SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc.
Opta Minerals Inc.

Opta Minerals Inc.

March 16, 2005 11:22 ET

SunOpta Announces the Opta Minerals' Underwriters Have Exercised Their Over Allotment Option


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: SUNOPTA INC.

NASDAQ SYMBOL: STKL
TSX SYMBOL: SOY

AND OPTA MINERALS INC.

TSX SYMBOL: OPM

MARCH 16, 2005 - 11:22 ET

SunOpta Announces the Opta Minerals' Underwriters Have
Exercised Their Over Allotment Option

TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Mar 16, 2005) -

SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta or the Company) (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today
announced that the over-allotment option granted to the underwriters in
connection with the initial public offering of Opta Minerals Inc. (Opta
Minerals) (TSX:OPM) was exercised in full and has closed for gross
proceeds of CDN $1,800,000, bringing the aggregate gross proceeds to
Opta Minerals under its initial public offering to CDN $19,800,000. A
syndicate of underwriters, led by Loewen, Ondaatje, McCutcheon Limited,
and including First Associates Investments Inc. and Canaccord Capital
Corporation, purchased an additional 450,000 common shares and 225,000
common share purchase warrants at a purchase price of CDN $3.99 and CDN
$0.02, respectively. The warrants are listed under the symbol "OPM.WT"
on the Toronto Stock Exchange and each warrant entitles the holder to
purchase one common share of Opta Minerals at a price of CDN $5.00 any
time on or before February 17, 2007.

Approximately CDN $500,000 of these proceeds will be used to repay debt
owing to SunOpta with the remainder available for internal growth
projects and acquisitions within Opta Minerals.

Steve Bromley, President and Chief Operating Officer of SunOpta and a
Director of Opta Minerals commented, "We are extremely pleased with the
completion of the initial public offering including the exercise of the
over-allotment option. Many exciting growth opportunities lie ahead for
Opta Minerals and we look forward to solid growth in this business."

About Opta Minerals:

Opta Minerals is a vertically integrated producer, manufacturer,
distributor and recycler of silica-free loose abrasives, industrial
minerals, specialty sands and related products for use primarily in the
foundry, steel, marine/bridge cleaning, roofing shingle and municipal
water filtration industries. With its head office in Waterdown, Ontario,
the Company also has production and distribution facilities in Ontario,
Quebec, Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New York and
one of the broadest product lines in the industry.

SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing
on integrated business models in the natural and organic food markets.
For the last six consecutive years, SunOpta was included in Profit
magazine's 'Profit 100' list of the 100 fastest growing companies in
Canada. The company has three operating units: the SunOpta Food Group,
which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural
and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged
products; the Opta Minerals Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler
of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the StakeTech
Steam Explosion Group that engineers and markets clean pulping systems
using patented steam explosion technology. Each of these business units
has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive
advantage in its sector.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    SunOpta Inc.
    Jeremy N. Kendall, Steve Bromley, John Dietrich,
    Susan Wiekenkamp, 905-455-2528, ext 103
    swiekenkamp@sunopta.com
    Website: www.sunopta.com