Altius Minerals Corporation

Altius Minerals Corporation

December 16, 2010 10:24 ET

Altius Signs Exploration Alliance With Cliffs Natural Resources Exploration Inc.: Ferro Alloys Being Targeted in Newfoundland

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2010) - Altius ("Altius")(TSX:ALS) is pleased to announce that it has agreed to a strategic exploration alliance with Cliffs Natural Resources Exploration Inc. ("CNR") for ferro alloy metals within specific areas of Newfoundland & Labrador.

The alliance will combine Altius' exploration expertise in Eastern Canada with the capital funding, development and operating strength of CNR. CNR will fund and Altius will carry out regional and generative exploration to a value of $1,800,000 within specific areas over a two year period with the goal of identifying new grassroots exploration targets. The generated targets will be presented to CNR which can then choose to designate such projects as joint ventures. 

Projects designated as joint ventures will initially be held 50-50 by Altius and CNR, subject to a 1% net smelter returns royalty in favour of Altius. CNR will have an option to increase its participating interest to 70% by funding $4 million in exploration expenditures, including 3,000 metres of drilling, by the fourth anniversary of the joint venture agreement. CNR may subsequently increase its participating interest to 90% by completing and funding a bankable feasibility study.

Work under the alliance has commenced targeting nickel-iron alloy minerals and chromite in ultramafic complexes on the island of Newfoundland. 3,929 mineral claims (98,225 hectares) have recently been staked over areas of interest, and prospecting, rock sampling and mineralogical studies are underway. 

Lawrence Winter, Ph.D., P.Geo., Vice‐President of Exploration for Altius, is the qualified person responsible for the technical data presented in this release.

About Altius

Altius is focused on the mining and resources sector through prospect generation and the creation and acquisition of royalties and investments. The Corporation has a strong financial position with approximately $200 million in cash and mature liquid investments. It has also built a portfolio of directly and indirectly held junior resource investments, including 32.3 million shares of Alderon Resource Corp. (ADV:TSX).

Altius owns an effective 0.3% net smelter return royalty in the producing Voisey's Bay nickel-copper-cobalt mine, a 2% gross sales royalty in the Central Mineral Belt uranium project of Aurora Energy, a 3% gross sales royalty in the Kami iron ore project of Alderon and several earlier stage resource project royalties. Its growing project generation pipeline consists of a diversified portfolio of exploration projects, to many of which it has attracted joint venture funding partners.

Altius is a member of the TSX SmallCap index and currently has 28,710,895 shares outstanding.

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