Vancouver, January 24, 2013 — First Point Minerals Corp. (FPX-TSX) (“First Point” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the final batch of results for the remaining eight holes of the 27 resource definition holes completed during the 2012 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”).
The drill results from this third and final batch of results have extended the Baptiste deposit by 580 metres along strike to the northwest. Highlights, as reported in Davis Tube magnetically-recovered (“DTR”) nickel, include:
- Northwest Extension
- 12BAP-51 220m of 0.121% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-54 419m of 0.143% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-57 492m of 0.116% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-59 375m of 0.148% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-60 240m of 0.152% DTR nickel
- 12BAP-61 152m of 0.125% DTR nickel
- Northwestern Infill
- 12BAP-56 512m of 0.142% DTR nickel
The final batch of results are for seven holes that stepped out on the northwest end of the Baptiste deposit, which remains open, one infill hole in the northwestern area and two hydrological holes. A drill hole location map can be viewed at www.firstpointminerals.com.
The 2012 drill results, presented in the table below (Table 1), together with the 2010 and 2011 drill results, are being used to calculate a new mineral resource estimate, which will be incorporated into the PEA due in March 2013. More importantly, the 2012 drilling has defined and expanded a number of near-surface, higher-grade zones in the northwestern infill, northwest extension and south-central areas, which could represent potential starter pits.
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. The mineral resource estimate was based on a large, curved geological model measuring 2.3 kilometres long, 350 to 600 metres wide and up to 350 metres deep. The 2012 drilling shows the Baptiste deposit is now at least 2.9 kilometres long, 150 to 980 metres wide and 460 metres deep.
The Baptiste deposit continues to remain open in several directions, including along strike in both directions, to the southeast in the central area and at depth over the entire system. It is covered by an average of 12 metres of overburden. Many of the holes contain 2 to 33-metre long intervals of non-mineralized dykes as noted in Table 1.
During the 2012 drill program at Decar, the Baptiste zone was tested with 27 resource definition core holes totalling 15,205 metres. 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.
Table 1. 2012 Baptiste Drill Hole Results
|Excludes 29.4m & 4.9m dykes + <0.1% DTR Ni intervals|
|Excludes 12.2m dyke|
|Excludes 16.2m & 14m dykes + <0.1% DTR Ni intervals|
No significant results
|Drilled beyond the south margin|
|Excludes 3.7m & 5.9m dykes|
|Excludes 9.9m dyke & 136.5m <0.1% DTR Ni intervals|
For the sake of completeness, the results for the following 21 holes (previously reported in the Company’s News Release dated November 27, 2012) are included in this table.
|Excludes 5.7m dyke|
|Excludes 8.2m & 33m dyke sequence|
|Excludes 3.1m dyke|
|Excludes 5.1m dyke|
|Abandoned at 301m, rods stuck|
|Excludes 22.3m, 9m, 14.2m, 3.2m & 9.9m dykes + minor wall rock|
|Excludes 3.4m &15.7m dykes + minor wall rock|
|Excludes 20m, 20m, 8m, 13.6m, 12m & 10.6m dykes + <0.1% DTR Ni intervals|
|Excludes 7.4m dyke|
Northwestern Area – Infill
|Excludes 6m & 1.7m dykes|
|Excludes 4m & 10.3m dykes + <0.1% DTR Ni intervals|
|Excludes 8m dyke + minor wall rock|
North Boundary & High Wall
The reported nickel grades are weighted averages of significant intercepts ≥ 0.1% DTR nickel. Intercepts of non-mineralized dykes less than 1 metre wide are included in the averaged mineralized intercepts.
In the latest batch of results, the 2012 drilling on the northwest end of the Baptiste deposit has added 580 metres to the mineralized system’s strike length, which narrows to 150 metres wide at the very northwest end where the mineralization remains open. The drilling has intersected significant grades ranging from 0.116% to 0.152% DTR nickel over lengths of 220 to 492 metres. The northwesternmost drilling to date, hole 12BAP-60, intersected 240 metres averaging 0.152% DTR nickel, starting from 160 metres down-hole. The results compare favourably to the overall average inferred resource grade of 0.113% based on a 0.06% cut-off. Like other areas of the deposit, the deeper 2012 holes confirm the nickel-iron alloy mineralization extends to at least 460 metres depth to the bottom of the holes in the northwest extension, except hole 12Bap-61 where mineralization weakens below a vertical depth of 360 metres, ending in 0.061% DTR nickel at the bottom of the hole.
Hydrological hole HG-09, vertically drilled to 75 metres depth, has extended the northeast boundary of Baptiste by intersecting 64.8 metres of 0.121% DTR nickel to the bottom of the hole. HG-09 was collared 240 metres north of 2011 hole BAP24, which cut a previously reported 114.4 metres of 0.116%, followed further down-hole by 36 metres of 0.121% and 64 metres of 0.131% DTR nickel.
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 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. Caracle Creek International Consulting Inc. supervised and managed the 2012 drilling program at Decar on behalf of Cliffs. 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.