TORONTO, Jan. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pure Nickel Inc. (TSX:NIC) announces results from its 2012 exploration program at the MAN project, Alaska. This was the fifth season that Pure Nickel's joint venture partner, Itochu Corporation, has funded exploration. With this year's work program of US$4.2 million, Itochu has expended approximately US$21 million on exploration of the property, and currently holds a 30% ownership interest. The joint venture agreement allows Itochu to earn up to a 75% interest by incurring US$40 million of exploration expenditures. The work program included soil geochemical surveys (3,010 samples collected), detailed mapping, 48 line kilometers of IP (induced polarization) geophysical surveys and 2,233 meters of diamond core drilling. The program was designed to identify areas of potential magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide mineralization at surface or at shallow depths. Drilling was used to test soil geochemical and/or IP anomalies for the presence of sulphides in bedrock. The work identified several new sulphide occurrences on the Alpha complex, with a number of soil geochemical and IP anomalies still to be tested. Of the eight drill holes completed, seven targeted soil or IP anomalies, and one hole was drilled to investigate magmatic stratigraphy. Minor amounts of magmatic sulphide mineralization were encountered in most of the drill holes, but assay results from these intervals were generally not significant. In hole PNI-12-063, however, highly anomalous Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization was intersected across a significant interval. The hole targeted partially coincident IP and soil geochemical anomalies in the southern part of the Alpha complex, and returned an intersection of 80.95 meters apparent width grading 35 ppb Au, 106 ppb Pt, 174 ppb Pd (315 ppb Au+Pt+Pd), 0.17% Cu and 0.25% Ni from 146.55 meters to 227.5 meters. A limited gold prospecting program was also completed during the summer to attempt to locate the lode source of the many placer gold occurrences in the area. Results were encouraging, with one sample of glacially transported material assaying 14.0 g/t Au and 4.6% Ni. The bedrock source of this sample is unknown, but additional gold prospecting will be undertaken in 2013 in an attempt to trace the source.