Nicola Mining 2023 Drilling Program At New Craigmont Copper Project Reveals Significant Porphyry-Style Alterations

Nicola Mining Inc. (TSXV: NIM) (FSE: HLIA) (OTCQB: HUSIF), (the “Company”) announces the completion of its 2023 drilling exploration program (the “2023 Program”) at the New Craigmont Copper Project (“New Craigmont”), a wholly owned venture located near Merritt, BC, and 33 km south of Teck Resources Ltd.’s Highland Valley Copper, Canada’s largest open pit copper mine.

The Company initiated the 2023 Program on June 6, 2023, drilling six diamond holes totaling 2,684 metres on Mineral Lease 237643, adjacent to the historic Craigmont Copper Mine (Figure 1 and 2). The 2023 Program aimed to explore the potential of a southeastern extension of the historic Craigmont skarn ore body and to investigate the potential of a porphyry copper system.

Figure 1. Mineral tenure map of the New Craigmont Project.

Figure 2. Map of 2023 drilling program (projected in NAD 83, UTM 10N).


  • Drill holes NC23-001, NC23-002, NC23-003, NC23-004a were drilled southeast of the historic Craigmont Copper Mine to test the potential of continued skarn mineralization.  NC23-001  intercepted two intervals of (weakly mineralized) exoskarn hosted in Nicola Group limey sedimentary rocks, namely from 67.25 m to 99.8 m and 172.43 m to 185.50 m.  The skarn intervals are composed of banded actinolite, magnetite, epidote, brown garnet and veinlets of chalcopyrite (Figure 3). The holes NC23-002, NC23-003 and NC23-004a have discovered extensive alteration (epidote, chlorite and biotite) in Nicola Group sedimentary and volcaniclastic rocks, while no exact skarn interval was found in the drill core. This alteration is characteristic of porphyries and supports the possibility of a proximal porphyry system.
  • Drill holes NC23-005 and NC23-006 were drilled northeast and north of  the historic pit and targeted the Guichon Quartz Diorite. Extensive potassic alteration (K-feldspar, Figure 4), propylitic alteration (epidote and chlorite, figures 4 and 5) and veinlets of chalcopyrite +/- molybdenite (Figure 6) were observed in the core, suggesting the presence of a porphyry copper system at New Craigmont.  The presence of these features along with discreet zones of significant copper grade (>0.1% Cu; Table 1), all in proximity to the historic high-grade skarn, support the hypothesis that there is a porphyry centre (or several) on the property and that a copper porphyry system is the mineralization source for the historic Craigmont skarn.

Table 1: Intercepts ≥0.1% Cu*

Hole IDFrom (m)To (m)Length (m)Cu (%)Lithology
NC23-00148.7750.291.520.12hydrothermal silica healed fault breccia
NC23-00151.8153.331.520.13intercalated polylithic vocaniclastic
NC23-00153.3354.861.530.22intercalated polylithic vocaniclastic
NC23-00164.0167.063.050.33intercalated polylithic vocaniclastic
NC23-001126.50128.021.520.17contact between biotite-hornfels volcaniclastic and biotite-hornfels rhyolitic lapilli tuffaceous sequence
NC23-00361.0062.501.501.14fault breccia
NC23-00374.6077.703.100.44rhyolitic tuffaceous volcaniclastic sequence
NC23-003234.00235.251.250.27magnetite skarn
NC23-004a220.90222.501.600.10felsic dyke
NC23-004a247.47251.283.810.33rhyolitic tuffaceous volcaniclastic sequence (possible dacite volcaniclastic)
NC23-005115.50116.701.200.62rhyolitic crystal tuffaceous sequence
NC23-005137.00138.001.000.12polylithic volcaniclastic tuffaceous sequence
NC23-005197.50198.501.000.11quartz diorite
NC23-005209.50210.601.100.12quartz diorite
NC23-005322.64324.001.360.16diorite plug
NC23-005408.36409.361.000.71epidote-diopside-magnetite-garnet exoskarn
NC23-005411.36412.361.000.24massive garnet skarn
NC23-005419.40420.621.220.18feldspar-fragmental sediments
NC23-005520.00521.501.500.16feldspathic sandstone/gritty sequence
NC23-005598.67600.001.330.16quartz diorite
NC23-005637.00639.002.000.12massive to banded actinolite-epidote-garnet skarn
NC23-005648.00649.701.700.11massive to banded actinolite-epidote-garnet skarn
NC23-005809.22809.750.530.71quartz diorite
NC23-006324.69326.521.830.45quartz diorite
NC23-006455.00456.001.000.24quartz diorite
*These results are considered preliminary as they are still undergoing quality control

Figure 3. Banded actinolite-magnetite-epidote-garnet skarn with disseminated chalcopyrite at 83.5m in NC23-001.

Figure 4. Potassic alteration and epidote alteration in in Guichon Quartz Diorite at 293 m in NC23-006.

Figure 5. Epidote-chlorite propylitic alteration in Guichon Quartz Diorite at 198.0 m in NC23-005.

Figure 6. Quartz vein hosting chalcopyrite with molybdenite at 326.5 m in NC23-006.


  • The Company continues to work diligently to compile  a database of all, both historic and current, core logs and lab results. Once  complete, Nicola will begin building a 3D geological interpretation using core logs, mapping data and geophysics.  This will greatly aid in target generation and allow the Company to refine working hypotheses, as well as integrate subsequent data. 
  • Induced polarization (“IP”) surveys are being planned for spring of 2024 over two key areas of interest, which will help fill existing IP data gaps.  Data will be utilized  in conjunction with magnetic and resistivity data to augment interpretations of structure, lithology, alteration, and mineralization. Previous IP results correlate well with high-grade copper intercepts at Embayment (Figure 10).
  • Nicola anticipates using the results of the IP surveys, along with existing data to plan drill holes over one or both areas to be drilled later in the summer of 2024.

Figure 7. Areas of interest for 2024 exploration.

Figure 8. Aeromagnetic MVI plan view of surface showing cross-section lines for figures 9 & 10.

There appears to be a west / east magnetic trend that includes known mineralization found in the Embayment, Craigmont, and Eric Zones. However, the Marb / Cas Zone remains largely unexplored and lacks drill data.

The Craigmont anomaly is the host of the historic mine, while the Eric Zone hosts high grade mineralization, but on smaller scale. The Company has successfully drilled the Embayment Zone, with drill intercepts grading greater than 1% copper.

The Marb / Cas and Embayment Zones, like the historic mine are skarn targets.

Figure 9. Aeromagnetic MVI cross-sections (200m thick) illustrating proven mineralization at (A-A’) Craigmont and (B-B’) Embayment corresponding with high magnetic anomalies and observed mineralization on surface at (C-C’) CAS and (D-D’) MARB corresponding with (not yet drill-tested) high magnetic anomalies.

NOTE: The outcroppings seen in the cross-sections coincide with the outcroppings seen at surface.

Figure 10. IP chargeability cross-section (200m thick) through the Embayment Zone showing higher chargeability anomaly corresponding with high-grade Cu intercepts.

Mr. Peter Espig, CEO of Nicola Mining Inc., commented on the findings: “Overall the 2023 Program yielded encouraging results. While we would have liked to have seen more mineralization directly southeast of the historic pit, the drilling northeast uncovered extensive alteration and indicates the potential of other mineralization bodies. Particularly, we are extremely excited to see that the outcroppings, which we mapped extensively this time, coincide perfectly with the cross-section diagrams displaying electromatic anomalies. These findings reinforce our commitment to exploring and developing the New Craigmont Project.”

The Company looks forward to further analysis and potential exploration based on these promising results.

Nicola maintains tight sample security, and quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) for all aspects of its exploration program. All core samples from 2023 were logged, photographed and sampled on site by staff or consulting geologists and geotechnicians. The samples were picked up and transported from site by Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Actlabs) to their ISO 17015 accredited lab in Kamloops, BC for preparation (crushing and pulverizing) and analyzed for 38-element ICP-OES by aqua regia (partial) digestion with specified limits (method code 1E3). Company protocols include the insertion of quality control (QC) samples consisting of Certified Reference Materials (CRMs), blanks and duplicates into the sample stream at a rate of 1 in 20. Nicola geologists are currently reviewing the results of the QC program, pending lab re-runs of select sample batches.

Kevin Wells, P.Geo, a consulting geologist to the Company, is the independent qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects for the technical disclosure contained in this news release. 

Nicola Mining Inc. is a junior mining company listed on the TSX Venture and Frankfurt Exchanges that maintains a 100% owned mill and tailings facility, located near Merritt, British Columbia. It has signed Mining and Milling Profit Share Agreements with high grade gold projects. Nicola’s fully-permitted mill can process both gold and silver mill feed via gravity and flotation processes.

The Company owns 100% of the New Craigmont Project, a high-grade copper property, which covers an area of 10,913 hectares along the southern end of the Guichon Batholith and is adjacent to Teck Resources Ltd.’s Highland Valley Copper, Canada’s largest copper mine. The Company also owns 100% of the Treasure Mountain Property, which is comprised of 51 mineral tenures, 21 legacy claims: 100 cell units, and five crown grants for a total of approximately 2,850 hectares.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Peter Espig”  
Peter Espig
CEO & Director

For additional information

Contact:  Peter Espig
Phone: (778) 385-1213

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The information in these press releases is historical in nature, has not been updated, and is current only to the date indicated in the particular press release. This information may no longer be accurate and therefore you should not rely on the information contained in these press releases. To the extent permitted by law, Nicola Mining Inc. and its employees, agents and consultants exclude all liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of, or reliance on, any such information, whether or not caused by any negligent act or omission.