by FPX Nickel FPX Nickel

Vancouver, June 27, 2023 – FPX Nickel Corp. (TSX-V: FPX, OTCQB: FPOCF) (“FPX” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce completion of the preliminary feasibility study (“PFS”) metallurgical testwork campaign with key results supporting the updated concentrator flowsheet and providing a materially improved understanding of the process characteristics of the Baptiste Nickel Project (“Baptiste” or the “Project”).  The robust testwork campaign involved multiple bench- and pilot-scale programs, with the resultantly improved process design basis increasing the Davis tube recoverable (“DTR”) nickel recovery by 4% in comparison to the recovery assumed in the 2020 preliminary economic assessment (“PEA”).


  • PFS testwork program is complete and results will be fully incorporated into the PFS expected in September 2023
  • The updated concentrator flowsheet increases DTR nickel recovery by approximately 4% to 88.7%, in comparison to the 84.7% DTR nickel recovery assumed in the 2020 PEA
  • DTR nickel is further validated as a geometallurgical screening tool which heightens confidence in the PFS projected metallurgical recovery and resultant metal production profile

“Our completed metallurgical testwork campaign has further optimized the process flowsheet and improved the recovery basis for the Baptiste PFS, which remains on schedule for delivery in September 2023,” commented Andrew Osterloh, FPX Nickel’s Senior Vice-President, Projects & Operations.  “The scale and depth of our testwork is more analogous with feasibility study-level testwork and reflects FPX’s commitment to the development of this new, yet simple and robust, metallurgical process.  These results further validate awaruite’s processing advantages to produce a unique, high-grade product with unparalleled flexibility to feed into the stainless steel or battery material supply chains.”

FPX has recently completed the PFS metallurgical testwork campaign, with objectives and key results from each campaign phase presented in Table 1.  The overall objectives of the program were to validate and improve the PEA process design basis, provide a robust dataset to support process and engineering optimization for the PFS, and to confirm the consistent metallurgical response of the very large Baptiste deposit.  For further information on each of the testwork phases, see the referenced FPX news releases in Table 1.

Table 1 – PFS Metallurgical Testwork Program Summary

PhaseObjectiveKey ResultsFPX News Release Date
1Pilot-scale testwork to confirm PEA magnetic separation basis using life-of-mine composite.Magnetic separation configuration validated, and results indicated potential benefit to preferential grinding.

Sufficient feedstock generated for Phase 2 flotation program.

December 8, 2021
Bench- and pilot-scale grindability testwork to expand comminution and grinding parameter databases.PFS-level comminution database generated to support engineering optimization studies.
2Bench-scale testwork to confirm nickel mineralogy across Baptiste resource.Confirmed consistency of resource mineralization and validated DTR nickel as a geometallurgical screening tool.July 27, 2022
Bench-scale testwork to confirm the PEA conclusion that froth flotation can generate high grade nickel concentrate.Flotation configuration and results validated, through the generation of a high-grade nickel concentrate (> 60% nickel) with strong locked cycle recovery.
3aLarge-scale pilot testing to further demonstrate the recovery benefits observed in Phase 1, and to generate sufficient feedstock for Phase 3c testwork.Further validation of flowsheet, confirmation of preferential grinding benefit, confirmation of magnetic separation intensity benefit, and generation of sufficient feedstock for Phase 3c.January 24, 2023
3bVariability testing to confirm the homogeneity of the Baptiste resource and further validate DTR nickel as a geometallurgical screening tool.Consistent magnetic separation recoveries achieved across all phases of the Baptiste mine plan, validating resource homogeneity and DTR nickel as a geometallurgical screening tool.May 3, 2023
3cHydrometallurgical testing to optimize previous leach testing, and conduct purification and nickel sulphate crystallization testwork.Optimization of leaching resulting in reduced reagent consumptions and simplification of downstream purification requirements.

Production of battery-grade nickel sulphate and cobalt precipitate products.

May 17, 2023

While the overall PEA processing strategy has remained consistent and takes advantage of awaruite’s unique characteristics, unit operations in the concentrator flowsheet have now been refined and are presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1 – Optimized Baptiste Concentrator Flowsheet



Based on the optimized flowsheet and the subsequent PFS design, the estimated life of mine recovery for the PFS is summarized in Table 2.  The table also highlights key circuit design changes relative to the PEA, as follows:

  • The PFS design has split cleaning magnetic separation into two stages, cleaning and recleaning, as an engineering optimization to maximum grinding energy efficiency with no significant impact on nickel recovery
  • A flotation tails treatment section, combining the leaching of flotation tailings and the recovery of dissolved nickel, has also been added to the PFS design; this leaching stage accounts for approximately 6.5 percent of the overall DTR nickel recovery

Table 2 – Life of Mine DTR Nickel Recovery – PEA vs. PFS

RecoveryDTR Nickel Recovery (%)
By Processing StageRoughing Magnetic Separation90.195.0
Cleaning Magnetic Separation100.099.3
Recleaning Magnetic Separation99.7
Flotation Tailings TreatmentN/A54.8
OverallTo Awaruite Concentrate84.782.2
To Mixed Hydroxide PrecipitateN/A6.5
Combined To Both Nickel Products84.788.7

As seen in Table 2, based on a PFS average feed grade of 0.13% DTR nickel, the optimized PFS flowsheet predicts an 88.7% DTR nickel recovery for the life-of-mine, representing an increase of 4% from the PEA.  On a total nickel basis, and based on PFS mineral resource average grade of 0.21% total nickel, the optimized PFS flowsheet achieves 54.9% total nickel recovery.

Qualified Person

Jeff Austin, P.Eng., President of International Metallurgical and Environmental Inc. and FPX’s Qualified Person under NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release.

About the Decar Nickel District

The Company’s Decar Nickel District represents a large-scale greenfield discovery of nickel mineralization in the form of a naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy called awaruite (Ni3Fe) hosted in an ultramafic/ophiolite complex.  FPX’s mineral claims cover an area of 245 km2 west of the Middle River and north of Trembleur Lake, in central British Columbia.  Awaruite mineralization has been identified in several target areas within the ophiolite complex including the Baptiste Deposit and the Van Target, as confirmed by drilling, petrographic examination, electron probe analyses and outcrop sampling.  Since 2010, approximately US $28 million has been spent on the exploration and development of Decar.

Of the four targets in the Decar Nickel District, the Baptiste Deposit has been the focus of increasing resource definition (a total of 99 holes and 33,700 m of drilling completed), as well as environmental and engineering studies to evaluate its potential as a bulk-tonnage open pit mining project.  The Baptiste Deposit is located within the Baptiste Creek watershed, on the traditional and unceded territory of Tl’azt’en Nation and Binche Whut’en First Nation, and within several Tl’azt’enne and Binche Whut’enne keyohs. FPX has conducted mineral exploration activities to date subject to the conditions of our agreements with the Nations and keyoh holders.

About FPX Nickel Corp.

FPX Nickel Corp.  is focused on the exploration and development of the Decar Nickel District, 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 or contact Martin Turenne, President and CEO, at (604) 681-8600 or [email protected].

On behalf of FPX Nickel Corp.

“Martin Turenne”
Martin Turenne, President, CEO and Director

Forward-Looking Statements

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.