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Fortune Minerals Confirms New Zone At NICO Project

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Continuity of cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper intercepts established in Peanut Lake Zone

LONDON, Ontario, April 20, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX: FT) (OTCQB: FTMDF) ("Fortune" or the "Company") (www.fortuneminerals.com) is pleased to report results from the 2021 drill program on its 100%-owned NICO Critical Minerals project ("NICO Project") in the Northwest Territories ("NWT") and Alberta. The NICO Project is comprised of a planned open pit and underground mine, mill and concentrator in the NWT and a planned hydrometallurgical refinery in Alberta’s Industustrial Heartland northeast of Edmonton to process metal concentrates into value added products. The Mineral Reserves for the NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper deposit ("NICO Deposit") contain 33.1 million metric tonnes containing 37.3 million kilograms of cobalt, 1.1 million Troy ounces of gold, 46.3 million kilograms of bismuth, and 12.3 million kilograms of copper. Drilling was caried out at the end of 2021 in order to test four prospects that had been identified in earlier geophysical surveys and a 1997 drill program. The recent drilling succesfully confirmed continuity of cobalt-gold-bismuth and local copper mineralization in the Peanut Lake Zone, located 800 metres southeast of the NICO Deposit and also identified a potential east strike extension of the deposit.

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Fortune completed 13 cored drill holes in 2021, totalling 2,482.31 metres, supported in part by two Mineral Incentive Program ("MIP") grants from the Government of the Northwest Territories, totalling C$244,000. Four holes were drilled to test the continuity of mineralization at Peanut Lake where drilling in 1997 had identified multiple intercepts in five holes with gold grades exceeding 1 gram per tonne over 3 metre core lengths with significant cobalt and bismuth values. A new hole (21-008) was drilled to test the continuity of mineralization in a 135 metre wide gap between Holes 97-090 and 97-092, and intersected three significant intervals of mineralization, including:

  • 3.17 metres, averaging 0.423% cobalt, 0.554 g/t gold, and 0.369% bismuth at a depth of 28.7 metres, including 1.05 metres, grading 0.995% cobalt, 0.247 g/t gold, and 0.562% bismuth;

  • 4.8 metres, averaging 0.118% cobalt and 0.500 g/t gold at a depth of 8 metres, including 1.98 metres, averaging 0.261% cobalt and 1.135 g/t gold;

  • 2.31 metres, averaging 0.108% cobalt and 0.874 g/t gold at a depth of 139.6 metres, including 1.16 metres, grading 0.203% cobalt and 1.635 g/t gold;

The 21-008 intersections correlate well with the earlier intercepts in Hole 97-090, located 78 metres to the east that included 0.355% cobalt, 1.105 g/t gold, and 0.049% bismuth over 3 metres at a depth of 6.4 metres, and 0.148% cobalt and 0.435 g/t gold over 3 metres at a depth of 57.5 metres, plus 0.123% cobalt and 0.14 g/t gold over 3 metres at a depth of 69.5 metres. The 21-008 intersections also correlate with the intercepts previously identified in Hole 97-092 located approximately 70 metres to the west, which included 0.113% cobalt and 0.885 g/t gold over 1.76 metres, and 3 metres, grading 1.82 g/t gold.

Holes 21-009 and 21-014 tested the strike continuity of the Peanut Lake Zone east and west of the aforesaid holes, respectively and identified multiple zones of lower grade cobalt-gold mineralization. These, together with the results of the five 1997 drill hole intercepts, indicate continuity of economically interesting mineralization over a minimum undelimited 400 metre strike length. Hole 21-007 overshot the mineralized horizon but provides useful information to define the trend and geometry of the Peanut Lake Zone for future drill delineation.

Six holes were drilled to test for an east strike extension of the NICO Deposit beyond a fault that was previously believed to terminate the east end of the deposit. Three holes (21-003, 21-015 and -016) tested for north lateral and depth displacement of the deposit beyond the fault and intersected economically interesting grades over narrow widths. Hole 21-015 intersected 0.110% cobalt and 0.599 g/t gold over 1.98 metres at a depth of 210.52 metres, including 1.08 metres, grading 0.219% cobalt and 0.312 g/t gold. Hole 21-016 intersected mineralizaion, averaging 0.034% cobalt over 6 metres at a depth of 43 metres, including 0.92 metres, grading 0.042% cobalt and 0.111% bismuth. The three holes drilled to test for a south lateral displacement of the deposit did not intersect any significant mineralization. The 2021 drill program successfully identified NICO-style mineralization along the east projection of strike beyond the fault, but additional drilling will be required to identify areas with higher grades and greater widths in order to extend the Mineral Reserves into this area.

Two drill holes tested the strike continuity of grades previously identified in the Ralph Zone in 1997 and one drill hole tested the continuity of copper mineralization identified in the Road Cut Zone at depth. None of these intersected economically interesting mineralization.

The NICO Deposit and Fortune’s 100%-owned Sue-Dianne copper-silver-gold satellite deposit ("Sue-Dianne Deposit"), located 25 kilometres to the north, are Iron Oxide Copper-Gold ("IOCG")-class deposits. Global IOCG analogues, including the Olympic Dam mine in Australia, typically occur in clusters of very large orebodies in similar tectonic and geological settings. The NICO Deposit is locally open for potential expansion at depth. The 2021 drill program has also verified that there is good potential to delineate additional resources along the east projection of strike from known NICO Mineral Reserves, and particularly in the Peanut Lake Zone. There are also several untested geophysical anomalies identified on the NICO leases and surrounding areas. In addition, the Sue-Dianne Deposit remains open for potential expansion.

The NICO Project is an advanced development stage Critical Minerals asset to provide a reliable North American source of three Critical Minerals (cobalt, bismuth and copper). Fortune has expended more than C$137 million to advance the NICO Project from an in-house discovery to a near-term producer with a 20-year supply of Critical Minerals. The Company has received environmental assessment approval and the Type "A" Water License to construct and operate the NICO mine and concentrator. The recently completed Tlicho Highway to the community of Whati, together with the spur road Fortune plans to construct, will enable metal concentrates to be trucked to rail head south of Great Slave Lake for railway delivery to the Company’s planned refinery in Alberta. The NICO Project was previously assessed in a positive Feasibility Study by Micon International Limited, which the Company plans to update based on current costs and the project optimiztions it has identified over the past year.

For more detailed information about the NICO Mineral Reserves and certain technical information in this news release, please refer to the Technical Report on the NICO Project, entitled "Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for the NICO-Gold-Cobalt-Bismuth-Copper Project, Northwest Territories, Canada", dated April 2, 2014 and prepared by Micon International Limited which has been filed on SEDAR and is available under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com.

The 2021 drill program was completed with NQ size drill core with logging by geologists qualified under NI 43-101. Mineralized intervals were sawn along the core long axis with half samples, typically in 1 metre core lengths, sent for analysis for 34 elements at ALS Global ("ALS") in Yellowknife and North Vancouver. The program included Quality Assurance / Quality Control ("QA/QC") measures, including the insertion of blanks and standards with known grades to validate the analytical results. ALS is independent of Fortune. Fortune is not aware of any drilling, sampling, recovery, or other factors that could materially affect the accuracy or reliability of the data referred to herein. Based on the indicative geometry of the mineralization reported in the 2021 drill program, the widths that are reported are believed to closely approximate true widths.

The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been approved by Robin Goad, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortune, who is a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"). Mr. Goad supervised the preparation of the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for this news release and has reviewed and approved the disclosure herein. Mr. Goad supervised the drill program and verified the data disclosed, including sampling, analytical and QA/QC data, underlying the technical information in this news release, including reviewing the reports of ALS, methodologies, results, and all procedures undertaken for QA/QC in a manner consistent with industry practice, and all matters were consistent and accurate according to his professional judgement. There were no limitations on the verification process.

2021 Drill Hole Location Summary

Hole ID

UTM Easting
(metres)

UTM Northing
(metres)

Elevation
(metres)

Azimuth
(degrees)

Dip
(degrees)

Depth
(metres)

Target

21-001

513057.15

7046304.39

294.59

199.5

-45

155.00

East extension of NICO Deposit

21-002

513119.50

7046314.86

295.94

199.5

-45

131.06

East extension of NICO Deposit

21-003

513412.98

7046392.91

259.23

199.5

-45

259.93

East extension of NICO Deposit

21-004A

513132.06

7046475.46

268.32

199.5

-45

26.00

East extension of NICO Deposit

21-004B

513132.06

7046475.46

268.32

199.5

-45

206.15

East extension of NICO Deposit

21-005

513778.88

7046078.94

226.22

199.5

-45

160.35

Ralph Zone

21-006

514063.14

7046163.11

223.68

199.5

-45

185.00

Ralph Zone

21-007

513592.05

7045763.49

201.80

199.5

-45

105.81

Peanut Lake Zone

21-008

513785.95

7045807.55

213.62

199.5

-45

191.07

Peanut Lake Zone

21-009

514003.01

7045774.81

205.27

199.5

-45

248.02

Peanut Lake Zone

21-011

512744.70

7045382.90

201.13

199.5

-45

168.92

Road Cut Zone

21-014

513686.32

7045808.46

200.20

199.5

-45

186.96

Peanut Lake Zone

21-015

513280.98

7046441.88

226.00

199.5

-45

226.00

East extension of NICO Deposit

21-016

513505.22

7046309.11

232.04

199.5

-45

232.04

East extension of NICO Deposit

About Fortune Minerals:

Fortune is a Canadian mining company focused on developing the NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper Critical Minerals project in the NWT and Alberta. Fortune also owns the satellite Sue-Dianne copper-silver-gold deposit located 25 km north of the NICO Deposit and is a potential future source of incremental mill feed to extend the life of the NICO mill and concentrator.

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This press release contains forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. This forward-looking information includes statements with respect to, among other things, the development of the NICO Project, the potential for expansion of the NICO Depositand statements regarding drill results and future drilling and assays. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management as well as certain assumptions at the date the information is given (including, in respect of the forward-looking information contained in this press release, assumptions regarding: the Company’s ability to complete construction of a NICO Project refinery; the Company’s ability to arrange the necessary financing to continue operations and develop the NICO Project; the support of the federal and/or provincial government for the NICO Project; the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals for the construction and operation of the NICO Project and the related hydrometallurgical refinery and the timing thereof; growth in the demand for cobalt; the time required to construct the NICO Project; and the economic environment in which the Company will operate in the future, including the price of gold, cobalt and other by-product metals, anticipated costs and the volumes of metals to be produced at the NICO Project). However, such forward-looking information is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. These factors include the risks that the 2021 drill program may not result in a meaningful expansion of the NICO Deposit, the continuing effects of the COVID-19, the Company may not be able to complete the purchase of the JSFL site and secure a site for the construction of a refinery, the Company may not be able to finance and develop the NICO Project on favourable terms or at all, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of required permits, approvals and agreements for the development of the NICO Project, including the related hydrometallurgical refinery, the construction of the NICO Project may take longer than anticipated, the Company may not be able to secure offtake agreements for the metals to be produced at the NICO Project, the Company’s Sue-Dianne Property may not be developed to the point where it can provide mill feed to the NICO Project, the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties and in the mining industry in general, the market for products that use cobalt or bismuth may not grow to the extent anticipated, the future supply of cobalt and bismuth may not be as limited as anticipated, the risk of decreases in the market prices of cobalt, bismuth and other metals to be produced by the NICO Project, discrepancies between actual and estimated Mineral Resources or between actual and estimated metallurgical recoveries, uncertainties associated with estimating Mineral Resources and Reserves and the risk that even if such Mineral Resources prove accurate the risk that such Mineral Resources may not be converted into Mineral Reserves once economic conditions are applied, the Company’s production of cobalt, bismuth and other metals may be less than anticipated and other operational and development risks, market risks and regulatory risks. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information because it is possible that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forms of forward-looking information will not be achieved by the Company. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise it to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220420005396/en/

Contacts

Fortune Minerals Limited
Troy Nazarewicz
Investor Relations Manager
info@fortuneminerals.com
Tel: (519) 858-8188
www.fortuneminerals.com

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