Focus Graphite and SOQUEM confirm the high content of critical rare earth elements at Kwyjibo with 2.95% TREO and 1.44% Cu over 10m at surface
OTTAWA – February 6, 2013 – Focus Graphite Inc. (TSX-V:FMS)(OTCQX:FCSMF)(FRANKFURT:FKC) (“Focus” or the “Corporation“) and partner SOQUEM Inc. (“SOQUEM”) are pleased to provide an update of their 2012 exploration program at the Kwyjibo polymetallic Iron-Rare Earth Elements-Copper-(Gold) (Fe-REE-Cu-(Au)) Property (“Kwyjibo” or the “Property”), located in the Côte-Nord administrative district of Québec. The 2012 exploration program at Kwyjibo comprised of surface showing and trench re-sampling, core drilling and ground geophysical surveying.
Highlights of the Josette showing and trench re-sampling program include:
- Josette showing: 2.95% TREO, 37.35% REOc* and 1.44 % Cu over 10 m,
including a high-grade sub-zone of: 4.59% TREO, 35.58 % REOc*, and 2.62 % Cu over 2m.
- Trench TR-95-30: 4.13% TREO, 36.08% REOc* and 0.23 % Cu over 2 m.
- Trench TR-95-29: 3.58% TREO, 39.90% REOc*and 0.17% Cu over 1.5 m.
*The ratio of critical rare earth elements (“REOc”) is defined by The U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) as the sum of Nd+Eu+Tb+Dy+Y oxides divided by total rare earth oxides (TREO) : REOc = ((Nd2O3+Eu2O3+Tb2O3+Dy2O3+Y2O3)/TREO)*100. The REOc ratio is the expression of the importance of those REEs sought by the industry without considering the technological challenge to recover the REE and all the costs related to a mine development.
The new 2012 analytical results highlight the increasing total rare earth content of the mineralization related to the assaying of heavy rare earth elements in comparison to the 1995 analytical results. In 1995, only La, Ce and Sm were analyzed out of the suite of 17 rare earth elements at the Josette showing and in trenches TR-95-30 and TR-95-29.
In 2012, 10 new channel samples were collected at the Josette showing, two new channel samples were collected from trench TR-95-30 and one chip sample was taken from trench TR-95-29. The 13 samples were analyzed for the complete range of rare earth elements (Table 1). The 2012 results confirm the high heavy rare-earth elements (“HREE”) content of the mineralization at Kwyjibo as well as the high ratio of critical rare earth elements (REOc) which ranges from 32.34% to 41.14%.
A map of the Kwyjibo property showing the location of Josette showing, trench TR-95-30 and trench TR-95-29 is available here.
Table 1. Results of the re-sampling program at the Josette showing and at Trenches TR-95-30 and TR-95-29:
The results of the rare earth elements assay program are expressed as total rare earth oxides (TREO), including yttrium oxide and ratio of critical rare earth elements (REOc*). Values of TREO (REE2O3) presented are the sum of all rare earth oxides of the lanthanide series and yttrium oxide; strictly not a rare earth element, yttrium is included in the total amount of REE because of the chemical behaviour and uses that are similar to the lanthanides.
The Josette showing was re-sampled in a composite of ten (10) one-meter long channels, cut parallel to the 1995 channels. For trench TR-95-30, a new two-meter long channel was cut parallel to the trench blasted in 1995 while for trench TR-95-29, chips samples were taken over 1.5 meters intervals. The total length of the 2012 sampling channels in both trenches (TR-95-29 & TR-95-30) is less than in 1995 by 5.4 m due to destruction of portions of the original outcrops caused by the blasting done in 1995, and also because of the subsequent infilling of the trenches by blocks of rocks and dirt and the strong weathering of the outcrop in trench TR-95-29.
Quality assurance / Quality control
The channels were cut with a rock saw perpendicular to the main foliation of the iron-rich rock (magnetitite). All the channels are one meter long by 2.5 cm wide and vary in depth from 10 to 15 cm. For each channel, the rock samples were broken into pieces and then placed into a plastic bag. In the case of Trench TR-95-29, chips samples of 5 to 10 cm long, by 5 to 10 cm wide and 1 to 5 cm thick were collected from the weathered outcrop over 1.5 m intervals and then placed into a plastic bag. A numbered tag from the ALS laboratory was inserted into the bag prior to the sealing of the bag with a tie-wrap. The sample bags were carried to the camp by helicopter then loaded onto a float plane to Sept-Îles and sent by a carrier to ALS Laboratories (“ALS”) in Val-d’Or (a certified laboratory; ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for standards).
The samples were analyzed for all rare earth elements, most traces and major elements. Due to the limited number of channel samples analyzed, no standard or blank were introduced except the one used by the laboratory. Rare earths and trace elements were analyzed using lithium borate fusion of the sample prior to acid dissolution and analyzed by ICP-MS (Induced-Couples Plasma Mass Spectrometry). This method is best suitable for minerals resistant to acid digestion, like some REE-bearing silicates. For REE high grades samples, a re-analysis of the pulp was performed using high sample to volume ratios in addition to Class A volumetric glassware. ALS laboratory used certified high grade rare earth reference materials as part of their standard protocol. Major elements were analyzed using a lithium borate fusion of the sample prior to acid dissolution and analyzed by ICP-AES (Induced-Couples Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry). REE, traces and major elements were analyzed at ALS laboratories in Vancouver. For sulphide-bearing samples, copper, lead, silver, zinc and sulphur were digested in aqua regia, then analyzed by AAS technique (Atomic Absorption Spectrometry). Gold was analyzed by fire assay and AAS with a 50g nominal sample weight. Base metals and precious metals were analyzed at ALS in Val-d’Or.
2012 core drilling program
Thirty-one (31) holes (4,207 m) were drilled at Kwyjibo in 2012 with the aim of validating grades, thicknesses and continuity of the REE-Fe-Cu mineralization in the northeastern portion of the Josette horizon, where the best drilling intersections were obtained in 2011 from hole 10885-11-57 with 2.40% TREO over 48.8m and hole 10885-11-60 with 3.61% TREO over 33.1m (see Focus Metals press release dated March 13th 2012).
A map of the Kwyjibo property showing the location of the 31 drill holes is available here.
A total of 1,333 samples (1,249 half NQ drill core samples; 23 duplicates; 29 standard samples and 32 blank samples) were sent to ALS in Val-d’Or and Vancouver, for total rare earth elements, base metals, major elements and trace element analysis. The results from the 2012 core drilling program are pending.
Surface and borehole TDEM geophysical surveys
A ground time-domain electromagnetic (“TDEM”) geophysical survey and a borehole Pulse-EM survey were completed by Abitibi Geophysic Inc. from Val-d’Or (Québec) in early October. A total of 75 km of lines were surveyed on five different loops that covered all significant VTEM anomalies from the 2006 survey and all known occurrences of the iron formation on the Kwyjibo Property.
Thirty (30) drill holes (5.492 m), were surveyed with borehole Pulse-EM on three loops. Eight (8) holes from the 1994 to 2011 core drilling programs were also surveyed for a total of 1,219 m for the most northeastern Grabuge – Gabriel showings loop. A total of 2,089 m from 11 drill holes (1994 to 2012) were surveyed on loop that straddled the Fluorine and Josette showings grids. Finally, 2,184 m from 11 holes (1995 to 2012) were surveyed in the loop that covers most of the Josette horizon and the Josette grid.
The new ground and borehole geophysical data are currently being processed and interpreted by MB Geosolution of Québec City. High-priority geophysical targets from the 2012 surveys will be followed-up though drilling in 2013.
Metallurgical tests and mineralogical study
A first round of metallurgical tests is planned at Kwyjibo this year. The testing will be performed on two representative samples of the mineralized iron formation (magnetitite) and the mineralized breccia in the aim to produce concentrates for critical rare earths, copper and iron. The first sample will be comprised of 80kg composite of mineralised rock from Josette showing. The second sample will consist of a 230kg composite from quarter-drill core samples from seven holes drilled below trenches TR-95-29 and TR-95-30. The contract to carry out the metallurgical testing has been awarded to COREM of Québec-City. In conjunction with the metallurgical testing, a mineralogical study will be undertaken in order to characterize the distribution of the REEs in the different REE-bearing minerals. Results from both studies are expected in the third quarter of 2013.
The Kwyjibo polymetallic Iron-Rare Earth Elements-Copper-(Gold) (Fe-REE-Cu-(Au)) property, totalling 118 mining titles and covering 6,278 ha, is located 125 km northeast of Sept-Îles, in the Côte-Nord administrative district of Québec. The property is also located 25 km east of the Québec North Shore and Labrador railway line and is accessible by air from Sept-Îles.
Terms of the Agreement
On August 3, 2010, the Company announced the signing of an option agreement with SOQUEM Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Société générale de financement du Québec (‘‘SGF’’) (in April 2011, the SGF merged with Investissement Québec), to acquire a 50% interest in the Kwyjibo property.
Under the terms of the agreement, Focus could acquire a 50% interest in the Kwyjibo property, by spending up to $3 million in exploration work on the property over a period of 5 years of which $1 million had to be spent during the first 2 years. SOQUEM is the operator for the exploration work carried out on the property to date and Focus has the option to become the operator, by paying $50,000 in cash or issuing a block of common shares valued at $50,000. As of the year ended September 30, 2012 Focus had spent $3,244,173 on the Kwyjibo project (net of tax credits and mining duties) and has accordingly earned its 50% interest in the property.
About Focus Graphite
Focus Graphite Inc. is an emerging mid-tier junior mining development company, a technology solutions supplier and a business innovator. Focus is the owner of the Lac Knife graphite deposit located in the Côte-Nord region of northeastern Québec. The Lac Knife project hosts a NI 43-101 compliant Measured and Indicated mineral resource of 4.972 Mt grading 15.7% carbon as crystalline graphite with an additional Inferred mineral resource of 3.000 Mt grading 15.6% crystalline graphite. Focus’ goal is to assume an industry leadership position by becoming a low-cost producer of technology-grade graphite. On October 29th, 2012 the Company released the results of a Preliminary Economic Analysis (“PEA”) of the Lac Knife project which demonstrates that the project has robust economics and excellent potential to become a profitable producer of graphite. As a technology-oriented enterprise with a view to building long-term, sustainable shareholder value, Focus Graphite is also investing in the development of graphene applications and patents through Grafoid Inc.
About SOQUEM Inc.
SOQUEM Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ressources Québec. Ressources Québec is a new Investissement Québec’s subsidiary, specializes in the mining and hydrocarbon industries; it will consolidate and spur government investment in projects carried out by mining companies and the hydrocarbon sector.
The technical information presented in this press release has been reviewed by Benoit Lafrance, Ph.D., Géo (Québec), Focus Vice-President of Exploration and a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101.
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President and Chief Executive Officer
This News Release may contain or refer to “forward-looking statements” which reflect Management’s expectations regarding the Company’s future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities.
These statements reflectManagement’s current beliefs at the time of this news release and are based on information currently available to Management.
All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and reserves, exploration results, and future plans and objectives of the Company, are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties.
There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Management’s expectations are exploration risks detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulators.
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