June 26, 2013
During the last year, our pursuit of commercial-scale “naturally occurring stainless steel” nickel-iron alloy targets (the mineral, awaruite) has taken several additional significant steps forward. The flagship Decar project (“Decar” or “the Project”) has made significant strides towards proof of concept as to the commercial viability of awaruite deposits, under the management of our partner Cliffs Natural Resources Exploration Canada Inc., an affiliate of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (“Cliffs”). Cliffs, a Fortune 500 company and leading supplier to the steel industry, has been fully funding Decar since optioning the Project in 2009. 2012’s drilling campaign and additional assay of the 2011 drill core substantially enlarged and upgraded the resource, providing the foundation for the positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) results announced in March 2013 (and the NI 43-101 report filed in support in May 2013). The passage of this fundamental milestone demonstrates the potential economic viability of the Decar Project and also significantly improves the prospects for successful independent development of First Point’s growing portfolio of 100% owned awaruite exploration projects and prospects.
At Decar, key milestones in the last year included:
- Execution of an exploration-stage Memorandum of Understanding between the Tl’azt’en Nation, Cliffs and First Point.
- Completion of a 2012 drilling program of 35 holes totaling nearly 17,000 m in the Baptiste Zone, extending the zone of higher grade mineralization to the southeast, and also extending the resource boundary to the northwest and at depth across the entire deposit.
- Announcement in January 2013 of an updated resource at Decar including a Indicated resources of 1.16 billion tonnes grading 0.124% Davis Tube Recoverable Nickel, representing 1.4 million tonnes (3.2 billion pounds) of contained Davis Tube Recoverable Nickel, together with an additional Inferred resource 0.9 billion tonnes grading 0.125% Davis Tube Recoverable Nickel, representing another 1.1 million tonnes (2.4 billion pounds) of Davis Tube Recoverable Nickel.
- Announcement in March 2013 of positive PEA results for Decar, including the following highlights:
- Pre-Tax Net Present Value (“NPV”) at 8%: $1.1 billion
- Pre-Tax Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”): 15.7%
- Post-Tax NPV at 8%: $0.6 billion
- Post-Tax IRR: 12.8%
First Point believes that further study and test work can achieve substantial improvements to these PEA results in several areas. These include potential expansion of the higher grade area in the southeast portion of the Baptiste Zone at Decar, enhanced revenue capture by better definition of commercial terms for the concentrate product, and a number of other areas.
Investers are cautioned that the PEA is considered preliminary in nature, based, in part, on 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. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability, and there is no certainty that the results presented in the PEA will be achieved.
The continued positive results and advancements at Decar provide further validation of the exploration model we have developed in respect of awaruite nickel-iron alloy mineralization. In particular, with the PEA indicating economic potential for exploitation of this style of deposit, we are encouraged that the identification of a deposit yielding a comparable result may be replicated at one or more of our growing list of 100% owned target properties. Moreover, the rapid advancement of the Decar project from first drill hole to Indicated resource and positive PEA in less than three years demonstrates the potential for extremely time and cost efficient exploration programs on awaruite deposits.
Key advancements in the 100% owned portfolio over the past year include:
- A successful drilling program on the Eagle target on the Wale property – 10 widely-spaced holes, totaling 2,700 m – which encountered extensive, widespread awaruite mineralization with promising grades, and led to a follow-on discovery on this very large property.
- Discovery and advancement to potential drill target status of two properties – Orca, adjacent to Wale in northern British Columbia (“BC”), and Garth’s Knob on the Wale property – on the basis of a single season of field work.
- Continued global reconnaissance efforts, focused on stable jurisdictions only, which generated an additional discovery – the Fera Project in Norway – and which remains ongoing in several other countries.
- Launch this month of our 2013 exploration program, focused on the Eagle, Orca and Garth’s Knob targets in BC, and Mich in the Yukon, and including: detailed mapping and sampling – including channel sampling – in areas of coarser-grained mineralization, following up on Davis Tube results from 2012 samples; and ground magnetics to track permissive structures hosting the four targets into covered areas.
In summary, the major milestones passed during the past year – in particular at Decar, but also on our 100% owned projects – have substantially advanced the search for a viable development model for our target nickel-iron alloy mineralization. We look forward to further progress in the coming year, with both advancement at Decar and continued value addition to our existing projects and expanding portfolio of prospects – in Canada and internationally. Your Company has cash on hand to complete our focused 2013 exploration and testing programs, and to push development of our priority projects into 2014.
Your continued support and enthusiasm are much appreciated.
/s/ James S. Gilbert
James S. Gilbert
President & CEO