Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF-N) and First Point Minerals (FPX-T) have boosted resources at their Decar nickel joint venture, in central B.C. to 3.2 billion lbs. nickel in the indicated category and 2.4 billion lbs. of inferred nickel.
An initial inferred resource estimate for the project, totalling 3 billion lbs. nickel in 1.2 billion tonnes grading 0.113% nickel, was released last spring.
In the updated resource for the project’s Baptiste deposit, grades have actually slightly increased with tonnage. Baptiste now holds 1.2 billion indicated tonnes of 0.124% nickel and 870.4 million tonnes grading 0.125% nickel at a cutoff grade of 0.06% Davis Tube recoverable nickel.
Although the nickel grade is very low at Decar, Cliffs and First Point are interested in the deposit because the nickel occurs in awaruite, a nickel-iron alloy that can be mechanically separated and would not need to be smelted.
Cliffs has earned a 51% stake in the joint venture and can increase its interest to 75% if it completes a bankable feasibility study on Decar, located 90 km northwest of Fort St. James.
First Point owns 100% of the Wale and Orca nickel-iron alloy projects, also in B.C. and is exploring other similar projects in B.C., the Yukon, Norway and Australia.
First Point shares rallied by 8% to 47 cents on the news. The stock has traded between 31.5 cents and 82 cents over the past year, with 95.7 million shares outstanding.