Vancouver, December 17, 2012 — First Point Minerals Corp. (FPX-TSX) (“First Point” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has encountered extensive nickel-iron alloy mineralization carrying promising grades during a first pass of wide-spaced exploration drilling at the 100%-owned Wale property in northern British Columbia. Highlights include:
- 12DH-01 162m of 0.137% nickel-in-alloy(see note)
- 12DH-04 393m of 0.089% “
including 141m of 0.111% “
- 12DH-06 261m of 0.126% “
- 12DH-09 265m of 0.083% “
including 54m of 0.142% “
- 12DH-10 140m of 0.100% “
Note: Nickel-in-alloy assays were done using the partial extraction analytical method (see explanation below).
The drill results indicate the underlying ultramafic package of rocks hosts widespread, disseminated, fine to coarse grained nickel-iron alloy carrying grades better than 0.05% nickel-in-alloy. The tops of hole DH-1 and DH-2, and portions of holes DH-4, DH-5, DH-6, DH-9 and DH-10, encountered nickel-in-alloy grades exceeding 0.1%, and as high as 0.142%, over lengths ranging from 31 to 262 metres.
“A large zone of nickel-iron alloy mineralization discovered and outlined in 2011 was successfully confirmed in long intersections of nickel-in-alloy in the 2012 drill program,” said First Point’s Vice-President of Exploration Dr. Ron Britten. “These drill results, coupled with surface rock sampling results from the adjoining Orca property and the newly defined Garth’s Knob target in the southeastern portion of the Wale property, indicate a semi-continuous zone of mineralization that extends over a 14.5-kilometre strike length. There is excellent exploration potential along this camp-scale trend to build on and expand the higher-grade 0.1% nickel-in-alloy mineralization during 2013.”
The first round of drilling tested a 3.6-kilometre-long portion of the northwest-southeast trending Eagle target with 10 core holes totalling 2,764 metres. The holes were drilled from six sections spaced 460 to 1,220 metres apart. The location of some drill holes on ridge lines and talus covered slopes was driven by local, rugged topography, which reaches a maximum elevation of 2,020 metres. A drill hole location map can be viewed at www.firstpointminerals.com. A summary of the Wale drill results is presented below in Table 1.
Table 1. Wale 2012 Drill Hole Results
|End of Hole
|12DH-01*||3.1||303.0||3.1||188.0||161.8||0.137||Excludes 2.7, 4.8, 5.1, 7.9 & 2.6m dykes|
|and||35.4||340.8||296.9||0.075||Excludes 2.9 & 5.4m dykes|
|12DH-03||3.1||306.9||3.1||306.9||294.2||0.053||Excludes 2.5, 2.3, 2.6 & 2.3m dykes|
|12DH-04||3.1||407.5||3.1||258.9||251.8||0.077||Excludes 4m dyke|
|and*||258.9||407.5||140.8||0.111||Excludes 3 & 4.8m dykes|
|12DH-05||6.1||361.9||6.1||255.1||223.1||0.061||Excludes 3.6, 4, 10.5, 2.4, 2 & 3.3m dykes|
|including||4.3||69.0||60.7||0.086||Excludes 4m dyke|
|including*||69.0||210.5||129.5||0.137||Excludes 2.3, 3.1 & 6.6m dykes|
|including||210.5||300.2||70.6||0.090||Excludes 3.7, 2, 6, 3, 2.1 & 2.3m dykes|
|12DH-07||2.6||108.8||2.6||108.8||106.2||0.083||Hole abandoned due to bad ground|
|12DH-08||12.9||178.9||12.9||46.0||27.0||0.099||Enters iron-carbonate alteration at 46m|
|and||194.0||303.0||101.6||0.077||Excludes 7.4m dyke|
|12DH-10||3.5||152.4||3.5||152.4||140.2||0.100||Excludes 3.3 & 5.4m dykes|
*The reported nickel-in-alloy grades are based on a threshold of 0.10%.
A large northwest-southeast trending zone of nickel-iron alloy mineralization was first discovered at Wale in 2011 during a regional exploration program, and mapped in greater detail early in the 2012 field season. The Eagle target measures roughly 4.1 kilometres long and from 300 to 1,060 metres wide, as defined by 532 surface rock samples. It is characterized by disseminated nickel-iron alloy grains measuring from less than 50 to over 300 microns in size. A total of 196 rock samples from the Eagle target yielded values greater than 0.1% nickel-in-alloy.
The 10 holes of the 2012 program, which tested a 3.6-kilometre-long portion of the Eagle target area, were drilled either in a northeasterly direction at 010 degrees azimuth, or to the southwest at 190 degrees azimuth, at a minus 50-degree angle. The holes ranged from 109 to 409 metres in length. The nickel-iron alloy mineralization known as awaruite is hosted in moderately to strongly serpentinized peridotite and lesser dunite ultramafic rock. The target area is cut by numerous, non-mineralized felsic dykes, altered dykes and micro-gabbro dykes, which range from less than 1 to 10.5 metres in down-hole length. The core was sampled and analyzed at 3-metre wide intervals. Dykes less than 1-metre thick were included in the samples, whereas dykes wider than 1 metre are listed in Table 1 and are excluded from the mineralized intercepts.
Holes DH-1 and DH-2 were positioned on a ridge crest at an elevation of 1,930 metres in the southeastern part of the Eagle target. Aimed to the northeast, hole DH-1 intersected 161.8 metres averaging 0.137% nickel-in-alloy under 3 metres of cover, followed by 115 metres of below-grade 0.049% nickel-in-alloy deeper in the hole.
Hole DH-2 was drilled from the same pad as hole 1 but oriented to the southwest. It intersected 30.8 metres of 0.111% nickel-in-alloy at the very top of the hole, followed by 269.6 metres averaging 0.075% nickel-in-alloy. Together, these two holes indicate the near-surface, higher-grade zone at this location is at least 145 metres wide measured horizontally and averages 0.133% nickel-in-alloy.
Stepping out 1,220 metres along trend, the south easternmost hole, DH-6, is one of the better holes, intersecting some of the higher values of the drill program. It was collared in the flats at the bottom of the ridge, some 340 metres lower in elevation than holes 1 and 2, in a poorly exposed area masked by glacial debris. Hole 6 averaged 260.7 metres of 0.126% nickel-in-alloy over its entire length, excluding 10 un-mineralized dykes. The central portion of the hole returned 0.137% nickel-in-alloy across 129.5 metres.
The exploration potential around hole 6 is significant. It is open in all directions, particularly to the southeast where mapping and sampling in 2011 and 2012 have defined the Garth Knob’s target. Hole 6 is in the northwest end of Garth’s Knob, which measures 1,920 metres long and 350 to 950 metres wide as defined by 67 surface rock samples ranging in value from 0.062 to 0.216% nickel-in-alloy, for an average of 0.129%.
Hole DH-4, located 630 metres northwest of holes 1 and 2 along one of the ridge’s highest points at 2,020 metres elevation, intersected 251.8 metres averaging 0.077% nickel-in-alloy, followed by 140.8 metres of 0.111% nickel-in-alloy in the lower part of the hole.
Holes DH-3, DH-5 and DH-10 were drilled on the same section some 590 metres away from hole 4 along trend to the northwest at an elevation of 1,830 metres. Aimed in a northeasterly direction, hole 3 cut 294.2 metres averaging 0.053% nickel-in-alloy. Hole 5 was oriented in the opposite direction to the southwest and encountered 223.1 metres averaging 0.061% nickel-in-alloy, followed by 106.8 metres grading 0.104% nickel-in-alloy in the bottom part of the hole. Hole 10, collared 240 metres southwest of hole 5, intersected 0.10% nickel-in-alloy averaged across its entire length of 140.2 metres, excluding 3.3- and 5.4-metre wide un-mineralized dykes.
Stepping out a further 660 metres along the mineralized trend to the northwest at a 1,770-metre elevation, Hole DH-7 cut 106.2 metres of 0.083% nickel-in-alloy before being abandoned due to poor ground conditions.
Holes DH-8 and DH-9, the north westernmost holes, were drilled from the same pad a further 460 metres northwest of hole 7 at an elevation of 1,560 metres. Oriented in a southwesterly direction, hole 8 intersected 27 metres of 0.099% nickel-in-alloy at the very top of the hole before encountering a wide zone of weakly mineralized iron-carbonate alteration to the bottom of the hole, which ended at 179 metres depth. Hole 9, aimed in the opposite direction to the northeast, cut 264.6 metres averaging 0.083% nickel-in-alloy, including a 54-metre-long interval grading 0.142% nickel-in-alloy in the centre of the hole.
The nearby 100%-owned Orca target (as disclosed in First Point’s October 11, 2012 news release) is located 6.8 kilometres northwest of Wale holes DH-8 and DH-9, along the projected mineralized trend. The target at Orca measures 1,400 by 750 metres as defined by 118 rock samples averaging 0.113% nickel-in-alloy. The immediate area between Orca and these two Wale drill holes offers significant exploration potential, but has not been effectively explored to date due to limited bedrock exposure. The Orca-Wale-Garth’s Knob trend measures a total 14.5 kilometres in length.
A comprehensive mapping and sampling program will target the Orca-Wale-Garth’s Knob district in 2013, followed by a later phase of exploration drilling.
Pursuant to a property option agreement, First Point has the exclusive and irrevocable option (“Option”) to acquire a 100% beneficial interest in certain mineral claims totalling 438 hectares that adjoin the Company’s Wale property, excluding the minerals jadeite and nephrite. In order to exercise the Option, First Point must incur annual exploration expenditures over a five-year period of not less than $100,000 on the optioned mineral claims, to an aggregate of $500,000 of such expenditures. The optioner has retained a royalty interest equal to 0.1% of the net value of all mineral products produced from the optioned mineral claims. In addition, if First Point’s Board of Directors announces that the financing to place the Wale project into commercial production has been arranged, First Point shall make a one-time payment of $1 million to the optioner.
The Wale property is located 45 kilometres east of Dease Lake, a town on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway 37, and covers 119 square kilometres in the Stikine Ranges of northern B.C. Access to the property is by helicopter, directly from Dease Lake, and by a rough mining road and trails using all-wheel drive, heavy duty utility vehicles, which service the nearby jade and placer gold mining operations active in the area.
Sampling and Analytical Method
The 2012 HQ-sized drill core was sawn in half and sampled at 3-metre-long intervals and delivered to Acme Analytical Laboratories Ltd. (“Acme”) preparation lab in Smithers, B.C. The sample pulps were then sent to Acme’s ISO Certified Laboratory facility in Vancouver for nickel-in-alloy and total nickel analysis. Nickel-in-alloy was analysed using a partial extraction analytical method that selectively dissolves nickel present as nickel-iron alloy and does not extract the nickel present within rock forming silicate minerals. Following independent studies, including the development of certified standards to monitor accuracy, this partial extraction analytical method was commercially certified by Dr. Barry Smee of Smee & Associates Consulting Ltd. for the exclusive use of First Point. Total nickel was assayed by Acme using a four acid digestion and an ICP-MS finish, which determines the total nickel present, in both nickel-iron alloy and silicate form, as well as iron and chromium. Standards, blanks and duplicates are inserted in the batches to provide quality control.
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.
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.