First Point Minerals Corp.
TSX VENTURE : FPX

First Point Minerals Corp.

December 16, 2011 08:00 ET

First Point Reports Long Intersections of Magnetically-Recovered Nickel Alloy for the First Nine Holes from the 2011 Drilling at Decar

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2011) - First Point Minerals Corp. (TSX VENTURE:FPX) ("First Point" or the "Company") is pleased to report results for the first nine of 36 holes from the 2011 drilling campaign at the Decar nickel-iron alloy project in central British Columbia. The Decar project is managed by Cliffs Natural Resources Exploration Canada Inc., an affiliate of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF)(PARIS:CLF) ("Cliffs"). Highlights include:

  • Baptiste
    • 11BAP-01 263m of 0.132% magnetically-recovered nickel*

    • 11BAP-03 305m of 0.128% " " "

    • 11BAP-04 255m of 0.132% " " "

    • 11BAP-05 259m of 0.145% " " "

    • 11BAP-07 254m of 0.163% " " "

  • Target B
    • 11B-01 258m of 0.138% magnetically-recovered nickel

"The length and grade of these holes are impressive," said Dr. Peter Bradshaw, President and CEO of First Point. "They represent an important step in the process of demonstrating the possible presence of a bulk tonnage, open pittable, nickel-iron alloy deposit at Decar."

* "Magnetically-recovered nickel" is nickel recovered by simple magnetic separation using a Davis Tube followed by nickel assay of the concentrate. This procedure recovers the highly magnetic nickel-iron alloy, as well as any other magnetic material, including magnetite, a primary ore mineral in many iron ores. Cliffs employs large scale magnetic separation methods in several of their operating iron ore mines, and the Davis Tube method was used to provide a more accurate measure of variability in recoverable nickel. Davis Tube is the global, industry standard geometallurgical test for magnetic recovery operations and exploration projects. The previously released 2010 drill results are being reanalysed using the Davis Tube technique to assist in the interpretation of current and forthcoming 2011 drill results.

The 2011 results, presented in the table below (Table 1), are for the first eight holes in the Baptiste zone (11BAP-01 to 08), and a single hole in Target B (11B-01). A drill hole location map can be viewed at www.firstpointminerals.com. The first batch of results of the 2011 program returned long intersections of Davis Tube ("DT") magnetically-recovered nickel in the range of 0.11% to 0.163% over lengths of up to 305 metres, which compares favourably to the results of nine widely-spaced holes drilled in 2010. The nickel-iron alloy mineralization is hosted in serpentinized peridotite.

In 2011, the Baptiste target was drilled with 35 core holes totalling 10,861 metres, on 200-metre centres, over an area measuring roughly 2,300 by 700 metres. The holes were drilled at a -50 degree angle in a northerly direction and tested an arcuate-shaped zone of nickel-iron alloy mineralization to a depth of 300 metres down-hole, representing a vertical depth of about 230 metres. The exception was hole 11BAP-09, which tested the centre of the Baptiste zone to a down-hole depth of 600 metres, or 460 metres vertically.

Table 1. 2011 Baptiste Zone and Target B Drill Hole Results

Intersections (m) Magnetically Recovered Nickel
Hole # Overburden
(m)
End of Hole
(m)
From To Intercept (%)
BAPTISTE TARGET
11BAP-01 7.5 275.2 12.5 275.2 262.7 0.132
11BAP-02 32.0 309.4 34.0 94.0 60.0 0.138
and 94.0 190.0 96.0 0.019
and 190.0 250.0 60.0 0.140
and 250.0 282.0 32.0 0.028
and 282.0 309.4 27.4 0.127
11BAP-03 5.6 310.9 6.0 310.9 304.9 0.128
11BAP-04 8.3 304.5 44.0 79.5 35.5 0.026
and 79.5 304.5 225.0 0.132
11BAP-05 44.8 303.5 45.0 303.5 258.5 0.145
11BAP-06 32.0 305.0 32.0 144.0 112.0 0.135
144.0 164.0 20.0 0.020
164.0 256.0 92.0 0.109
256.0 302.0 46.0 0.064
11BAP-07 37.8 304.5 51.0 304.5 253.5 0.163
11BAP-08 9.8 302.0 98.0 158.0 60.0 0.020
162.0 302.0 140.0 0.133
TARGET B
11B-01 2.9 304.5 30.0 46.0 16.0 0.074
and 46.0 304.5 258.5 0.138

The reported magnetically-recovered nickel grades are based on a threshold of 0.10%. Intercepts of non-mineralized dykes greater than 1 metre wide are reported as zero grade.

Baptiste Target

Holes 11BAP-01, 11BAP-03, 11BAP-04, 11BAP-05, 11BAP-07 and 11BAP-08 were collared approximately 200 metres apart along the interpreted southern boundary of the Baptiste zone. These 6 holes, combined with 2010 holes 10BAP-01 and 10BAP-07, define an east-west strike length of open-ended, continuous mineralization over a distance of at least 1,050 metres. The top of these holes consist of unconsolidated, mainly alluvial overburden, while holes 11BAP-04 and 11BAP-08 encountered non-mineralized metavolcanics, sediments or gabbro, before intersecting the mineralized serpentinized peridotite.

Hole 11BAP-01 intersected 262.7 metres averaging 0.132% magnetically-recovered nickel, starting from 12.5 metres down-hole; hole 11BAP-03 cut 304.9 metres averaging 0.128% magnetically-recovered nickel, beginning 6 metres from surface; hole 11BAP-05 returned 258.5 metres averaging 0.145% magnetically-recovered nickel, beginning at 45 metres down-hole; and hole 11BAP-07 recorded the highest averaged value of 0.163% magnetically-recovered nickel across 253.5 metres core length, starting from 51 metres down-hole. Holes 11BAP-04 and 11BAP-08 are both interpreted to have intersected the southwest boundary of the Baptiste mineralization. Hole 11BAP-04 averaged 0.132% magnetically-recovered nickel over a length of 225 metres, starting from 79.5 metres down-hole, whereas hole 11BAP-08 cut 140 metres averaging 0.133% magnetically-recovered nickel, starting from 158 metres down-hole and continuing to the end of the hole at 302 metres depth.

Hole 11BAP-02 was collared about 200 metres north of hole 11BAP-07 and 200 metres west of 10BAP-02. It intersected 60 metres grading 0.138% magnetically-recovered nickel, from 34 to 94 metres down-hole; followed by 60 metres of 0.140% magnetically-recovered nickel between 190 and 250 metres down-hole; ending in 27.4 metres of 0.127% magnetically-recovered nickel at the bottom of the hole at 309.4 metres depth. The mineralized sections of hole 11BAP-02 are separated by two lower-grade sections of weakly mineralized peridotite, carbonate alteration and non-mineralized dykes.

Located about 275 metres northwest of 10BAP-02, hole 11BAP-06 intersected 112 metres grading 0.135% magnetically-recovered nickel, from 32 to 144 metres down-hole; followed by 92 metres of 0.109% magnetically-recovered nickel between 164 and 256 metres down-hole. The mineralized sections of hole 11BAP-06 are separated by a 20 metre interval of weakly mineralized peridotite. The 256-metre down-hole depth in this hole likely marks the northern boundary of the Baptiste mineralization.

Based on the results reported to date, the Baptiste zone measures more than 600 metres wide in a north-south direction, as defined by holes 11BAP-05, 10BAP-01 and 11BAP-06, and is still open to the south. Assays from the remaining 27 drill holes are pending, including hole 11BAP-09. These holes tested areas to the west, east and north, located between and around the drill hole results that are disclosed in this news release and drill holes released in 2010. The central-south boundary of the Baptiste Target is open to the south and will require additional drilling.

Target B

A single exploration hole into Target B, a standalone, nickel-iron alloy target located 4.6 km north-northwest of Baptiste, intersected 258.5 metres averaging 0.138% magnetically-recovered nickel in hole 11B-01. Visually estimated nickel-iron alloy grains reached 700 microns (or 0.7 mm) in size, representing some of the coarsest-grained mineralized material observed to date at Decar. The top of hole 11B-01 passed through 2.9 metres of overburden and 31 metres of metavolcanics and iron carbonate alteration, before intersecting the mineralized zone of serpentinized peridotite, which extended to the end of the hole at 301.5 metres depth.

QA/QC

Representative 1-metre-long samples of split drill core were collected every 4 metres down each hole. The remaining core was retained for future metallurgical testing. Drill core samples were shipped in batches to Activation Laboratories in Ancaster, Ontario for analysis. This 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 then passed through a Davis Tube magnetic separator in slurry form to produce a magnetic fraction. This magnetic fraction is then dried, weighed and analyzed by standard fusion XRF analysis that generates high quality multi-element data including nickel analysis. The magnetically recovered nickel is calculated by multiplying the fusion XRF nickel value times the weight of the magnetic fraction divided by total recorded weight. Standards, blanks and duplicates were inserted in the batches to provide quality control.

Following receipt of the core sample analyses from Activation Laboratories and at the direction of Cliffs, Caracle Creek International Consulting Inc. ("Caracle Creek"), a consulting group managing the 2011 drill program, will evaluate whether there is sufficient data to prepare an NI 43-101 inferred mineral resource estimate. If this mineral resource estimate is positive and other preliminary marketing and environmental studies are also positive, Cliffs will prepare a NI 43-101 compliant preliminary economic assessment (PEA) under the management of Tetra Tech WEI Inc., formerly known as Wardrop Engineering.

Cliffs currently owns a 51% interest of the Decar project and has the right to increase its property ownership (i) to 60% by completing a NI 43-101 compliant preliminary economic assessment by March 2013, (ii) to 65% by completing a preliminary feasibility 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 interpretation content of this news release. Qualified analytical data was supplied by Cliffs Natural Resources. Cliffs is the operator and technical work is supervised by Caracle Creek and 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.

On behalf of First Point Minerals Corp.

Peter Bradshaw, Ph.D., P. Eng., President

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.

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