Vancouver, November 27, 2012 – First Point Minerals Corp. (FPX-TSX) (“First Point” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the second batch of results for 15 of the 27 resource definition holes completed during this year’s drilling campaign at the Decar nickel-iron alloy project in central British Columbia. The Decar project is in the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) phase, and is managed and operated by Cliffs Natural Resources Exploration Canada Inc., an affiliate of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) (“Cliffs”). Highlights, as reported in Davis Tube magnetically-recovered (“DTR”) nickel, include:
- South-Central Area
- 12BAP-37 495m of 0.147% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-39 553m of 0.153% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-43 508m of 0.151% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-44 320m of 0.153% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-46 487m of 0.150% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-55 456m of 0.158% DTR nickel
- Northwestern Area
- 12BAP-45 466m of 0.143% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-47 442m of 0.145% DTR nickel
The 2012 results reported to date have significantly expanded a near-surface, higher-grade zone in the south-central area of the Baptiste deposit by extending the nickel-iron alloy mineralization a further 380 metres to the southeast. Long intercepts of DTR nickel averaging from 0.147% to 0.158% across down-hole lengths of 320 to 563 metres indicate a very continuous higher-grade zone of mineralization.
The 2012 drill holes, together with 2010 holes 1 and 7, plus 2011 holes 1, 5 and 7, define a higher-grade zone measuring 650 metres long in an east-west direction and from 315 metres wide on the west side expanding to 625 metres wide on the east side. The deeper drilling has confirmed the nickel-iron alloy mineralization extends vertically to at least 460 metres depth.
The higher-grade zone remains open to the east.
During the 2012 drill program at Decar, the Baptiste zone was tested with 27 resource definition core holes totalling 15,205 metres. Fifteen of the holes reached a targeted down-hole length of 600 metres, which is double the depth of all previous drilling with the exception of a single deep hole drilled in 2011 that extended the nickel-iron alloy mineralization to at least 430 metres vertically. In addition, eight holes comprising 1,473 metres of core were completed as part of a hydrological drilling program. Four of the hydrological holes were drilled in the mineralized zone and were tested for DTR nickel. Assay results remain pending for eight resource definition holes and two hydrological holes of the 2012 program. A drill hole location map can be viewed at www.firstpointminerals.com.
As reported in First Point’s April 16, 2012 news release, the Baptiste zone at Decar is estimated to contain an inferred mineral resource of 1.197 billion tonnes of DTR nickel grading 0.113%, equivalent to 2.982 billion pounds nickel using a 0.06% cut-off grade. One of the main objectives of this year’s drilling campaign was to test the lateral and deeper limits of higher grade zones by stepping out in the south-central and northwest areas of the Baptiste deposit.
The 2012 results to date, presented in the table below (Table 1), are for 19 resource definition holes in the Baptiste zone and two hydrological holes, including 12 step-out holes in the south-central area and nine infill holes in the northwestern portion of the deposit. Drill results from this year’s campaign will be used to update the mineral resource estimate, which will be incorporated into the PEA, due no later than March 12, 2013.
Table 1. 2012 Baptiste Drill Hole Results
|Intersections (m)||DTR Nickel
|12BAP-37||64.0||600.0||494.9||0.147||Excludes 8.2m & 33m dyke sequence|
|12BAP-39||38.2||594.1||552.7||0.153||Excludes 3.1m dyke|
|12BAP-42||154.0||234.0||80.0||0.120||Abandoned at 301m, rods stuck|
|12BAP-43||33.2||600.0||508.1||0.151||Excludes 22.3m, 9m, 14.2m, 3.2m & 9.9m dykes + minor wall rock|
|12BAP-44||240.0||579.0||319.9||0.153||Excludes 3.4m &15.7m dykes + minor wall rock|
|12BAP-46||28.6||600.1||487.4||0.150||Excludes 20m, 20m, 8m, 13.6m, 12m & 10.6m dykes + <0.1% DTR Ni intervals|
|12BAP-55||106.0||569.7||456.2||0.158||Excludes 7.4m dyke|
|*Holes 36 and 40 were previously reported in First Point’s October 25, 2012 News Release|
|12BAP-36*||31.1||600.1||563.0||0.156||Excludes 5.7m dyke|
|12BAP-40*||33.0||588.0||549.9||0.153||Excludes 5.1m dyke|
|12BAP-45||6.0||487.0||465.8||0.143||Excludes 4m & 10.3m dykes + <0.1% DTR Ni intervals|
|12BAP-47||150.0||600.0||442.0||0.145||Excludes 8m dyke + minor wall rock|
|12BAP-48||No Significant Results||Geotechnical hole drilled outside of margin|
|*Holes 38 and 41 were previously reported in First Point’s October 25, 2012 News Release|
|12BAP-41*||10.0||551.3||533.6||0.140||Excludes 6m & 1.7m dykes|
The reported nickel grades are based on a threshold of 0.10%. Intercepts of non-mineralized dykes less than 1 metre wide are included in the averaged mineralized intercepts.
The higher-grade, south-central area of the Baptiste deposit was tested and expanded with a total of 12 holes drilled 100 to 200 metres apart. The holes were inclined at minus 50 degrees to the north, with the exception of hole 43, which was steepened to minus 60 degrees, and hole 50, which was drilled in the opposite direction to the south. Eleven of the holes reached a down-hole depth of 525 metres or greater, while hole 42 was abandoned at 301 metres after the drill rods became stuck. All bottomed in mineralization, with the exception of hole 42.
The south-central area, which remains open to the east, is completely masked by alluvial overburden, however surface mapping and airborne geophysical magnetic data helped guide drill hole locations. The top of the drill holes intersected overburden, or non-mineralized sediments, volcanics, dykes or ultramafics, before entering the Baptiste south-central mineralized zone. The zone’s south boundary is interpreted to be sub-vertical or dips steeply to the north at 80 degrees. The mineralized peridotite body is cut in places by a number of non-mineralized dykes, which range in thickness from 3 to 30 metres down-hole.
A total of eight resource definition holes were collared in the northwestern area of the deposit. A number of the holes (41, 45, 47 and 56) were originally designed as infill holes to test the continuity of mineralization for mineral resource purposes. The others (holes 38, 48, 49 and 53) were positioned to locate and define the dip of the mineralized boundary and to provide geotechnical data to characterize the proposed pit high north wall.
Most of the holes completed in 2010 and 2011 were drilled at an angle of minus 50 degrees and oriented in either a northeasterly or northwesterly direction. Six of the 2012 infill holes were drilled in the opposite direction to the southwest at varying angles of minus 50 to 70 degrees for geostatistical and geotechnical purposes.
Caracle Creek International Consulting Inc. (“Caracle Creek”) supervised and managed the 2012 drilling programs at Decar on behalf of Cliffs.
Sampling and Analytical Method
The 2012 drill NQ core was sawn in half and sampled every four metres down-hole unless there was a change in rock type. Larger diameter HQ core was quartered for the sampling in the same fashion. Davis Tube magnetically-recovered (“DTR”) nickel is the nickel content recovered by magnetic separation using a Davis Tube followed by standard assaying procedures to determine the nickel assay of the concentrate; in effect a mini-scale metallurgical test. Cliffs employs large scale magnetic separation methods in several of its operating iron ore mines, and the Davis Tube method is used to provide a more accurate measure of variability in recoverable nickel. The Davis Tube method is the global, industry standard geometallurgical test for magnetic recovery operations and exploration projects. Final recoveries of nickel using both magnetic and gravity separation processes are subject to confirmation in the PEA currently underway.
Drill core samples were shipped in batches to Activation Laboratories for analysis. The laboratory protocol involves a grinding/pulverizing stage (95% of crushed material to pass a 75 micron sieve), following which a 30-gram split of the sample is passed through a Davis Tube magnetic separator in slurry form to produce a magnetic fraction. This magnetic fraction is dried, weighed and analyzed by standard fusion X-Ray Fluorescence (“XRF”) that generates high quality multi-element data, including nickel analysis. The Davis Tube recoverable nickel is calculated by multiplying the fusion XRF nickel value by the weight of the magnetic fraction, divided by total recorded weight. Standards, blanks and duplicates are inserted in the batches to provide quality control.
Cliffs is advancing the Decar nickel project under an option/ joint venture agreement with First Point that was signed in November 2009. Under the original agreement, Cliffs could earn an initial 51% interest in Decar by spending US$4.5 million over a period of four years. In September 2011, Cliffs was deemed to have earned a 51% stake, more than two years ahead of schedule. Cliffs has the right to increase its ownership (i) to 60% by completing a NI 43-101 compliant PEA by March 2013, (ii) to 65% by completing a NI 43-101 prefeasibility study, and (iii) ultimately to 75% by completing a bankable feasibility study. Should Cliffs earn a 75% interest in Decar, First Point would hold a 25% participating interest, plus a 1% net smelter return royalty interest.
Dr. Ron Britten, P. Eng., First Point’s Qualified Person under NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release. Qualified analytical data was supplied by Cliffs. Cliffs is the operator and technical work is supervised by Caracle Creek. QA/QC is under the direct supervision of Dr. Elisabeth Ronacher, P. Geo., a Qualified Person under NI 43-101.
About First Point
First Point Minerals Corp. is a Canadian base and precious metal exploration company operating worldwide. For more information, please view the Company’s website at www.firstpointminerals.com or contact Jim Gilbert, President and CEO, or Rob Robertson, VP Corporate Development, at (604) 681-8600.
On behalf of First Point Minerals Corp.
Jim Gilbert, President and CEO
Certain of the statements made and information contained herein is considered “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. These statements address future events and conditions and so involve inherent risks and uncertainties, as disclosed in the Company’s periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. Actual results could differ from those currently projected. The Company does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.