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FPX Nickel has its sights on developing one of the world’s top 10 nickel mines

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  • Owns the world’s third-largest undeveloped nickel deposit
  • Lowest expected carbon intensity nickel production globally
  • Well-funded for further exploration and development

What FPX Nickel does:

Nickel is an essential commodity in helping power the ‘green’ economy and FPX Nickel Corp (CVE:FPX) (OTCMKTS:FPOCF) (FRA:FP5) is fortunate to own an exciting development-stage nickel project.

The Vancouver-based company has said its Baptiste deposit in British Columbia is projected to be among the world’s 10 largest nickel mines by annual output, having an estimated 35-year mine life with significant expansion potential.

Baptiste is contained within the company’s Decar nickel district, which is a two-hour drive from Fort St. James in the province. Of the four targets in the Decar district, the Baptiste deposit has been the main focus of diamond drilling since 2010, with a total of 82 holes and over 31,000 metres of drilling having been completed. 

According to a NI 43-101 resource estimate released in 2020, Baptiste already contains an Indicated resource of 1.996 billion tonnes at an average grade of 0.122% Davis Tube Recoverable (DTR) nickel and 593 million tonnes in the Inferred category. 

As well, a 2020 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) showed a 35-year mine life and a pre-tax net present (NPV) value of US$2.93 billion with a pre-tax pay-back period of 3.5 years.

The Decar Nickel District is home to a ‘greenfield’ discovery of nickel mineralization in the form of a naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy called awaruite, which lends itself to bulk-tonnage, open-pit mining.

Since 2010, about US$24 million has been spent on the exploration and development of Decar.

The Sid target was also tested with two holes in 2010 and the B target had a single hole drilled in 2011, with all three holes intersecting nickel-iron alloy mineralization over wide intervals with grades comparable to Baptiste, according to FPX.

How is it doing:

In June 2021, FPX Nickel said that expanded field tests at Baptiste had revealed the potential for significant direct air carbon capture in tailings in the area.

These field tests, from Phase 2 of a two-part program conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) funded by FPX and the Government of Canada, continue to demonstrate that the Baptiste Project’s tailings can sequester significant quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) when exposed to air through a natural process of mineral carbonation, the company said. 

Meanwhile, in May, FPX Nickel unveiled plans to explore new targets at Decar, saying it hopes to define and expand additional targets at the 245 square kilometre complex with a regional mapping and surface sampling program at several new and existing targets.

In addition, FPX said it is is planning an infill drill program at the Baptiste deposit and an initial drill program at the Van target on the project.

Surface exploration will focus first on the Sid and B targets to further refine and expand the areas within, surrounding and between two targets, which are located about 3 and 4.6 kilometres, respectively, north-northwest of the Baptiste deposit. Previous drilling in the area between the two targets has returned positive results, FPX said.

The company is also planning to conduct reconnaissance exploration in five new areas that were identified through airborne surveys, prior sampling work and thanks to improved access to the area from recent clear-cut logging. FPX is targeting an initial nine-hole, 3,000 metre drill program in the summer of 2021 at the  Van target, which sits six kilometres north of Baptiste at similar elevations.

And in April, the company initiated a metallurgical pilot test program to support development of the Baptiste project. The program was designed to validate and optimize the flowsheet parameters outlined in the company’s September 2020 PEA. The processing flowsheet developed for the PEA was based on conventional grinding, magnetic separation and flotation processes to produce a concentrate grading 63% nickel and 1% cobalt.

The objective of the 2021 metallurgical test program is to support the eventual production of a Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) for the project. FPX Nickel expects to report results from the program in the third quarter of 2021.

On the management front, in June FPX Nickel announced the appointment of Andrew Osterloh as the company’s vice-president, projects. Osterloh, former project director and manager of studies for Fluor Canada, will provide technical leadership for the continued exploration and development of FPX’s greenfield Baptiste nickel project.

Inflection points:

  • Baptiste deposit infill drilling
  • Initial drilling at the Van target
  • Pre-Feasibility Study on Baptiste

What the boss says:

Commenting on the company’s exploration plans for its Decar property, FPX Nickel CEO Martin Turenne said: “With plans to conduct infill drilling at Baptiste and a maiden drill program at the Van target this summer, we are excited to conduct additional exploration around the Sid and B targets, plus regional exploration at five other under-explored areas at Decar.”

Turenne added: “The exploration potential at the Decar Nickel District remains vast and offers a compelling opportunity to expand the nickel endowment beyond that already demonstrated at Baptiste, which is the world’s third-largest undeveloped nickel deposit.”

Contact Sean at [email protected]

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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