Our vision is to use the well-established copper porphyry mining model as an analog to develop our naturally occurring stainless steel (nickel-iron alloy) targets. Our flagship Decar property is our starting point to verify this concept as it shows promise as a potential bulk-tonnage, open pit, modest-grade, near-surface nickel-iron alloy target. Where it differs from a copper porphyry model is that the nickel-iron alloy is dense, highly magnetic and has no sulphur so has the potential to be amenable to simple magnetic and gravity separation techniques and sold directly to steel mills avoiding smelting.
We are in good company in our belief in this porphyry analog model, with steel industry leader Cliffs Natural Resources having come to the table to join us in developing this concept at Decar. It is no small coincidence that Cliffs' expertise is in processing bulk-tonnage iron ore deposits using magnetic and gravity separation techniques.
The Company has seen success build upon success over this past year, and really launched into a new phase with Cliffs' recognition of the potential of our Decar nickel-iron alloy property. Along with their option on Decar and investment in the company late in 2009, came the first market recognition of the credibility and potential of First Point's concept.
Milestones since then have included:
- Raising CAD$7.5 million in the spring of 2010 to finance worldwide exploration for additional nickel-iron alloy properties, similar to Decar.
- Seeing in drill core from the first holes drilled on the Decar property during the summer of 2010, that the nickel-iron alloy mineralization discovered at surface is consistent in grade and grain size to depths exceeding 300 metres. (All full-length drill holes ended in mineralization.)
- Development of a commercially certified, alloy-selective analytical method for alloy nickel analysis, that is proprietary to First Point.
- Expanding the lateral extent of the Baptiste and Sidney targets at Decar, and showing, through the drill program, that the alloy mineralization continues under overburden, between the surface outcrops identified during earlier exploration programs.
This work has fully supported the geological model we have for the nickel-iron alloy mineralization, and has increased our confidence in our strategy to test the concept at Decar, and to explore for more of these occurrences around the world. First Point has developed a unique skill in exploring for and identifying such nickel-iron alloy mineralization, and our intention is to use this first mover advantage to find other properties like Decar.
Dr. Peter Bradshaw, P.Eng.
President & CEO