First Point Minerals Corp. is pleased to report that its 2012 regional mapping and sampling program has defined a promising, new nickel-iron alloy drill target at the 100%-owned Orca property in the Dease Lake area of northern British Columbia.
The target at Orca measures 1,400 by 750 metres as defined by 118 rock samples averaging 0.113% (or 1,133 ppm) nickel-in-alloy, 5.4% iron, occurring primarily as magnetite, and 0.2% chromium. The surface samples range in value from 0.06 to 0.21% (640 to 2,107 ppm) nickel-in-alloy and contain common-to-abundant, fine-to-coarse grains of disseminated nickel-iron alloy (awaruite) spanning from less than 50 to more than 300 microns (0.05 to 0.3 mm) in size. The dimensions of the mineralized zone are based on 50-metre spaced rock sampling where outcrop is accessible.
The mineralized zone of disseminated awaruite, a naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy, is exposed along the top and northeast flank of a northwest-southeast trending ridge. The mineralization begins on the flank at an elevation of 1,300 metres and extends more than 700 metres to the summit, which reaches 2,020 metres in elevation.
"Orca is a significant new discovery indicating sizeable bulk-tonnage potential and occupies the major portion of a ridge offering a potentially low strip ratio," said Dr. Ron Britten, First Point's Vice-President of Exploration. "Orca is a very good candidate for drilling in 2013."
Orca was staked in November 2011 based on anomalous sample results generated from regional exploration work. The property covers 65 square kilometres centred on a 15-kilometre-long package of ultramafic rocks of the Cache Creek Formation, the same belt of rocks that hosts the same style of nickel-iron alloy mineralization at the neighbouring Wale property and at the Decar project in central B.C. The nickel-iron alloy mineralization at Orca is hosted in fine grained, serpentinized peridotite, with minor dykes or pods of dunite.
The Orca property is located 35 kilometres east of Dease Lake and 9 kilometres northwest along strike from the Eagle target at the adjoining Wale property. First Point recently completed a first pass of exploration drilling at Wale, which tested the 3.6-kilometre-long Eagle nickel alloy target with 10 widely-spaced holes. Drill results from Wale are pending.
Access to the Orca and Wale properties is by helicopter, directly from Dease Lake, and by a rough mining road and trails using all-wheel drive, heavy-duty utility vehicles, which service the nearby jade and placer gold mining operations active in the area.
The 2012 summer field program at Orca included rock sampling, mapping and a wide-spaced ground magnetic geophysical survey. The Company plans to complete Davis Tube magnetic separation testing on existing rock samples over the winter and conduct further detailed mapping and sampling in 2013 in preparation for drilling.
First Point believes that surface sample results of greater than 0.05% (500 ppm) nickel-in-alloy and coarse alloy grain sizes of more than 100 microns (0.1 mm) are significant parameters to evaluate early-stage nickel-iron alloy prospects.
Rock samples, each averaging about 1 kilogram, were delivered to Acme Analytical Laboratories Ltd ("Acme", an ISO Certified Laboratory) in Vancouver for nickel-in-alloy and total nickel analysis. Nickel-in-alloy was analyzed using a partial extraction analytical method that selectively dissolves nickel present as nickel-iron alloy and does not extract the nickel present within rock forming silicate minerals. Following independent studies, including the development of certified standards to monitor accuracy, this partial extraction analytical method was commercially certified by Dr. Barry Smee of Smee & Associates Consulting Ltd. for the exclusive use of First Point. Total nickel was assayed by Acme using a four acid digestion and an ICP-MS finish, which determines the total nickel present, in both nickel-iron alloy and silicate form, as well as iron and chromium.
Dr. Ron Britten, P.Eng., First Point's Qualified Person under NI 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical content of this news release.