First Nickel Inc.
TSX : FNI

First Nickel Inc.

February 23, 2009 11:00 ET

First Nickel Provides an Updated Lockerby Mine Mineral Resource Estimate

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2009) - First Nickel Inc. (TSX:FNI) is pleased to report an updated mineral resource estimate for its Lockerby Mine in Sudbury, Ontario. This resource update encompasses all of the current undeveloped resources, including the Lockerby Depth, Lockerby East and Upper West Zones (see attached figure).

First Nickel has estimated a NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource that contains Indicated Resources of 1.84 million tonnes grading 2.33% Ni, 1.44% Cu and 0.086% Co, in the Lockerby Depth, Lockerby East and Upper West Zones; and Inferred Resources of 0.58 million tonnes grading 1.88% Ni, 1.10% Cu and 0.065% Co, from the Lockerby Depth and Lockerby East Zones (see table for details).

GENIVAR Limited Partnership, a consulting engineering firm based in Quebec City, Quebec is currently finalizing a feasibility study on behalf of First Nickel on the Lockerby Depth Project that will use part of the Indicated Resource estimate for conversion to a Probable Reserve. The feasibility study will identify the economic viability of the project and define a mine plan that will incorporate infrastructure improvements, yield increased output, better productivity, reduce unit costs and extend the mine life by 5 years or more.

Mineral Resource Estimate

The Mineral Resource models were prepared by First Nickel's Technical Team conforming to NI 43-101 standards. In First Nickel's opinion, the density of drilling and continuity of mineralization is sufficient to classify a significant portion of the estimated resources as Indicated Mineral Resources. These resource estimates will form the basis of a more comprehensive Technical Resource Report being prepared by First Nickel Inc.

The Mineral Resource estimate for the Lockerby Mine was derived from block models created with Datamine(C) software, applying industry standard resource modeling procedures. Grade was interpolated into the blocks using Ordinary Kriging, and results were compared to that derived from Inverse Distance Squared weighting (ID2) and Nearest Neighbour (NN) methodologies. The estimate was constrained by geological interpretation and wireframe models based on contouring varying NiEq grades for each individual area (1.5% NiEq - Lockerby Depth; 1.0% NiEq - Lockerby East; 0.8% NiEq - Upper West). NiEq factors are based on Ni, Cu and Co grades and are derived from metal accountability and economic viability. The factor is: NiEq% equals Ni% + (0.32 x Cu%) + (0.53 x Co%).

The Mineral Resource estimate for the Lockerby Mine was derived from three dimensional block models utilizing Datamine(C) software, applying industry standard resource modeling procedures. Grade was interpolated into the blocks using Ordinary Kriging (OK), and results were compared to those derived from Inverse Distance Squared weighting (ID2) and Nearest Neighbour (NN) methodologies. The block models were generated from three dimensional wireframe meshes, constrained by interpreted geological continuity and nickel-equivalent (NiEq) cut-off grades. NiEq factors are based on Ni, Cu and Co grades and are derived from a relationship between significant payable metal processing accountability and long term metal price ratios. The equivalency factor utilized is NiEq% equals Ni% + (0.32 x Cu%) + (0.53 x Co%). The NiEq cut-off grades vary for each individual area (1.5% NiEq - Lockerby Depth; 1.0% NiEq - Lockerby East; 0.8% NiEq - Upper West). Factors influencing the selection of the appropriate cut-off grade for each different area include geological continuity, style of mineralization, and proximity to existing infrastructure.



The Lockerby Mine Mineral Resource estimates are tabulated as follows:

Classification Tonnes Ni % Cu% Co% NiEq%
(000's)
Indicated
Depth Zone(1) 1,420 2.58 1.60 0.098 3.14
East Zone(2) 180 2.32 0.78 0.048 2.60
Upper West(3) 250 0.95 1.00 0.046 1.30
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Indicated(4) 1,840 2.33 1.44 0.086 2.84


Inferred
Depth Zone(1) 530 1.79 1.13 0.066 2.18
East Zone(2) 40 2.93 0.80 0.059 3.22
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Inferred(4) 580 1.88 1.10 0.065 2.26

1. 1.5% nickel equivalent (NiEq) cut-off grade used for the Lockerby Depth
Resource Estimate (NiEq equals Ni grade + (0.32 X Cu grade) + (0.53 X Co
grade)) rounded to the nearest 10,000 tonnes;
2. A 1.0% nickel equivalent (NiEq) cut-off grade was used for the Lockerby
East Resource Estimate (NiEq equals Ni grade + (0.32 X Cu grade) +
(0.53 X Co grade)) rounded to the nearest 10,000 tonnes;
3. A 0.8% nickel equivalent (NiEq) cut-off grade was used for the Upper
West Resource Estimate (NiEq equals Ni grade + (0.32 X Cu grade) +
(0.53 X Co grade)) rounded to the nearest 10,000 tonnes;
4. Total Indicated and Inferred tonnes represent the sum of the detailed
estimates rounded to the nearest 10,000 tonnes;
5. Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have
demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may
be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, taxation,
sociopolitical, marketing, or other relevant issues;
6. The quantity and grade of reported inferred resources in this estimation
are conceptual in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to
define these inferred resources as an indicated or measured mineral
resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in
upgrading them to an indicated or measured mineral resource category.


First Nickel's diamond drill program was carried out under the supervision of First Nickel's Chief Mine Geologist, Stephen Conquer, P.Geo. and First Nickel's Sudbury Exploration Manager, Phil Vicker, P.Geo., "qualified persons" as defined by National Instrument 43-101. The Mineral Resource modeling was carried out under the supervision of First Nickel's Sudbury Exploration Manager, Phil Vicker, PGeo, a "qualified person" as defined by National Instrument 43-101. The information in this release was prepared under the direction of Paul Davis, PGeo, Vice President of Exploration for First Nickel Inc., a "qualified person" as defined by National Instrument 43-101. First Nickel Inc. follows a rigorous QA/QC protocol on all of its projects.

To view the map for the Lockerby Mine Area, please click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/LongSection.jpg

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 Lockerby Mine property and three of its exploration properties. First Nickel also has exploration properties in the Timmins region of northern Ontario and southeastern 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, except as may be required under applicable securities law.

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