Nickel Creek Platinum Announces Positive PFS for its Nickel Shäw Project

25 August 2023

Nickel Creek Platinum Corp. is excited to unveil the positive outcomes of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for its fully owned Nickel Shäw Project situated in Yukon, Canada. The PFS, meticulously prepared by AGP Consultants Inc., has yielded highly encouraging results. Notably, the projected after-tax net present value (NPV) of the Project, calculated at a 5% discount rate, stands at an impressive $143 million, accompanied by an after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 5.8%. All financial figures are denoted in Canadian dollars unless specified otherwise.

Stuart Harshaw, the President and CEO of Nickel Creek, expressed his enthusiasm, emphasizing the pivotal role of the PFS in realizing the immense potential that the Nickel Shäw Project holds in the critical mineral domain. Given the escalating demand for nickel and copper, driven by the thriving electric vehicle (EV) battery market, the Project holds strategic importance. The study's consideration of energy costs underscores the collaborative efforts with government bodies that can significantly amplify value. Notably, this collaboration is reinforced by the Federal government's intention to provide tax incentives for critical mineral ventures like Nickel Shäw. Harshaw articulated a forward-looking approach, with a commitment to enhancing the Project's value through targeted advancements in key economic segments and sustained successes in mineral exploration, all culminating in the pursuit of a comprehensive feasibility study.

Project PFS Highlights

  • $143 million after-tax NPV using a 5% discount rate and an IRR of 5.8% at the following commodity prices: nickel - US$11.00/pound ("lb"); copper – US$4.00/lb; palladium – US$2,100/troy ounce ("troy oz"); platinum – US$1,000/troy oz; cobalt – US$23/lb; and gold – US$1,800/troy oz, each using a 0.75 Canadian to US exchange rate.
  • Life of mine ("LOM") after-tax cash flow of approximately $1.7 billion with an after-tax payback period of 12.7 years.
  • Pre-production capital cost of approximately $1.7 billion, with a construction period of 3.0 years.

Project Opportunities

  • If paying Yukon grid rates of $0.11/kWhr, the after-tax NPV at a 5% discount rate increases by $324 million to $467 million (see NPV sensitivities section below for additional information).
  • The Company's after-tax NPV at a 5% discount rate increases from $143 million to $336 million if the Canadian tax incentive for critical mineral companies is enacted (see Investment Tax Credit for Clean Technology Manufacturing section below for additional information).
  • The Company plans to further investigate the opportunity of carbon tax offsets associated with carbon sequestration in the tailings facility with ongoing testwork and analysis.

Project Description

The Company's flagship asset is its 100%-owned Nickel Shäw Ni-Cu-Co-PGM Project, located in southwestern Yukon, Canada. The Nickel Shäw Project contains the Company's core Ni-Cu-Co-PGM Wellgreen deposit, as well as the Arch, Burwash, Formula, Musk and Quill claims. The Wellgreen deposit is a polymetallic deposit with mineralization that includes the significant co-occurrence of nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group metals ("PGMs") and gold.

The Nickel Shäw property contains an extensive Ni-Cu-Co-PGM mineralized system hosted by mafic/ultramafic intrusions related to Triassic-age flood basalts. With over 2.4 billion pounds of nickel, 1.2 billion pounds of copper, 6.9 million ounces of PGMs and 137 million pounds of cobalt in the measured and indicated mineral resource categories, Nickel Shäw is one of the largest undeveloped nickel projects in North America not controlled by a major mining company.

The PFS contemplates that the Nickel Shäw open pit would be mined using conventional open pit methods, with a LOM of over 19 years. From the open pit the ore would be trucked to a primary crusher located adjacent to the pit and conveyed out of the valley to a concentrator designed to process 45,000 tonnes per day ("tpd") of ore. The ore would be fed into a conventional Ni-Cu-PGM flotation concentrator designed to produce a bulk Ni-Cu-PGM concentrate "Bulk conc" or alternatively into split concentrates. The split concentrates would be a Ni concentrate "Ni conc" and a Cu concentrate "Cu conc", as economics dictate. Average annual LOM concentrates production ("dmt") is expected to be 103,100 dmt of Bulk conc, 95,000 dmt of Ni conc and 19,600 of dmt Cu conc. Total LOM payable metal production includes the following:

  • 614.3M lbs nickel;
  • 281.5M lbs copper;
  • 21.5 M lbs cobalt;
  • 626,500 troy ounces platinum;
  • 743,400 troy ounces palladium; and
  • 174,400 troy ounces gold.

The tailings would be stored in a tailings storage facility adjacent to the concentrator. Concentrate would be transported by truck 480 km to the Port of Skagway Ore Terminal. Power will be primarily sourced from a liquified natural gas ("LNG") power plant.

Social & Environmental

The Nickel Shäw Project lies within the Kluane First Nation ("KFN") core area as defined under the Umbrella Final Agreement between the Government of Canada, Government of Yukon and the Council of Yukon First Nations. Effective August 1, 2012, an Exploration Cooperation Agreement was signed between the KFN and the Company. The KFN and the government of the Yukon Territory have provided very good support for the Nickel Shäw Project. 

Ultramafic rocks from the project (in the form of tailings and waste rock) are being assessed for their ability to capture and store carbon. Test work conducted in 2022 confirmed the presence of brucite (a magnesium-rich mineral known to react quickly with CO2 in air) in a subset of samples. On a mass basis, from the achieved reactivity in the testwork, this may enable maximum sequestration of 2.1 kt CO2 per Mt tailings. The Company is evaluating further work which will include the creation of a mineralogy model based on the project's geochemical database to assess the spatial distribution of rocks within the Wellgreen deposit that have high potential to sequester carbon (see news release dated December 15, 2022 for additional details).

Investment Tax Credit for Clean Technology Manufacturing

The Canadian 2023 federal budget proposed the introduction of a 30% refundable investment tax credit for investments in eligible property associated with eligible activities for clean technology manufacturing and processing, as well as critical mineral extraction and processing (the "Clean ITC"). The Clean ITC would apply to investments in certain depreciable property that is used all or substantially all for eligible activities. This would generally include machinery and equipment, including certain industrial vehicles and related control systems used in manufacturing, processing or critical mineral extraction. A portion of the Clean ITC would be recovered if eligible property is subject to a change in use or sold within a certain period of time.

As of this date, there are no specific details regarding the proposed Clean ITC and has not been legislated. Based on assumptions on the capital that could be eligible for the ITC, if the Company was able to utilize the 30% Clean ITC, the Company estimates that the after-tax NPV for the Project at a 5% discount rate would improve from $143 million to $336 million and the after-tax IRR would improve from 5.8% to 7.2%.


The initial capital expenditure contemplated in the PFS, to be incurred over the three-year pre-production period of the Project, amounts to approximately $1.7 billion, with the sustaining capital over the remainder of LOM amounts to approximately $0.6 billion. The LOM capital expenditure is summarized as follows:

Future Opportunities and Value Enhancements

The PFS also identified a number of potential optimizations to the Project. These include:

  • Working with energy providers and Yukon government and other stakeholders on an energy strategy to reduce the costs for the project;
  • Additional metallurgical testwork to improve overall recoveries of all payable metals where a 1% recovery improvement represents approximately an after-tax $111 M improvement to the NPV at a 5% discount rate; and
  • Continue drilling on the Arch target to define the potential resource which could provide the opportunity for an early project higher grade feed that may improve overall financial results.

About Nickel Creek Platinum Corp.

Nickel Creek Platinum Corp. (TSX: NCP; OTCQB: NCPCF) is a Canadian mining exploration and development company advancing its 100%-owned Nickel Shäw Project ("Project"). The Project has exceptional access to infrastructure, located three hours west of Whitehorse via the paved Alaska Highway, which further offers year-round access to deep-sea shipping ports in southern Alaska. 

The Company is led by a management team with a proven track record of successful discovery, development, financing and operation of large-scale projects. Our vision is to create value for our shareholders by becoming a leading North American nickel, copper, cobalt and PGM producer.

Qualified Persons

The PFS was overseen by AGP and the technical information disclosed in this news release was reviewed and approved by Gordon Zurowski of AGP. Mr. Zurowski is a "qualified person" as defined in NI 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") and an independent consultant to the Company. The scientific and technical information disclosed in this news release in relation to metallurgical testing, including with respect to 2022-23 variability testwork, was reviewed and approved by Gordon Marrs, P. Eng., of XPS who is a "qualified person" as defined in NI 43-101 and an independent consultant to the Company.

All other scientific and technical information disclosed in this news release was reviewed and approved by Cameron Bell, Nickel Creek's Geological Consultant and a "qualified person" as defined in NI 43-101. Please see the technical report (September 2018) filed under the Company's profile at, for a description of the Company's data verification and QA/QC procedures.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information 

This news release includes certain information that may be deemed "forward-looking information". Forward-looking information can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "believe", "continue", "plans" or similar terminology, or negative connotations thereof. All information in this release, other than information of historical facts, including, without limitation, regarding the results of  technical test work, the estimated mineral resource, the prospect of any future potential economic viability of the Project, future commodity prices and the potential for them to improve, that a feasibility study will ever be commenced and completed, the potential to identify additional mineralization beyond the known resource, timing of  further work on the Project, future demand for nickel and copper concentrates, future demand for battery products, statements concerning the availability and impact of the Clean ITC, the ability of the Company to identify additional opportunities to create shareholder value, and general future plans and objectives for the Company and the Project, are forward-looking information that involve various risks and uncertainties. Although the Company believes that the expectations expressed in such forward-looking information are based on reasonable assumptions, such expectations are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking information.

This news release also contains references to estimates of mineral resources. The estimation of mineral resources is inherently uncertain and involves subjective judgments about many relevant factors. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The accuracy of any such estimates is a function of the quantity and quality of available data, and of the assumptions made and judgments used in engineering and geological interpretation, which may prove to be unreliable and depend, to a certain extent, upon the analysis of drilling results and statistical inferences that may ultimately prove to be inaccurate. Mineral resource estimates may have to be re-estimated based on, among other things: (i) fluctuations in nickel, copper or other mineral prices; (ii) results of drilling; (iii) results of metallurgical testing and other studies; (iv) changes to proposed mining operations, including dilution; (v) the evaluation of mine plans subsequent to the date of any estimates; and (vi) the possible failure to receive or maintain required permits, approvals and licences.

For more information on the Company and the key assumptions, risks and challenges with respect to the forward-looking information discussed herein, and about our business in general, investors should review the Company's most recently filed annual information form, and other continuous disclosure filings which are available at Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.