VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/14/13 -- First Point Minerals Corp. (TSX: FPX) ("First Point" or the "Company") is pleased to provide a review of its 2012 regional exploration activities in Canada, Norway and Australia as part of the Company's ongoing global search for awaruite, a unique style of naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy mineralization.
The Mich property, owned 100% by First Point and totalling 11.5 square kilometres in size, is located 52 kilometres east of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. It lies 16 kilometres off the Alaska Highway and is accessible by an all terrain vehicle trail. The Mich property was staked after discovering a large anomalous zone of disseminated nickel-iron alloy mineralization based on a first pass of wide-spaced sampling during the 2011 summer's regional exploration program.
A ground magnetic geophysical survey and detailed surface sampling and mapping were completed in 2012 to further define potential drill targets. Samples were taken at 50-metre spaced intervals where outcrop is accessible. An irregular anomalous zone of nickel-iron alloy mineralization extends over a distance of at least 2.5 kilometres and is defined by 164 rock samples averaging 0.063% nickel-in-alloy, 4.93% iron and 0.12% chromium. The anomalous zone roughly coincides with a northwest trending ridge.
The samples range in value from trace to 0.148% nickel-in-alloy and contain weak-to-abundant, fine-to-coarse grains of disseminated nickel-iron alloy spanning from less than 50 to 500 microns (0.05 to 0.5 mm) in size.
A potential drill target in the far southeast end of the 2.5-kilometre long trend is identified by 10 samples averaging 0.097% nickel-in-alloy, 5.12% iron and 0.13% chromium. The target measures 650 metres wide and from 300 to 400 metres long. Bedrock exposure beyond the southeast boundary is masked by overburden. Ground magnetic geophysical results suggest the permissive host rock extends at least 600 metres to the northeast and southeast beyond the target area before being truncated by faults.
A second area of interest has been identified 650 metres along trend to the northwest. An area measuring 500 by 250 metres is defined by 18 samples sites averaging 0.101% nickel-in-alloy, 5.43% iron and 0.12% chromium. It is not a potential drill target at this point.
Preliminary petrographic work indicates mixed awaruite and sulphide composite grains in many of the samples collected from the Mich property. Davis Tube magnetic recovery tests are planned on selected surface rock samples to quantify the sulphur content and nature of magnetically recovered material.
First Point announced in July 2012 that it had acquired two properties in Norway - Fera and Leka - after identifying anomalous nickel-iron alloy occurrences. The Fera property is located 300 kilometres north of Oslo in the historic mining district of Roros. The property hosts several ultramafic bodies of variable size forming an 18-kilometre-long, east-trending belt that correlates with a well-defined airborne geophysical magnetic high.
A systematic 200-metre spaced grid sampling program of surface outcrop was completed during the summer across the largest ultramafic body, which measures about 5 by 6 kilometres in size and hosts anomalous nickel-iron alloy mineralization. More detailed 50-metre spaced follow-up rock sampling was carried out in the southern half of the ultramafic body based on positive visual assessments of the grain size and increasing concentration of the nickel-iron alloy mineralization.
A total of 336 rock samples returned values ranging from 32 to 1,363 parts per million ('ppm") (or less than 0.01 to 0.136%) nickel-in-alloy for an average of 414 ppm (0.041%), plus 4.98% iron and 0.13% chromium. Using a 600 ppm (0.06%) cut-off, 50 samples average 794 ppm (0.079%) nickel-in-alloy, with five samples exceeding 0.1%. The samples with better grades have erratic distribution or are in close proximity to a major thrust fault and do not have size potential.
In light of the initial results and the cost of maintaining this large property, the Company has reduced its holdings at Fera and now controls a 100% interest in 70 square kilometres in seven licenses. Regional exploration work is planned for Fera in 2013 to investigate several other ultramafic bodies located along the belt.
A first pass of regional mapping and sampling at the second property in Norway, called Leka, located 195 kilometres north of the city of Trondheim, turned up weakly anomalous nickel-in-alloy mineralization. No further work is planned and the property has been dropped.
Based on the results of early-stage surface sampling in 2011, First Point acquired a license to the Light property covering the northern 24.5-kilometre strike portion of the Coolac ultramafic complex in New South Wales, Australia. Preliminary surface rock sampling returned anomalous nickel-in-alloy values of 200 to 400 ppm (0.02 to 0.04%), with visible disseminated grains of nickel-iron alloy ranging from less than 50 to 200 microns in size.
Follow-up mapping and sampling was done in 2012, which outlined a new anomaly measuring 600 metres long and 100 to 200 metres wide based on five rock samples averaging 626 ppm (0.063%) nickel-in-alloy. The anomalous target is located in the southern part of the Coolac ultramafic system. First Point has dropped the northern license and applied for a second license to cover the southern 13.5-kilometre extent of the ultramafic system.
Several known ultramafic belts in New South Wales were also investigated and sampled as part of a regional exploration program, including the Serpentine belt, but assays are too low to warrant any follow-up work.
First Point's ongoing global search for awaruite continues to generate and assess new targets in different parts of the world. "We are exploring for large-scale, coarse-grained nickel-iron alloy targets containing 0.08 to 0.1% nickel-in-alloy," said Dr. Ron Britten, First Point's Vice-President of Exploration.
As part of the 2012 exploration program, which totalled $3.3 million, First Point completed five drill holes testing the 100%-owned Klow property in central B.C. (as disclosed in First Point's October 4, 2012 news release). The best hole returned 316 metres averaging 0.1% nickel-in-alloy.
The Company also encountered promising nickel grades from a first pass of drilling at the wholly-owned Wale property in the Dease Lake area of northern B.C. (as disclosed in First Point's December 17, 2012 news release). The 2012 drilling tested a 3.6-kilometre strike length of the Eagle target with 10 widely spaced holes that encountered extensive, widespread nickel-iron alloy mineralization.
Drill results included 162 metres of 0.137% nickel-in-alloy in hole 1 and 261 metres of 0.126% nickel-in-alloy in hole 6, which was collared in the northwest margin of the newly defined Garth's Knob target. These drill results, coupled with surface rock sampling results from the adjoining Orca property (as disclosed in First Point's October 11, 2012 news release) and Garth's Knob in the southeastern portion of the Wale property, indicate a semi-continuous zone of mineralization that extends over a 14.5-kilometre strike length. First Point believes there is excellent potential along this camp-scale trend to build on and expand the 0.1% nickel-in-alloy mineralization during 2013.
Additional information concerning the 2013 exploration work plan and budget will be released once finalized.
Sampling and Analytical Method
Samples 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.
About First Point
First Point Minerals Corp. is a Canadian base and precious metal exploration company operating worldwide. For more information, please view the Company's website at www.firstpointminerals.com.
On behalf of First Point Minerals Corp.
Jim Gilbert, President and CEO
Certain of the statements made and information contained herein is considered "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. These statements address future events and conditions and so involve inherent risks and uncertainties, as disclosed in the Company's periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. Actual results could differ from those currently projected. The Company does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
Neither the TSX Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
First Point Minerals Corp.
President and CEO
First Point Minerals Corp.
VP Corporate Development
(604) 681-8799 (FAX)
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