NORTHERN ONTARIO Toronto-based FIRST NICKEL has announced the restart of mining at the Lockerby mine near Sudbury. Longhole drilling of the first Depth zone stope (Level 61) is in progress and ore development for the second stope (Level 63) started the week of Oct. 3. The company plans to begin trucking ore to the nearby Strathcona mill of FALCONBRIDGE in November. Surface ore handling will incorporate crushing, sampling and weighing to ensure accurate grade determination. Daily production from the Depth zone is expected to be 700 tonnes by the first quarter of 2006.
At the same time it released news of the mine reopening, First Nickel said it has intersected near-surface, footwall-hosted massive to semi-massive sulphides in the first hole of its Bowell diamond drilling program. The hole cut a pipe-like zone of 23.1 metres grading 1.20% Ni, 2.21% Cu and 1.27 g/t Pt+Pd+Au hosted in a footwall Sudbury Breccia unit within a broader zone of mineralization containing 39.8 metres of 1.32% Ni, 1.89% Cu and 1.25 g/t Pd+Pt+Au. An intersection of 16.1 metres grading 1.53% Ni, 1.50% Cu and 1.25 g/t Pd+Pt+Au is associated with contact-style sulphide mineralization and comprises the upper portion of the zone.
First Nickel interprets this pipe-like zone to represent sulphide mineralization extending vertically beneath the known contact-style deposit. This footwall sulphide zone hosts a higher copper content than the known deposit, with grades of up to 10.1% Cu over 0.5 metres. Additional drilling results are available at www.FirstNickel.com.