Fortune Minerals Limited is pleased to report that it has completed the previously announced drill program on the NICO Cobalt-Gold-Bismuth-Copper Project (“NICO Project”) in Canada’s Northwest Territories (“NWT”) (see September 23, 2021 News Release). A total of 13 holes were completed to varying depths, testing four of the Company’s high priority targets. Equipment and personnel have been demobilized from the site. Several hundred samples have been submitted to ALS Minerals in Yellowknife and North Vancouver for analysis, but no assays have been received to date. Results will be reported after they have been received and compiled into the Company’s electronic drillhole database and reconciled with the NICO deposit geology.
Based on visual indicators, the recently completed program was modified while in progress to reflect changing priorities. A total of six holes (two additional holes) were drilled to test the east end of the NICO deposit where it remains open for potential expansion. An additional hole, totalling four, tested for potential extensions to mineralization identified in the Peanut Lake Zone and two holes were drilled to test for extensions of the Ralph zone. The Company did not drill the lower priority “Magnetic Anomaly A target” and only one hole was needed to test the Roadcut Zone.
Fortune is also pleased to report that it was one of the recipients of additional Mining Incentive Program grants to advanced exploration projects from the Government of the NWT and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor). An additional $100,000 grant was awarded to Fortune, which together with the previous grant of C$140,000, are being applied to the NICO Project drill program. The vast majority of these funds are being used to contract work and services from Yellowknife and Behchoko-based businesses and personnel.
The NICO Project is comprised of a planned mine and concentrator in the NWT and a related hydrometallurgical refinery in southern Canada that will produce cobalt sulphate, gold doré, bismuth ingots and oxide, and a copper cement precipitate. The NICO Project is one of the most advanced cobalt development projects in the world outside of the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) to meet the growing demand in lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles, portable electronics and stationary storage cells.
The NICO Project is a planned reliable, vertically integrated, and Canadian new supplier of cobalt products with supply chain transparency to mitigate concerns over the geographic concentration of production in the DRC and China and associated political and policy risks. The unique Critical Minerals assemblage of the NICO deposit includes primary cobalt, 12% of global bismuth reserves, by-product copper, as well as a highly liquid 1.1 million ounce in-situ gold co-product.
For more detailed information about the NICO Mineral Reserves and certain technical information in this news release, please refer to the Technical Report on the NICO Project, entitled "Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for the NICO-Gold-Cobalt-Bismuth-Copper Project, Northwest Territories, Canada", dated April 2, 2014 and prepared by Micon International Limited which has been filed on SEDAR and is available under the Company's profile at: www.sedar.com. The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been approved by Robin Goad, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortune who is a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101.