100% owned by Sphinx. Globex assigns, transfers and sells to Sphinx all of its rights, titles and interests in and to the Claims, for consideration that is comprised of:
- 1,200,000 common shares of Sphinx valued at $36,000; and
- a graduated Gross Metal Royalty (“GMR”) defined as 1% of all metals produced from the claims when the nickel price quote is $6.00 US/lb. or less, 1.5% GMR when it is greater than $6.00 US/lb. but less than $8.00 US/lb. and 2% GMR when it is $8.00 US/lb. or greater.