Focus Metals and SOQUEM report significant rare earth element results from the fall 2011 drilling program at Kwyjibo, Northeastern Quebec
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – March 13, 2012) – Focus Metals Inc. ("Focus" or the "Corporation") (TSX VENTURE:FMS)(OTCQX:FCSMF)(FRANKFURT:FKC) and partner SOQUEM Inc. ("SOQUEM") are pleased to report the results of the fall 2011 core drilling program on the Kwyjibo Polymetallic Property (the "Property"), located in the Grenville Geological Province of northeastern Québec (see figure 1).
Hole 10885-11-57, drilled on the Josette horizon, returned the best rare earth element ("REE") mineralized section:
- 2.40 % TREO* over 48.8 m (from 65.2 to 114.0 m), including:
– 3.40% TREO over 24.3 m (from 68.5 to 92.8 m) and 6.83% TREO over 1.1 m (from 82.7 to 83.8 m).
REOc** ratios in the mineralized interval range between 41 and 42%. The REE mineralization is hosted in a Mesoproterozoic iron oxide copper-gold ("IOCG") zone consisting in a magnetite-rich hydrothermal iron formation (referred as a magnetitite) and in a stockwork of magnetite veins associated with a calcic alteration in a host rock composed mainly of foliated to gneissic leucocratic granite. REE and yttrium bearing minerals include apatite, britholite, allanite and bastnaesite.
* TREO: Total rare earth oxides, including yttrium oxide
** REOc: Ratio of critical rare earth elements (see definition below)
The fall 2011 core drilling program at Kwyjibo comprised twelve (12) holes for a total of 2 604 m. The objectives of the drilling program were to test; (a) an airborne VTEM geophysical anomaly as well as the extension at depth of the magnetitite horizon at the Gabriel showing (holes 10885-11-49 & 50); (b) the extension at depth of the copper-gold zone at the Grabuge showing (10885-11-51); (c) an off hole pulse-EM geophysical anomaly (hole 10885-11-59); and (d) VTEM anomalies along with the northeast extension of the Josette horizon (holes 10885-11-52, 53, 57, 58 & 60), between the Josette and Andradite showings (figure 1). The best drill results were obtained on the Josette horizon;
- Hole 10885-11-56: 1.80% TREO over 32.5 m (from 168.5 to 201.0 m) including:
– 5.88% TREO over 1.0m (from 169.7 to 170.7m).
- Hole 10885-11-58: 1.64% TREO over 20.6 m (from 75.4 to 96.0 m) including:
– 7.05% TREO over 0.8m (from 80.3 to 81.1m).
- Hole 10885-11-60: 3.61% TREO over 33.1 m (from 271.0 to 304.1 m) including:
– 8.68% TREO over 1.0m (from 290.0 to 291.0 m).
REOc ratios for the above results range between 41 and 44%.
Complete results are listed in Table 1 and also include results for iron (Fe2O3) and phosphorus (P2O5) oxides, copper (Cu), REOc ratio and HREEO ratio.
Summer 2012 exploration program
Focus and SOQUEM are currently working on the design of a two-phase follow-up exploration program on the Kwyjibo property for the summer 2012. Phase I of this program (mid-June to mid-July) will include line cutting on the western part of the Property; a ground time-domain electromagnetic ("TDEM") geophysical survey targeting selected VTEM anomalies; a borehole Pulse-EM geophysical survey on the twelve (12) drill holes of 2011; a mini bulk sampling for metallurgical testing on Josette, trench 95-29, 95-30 and smaller samples from selected drill holes. Phase II of the exploration program (mid-July to mid-September) will consist of a 4 000 m core drilling program on the Josette horizon in order to better define the shape, size and REE-Fe-Cu grades. A National Instrument (NI) 43-101 compliant resource estimate will be considered following the results. The fieldworks are planned to start in June and to end late-September.
The REOc ratio
Values of TREO (total rare earth element oxides, REE2O3) presented are the sum of all rare earth oxides of the lanthanide series and yttrium oxide; strictly not a rare earth element, yttrium is included in the total amount of REE because of the chemical behaviour and uses that are similar to the lanthanides.
The U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") estimated in a recent study that some rare earths elements such as neodymium (Nd), europium (Eu), terbium (Tb), dysprosium (Dy) and yttrium (Y) face a shortage on a short (present to 2015) to medium term (2015-2020) basis (source: Critical Materials Strategy, December 2011, U.S. Department of Energy). The ratio of critical rare earths elements ("REOc") is defined by the sum of Nd+Eu+Tb+Dy+Y oxides divided by the total REE oxides (REOc = ((Nd+Eu+Tb+Dy+Er+Y)/ REO) X 100). The REOc ratio is the expression of the importance of those REE's sought by the industry without considering the technological challenge to recover the REE and all the costs related to a mine development. Except for some holes with low grade REE content, most of the REOc vary from 36 to 47 % (see table 1).
2011 drill program and methodology
The 2011 drilling program at Kwyjibo started at mid-September and ended on November 17, 2011. The drilling was performed by G4 Drilling of Val-d'Or under the supervision of SOQUEM, the Operator of the Kwyjibo exploration program. Of the 15 holes planned, three holes were abandoned due to difficult topography, lack of time, and/or harsh weather conditions in November.
A total of 852 samples, consisting of 804 half NQ drill core samples from 12 drill holes, 13 duplicates, 17 standard and 18 blank samples were sent to ALS Canada (in Val-d'Or and Vancouver), a certified laboratory (ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for standards), for analysis for all rare earth elements, most traces and major elements. Except for one hole, between 1 and 3 standard samples and the same for blank samples were introduced in each hole according to the number of samples analyzed. Also, a duplicate sample was analyzed for each hole. The standard sample is an internal standard from Josette showing. In order to be valid, the blank sample (a quartzite with SiO2 of ~ 96 %) had only trace amount of REE (< 60 ppm). Rare earths and trace elements were analyzed using lithium borate fusion of the sample prior to acid dissolution and analyze by ICP-MS (Induced-Couples Plasma Mass Spectrometry). This method is best suitable for minerals resistant to acids digestion, like some REE-bearing silicates. For REE high grades samples, a re-analysis of the pulp was performed using high sample to volume ratios in addition to Class A volumetric glassware. ALS laboratory used certified high grade rare earth reference materials as part of the standard protocol. Major elements were analyzed using a lithium borate fusion of the sample prior to acid dissolution and analyzed by ICP-AES (Induced-Couples Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry). REE, traces and major elements were analyzed at ALS laboratory in Vancouver. For sulphides-bearing samples, copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc and sulphur were analyzed. Copper, lead, silver, zinc and sulphur were analyzed using digestion in aqua regia, then analyzed by AAS technique (Atomic Absorption Spectrometry). Gold was analyzed by fire assay and AAS with a 30g nominal sample weight. Base metals and precious metals were analyzed at ALS facilities in Val-d'Or.
The Kwyjibo polymetallic Iron-Rare Earth Elements-Copper-(Gold) (Fe-REE-Cu-(Au)) property, totalling 118 mining titles and covering 6,278 hectares, is located a few kilometers north of Manitou Lake and 125 km northeast of Sept-Îles, in the Côte-Nord administrative district of Québec. The property is also located 25 km east of the Québec North Shore and Labrador railway line and is accessible by air from Sept-Îles.
Terms of the Agreement
On August 3, 2010, the Company announced the signing of an option agreement with SOQUEM Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF") (in April 2011, the SGF merged with Investissement Québec), to acquire a 50% interest in the Kwyjibo property.
Under the terms of the agreement, Focus Metals may acquire a 50% interest in the Kwyjibo property, by spending up to $3 million in exploration work on the property over a period of 5 years of which $1 million must be spent during the first 2 years.
SOQUEM will act as the operator for all exploration work carried out on the property for the first two years of the option period or until the first $1 million in exploration work expenditures have been spent. Focus will then have the option to become operator by paying $50,000 in cash or issuing a block of common shares valued at $50,000.
As of December 31, 2011, Focus has spent approximately $2.6 million on the Kwyjibo project.
The technical content of this news release was reviewed by Tony Brisson, P.Geo (Quebec), a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
About Focus Metals Inc.
Focus Metals Inc. is an emerging mid-tier junior mining exploration company with excellent discovery stage base metals and industrial minerals opportunities in Quebec. The Corporation intends also to acquire advance stage industrial minerals exploration properties in its portfolio in the future. The Corporation is led by a determined management and technical team with extensive exploration and mine production experience.
About SOQUEM and Investissement Québec
SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Investissement Québec. Investissement Québec's mission is to foster the growth of investment in Québec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in every region. The Corporation offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, to support them at all stages of their development. It is also responsible for administering tax measures and prospecting for foreign investment.
Forward looking statement
This News Release may contain or refer to "forward-looking statements" which reflect Management's expectations regarding the Company's future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities. These statements reflect Management's current beliefs at the time of this news release and are based on information currently available to Management. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and reserves, exploration results, and future plans and objectives of the Company, are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Management's expectations are exploration risks detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulators. While the Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its views to change, it specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
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