Fletcher Nickel reports Texmont project status



    TORONTO, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - Fletcher Nickel Inc. (TSX: FL) reports that the
compilation of data from its drilling campaign at the Texmont Mine has been
concluded and modeled and that initial metallurgical and refining test results
have also been received.

    Large-tonnage near-surface Nickel resource extends north of Texmont Mine

    The geological assessment of the data has determined that a potentially
large-tonnage nickel deposit, which may be mineable by open pit, has been
indicated. Mineralization extending north of the Texmont Mine has been found
to continue for about 800 m along strike, increasing the overall strike length
to approximately 1100 m.
    "The I.P. and magnetic geophysical interpretations have been highly
predictable in directing the drilling of the extension of the nickel
mineralization to the north of the historical Texmont deposit," said
Vice-President of Exploration Joerg Kleinboeck, the Company's Qualified
Person. "There are substantial targets to the north and south of the Texmont
deposit that we have identified from the prospecting, mapping, and geophysical
programs completed in 2008 and 2009, that remain to be drill tested. This work
is warranted to test the potential for additional nickel sulphide
mineralization adjacent and along strike of the Texmont deposit".

    Metallurgical testing indicates good recoveries and concentration

    In support of a future PEA, Fletcher Nickel has also initiated
metallurgical test work at PRA Laboratories in Richmond, BC. Approximately 60
kg of nine mineral samples were selected from three drill cores obtained
during the 2008 drilling program from each of the three geological zones
(North, Main and South). Due to the early stages of the exploration program,
only one drill-hole sample in each zone was selected for testing recognizing
that such sample size may not be truly representative of the zone. The
following table shows the origin of each of the nine samples sent for testing:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Composite
                                                Interval    Grade      Grade
    Zone     Drill Hole      From (m)   To (m)    (m)       (%Ni)   Category
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North    DDH Tex 08-49    158.0     166.0     8.0        0.64       High
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              192.0     197.0     5.0        0.47     Medium
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              197.0     206.0     9.0        0.23        Low
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main     DDH Tex 08-32    350.5     360.0    10.5        2.20       High
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              345.0     350.5     5.5        0.63     Medium
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              374.0     383.0     9.0        0.30        Low
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    South    DDH Tex 08-106   335.0     341.0     6.0        0.66       High
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              297.5     305.0     7.5        0.44     Medium
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              267.5     276.5     9.0        0.24        Low
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    The laboratory test program used split drill core that was blended into
three composite samples, which varied by grade from 0.27% to 0.62% nickel,
with similar sulphur values. The primary nickel bearing sulphide mineral was
identified as pentlandite, with the major gangue consisting of fine-grained
serpentine. The test work consisted of three scoping flotation tests on
composited Low Grade (0.27% Ni), Medium Grade ((0.47% Ni) and High Grade
(0.62% Ni). The results of the three bulk cleaning tests showed that the
material upgraded well improving with the head grade, and producing
concentrates in a range of 13% to 21% nickel. The third cleaner concentrate
recovered from 38% to 49% Ni, using open cycle procedures, from the 0.27% to
0.62% nickel head grades respectively. This recovery would be expected to
increase by the recycling of the stage 2 and 3 cleaner tailings and locked
cycle testing would be required to more accurately estimate an operating plant
recovery. These concentrates also contained elevated magnesium (primarily as
talc), a concern in smelting.
    The results are considered encouraging in that nickel concentration
ratios of 30:1 to 50:1, were achieved. The nickel concentrate grades after
three stages of cleaning ranged from 13% to 21%, with higher concentrate
grades corresponding to higher feed grades. Further test work to optimize the
flotation procedures has been included in a provisional continuing exploration
budget. The potential quantity and grade are conceptual in nature and there
has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is
uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as
a further mineral resource.

    
    Carbonyl refining test demonstrates concentrate may be refined to
    ferro-nickel, cobalt
    

    To examine a possible alternative to conventional smelting, the
concentrates recovered from the PRA test work underwent a preliminary
carbonylization refining test to determine their suitability for the
production of high purity ferro-nickel and cobalt powders. Chemical Vapour
Metal Refining Limited (CVMR(R)) of 35 Kenhar Drive, Toronto, www.cvmr.ca, has
provided this technology for a carbonyl refinery in China which is now in
production. This proprietary refining method utilizes the sulphur in a
sulphide nickel concentrate to fuel its roasting which then, after reduction
to metal, enables the concentrate's metals to form carbonyl compounds which
may then be precipitated in highly purified concentrations by selective
distillation. A bench scale refining test was completed using the concentrates
produced from the PRA Laboratories test work and a report submitted by N.
Victor Emmanuel, P.Eng., of CVMR, titled: Report No.1: Nickel and Iron
extraction from ore concentrate, dated August 15th, 2009. One sample of feed
material (150 g) was delivered by PRA to CVMR(R) in June 2009. The first step
of the test was to roast the material to remove sulphur and to produce a
mixture of metal oxides. Roasting was done at 1050 degrees C in the static bed
and the resulting mixture of metal oxides was reduced at 650 degrees C with
hydrogen followed by carbonylation of the mixture at 600 psi. The report
advised as follows:
    "CVMR(R) was asked to demonstrate a possibility of extraction of Nickel,
Cobalt and Iron directly from flotation concentrate. Feed material was
provided by Fletcher Nickel and consisted approximately 15% of Nickel, 25% of
Iron and 0.6% of Cobalt. Targeted metals were successfully extracted from the
flotation concentrate with high yields without optimization of extraction
parameters. Yields ( ) were 91% for Nickel, 95% for Iron and 78% for Cobalt.
Future optimization of parameters should increase yields of Nickel above 95%
and cobalt above 85%. Metal carbonyls were decomposed into metal powders. This
indicated several product lines that could be used depending on market
conditions. Ferronickel powder (3/5 Ni/Fe) could be produced without
separation of Iron from Nickel. Alternatively, pure Nickel powder will be
considered as a product after separation of Nickel and Iron carbonyls by
distillation. A Process Flow Diagram consisting of 3 steps was proposed for
the process. The first step is comprised of fluid bed roasting of the
flotation concentrate where the produced SO(2) will be directed to an acid
plant to produce sulphuric acid. Steps 2 and 3 are presented in the Figure 2
as integrated reduction and carbonylation plant. Carbon monoxide and hydrogen
will be produced in the gas plant. Extraction of Nickel and Cobalt directly
from flotation concentrate using the carbonyl process allows avoiding several
steps usually used for production of Nickel. This will minimize CAPEX and OPEX
of the plant and will make it possible to build an efficient smaller scale
plant to produce 2000-4000 tons per annum."

    Baseline studies completed and site rehabilitation report submitted

    The Company has filed a continuing rehabilitation report following its
Texmont Mine site reclamation and has also completed all necessary baseline
studies for the filing of applications to commence dewatering of the
underground mine workings. "The Texmont Mine itself produced at a reported
average grade of plus or minus 1% Ni and we have completed some scoping
studies which indicate the ore body might be mined at a rate of up to 2000tpd
from the existing shaft," said CEO Frank Smeenk.
    Joerg Kleinboeck, Vice President, Exploration, for Fletcher, is the
qualified person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 that
prepared or supervised the preparation of the information that forms the basis
of the written disclosure in this news release. Mr. Kleinboeck has verified
the data disclose, including sampling, analytical and test data underlying the
information contained in this news release.

    Forward Looking Information: This news release contains or refers to
forward-looking information. All information other than statements of
historical fact that address activities, events or developments that Fletcher
Nickel believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future are
forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements contained in this
news release include statements regarding potential exploration results and
mineralization at Fletcher Nickel's Texmont Mine property, as a potentially
large-tonnage nickel deposit, which may be mineable by open pit. These
forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties
beyond Fletcher Nickel's ability to control or predict that may cause actual
events or results to differ materially from those discussed in such
forward-looking statements, including future exploration results varying
significantly from estimates; exploration results being insufficiently
favourable to support further development of the property, inability to
delineate additional mineral resources or reserves, results of the
metallurgical test work and data analysis dictating that parameters of a
preliminary economic assessment may not be determined, or fully determined.
Any forward-looking statement, speaks only as of the date on which it is made
and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, Fletcher Nickel
disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement,
whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise.
Although Fletcher Nickel believes that the assumptions inherent in the
forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not
guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be
placed on these forward-looking statements due to the inherent uncertainty
therein.

    %SEDAR: 00025268E




For further information:

For further information: Bruce Hodgman, Communications Director, Direct:
(416) 642-3575 (ext: 103), info@fletchernickel.com

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