First Nickel Inc.
TSX : FNI

First Nickel Inc.

April 18, 2013 07:00 ET

FNI Achieves Full Production at Lockerby Mine

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 18, 2013) - First Nickel Inc. ("FNI" or the "Company") (TSX:FNI) announces that the Lockerby mine achieved its full, targeted annualized production rate of 10.0 million pounds of payable nickel in the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, producing approximately 2.5 million pounds of payable nickel. The Company expects to achieve the previously disclosed outlook for full year 2013 production and operating costs as follows:

Production and Cost Outlook

2013
Payable Nickel lbs 9.0 - 10.0 M
Payable Copper lbs 6.1 - 6.7 M
Total Cash Production Costs(1) $61.0 - $67.0 M
Assumptions: Cu per lb - $3.50, CAD/USD $1.00

The Company expects to release full first quarter 2013 results by May 15, 2013.

Mr. Thomas M Boehlert, President and CEO of FNI said, "FNI has achieved two significant milestones since the beginning of the year. Firstly, the refinancing completed last week provides access to additional liquidity and takes pressure off of the Company's balance sheet, and secondly, full production at the Lockerby mine enhances our ability to generate operating cash flow going forward. The combination of these two events clearly differentiates FNI as a financially viable producing miner during a very challenging period for the junior mining sector."

About FNI

FNI is a Canadian mining and exploration Company. The Company's mission is to be the most dynamic North American emerging base metal mining Company in which to work and invest and to be respected in the communities in which we operate. FNI operates its Lockerby Mine in the Sudbury Basin in northern Ontario. The Lockerby Mine is expected to produce at a rate of approximately 10 million pounds of payable nickel and approximately 7 million pounds of payable copper annually, providing a strong base from which to grow the Company. In addition to the Lockerby Mine, the Company owns exploration properties in the Sudbury Basin, the Timmins region of northern Ontario, and the Belmont region of Eastern Ontario. FNI's shares are traded on the TSX under the symbol FNI.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this news release may contain forward-looking information about FNI. Forward-looking information can often be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate", "believe", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "goal", "intend", "is confident", "target", "potential", "objective", "may", "plan" or "will" or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology. Forward-looking information may include, but is not limited to: the continued operation of the Lockerby Mine; expectations of obtaining financing in the near term, including completion of the Refinancing on terms satisfactory to the Company, if at all; expectations regarding future compliance with TSX continued listing requirements, future financial or operating performance of the Company and its projects; the future price of metals; the long term supply and demand for nickel; continuation of exploration activities; mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates; the realization of mineral resource estimates; costs of production and key supplies; capital, operating and exploration expenditures; forecasts of sales and production; costs and timing of the development of new and existing deposits; costs and timing of future exploration; the requirements for additional capital; government regulation of mining operations; environmental risks, reclamation expenses and/or title disputes or claims.

By its nature, forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, realization of mineral resources, performance or achievements of the Company, financial position or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Accordingly, actual events may differ materially from those implied by any forward-looking information. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information, which speak only as of the date the statements were made and readers are also advised to consider such forward-looking information while considering the risk factors set forth in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form under the heading "Risk Factors" which has been filed electronically by means of the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval ("SEDAR") located at www.sedar.com. Such forward-looking statements are made as at the date of this news release. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and such forward-looking information, except as required by applicable law.

(1) Non-GAAP Financial Measures: Total cash production costs is a non-GAAP financial measure that does not have a standardized meaning under Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"), and as a result may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Management uses this statistic to monitor operating costs and profitability, and believes that certain investors use this information to evaluate the Company's performance and ability to generate cash flow in addition to conventional GAAP measures. Accordingly, it is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. Total cash production costs include mining costs, milling, mine site general and administration costs, environmental costs, transportation, and refining of concentrate, less by-product credits from sales of copper, cobalt and PGEs.

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