OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/28/13 -- Focus Graphite Inc. (TSX VENTURE: FMS)(OTCQX: FCSMF)(FRANKFURT: FKC) ("Focus" or the "Corporation") and partner SOQUEM Inc. ("SOQUEM") are pleased to report the results of the Fall 2012 core drilling program at the Kwyjibo Polymetallic Iron-Rare Earth Elements-Copper (Fe-REE-Cu) Property ("Kwyjibo" or the "Property"), located in the Cote-Nord administrative district of northeastern Quebec. A total of 31 holes (4,207 m) were drilled to confirm grades, thicknesses and continuity of the Fe-REE-Cu mineralization within the northeastern portion of the 1 km long Josette Horizon which hosted the best REE intersections of the 2011 drilling program (see Focus press release dated March 13th 2012).
Hole 10885-12-75 returned the best REE mineralized section of the 2012 drilling program:
-- Hole 10885-12-75: 3.22 % TREO(i) and 0.1 % Cu over 36.0 m(ii) (from 99.0 to 135.0 m), including a high grade sub-interval of 7.04 % TREO(i) and 0.19 % Cu over 7.0 m(ii) (from 111.0 m to 118.0 m).
Other highlights from the 2012 drilling program include:
-- Hole 10885-12-62: 2.26 % TREO(i) and 0.3 % Cu over 43.2 m(ii) (from 28.0 to 71.2 m) in massive iron formation, including a high grade sub- interval of 5.08 % TREO(i) and 0.2 % Cu over 5.0 m(ii) (from 41.0 to and 46.0 m).-- Hole 10885-12-68: 2.56 % TREO(i) and 0.21 % Cu over 40.15 m(ii) (from 71.35 m to 111.5 m) in the massive iron formation, including a high grade sub-interval of 5.10 % TREO(i) and 0.25 % Cu over 8.0 m(ii) (from 81.0 to 89.0 m).-- Hole 10885-12-71: 3.29 % TREO(i) and 0.25 % Cu over 30.0 m(ii) (from 144.0 to 174.0 m) in massive iron formation, including a high grade sub- interval of 4.29 % TREO(i) and 0.33 % Cu over 15.0 m(ii) (from 151.0 m to 166.0 m).-- Hole 10885-12-84: 1.47 % TREO(i) and 0.03 % Cu over 59.5 m(ii) (from 145.5 m to 205.0 m) in massive iron formation, including a high grade sub-interval of 2.14 % TREO(i) and 0.03 % Cu over 24.0 m(ii) (from 147.0 m to 171.0 m); and 1.06 % TREO(i) over 34.0 m(ii) (from 171.0 to and 205.0 m) in the lower magnetite-veins breccia zone, including a high grade sub-interval of 3.81% TREO(i) over 3.0 m(ii) (from 179.5 to 182.5 m). (i) Rare earth elements assays are expressed as total rare earth oxides (TREO) including yttrium oxide. Values of TREO (REE2O3) presented are the sum of all rare earth oxides of the lanthanide series and yttrium oxide; strictly not a rare earth element, yttrium is included in the total amount of REE because of the chemical behaviour and uses that are similar to the lanthanides. (ii) Intersections are expressed as core length in meters and not the true thickness as most holes were drilled nearly perpendicular to the dip of the Josette horizon (dip of -45 degrees to -50 degrees to the southeast).
Gary Economo, President and CEO of Focus stated: "These latest drilling results from our Kwyjibo project confirm the grades, thicknesses and continuity of the Fe-REE-Cu mineralization at the Josette Horizon over a total strike length of 600 m and to a depth of 175 m. Moreover the new drill results again demonstrate the high content of critical rare earth elements (in particular Nd and Y) of the mineralization at Josette with REOc(iii) ratios for the significant drill intersections ranging from 36 % to 43 %".
Mr. Economo added: "Our summer 2013 exploration program at Kwyjibo will include additional drilling to further map the limits of the Fe-REE-Cu mineralization at the Josette Horizon as well as to test new ground geophysical anomalies in the western part of the property".
(iii) The ratio of critical rare earth elements ("REOc") is defined by The U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") as the sum of Nd+Eu+Tb+Dy+Y oxides divided by total rare earth oxides (TREO) : REOc = ((Nd2O3+Eu2O3+Tb2O3+Dy2O3+Y2O3)/TREO)x100. The REOc ratio is the expression of the importance of those REEs sought by the industry without considering the technological challenge to recover the REE and all the costs related to a mine development.
Additional details of the 2012 drilling program including complete assays results for TREO, REOc, ratio (in %) of heavy rare earth oxides (HREO), Fe2O3, P2O5, and Cu, a map showing drill collar locations and a long section of the Josette horizon are available on the company's website at www.focusgraphite.com.
Fall 2012 Drilling Program
Thirty-one (31) holes (4,207 m) were drilled at Kwyjibo in 2012 with the aim of validating grades, thicknesses and continuity of the REE-Fe-Cu mineralization in the northeastern portion of the 1 km long Josette Horizon and to a depth of about 175 m. A first series of eight (8) holes (12-61 to 12-70) were centered on trenches TR-95-29 and TR-95-30 and were drilled at 25 m spacing. A further 23 holes were drilled on both sides (northeast (12-71 to 12-83) and southwest (12-85 to 12-91)) of the first series. Most holes were drilled nearly perpendicular to the dip of the Josette horizon (dip of -45 degrees to -50 degrees to the southeast) except for eight (8) holes that were drilled with a dip ranging from -65 degrees and -75 degrees.
The 2012 drilling results confirmed one of the main findings of the Josette Horizon exploration program in 2011 that is that the REE mineralization is found not only in the magnetite-rich hydrothermal iron formation (referred as a "magnetitite") but also in the stockwork of magnetite veins associated with a calcic alteration (composed of calcsilicate minerals veins with andradite, clinopyroxene, hornblende, scapolite, plagioclase and others Ca-bearing minerals) in the host rock composed mainly of foliated to gneissic leucocratic granite.
The REE and copper mineralization in the Josette Horizon occurs into three discrete zones:
-- The upper magnetite veins breccia zone, with a thickness varying from less one (1) m to a maximum of 10 m, which is associated with calcsilicate minerals veins and has intruded the leucocratic granite gneiss host rock. REE grades are usually low;-- The magnetitite zone or hydrothermal iron formation, the main mineralized zone with the highest grades in REE and copper. Its thickness varies from a few meters to more than 25 m and it is composed of massive fine-grained magnetitite cut by coarser REE-bearing magnetite veins and REE-bearing calcsilicate veins;-- Finally the lower magnetite-veins breccia zone, with a thickness that varies from a meter to more than 30 m, which is composed of magnetite- rich veins and calcsilicate-bearing minerals veins, mineralized in REE, and is emplaced in the leucocratic granite gneiss.
The 2012 drilling program also defined a zone of higher TREO and Cu grades ranging from 1.33 % to 3.70 % TREO and 0.15 % to 0.36 % Cu lying between drill holes 10885-11-58 and 10885-12-70. This enrichment zone is 250 m long with a thickness of 20 to 40 m, dips at approx. 50 degrees to the southeast and extends to a vertical depth of 200 m.
Finally, the 2012 drilling results show that the easternmost portion of the tested area (holes 10885-77 to 10885-12-83; 10885-11-55, 11-56 and 11-60) is characterized by the absence or by very thin (less than 5 m thick) massive magnetitite horizons with the mineralization mostly contained in the lower magnetite-veins breccia zone. These observations show that REE mineralization is not only limited to the magnetitite horizons creating new mineral potential to sectors of the Kwyjibo property with low magnetic signatures.
Methodology and QA/QC
The drilling program started August 22nd and ended October 3rd, 2012. The drilling was performed by Orbit-Garant of Val-d'Or under the supervision of SOQUEM. The drill mobilization and demobilization from Sept-Iles to the Property, and the moves between holes were done by helicopters (single-engine AS-305 B2 of Eurocopter) operated by Heli-Boreal of Sept-Iles. About 30 holes were planned and the location and length of four holes were changed during the course of the program in order to pursue the continuity of the mineralized zone between holes. The DDH core boxes were carried to the camp by helicopter for core logging and sampling. After being logged and sampled, the core boxes were loaded onto a float plane, operated by Labrador Air Safari, to Sept-Iles or carried by helicopter to a gravel pit located along highway 138, and then trucked to Heli-Boreal air base in Sept-Iles. From there, the core boxes were sent by a carrier to SOQUEM's core storage facilities.
A total of 1,531 samples, consisting of 1,453 half NQ drill cores from 29 drill holes (hole 10885-12-81 was not sampled), 23 duplicates, 27 samples of our internal standard and 28 blank samples were sent to ALS Minerals (in Val-d'Or and Vancouver; a certified laboratory; ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for standards) for analysis for all rare earth elements, most traces and major elements. For core samples, the core was sawed for the magnetitite or split, for the breccia zones, in two halves and then placed into a plastic bag. A numbered tag from the ALS laboratory was inserted into the bag prior to the sealing of the bag with a tie-wrap. The sample bags were loaded onto a float plane to Sept-Iles and sent by a carrier to ALS Minerals ("ALS") in Val-d'Or.
Except for two holes, one standard sample and one or two blank samples were introduced in each hole according to the number of samples analyzed. Except for seven (7) holes, a duplicate sample was analyzed for each hole. The standard sample is an internal standard from Josette showing. In order to be valid, the blank sample (a quartzite with SiO2 of approx. 96 %) had only trace amount of REE (less than 60 ppm).
Rare earths and trace elements were analyzed using lithium borate fusion of the sample prior to acid dissolution and analyze by ICP-MS (Induced-Couples Plasma Mass Spectrometry). This method is best suitable for minerals resistant to acids digestion, like some REE-bearing silicates. For REE high grades samples, a re-analysis of the pulp was performed using high sample to volume ratios in addition to Class A volumetric glassware. ALS laboratory used certified high grade rare earth reference materials as part of the standard protocol.
Major elements were analyzed using a lithium borate fusion of the sample prior to acid dissolution and analyzed by ICP-AES (Induced-Couples Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry). REE, traces and major elements, fluorite, sulphur and carbon were analyzed at ALS laboratory in Vancouver.
For sulphides-bearing samples, copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc and sulphur were analyzed. Copper, lead, silver, zinc and sulphur were analyzed using digestion in aqua regia, then analyzed by AAS technique (Atomic Absorption Spectrometry). Elements such as As, Bi, Hg, Sb, Se and Te were analyzed by ICP-MS after dissolution in aqua Regia. Carbon and sulphur were analyzed in a combustion furnace and fluorine was analyzed by fusion selective ion electrode (S.I.E.). Three holes with the highest copper values were analyzed for gold. Gold was analyzed by fire assay and AAS with a 30g nominal sample weight. Copper, analyzed by AAS technique, and gold were done at ALS facilities in Val-d'Or.
Surface and borehole TDEM geophysical surveys
A ground time-domain electromagnetic ("TDEM") geophysical survey and a borehole Pulse-EM surveys were performed over selected portions of the Kwyjibo property by Abitibi Geophysics Inc. of Val-d'Or between August 25th and October 5th, 2012. A total of 75 line km were surveyed on five different loops that covered all significant VTEM anomalies from the 2006 airborne survey as well as all known occurrences of the iron formation on the Kwyjibo Property.
A total of 30 drill holes (5,492 m) were surveyed with borehole Pulse-EM on three loops. Eight (8) holes from the 1994 to 2011 core drilling programs were also surveyed for a total of 1,219 m for the most northeastern Grabuge - Gabriel showings loop (loop 5). A total of 2,089 m from 11 drill holes (1994 to 2012) were surveyed on loop 4 that straddled the Fluorine and Josette showings grids. Finally, 2,184 m from 11 holes (1995 to 2012) were surveyed in the loop 3 that covers most of the Josette horizon and the Josette grid.
The ground and borehole geophysical data were processed and interpreted by MBGeosolutions of Quebec-City. The 3D renderings of the TDEM anomalies and conductors are under review. High-priority geophysical targets from the 2012 surveys will be followed-up though drilling in 2013.
A first round of metallurgical tests is underway at COREM Laboratories in Quebec-City. The testing is being performed on two representative composite mineralized rock samples from mineralized iron formation (magnetitite) and from mineralized breccia facies with the aim to produce concentrates for critical rare earths, copper and iron. The first composite sample is comprised of 80 kg of mineralised rock from Josette showing. The second composite sample consists of 230 kg of quarter-split drill core samples from seven (7) holes drilled below trenches TR-95-29 and TR-95-30. The contract to carry out the metallurgical testing was awarded to COREM while the testing is being supervised by Roche Ltd. The results of the metallurgical testing program are expected during the third quarter of 2013.
The Kwyjibo polymetallic property, totalling 118 mining titles and covering 6,278 ha, is located 125 km northeast of the port city of Sept-Iles, in the Cote-Nord administrative district of Quebec. The property is also located 25 km east of the Quebec North Shore and Labrador railway line and is accessible by air from Sept-Iles.
Terms of the Agreement
On August 3, 2010, the Company announced the signing of an option agreement with SOQUEM Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Societe generale de financement du Quebec ("SGF") (in April 2011, the SGF merged with Investissement Quebec), to acquire a 50% interest in the Kwyjibo property. Under the terms of the agreement, Focus could acquire a 50% interest in the Kwyjibo property, by spending up to $3 million in exploration work on the property over a period of 5 years of which $1 million had to be spent during the first 2 years. SOQUEM is the operator for the exploration work carried out on the property to date and Focus has the option to become the operator, by paying $50,000 in cash or issuing a block of common shares valued at $50,000. As of the year ended September 30, 2012 Focus had spent $3,244,173 on the Kwyjibo project (net of tax credits and mining duties) and has accordingly earned its 50% interest in the property.
About Focus Graphite
Focus Graphite Inc. is an emerging mid-tier junior mining development company, a technology solutions supplier and a business innovator. Focus is the owner of the Lac Knife graphite deposit located in the Cote-Nord region of northeastern Quebec. The Lac Knife project hosts a NI 43-101 compliant Measured and Indicated mineral resource of 4.972 Mt grading 15.7% carbon as crystalline graphite with an additional Inferred mineral resource of 3.000 Mt grading 15.6% crystalline graphite. Focus' goal is to assume an industry leadership position by becoming a low-cost producer of technology-grade graphite. On October 29th, 2012 the Company released the results of a Preliminary Economic Analysis ("PEA") of the Lac Knife project which demonstrates that the project has an excellent potential to become a producer of graphite. As a technology-oriented enterprise with a view to building long-term, sustainable shareholder value, Focus invests in the development of graphene applications and patents through Grafoid Inc.
About SOQUEM Inc.
SOQUEM Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ressources Quebec. Ressources Quebec is a new Investissement Quebec's subsidiary, specializes in the mining and hydrocarbon industries; it will consolidate and spur government investment in projects carried out by mining companies and the hydrocarbon sector.
The technical information presented in this press release has been reviewed by Benoit Lafrance, Ph.D., Geo (Quebec), Focus Vice-President of Exploration and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
Forward Looking Statements - Disclaimer
This news release may contain forward looking statements, being statements which are not historical facts, and discussions of future plans and objectives. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove accurate. Such statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are in our documents filed from time to time with the TSX Venture Exchange and provincial securities regulators, most of which are available at www.sedar.com Focus Graphite disclaims any intention or obligation to revise or update such statements.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Mr. Gary Economo
President and Chief Executive Officer
613-691-1091, ext. 101