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Fortune Minerals Announces Remaining Hole Results from NICO Deposit

Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX-FT) has announced the results for the remaining 27 holes from the 37-hole summer drill program at its 100% owned NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper deposit in the Northwest Territories. 

NICO already contains Mineral Reserves of 31 million tonnes, averaging 0.91 g/t gold, 0.12% cobalt, 0.16% bismuth and 0.04% copper, containing 907,000 ounces of gold, 82 million pounds of cobalt, 109 million pounds of bismuth, and 27 million pounds of copper (see Fortune news release, dated January 14, 20101).  Additional drilling was completed this summer to test for extensions to the known deposit where it was locally open for expansion near the surface, at the deposit ends, and also at depth.  In particular, the gold-rich central core of the deposit was open for possible extension to depth and also between some broad spaced drill hole intersections.  The Company has reported that this drilling was successful in extending the deposit, and the latest results include high-grade intersections up to 35.90 g/t gold, 1.23% cobalt and 1.24% bismuth within larger lower grade intervals.  The results of all 37 drill holes are now being reviewed by P&E Mining Consultants Inc. ("P&E") to assess their impact on the known Mineral Reserves and determine if an update to the Mineral Resources and Reserves is warranted.

Significant Results from the last 27 holes include:

  • 8.00 metres, averaging 4.74 g/t gold & 0.16% bismuth, including 1.00 metre, grading 35.90 g/t gold; & 14.62 metres, averaging 0.33 g/t gold & 0.22% cobalt, including 2.00 metres, averaging 1.49 g/t gold & 0.97% cobalt in drill hole NICO 10-325;
  • 3.38 metres, averaging 11.59 g/t gold, 0.37% cobalt, 0.16% bismuth & 0.14% copper, including 1.67 metres, averaging 20.04 g/t gold, 0.36% cobalt, 0.24% bismuth & 0.13% copper in drill hole NICO 10-324;
  • 5.00 metres, averaging 4.84 g/t gold, including 0.94 metres grading 22.10 g/t gold; & 2.50 metres, averaging 9.21 g/t gold, including 0.77 metres grading 22.30 g/t gold in drill hole NICO-10-327;
  • 5.93 metres, averaging 1.01 g/t gold & 0.19% cobalt in NICO 10-309; - and -
  • 8.98 metres, averaging 1.93 g/t gold & 0.21% bismuth, including 2.02 metres averaging 4.31 g/t gold in drill hole NICO 10-317.

Several of the new drill hole intersections indicate extensions to the gold-rich central core of the NICO deposit to depth, including some drill holes that indicate the deposit remains locally open for future expansion.  Several drill holes also indicate extensions to the ore zones toward surface and will therefore likely reduce waste rock stripping in these areas during mine operations.

The NICO summer drill program also included holes that did not intersect economically significant mineralization. Most of these holes were drilled to test for potential extensions to the deposit ends, and although unsuccessful in identifying new ore, are very important in delineating the limits of the known reserves to assist with detailed mine planning.

In addition to drilling, the NICO summer program included further environmental and geotechnical studies at the site to support the environmental assessment ("EA") for the project that is in progress for mine permitting. Additional groundwater monitoring wells were established in the deposit and surrounding area for baseline hydrogeological characterization to measure rock permeability and assess groundwater quality. Geotechnical drill holes were also drilled in the vicinity of the proposed concentrator to assess bedrock quality for the design of building and equipment foundations. Additional assessment of the aggregate resources on the NICO property was also carried out to identify materials for the construction of the mine and surface facilities.

Fortune continued its ongoing programs of consultation and engagement with the Tlicho Government to secure their continued support for the NICO project. Three separate tours for elders from nearby communities were completed this summer to aid these local residents in understanding the nature of the project and to obtain their suggestions on project design and operation. The Company was pleased to participate in a workshop held in the nearby community of Whati on August 12th, together with the Tlicho and Northwest Territories Governments, to discuss important infrastructure initiatives in the area, including the Tlicho road. The planned Tlicho road will improve the quality of life and reduce the cost of living in nearby isolated Tlicho communities as well as service the NICO development.

The NICO project consists of a proposed mine and concentrator in the Northwest Territories, located 160 km northwest of the City of Yellowknife. A hydrometallurgical process plant will also be constructed near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where NICO concentrates will be processed to gold doré, 99.8% cobalt cathode, 99.99% copper cathode and 99.99% bismuth ingot or 99.5% cathode. Both sites are currently in the EA process for permitting. NICO has already been assessed in a positive definitive feasibility study by Micon International Limited that was updated in 2008 and shows an attractive rate of return for the development (see Fortune news release, dated May 8, 2008).

Robin Goad, M.Sc., P.Geo. is the Qualified Person responsible for the NICO drill program for the purposes of NI-43-101. Split core samples up to 1 metre in length were assayed at ALS Canada Ltd. together with a quality assurance program of standards and blanks to verify analytical accuracy. No results are reported for holes that failed to intersect significant mineralization.

Source:

Fortune Minerals Limited

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