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FPX Nickel: new Van drill results point towards scale of original Baptiste deposit

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Canadian-listed nickel miner FPX Nickel has published new drill results from its Van Target, part of its Decar Nickel District in central British Columbia. The results confirm further nickel mineralisation 1km to the west of its previous drilling activity and bring the mineralised footprint at Van to approximately 2km strike length by 1km in width.

FPX said that, based on the first two drilling campaigns it has completed to date, the scale of nickel mineralisation at Van  is trending towards the scale of the Baptiste Deposit, which has a strike length of approximately 3km with an average width of approximately 1km.

Multiple large scale deposits at Decar

The Baptiste Deposit lies 6km to the south of the Van target within the FPX Nickel Decar district. The miner published a new mineral resource estimate last year for Baptiste which incorporated results from its 2021 in-fill drilling program. This showed a significant improvement in the DTR (Davis Tube Recoverable) nickel grade with a 6% DTR grade increase in the indicated category and a 15% increase in the inferred category.

“On the basis of the first two modestly-sized drill campaigns, the Van discovery has quickly achieved an extensive footprint of broad and higher-grade near-surface nickel mineralisation, confirming the potential of the Decar Nickel District to host multiple large-scale deposits,” explained Martin Turenne, President and CEO of FPX Nickel.

He said that Van remains open for expansion in multiple directions, most favourably to the south, southwest, and west, where the encouraging trend of higher-grade nickel in outcrop and drill results to date suggest the potential for a significant extension of the already sizeable two square kilometre mineralised footprint.

The results come from a 10 hole, 2,504m drill program FPX Nickel completed in 2022 at the Van Target. It sits at a similar elevation to the Baptiste Deposit and is also accessible via the same logging roads. The drill program was designed to follow up on inaugural drilling in 2021, stepping out aggressively from the initial discovery area to define the extent of mineralisation up to 1km south and 1.5km west of the holes drilled in 2021.

Could Van emulate Baptiste in size and scale?

The nickel mineralisation at the Van Target, as defined by just 19 holes drilled in the past two years, is approaching the scale of the company’s original Baptiste deposit. Mineralisation at Van remains open along strike to the west, southwest and south and at depth. This confirms the potential for Van to host a large scale, stand alone nickel deposit.

On its own the Baptiste project has the scope to be among the world’s 10 largest nickel mines by annual output, with a 35 year mine life and significant expansion potential. It already demonstrates high grade nickel product (63% Ni) which is ideally suited for direct feed to the stainless steel market, but more importantly for the EV battery market in North America. The exploration work at Van opens up the possibility that the overall District could be substantially larger than first thought.

The world is poised for an exponential growth in demand for battery materials, including nickel. Electric vehicles are expected to provide significant impetus for that demand, with annual nickel demand by 2050 forecast to be 3.7 time larger than 2019.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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