FPX Nickel (TSXV: RPX) reports an upgraded resource estimate for the Baptiste nickel project in central British Columbia. The new estimate includes the results of infill drilling done in 2021 and is based on a new geological modelling approach. For the first time, the total nickel content and potential byproduct cobalt and iron are included.
The Baptiste pit-constrained resource estimate includes 1.82 billion tonnes of indicated resources grading 0.211% total nickel and containing 8.44 billion lb. nickel. The inferred resource is 339.0 million tonnes grading 0.212% total nickel, containing 1.59 billion lb. nickel.
FPX has given previous nickel grades in terms of Davis tube recoverable (DTR) amounts, and the current grades are 0.129% nickel in the indicated resource and 0.131% nickel in the inferred resources. Under those parameters, the indicated portion of the deposit contains 5.37 billion lb. nickel and 978.9 million lb. nickel, respectively. The new numbers represent higher DTR nickel grades – 6% in the indicated category and 15% in the inferred category.
Grades for cobalt and iron are also given as DTR grades and amounts. The indicated resource grade is 0.0035% cobalt (containing 142.0 million lb.) and 2.40% iron (containing 43,500 tonnes). The inferred resource is 0.0037% cobalt (containing 27.6 million lb.) and 2.55% iron (containing 8,600 tonnes).
“The new mineral resource estimate highlights the potential for improved project economics owing to a material increase in DTR nickel grade and new opportunities for recovery of cobalt and non-DTR nickel contained in the Baptiste deposit,” noted Martin Turenne, FPX’s president and CEO.
“This marks an important de-risking step in the ongoing development of Baptiste as a large-scale, low-cost and low-carbon nickel project, setting the stage for the completion of our current metallurgical program which will culminate with the production of battery-grade nickel sulphate in the first quarter of 2023.”