Shares of the company were up four cents as at about 11:45 a.m. EDT, trading at 42.5 cents.
The company said that the results from the West Deposit area of the Fire Lake project were not available when it released its updated resource estimate and preliminary feasibility study (PFS) earlier this year.
Highlights from the remaining drill holes include hole FW12-58, located at the north end of the West Deposit, which intersected 161.6 metres of “high grade” specular hematite iron formation grading 34.3% Total Iron (FeT).
Meanwhile, hole FW12-57 hit 84 metres grading 33.6% FeT, and hole FW12-62B returned 19.56 metres grading 36.2% FeT and 43.92 metres grading 31.8% FeT.
Champion said the resource remains open down-dip to the west and along strike to the north and will potentially add to all categories of resources while expanding the West Deposit pit shell.
“The results from the remaining holes completed in our 2012 drilling program provide us with added confidence that we can delineate sufficient additional reserves at the project's West and East deposits to produce 20 million tonnes of iron concentrate annually from two concentrator lines over a minimum of 20 years, for inclusion in our feasibility study later this year,” said president and CEO Tom Larsen.
“These and additional results from our trenching program that were received subsequent to the current mineral resource estimate and PFS move us closer to achieving our reserve target goal."
Champion said it also received results for an extensive surface trenching and channel sampling program over the East Deposit, which could potentially upgrade a portion of current shallow inferred resources to the measured and indicated categories.
Additional trenching is now being planned for the 2013 summer field season to further define and upgrade near-surface resources underlying the north-western limit of the East Deposit.
In January, the company released the updated mineral resource estimate for the Fire Lake North project with combined, in-pit optimized, measured and indicated resources totalling 691.3 million tonnes grading 31.5% FeT with additional inferred resources of 479.8 million tonnes grading 30.4% FeT, at a 15% FeT cut-off grade.
Champion's recently completed preliminary economic study, released earlier this month, included 464.6 million tonnes grading 32.4% FeT of proven and probable reserves sufficient to produce an average of 9.3 million tonnes of iron concentrate annually for an estimated 19.6-year mine life.
The company is focused on developing its significant iron resources in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. It holds a 100% interest in the Fermont Iron Holdings and a 44% interest in the Attikamagen iron project located in both Quebec and Labrador.