FPX Nickel Corp. is pleased to announce it has received positive results from the 2020 Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the Baptiste Project (“Baptiste” or the “Project”) at its wholly-owned Decar Nickel District in central British Columbia. The PEA was prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) by BBA Inc. of Montreal, Canada with work on mine planning and tailings by Stantec Inc. of Vancouver, Canada.
Production and Economic Highlights
“This PEA establishes Baptiste as a premier large-scale nickel project,” commented FPX Nickel’s President and CEO, Martin Turenne. “The Project 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. Baptiste’s enormous scale, combined with low C1 operating costs of US$2.74/lb, has the potential to deliver robust operating margins throughout the nickel price cycle, generating average earnings (before royalties, taxes and depreciation) of US$481 million per year and an after-tax NPV of US$1.7 billion. With its proximity to zero-carbon hydroelectric power, the fact that its nickel product can bypass smelters for direct sale to end users, and the carbon-absorbing properties of Baptiste host rock, the Project is well positioned to address the growing market demand for environmentally sustainable nickel production.”
The Company has also identified a number of optimization opportunities to be investigated in the next phase of project development, including but not limited to:
With its lengthy mine life and rapid payback, Baptiste ranks favourably among global development-stage nickel projects, providing potential exposure to multiple cycles in the nickel market while efficiently repaying upfront capital. Figure 1 demonstrates the strategic value of Baptiste in comparison to other pre-production nickel projects, as expressed by its high ratio of projected mine life (35 years) to after-tax payback period (4 years).
About the Decar Nickel District
The Company’s Decar Nickel District claims cover 245 square kilometres of the Mount Sidney Williams ultramafic/ophiolite complex, 90 km northwest of Fort St. James in central British Columbia. The District is a two-hour drive from Fort St. James on a high-speed logging road.
Decar hosts a greenfield discovery of nickel mineralization in the form of a naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy called awaruite, which is amenable to bulk-tonnage, open-pit mining. Awaruite mineralization has been identified in four target areas within this ophiolite complex, being the Baptiste Deposit, the B target, the Sid target and Van target, as confirmed by drilling in the first three plus petrographic examination, electron probe analyses and outcrop sampling on all four. Since 2010, approximately $25 million has been spent on the exploration and development of Decar.
Of the four targets in the Decar Nickel District, the Baptiste Deposit has been the main focus of diamond drilling since 2010, with a total of 82 holes and over 31,000 metres of drilling completed. The Sid target was tested with two holes in 2010 and the B target had a single hole drilled into it in 2011; all three holes intersected nickel-iron alloy mineralization over wide intervals with DTR nickel grades comparable to the Baptiste Deposit. The Van target was not drill-tested at that time as rock exposure was very poor prior to logging activity by forestry companies.
As reported in the current NI 43-101 resource estimate, having an effective date of September 9, 2020, the Baptiste Deposit contains 1.996 billion tonnes of indicated resources at an average grade of 0.122% DTR nickel, thus equating to 2.4 million tonnes of nickel, and 593 million tonnes of inferred resources with an average grade of 0.114% DTR nickel, containing 0.7 million tonnes of nickel, reported at a cut-off grade of 0.06% DTR nickel. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
About FPX Nickel Corp.
FPX Nickel Corp. is focused on the exploration and development of the Decar Nickel District, located in central British Columbia, and other occurrences of the same unique style of naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy mineralization known as awaruite. For more information, please view the Company’s website at www.fpxnickel.com or contact Martin Turenne, President and CEO, at (604) 681-8600 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of FPX Nickel Corp.
Martin Turenne, President, CEO and Director