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Hard Creek Nickel Reports New Metallurgical Test Results From Turnagain Project in Canada

Hard Creek Nickel Corporation (TSX:HNC) today announced that it has completed new preliminary metallurgical tests on a new composite sample (Sample 10-265) collected from the recently drilled Hole 10-265 in the Horsetrail Zone of the Company's 100% owned Turnagain Nickel Project, located near Dease Lake in British Columbia, Canada.

The Company is conducting further metallurgical tests to evaluate the potential of improving the Turnagain nickel concentrate grade.

Four flotation tests were carried out on bulk composite Sample 10-265 with initial cleaner tests producing nickel concentrates greater than 25% Ni. This represents much better than historical upgrading of the rougher concentrates. The expected concentrate grade at various recovery points for this sample is generalized below:

After two stages of cleaning, the Fe:MgO ratio was >8, exceeding the general industry requirement of greater than 4.5 for a smelting process.

"These test results are very preliminary in nature, but provide early encouragement which indicate a portion of the Turnagain deposit is amenable to the creation of a readily marketable concentrate while maintaining nickel recoveries in excess of 50%," said Mark Jarvis, President of Hard Creek Nickel. "We are being cautious at this point as we do not know exactly how extensive this material is within the deposit. However, these results are an improvement over previous test work on similar samples, which resulted in a 4% concentrate grade with 55.3% Ni recoveries. Work remains to test the new processing regime on other lithological domains within the deposit."

Hard Creek drilled two "HQ" size diamond drill core holes (Holes 10-265 and 10-266) within the Turnagain deposit in September, 2010. These holes were drilled to parallel (twin) the existing Hole 08-264 with their collar locations within one metre of the existing drill hole. The original drill hole 08-264 was drilled in 2008 in a northly direction at -5°. It was designed to provide information on a portion of the deposit which may be processed early in the life of the proposed Turnagain mine (as presented in the 2010 Wardrop Preliminary Assessment), and to identify bulk sample material for a future test piloting program.

Sample 10-265 was created by compositing approximately 162m (depth 18 to 180m EOH) of Hole 10-265 into one large 1525 kilogram bulk composite. The second hole, Hole 10-266 was drilled to provide additional bulk sample if needed for future testwork during the winter months. It was left as whole core, boxed and shipped to the Company warehouse near Chilliwack, B.C.

Bulk sample preparation and laboratory testing of the 10-265 composite sample was performed at SGS Vancouver, B.C. under the supervision of Jake Lang, B.E.Sc. of SGS Canada and under the direction of Chris Martin of Blue Coast Metallurgy Ltd., John Hoffert, P.Eng. and metallurgist Mike Ounpuu.

This news release has been reviewed and approved by Chris Martin, C.Eng, and Neil Froc, P. Eng, Qualified Persons consistent with NI 43-101.

Source: Hard Creek Nickel Corp.


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