FPX Nickel Corp. [TSXV-FPX] on Tuesday said drilling programs have been launched at the company’s wholly-owned Decar nickel district in central British Columbia.
“This marks the commencement of the most active campaign at Decar since 2012, with a focus on resource confirmation and expansion at the Baptiste deposit plus an initial drill campaign at the Van target, located six kilometres north of Baptiste.
FPX Nickel shares were unchanged at 58 cents. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 94 cents and 17 cents.
The Decar Nickel District is a greenfield discovery of nickel mineralization in the form of a naturally-occurring nickel-iron alloy called awaruite. Covering 245 square kilometres, it represents a promising target for bulk tonnage, open pit mining, the company has said.
Baptiste is one of four targets in the Decar Nickel District and has been the main focus of diamond drilling since 2010.
The company recently filed an amended preliminary economic assessment (PEA) technical report for the Baptiste project. It indicated that Baptiste has the potential to be a significant global nickel operation, with a multi-generational operating life and average annual production of 99 million pounds of contained nickel.
According to the PEA, Baptiste contains 1.9 billion tonnes of indicated resources at an average grade of 0.122% DRR nickel or 2.4 million tonnes of nickel. On top of that is an inferred resource of 593 million tonnes, grading 0.114% DTR nickel, containing 700,000 tonnes of nickel.
The exploration program announced on Tuesday includes drilling at Baptiste to convert inferred resources into the indicated category to support an eventual preliminary feasibility study. The program will also include maiden drilling at the Van target, which is defined by surface rock samples with an area extent and nickel grades similar to Baptiste.
The company is planning a nine-hole, 3,000-metre drill program at the Van Target where bedrock samples occur in a previously unexplored area due to ground cover which was recently exposed by logging activity. This program is expected to take eight weeks to complete.
A 10-hole, 2,700-metre infill drilling program has begun at Baptiste.
“We are very excited to assess the potential for a new discovery with a maiden, widely spaced drilling program at Van this summer,” said Martin Turenne, FPX’s President and CEO. “In addition to the drilling at Van and Baptiste, we will also conduct additional exploration around the Sid and B targets, plus regional exploration at five other underexplored areas at Decar, as described in our May 26  news release,’’ Turenne said.