First Point Minerals Corp.

First Point Minerals Corp.

November 12, 2008 15:39 ET

First Point Minerals Updates Nickel Alloy Exploration/Metallurgical Results From the Decar Property, British Columbia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 12, 2008) - First Point's (TSX VENTURE:FPX) nickel alloy exploration and metallurgical program over the past field season has defined exceptional large targets at the Decar Property located near Fort St. James in central British Columbia. "We believe the nickel alloy targets at Decar define a new nickel deposit type that has the potential of significantly lower mining and processing costs as compared to traditional sulphide and oxide (laterite) nickel deposits. Recovery of metal from this deposit type will also have very low environmental impact because of the absence of sulphide minerals," said Ron Britten, Vice President of Exploration.

At Decar, the mineralization is contained within a specific alteration assemblage in ultramafic rocks. Samples tested to date range in composition from 0.13% to 0.19% nickel alloy as defined by quantitative scanning electron microscope (QEMscan), a method that can identify and quantify all the minerals present in a rock including nickel-iron alloys. The composition of the alloy itself can vary from 63% to 83% nickel, the rest being iron. The nickel alloy is disseminated and relatively uniformly distributed in the rocks and represents an excellent target for large tonnage open-pit mining. First Point's target is a deposit of greater than 300 million metric tonnes which is, for example, a cubic volume 500 meters on each side.

Two impressive targets, the Sydney and Baptiste Targets, have been identified at Decar from samples taken at 50 to 200 meter intervals where the alloy was recognized in available outcrop or exposures. Coarse (0.1-0.2 millimeter size) nickel-iron alloy grains occur in the Sydney Target which measures 500 by 400 meters where mineralization is open to the east and south. More than half of the larger Baptiste Target which measures approximately 1,100 by 600 meters is covered by glacial till. These targets are 2 kilometers apart and occur in a much broader area of finer grained alloy (less than 0.02 to 0.1 millimeter) based on visual results that have been confirmed by probe and scanning electron microscope data.

The nickel-iron alloy is strongly magnetic and very heavy, with a specific gravity (or density) of 8.2 as compared to other minerals in the host rock that have an average specific gravity of about 2.7. Initial bench scale metallurgical work using these properties has indicated that the nickel alloy can be physically separated from crushed and ground host ultramafic rocks using either magnetic or gravity methods. The costs associated with these process methods compare very favorably with the high capital and operating cost methods required to extract nickel from sulphide or oxide (laterite) nickel deposits or the flotation process to produce a concentrate used by porphyry sulphide copper mines.

In addition to testing physical separation, First Point has entered into a Collaborative Agreement with the University-Industry Liaison Office at the University of British Columbia "UBC" to investigate methods for heap leaching the nickel alloy or leaching nickel alloy in concentrates. Initial results are positive yielding significant amounts of the nickel leached from the nickel alloy material. First Point has the first right to enter into a licensing agreement with UBC for any patentable process that arises from this work.

Near-term future work at Decar will include more detailed metallurgy testing using recently collected large samples to determine which of the three available extraction methods are the most cost effective.

The advantages of the nickel alloy targets include:

- low energy usage to recover the nickel as nickel alloy using one or more of: magnetic, gravity and leaching methods versus the high cost methods employed to exploit sulphide or oxide (laterite) nickel deposits;

- the nickel alloy contains 60% to 80% Ni, the rest is iron which is also salable;

- nickel alloy mineralization is distributed similarly to large open pittable porphyry copper deposits and mining this type of nickel deposit will have economics of scale similar to those achievable at large open pit mines.

- products recovered at the mine site may be able to be sold directly to manufactures thereby eliminating smelter costs;

- potential to leaching of concentrates on site to produce a higher grade product is being investigated;

- environmental problems associated with acid mine drainage will not be encountered due to the absence of sulphides found in nickel alloy targets.

Initial economic analysis illustrates that the grade and potential tonnage indicated at Decar and a refined metallurgical recovery process could be very economic and profitable.

The Decar property is 100% owned by First Point. Micro Labs, of North Vancouver, determined the nickel and iron composition of the alloys in selected samples by electron microscope probe. The percent of nickel alloy in the altered ultramafics samples were completed by SGS Laboratories, Ontario, employing QEMscan. Magnetic and gravity testing was completed by PRI processing, Richmond and leaching experiments were conducted at the Department of Metallurgy at UBC. Ron Britten, PhD, PEng, supervised the fieldwork and is responsible for the content of this release.

First Point is a Canadian precious and base metal exploration company focused on the Americas. Two other nickel projects also held 100% by First Point, the Joe Nickel Property in Oregon and the Shulaps property, southern British Columbia have been explored this past field season and results are pending. For more information, please view: where a new Nickel Alloy Decar Property Presentation has been installed.


Peter M.D. Bradshaw, President

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