Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Limited

Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Limited

March 30, 2009 01:00 ET

Consolidated Thompson Announces US$240 Million Strategic Investment from Wuhan Iron and Steel Group

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 30, 2009) - Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Limited (TSX:CLM) ("CLM") is pleased to announce the signing of a letter agreement with Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corporation ("WISCO"), one of China's largest steel producers, for a strategic investment by WISCO into Consolidated Thompson.

The letter agreement provides for WISCO to make a total investment in CLM of US$240 million and in return CLM will issue 29,748,897 common shares of Consolidated Thompson, which represents 19.9% of the issued and outstanding CLM shares post transaction. In addition, WISCO will receive not less than a 25% interest in a newly incorporated company that is to be established to operate the Bloom Lake mine, and will commit to purchase a similar percentage of iron ore production over the life of the mine. WISCO will also be entitled to other long-term off take rights at fair market value from both the initial production and future expansion of the Bloom Lake project as well as from CLM's Lamelee and Peppler Lake projects. Under the agreement, various technology and personnel exchanges are contemplated and WISCO will be entitled to nominate a Director to the Board of Consolidated Thompson.

Richard Quesnel, the President and CEO of Consolidated Thompson, said "In addition to providing necessary capital towards the completion of construction at Bloom Lake, we view this investment as a key strategic step in developing a long-term partnership with an important consumer of iron ore that is one of China's largest and most technologically advanced integrated steel groups. This partnership will also strengthen Consolidated Thompson's potential to expand from the current mine plan of 8 million tonnes per year to 16 million tonnes of annual production of iron ore, which would position Consolidated Thompson as a significant iron ore producer with quality, low cost assets in Quebec."

Brian Tobin, Co-Chairman of Consolidated Thompson, said "In this time of global economic uncertainty, China remains one of the strongest and most dynamic economies of the world. CLM is delighted to build this new partnership with WISCO, one of China's most important steel groups."

The agreement is conditional on approval by the Chinese Government as well as approval of regulatory authorities in both countries, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, WISCO completing due diligence and the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements, which CLM anticipates occurring before May 1, 2009.

The Balloch Group is acting as Financial Advisor to WISCO for this transaction.

Information on WISCO

Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corporation, whose headquarters are located in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province, currently has an annual capacity of 30 million tonnes of steel at mills in Hubei and several other Chinese provinces. WISCO's operations comprises of mining, coking, sintering, iron making, steel making, rolling and associated utilities. According to a policy statement issued by the Chinese Government this month, WISCO is one of the three national "large-scale" integrated iron and steel groups, each of which is expected to reach 50 million tons of annual steel production by 2011.

Information on Consolidated Thompson

Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Limited is an exploration and development mining company. The Company believes that its updated positive Feasibility Study, based on the current understanding of the quality and size of the Bloom Lake deposit, reflects the potential to expand and advance the project and exploit other opportunities in the iron ore industry. The Company has approximately 119.4 million shares outstanding and trades on the TSX under the symbol CLM.

Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information contained herein constitutes "forward-looking information" under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the terms of the agreement; receipt of all necessary approvals; the negotiation and execution of the definitive agreements; benefits from the agreement; capital required to complete the development of the Bloom Lake mine and the timing of such requirements; the conclusions, parameters and assumptions underlying current mine plans, the development potential and timetable of Bloom Lake project; capital and operating expenditures; iron ore prices; permitting time lines and permitting; government regulation of mining operations; environmental risks and the impact of management appointments. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved".
Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made. Estimates regarding the anticipated timing, amount and cost of mining at the Bloom Lake Project are based on assumptions underlying mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and the realization of such estimates as are set out in the CLM's feasibility study. Capital and operating cost estimates are based on extensive research of the Corporation, purchase orders placed by the Corporation to date, recent estimates of construction and mining costs and other factors that are set out in CLM's feasibility study. Production estimates are based on mine plans and production schedules, which have been developed by the Corporation's personnel and independent consultants. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Consolidated Thompson to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to risks described in the annual information form of the Company posted under the profile of the Company on SEDAR at Although management of Consolidated Thompson has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Consolidated Thompson does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

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