First Point Minerals reported Cliffs Natural Resources Exploration Canada has committed to completing a scoping study on the Decar nickel-iron alloy project in central British Columbia, thereby earning Cliffs a 51% interest in the property. Cliffs also has increased its 2011 budget for the Decar project to $7 million and was in the process of hiring a consulting engineering group to conduct the scoping study.
Cliffs has accelerated the 2011 drilling campaign at Decar by adding third and fourth drill rigs. The objectives of the 2011 campaign are to define an inferred resource estimate at the Baptiste mineralized zone and to provide data for the scoping study. The Baptiste zone is being drilled off at 200-m centers over a targeted 1,500-m by 700-m area. The holes are oriented to intersect the long axis of the Baptiste mineralization and most will be drilled to a 300-m downhole length at a minus 50° angle, representing a vertical depth of 230 m.
A total of 47 holes are proposed for the Baptiste zone. Fourteen of the holes had been completed as of mid-September, with assay results pending.