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FPX Nickel drills high-grade, near-surface Van target at Decar in British Columbia

The ore at the Van target and Baptiste deposit is awaruite, a naturally occurring alloy of nickel and iron. Credit: FPX Nickel

As the initial drilling program at the Van target winds down, FPX Nickel (TSXV: FPX) says it has identified a high-grade, near-surface zone of awaruite nickel mineralization about 400-750 metres wide, up to 750 metres long, and to depths of 350 metres. The Van target is part of the Decar property about 90 km northwest of Fort St. James, British Columbia.

The Van zone is open for expansion to the south and west and potentially at depth both within and beyond the initial 2.5-sq.-km target area. FPX believes the zone has the potential to host a large-scale, standalone nickel deposit which could rival the company’s nearby Baptiste deposit, which is also found on the Decar property.

The most recent three holes are of particular interest:

  • Hole 21Van-005 intersected 132 metres grading 0.14% DTR (Davis tube recoverable) nickel or 0.21% total nickel beginning 9 metres below surface. This is one of the 10 highest grades near surface encountered at Decar. The same hole returned a 210-metre intersection beginning at 141 metres down hole. It assayed 0.12% DTR nickel (0.21% total nickel).
  • Hole 21Van-006 intersected 351 metres starting at surface that assayed 0.09% DTR nickel (0.22% total nickel), including the first 107 metres that assayed 0.12% DTR nickel (0.2% total nickel).
  • Hole 21Van-007 encountered mineralization beginning 1 metre below surface and extending for 111.2 metres. The assay came back as 0.11% DTR nickel (0.23% total nickel).

Two earlier holes at Van also returned values among the 10 best holes at Decar. Hole 21Van-02 intersected 250 metres of 0.134% DTR nickel from surface to the end of the hole, and hole 21Van-003 intersected 143 metres of 0.14% DTR nickel beginning at the bedrock surface.

FPX has plans to continue drilling at Van this year to expand the mineralization to the south and the west, hoping to compile an initial resource estimate.

The mineralization at both Baptiste and Van is a naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy called awaruite. The alloy is 75% nickel and 25% iron with no sulphides. Ore would be treatable using conventional metallurgy to make a nickel concentrate grading 63% nickel and 30% iron, plus an iron ore concentrate grading 60-65% iron.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)