First Nickel Inc.

First Nickel Inc.

December 17, 2007 14:06 ET

First Nickel Exploration Update


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2007) - First Nickel Inc. (TSX:FNI) is pleased to provide an update on current Sudbury exploration programs.

Lockerby Mine:

An updated NI 43-101 Resource Estimate on the Lockerby Depth Zone is currently being audited by Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates Ltd. and is slated for completion in early January 2008. This Resource Estimate will form the basis of a new Life of Mine Plan and Reserve Estimate anticipated in the first quarter of 2008.

A project to digitize and enter over 30 years of diamond drilling, underground mapping, sampling and mining is nearing completion for the Lockerby Mine. A three dimension model generated from this compilation has identified several priority targets that could represent additional resources and impact the near term production at the Lockerby Mine. Two high priority targets have been selected for testing in the upper levels of the mine that are lateral to the previously mined Lockerby Main Zone that extends from the 10 to the 46 levels.

A 3,000 metre drill program, has begun on Target #1 from a drill platform on the 17 Level. A historic drill hole in this area intersected 17.35 metres grading 1.88 % Ni and 0.83% Cu, and represents an excellent exploration opportunity close to the existing mine infrastructure.

The second target, located between the 44 and 53 levels, is close to the existing ramp used to transport men and equipment from the 40 Level to the current working levels on the Lockerby Depth Zone. Drilling is scheduled to begin on this area in January 2008.

Selected diamond drill holes will be pushed into the footwall, testing for the presence of footwall style sulphide mineralization. In 2008, exploration will focused on target sparsely tested footwall environments proximal to the Lockerby Mine infrastructure.

To view the "Lockerby Mine" map, please visit the following link:

To view the "Lockerby Mine Geology Plan" map, please visit the following link:

West Graham:

Approximately 60% of the 8,000 metre drill program has been completed, and assay results are pending on 16 holes. The program has been designed to provide the drill density required to complete an NI 43-101 compliant Resource Estimate on the Conwest Deposit in the second quarter of 2008. A metallurgical study of the Conwest Deposit will be performed concurrently with the new resource estimate.

The Conwest Deposit was estimated in the 1960's to have a mineral inventory of 4.3 million tons grading 0.53% nickel and 0.33% copper. This historic resource predates the implementation of NI 43-101 standards and guidelines and should be considered non-compliant. The Conwest Deposit comes to within 50 metres of surface on the West Graham Property, and FNI drilling in 2006 has increased the areal extent of the deposit to the east and down-plunge. At depth the Conwest Deposit is interpreted to be contiguous with the Lockerby East zone.

As announced in a press release dated Aug 3rd, 2005, the West Graham Property was optioned from Landore Resources Canada Inc.


Recent intersections of anomalous copper and PGE mineralization hosted within Sudbury Breccia and proximal footwall lithologies suggests that the Morgan-Lumsden Property has the potential to host economic footwall sulphide mineralization. A compilation of these recent intersections is tabulated in Table 1 below. The North Range of the Sudbury Igneous Complex (SIC) is well known for the presence of footwall-hosted, high-grade copper and PGE deposits such as Xstrata Nickel's Strathcona Deep Copper and FNX's developing Levack Footwall Zone.

Since May 2007, a total of 3 holes and one wedge cut were completed representing 4,790 metres of diamond drilling on the Morgan-Lumsden property. No mineralization of economic significance has been identified within these holes. However, assay results are pending from the footwall of the final hole of the program.

Several footwall and contact targets have been identified as a result of the 2007 exploration program on the property. The targets have been developed through a compilation of drilling and borehole UTEM 4 EM (electromagnetic) and RIM (Radio Imaging) geophysical surveys. Xstrata Nickel, as operator, has proposed additional follow up work in 2008. First Nickel is currently in the process of reviewing this proposal.

Table 1: Summary of Footwall-Hosted, Cu-PGE Occurrences intersected by
Exploration Drilling since May 2007:

From To Length Ni Cu Pt Pd Au Pt+Pd+Au
Hole ID (m) (m) (m) (%) (%) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm) (ppm)
M-066 1277.00 1278.10 1.10 0.01 0.005 0.07 0.55 1.99 2.61
And 1278.10 1278.40 0.30 0.13 1.99 0.61 0.62 0.24 1.47
And 1304.90 1341.10 0.20 0.01 2.00 0.08 0.11 0.13 0.32
And 1474.80 1475.10 0.30 0.05 2.50 0.31 0.66 0.21 1.18
And 1492.35 1492.55 0.20 0.09 1.72 0.19 0.15 0.29 0.63
M-067A 1317.10 1317.70 0.60 0.22 0.70 0.17 0.14 0.06 0.37
M-068 1397.20 1397.40 0.20 0.70 0.14 0.81 0.48 0.07 1.36

All assay intervals reported are core length and do not represent true
widths (defined as being measured at right angles to the direction of
extension of the sulphide body). All other assay samples are pending

The exploration program on the Morgan-Lumsden property is being carried out under the direction of Xstrata Nickel's Project Geologist, Grant Moure, who is responsible for the program, and under the Management and direction of Xstrata Nickel's Regional Geologist Nic Fenner, P.Geo., and Gary Potts, Manager of Geology, Sudbury Operations, both of whom are "qualified persons" as defined in NI 43-101. Xstrata Nickel employs a QA/QC protocol on all aspects of the sampling and analytical procedures.

The diamond drilling programs carried out on the Lockerby Mine and West Graham Property are under the supervision of First Nickel's Chief Mine Geologist, Stephen Conquer, P.Geo., a "qualified person" as defined by NI 43-101, First Nickel's Sudbury Geology Manager, Phil Vicker, P.Geo., and First Nickel's Senior Geologist, Scot Halladay, P.Geo., all "qualified person(s)" as defined by NI 43-101. First Nickel Inc. follows a rigorous sampling and QA/QC protocol on all of its exploration projects.

The information in this release was prepared under the direction of Paul Davis, P.Geo., Vice President of Exploration for First Nickel Inc., a "qualified person" as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

First Nickel is a Canadian mining and exploration company. Its current activities are primarily focused on the Sudbury Basin in northern Ontario, the location of the company's producing property (the Lockerby Mine) and four of its exploration properties. First Nickel also has two exploration properties in the Timmins region of northern Ontario. First Nickel's shares are traded on the TSX under the symbol FNI.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in such statements, and there is no assurance that actual results will be consistent with them. Such forward-looking statements are made as at the date of this news release, and the company assumes no obligation to update or revise them, either publicly or otherwise, to reflect new events, information or circumstances.

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