Vancouver, October 18, 2017 – FPX Nickel Corp. (FPX-TSX.V) (“FPX Nickel” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce results of the first three of eight diamond drill holes completed during its recent stepout drill testing of the Baptiste deposit at the Company’s 100%-owned Decar nickel project (the “Project”) in central British Columbia. The drill holes highlighted in this release (see Figure 1 below) are the first holes drilled at Decar since 2012. The drill results support the potential for meaningful resource expansion of higher grade, near-surface nickel-iron alloy mineralization at the Baptiste deposit beyond the resource used in the National Instrument 43-101 2013 Preliminary Economic Assessment (“2013 PEA”) (see 2013 PEA filed under the Company’s SEDAR profile on August 21, 2013).
- Higher-grade nickel mineralization intersected over broad near-surface intervals in holes 63 and 65, collared 250 metres east and 420 metres southeast, respectively, of the 2013 PEA resource pit outline
- Hole 63 intersected 104 metres grading 0.163% Davis Tube magnetically-recovered (“DTR”) nickel, starting at an approximate vertical depth of 66 metres below surface, representing one of the highest-grade broad intervals ever intersected at the Baptiste deposit
- Hole 65 intersected 132 metres grading 0.147% DTR nickel, starting at an approximate vertical depth of 22 metres below surface
“We are very pleased with the initial drill results from our stepout program, highlighted by hole 65, collared 420 metres southeast of 2013 PEA resource pit outline, which returned the second-highest grading broad interval of near-surface nickel mineralization in the Project’s history,” commented Martin Turenne, the Company’s President and CEO. “These results support the potential to considerably improve the early development plan for the Baptiste deposit in an updated PEA by allowing for the incorporation of near-surface tonnage with grades significantly higher than the material modeled in the early years of the 2013 PEA.”
The diluted head grade in the first five years of the 2013 PEA mine plan ranges from 0.097% to 0.107% DTR nickel with a life-of-mine average diluted head grade of 0.118%, assuming a cutoff grade of 0.06% and mining dilution of 8% (see cautionary note regarding the 2013 PEA in this news release, below).
This 2017 program tested the southeast extension of the Baptiste deposit, where adjacent holes drilled during the most recent drilling campaign in 2012 returned the previously highest-grading drill intercepts on the property. The figure below provides a plan map of the locations for the first three holes of this 2017 campaign (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Plan Map of the Reported Baptiste Deposit Drill Holes
The initial results of this 2017 drilling program confirm the higher grade extension of the Baptiste deposit. The mineralized zone is characterized by abundant disseminated coarse grained nickel-iron alloy mineralization (awaruite) hosted in ultramafic rocks. Previous drilling campaigns completed in 2010 to 2012 defined mineralization along a 2.5 kilometre strike length. This drilling expands the footprint a further 650 metres southeast along strike. A summary of the first three holes of the 2017 program is presented in the table below.
Table 1: Initial 2017 Baptiste Drill Results
|Hole||Intersections||DTR Nickel (%)||Comments|
|63||73||390||317||0.121||Excludes 4 m, 5 m, 25 m, 2 m, 1m, 1m and 1m dikes|
|and||190||298||108||0.136||Excludes 4 m, 5 m, 25 m, 2 m and 1m dikes|
|and||298||390||92||0.055||Excludes 1m and 1m dikes|
|64||30||141||111||0.047||Excludes 6 m, 1 m, 1m, 1 m and 2 m dikes|
|65||29||351||322||0.131||Excludes 1 m, 8 m, 1m and 2 m dikes|
|including||29||162||133||0.147||Excludes 1m dike|
|and||162||351||179||0.119||Excludes 8 m, 1m and 2 m dikes|
Hole 63 was collared 250 metres east of the 2013 PEA resource pit outline, and was drilled to the northeast at an angle of minus 50 degrees. The hole encountered bedrock at 55 metres (approximately 40 metres vertical depth) and intersected dikes and restricted intervals of non-mineralized ultramafics down to 73 metres. From 73 to 298 metres, drilling encountered awaruite-mineralized harzburgite and lherzolite that includes 104 metres grading 0.163% DTR nickel, starting at an approximate vertical depth of 66 metres below surface. Strongly awaruite-mineralized harzburgite and lherzolite continued, broken up by restricted intervals of non-mineralized dikes, to a depth of 298 metres. From 298 metres, drilling encountered weakly mineralized ultramafics until completion of the hole at 390 metres.
Hole 64 was collared 630 metres east of the 2013 PEA resource pit outline, and was drilled to the northeast an angle of minus 50 degrees. After encountering bedrock at 33 metres, this hole consisted of intensely faulted, recrystalized peridotite, evident from coarse grained magnetite and olive-coloured serpentine. This hole was terminated at a downhole depth of 141 metres, with mineralization of 0.068% over the final 18 metres.
Hole 65 was collared south of holes 63 and 64, 420 metres southeast of the 2013 PEA resource pit outline, and was drilled to the northeast at an angle of minus 50 degrees. The hole encountered bedrock at 29 metres and intersected 0.131% DTR Ni over 322 metres (excluding four narrow dikes), including 0.147% DTR Ni over 133 metres. Mineralization occurs over a vertical distance of 250 metres and remains open at depth.
In the coming weeks, the Company looks forward to releasing assay results for the remaining five stepout holes drilled during this 2017 program.
Cautionary Note Regarding 2013 PEA
The 2013 PEA, by definition, is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There can be no certainty that the PEA will be realized. It is important to note that mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
Sampling and Analytical Method
HQ & NQ drill core were cut in half using a diamond saw and sampled continuously down hole with the exception of post mineralization dikes that are unsampled and known to have zero grade. Drill core samples were cut on-site, sampled in 4 metre lengths, bagged and sealed with tamper proof tags and shipped to Activation Laboratories in Kamloops, British Columbia, for analysis. Laboratory preparation involved crushing the entire sample to 90% less than 2 mm, a riffle split of 250 g and pulverization to 95% passing 105 microns. Davis tube magnetic separation involves feeding a 30 gram split of the pulp through a Davis Tube magnetic separator as a slurry using a constant flow rate of 400 millilitres per minute and magnetic field strength of 3,500 Gauss at a 45 degree angle to produce a magnetic fraction and non-magnetic fraction. The magnetic and non-magnetic fractions are dried and weighed. The magnetic fraction is analyzed by X-Ray Fluorescence (“XRF”) fusion that generates high quality multi-element data, including nickel analysis. The DTR nickel grade is calculated by multiplying the XRF fusion nickel value by the weight of the magnetic fraction, divided by total recorded weight.
QA/QC procedures involved the analysis of field and prep duplicates and the insertion of certified reference material, and insertion of non-certified blanks and replicates to assess the accuracy and precision of the Davis tube magnetic separation and XRF analysis that are used to determine the DTR nickel content. The Davis Tube method is in effect a mini-scale metallurgical test and is used to provide a more accurate measure of recoverable nickel and is the global, industry standard geometallurgical test for magnetic recovery operations and exploration projects.
Dr. Peter Bradshaw, P. Eng., FPX Nickel’s Qualified Person under NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release.
About FPX Nickel Corp.
FPX Nickel Corp. is focused on the exploration and development of the Decar Nickel-Iron Alloy Project, located in central British Columbia, and other occurrences of the same unique style of naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy mineralization known as awaruite. For more information, please view the Company’s website at www.fpxnickel.com or contact Martin Turenne, President and CEO, at (604) 681-8600.
On behalf of FPX Nickel Corp.
Martin Turenne, President, CEO and Director
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.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.