International Nickel Ventures Corporation
TSX : INV

International Nickel Ventures Corporation

August 04, 2009 09:26 ET

INV Options Brazilian (Cu-Au) and Namibian (Cu) Exploration Properties

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 4, 2009) - International Nickel Ventures Corporation ("INV" or "Corporation") (TSX:INV) is pleased to announce that it has entered into 2 option agreements with Teck Resources Limited and its local subsidiaries ("Teck") which provide INV the right to acquire an initial 50% interest in both the Rio Novo ("Rio Novo") copper-gold property in the Carajas mining district of Brazil and the Kaoko ("Kaoko") copper property in Northwest Namibia.

Mr. Robert Bell, President and CEO, stated, "This transaction solidifies the transformation of INV to a premier international exploration company and provides the Corporation with two projects which have outstanding potential to host world-class copper and gold ore deposits within excellent political and mining jurisdictions. The Rio Novo property hosts significant iron oxide-copper-gold ("IOCG") mineralization and is located in Carajas, Brazil, one of the most prolific mining districts in the world. At the Kaoko property in Namibia, previous work by Teck intersected considerable widths of typical African Copper Belt style mineralization indicating that the property has exceptional potential for the discovery of a new copper belt." Mr. Bell added, "Teck and INV have built a solid partnership since 2005, working together on the advanced-stage Santa Fe-Ipora nickel laterite project located in Goias State, Brazil. Management is extremely pleased that, through a competitive bidding process, Teck has chosen to continue to partner with INV to explore these highly prospective properties." He also added, "INV is well funded, with approximately $16 million in its treasury at the end of June (unaudited), and has the expertise and experience to advance the Teck discoveries and make new discoveries on these exciting properties."

RIO NOVO PROPERTY, BRAZIL

HIGHLIGHTS:

- 29,000 hectare property in the highly prospective Carajas mining district, Brazil, with outstanding large tonnage open pit copper-gold potential.

- RN-1 Target with drill intersections up to 55 m grading 1.30% copper and 0.2 g/t gold.

- RN-5 Target with drill intersections up to 183 m grading 0.55% copper.

- RN-7 Target with drill intersections up to 102 m grading 0.66% copper.

- RN-11 Target consists of an undrilled gossan exposed within a 1.4 km by 0.4 km copper-gold soil geochemical anomaly. A gossan grab sample collected by INV graded 26.7% copper and 4.6 g/t gold.

- A number of untested high priority airborne electromagnetic anomalies.

- High grade hematitic iron formation over a strike length of 1,200 m with auger drill intersections of up to 79.2% iron oxide over 11 metres.

The extensive Rio Novo property consists of approximately 29,000 hectares and is located in the Carajas region in the state of Para, Brazil (see Figure 1). The Carajas region is one of the premier mining camps in the world and hosts one of the world's largest known concentrations of large tonnage, open pittable deposits of the IOCG family. The region is also home to Vale S.A.'s ("Vale") Brazilian iron ore mines.

Rio Novo's primary potential is for IOCG ore deposits, but it also has significant potential to host large iron ore deposits similar to those currently being mined by Vale. Several high priority IOCG targets have been identified by Teck at Rio Novo with very limited and in some cases no drilling completed to-date, including the RN-1 target where 13 holes were drilled with intersections ranging from 3.5 m grading 0.18% copper up to 55.0 m grading 1.30% copper and 0.2 g/t gold; the RN-5 target, at which five holes were drilled with intersections ranging from 8.0 m grading 0.27% copper to 183.0 m grading 0.55% copper; and the RN-7 target where two holes were drilled, the first hole with intersections of 101.7 m grading 0.66% copper, including 39.7 m at 1.5% copper which in turn includes 5.0 m at 9.5% copper in one hole and the second hole with intersections of 111.0 m grading 0.32% copper, including 69.0 m at 0.40% copper (see Figure 2). The RN-11 target consists of an undrilled gossan exposed within a 1.4 km by 0.4 km copper-gold soil geochemical anomaly, from which a rock grab sample collected by INV graded 26.7% copper and 4.6 g/t gold. The identified targets are in the early exploration phase and require extensive further drilling and interpretation to determine the extent of the mineralization. Subsequent to Teck's 2007 drilling program, Teck completed an airborne electromagnetic survey, which identified a number of prospective conductors which remain untested.

In addition, Teck has identified a hematitic iron formation over a strike length of 1,200 m with an auger drill intersection of 79.2% iron oxide over 11 metres which supports the potential for the discovery of Carajas type large iron ore deposits.

INV will, subject to the receipt of various permits, immediately undertake an aggressive exploration program at Rio Novo consisting of geological, geochemical and geophysical surveys, and diamond drilling. INV operates in Brazil through its wholly owned subsidiary INV Mineracao.

Under the terms of the Rio Novo agreement, INV may earn an initial 50% interest in the Rio Novo property by funding exploration expenditures of $7 million over 3 years with guaranteed expenditures of $4 million over 2 years, after which a joint venture will be formed on a 50% basis.

Once the joint venture is formed with INV and Teck both holding a 50% interest, Teck may elect, prior to November 30, 2012, to increase its interest in Rio Novo to 60% by funding expenditures of $7 million over the subsequent 2 years. If Teck does not exercise its option to increase its interest in Rio Novo to 60%, INV may elect to increase its interest in Rio Novo to 60% by funding expenditures of $7 million over that same subsequent 2 years. If INV then earns a 60% interest in Rio Novo, Teck has the option to elect to increase its interest back to 60%, by making an initial cash payment to INV of $7 million, funding additional expenditures of $14 million over the subsequent 3 years and making an additional cash payment to INV of $3.5 million prior to the expiry of the 3 year period.

KAOKO PROPERTY, NAMIBIA

HIGHLIGHTS:

- Significant potential for sediment hosted open-pit copper, cobalt and silver deposits similar to those in the African Copper Belt in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC").

- Huge prospective land position (approximately 9,000 km2) in Northwest Namibia, a politically stable country with excellent infrastructure and an established mining industry.

- Significant drill intercepts at four prospect areas include:

-- 26.2 m grading 1.9% copper and 27.9 g/t silver;

-- 26.0 m grading 1.5% copper and 12.1 g/t silver;

-- 23.0 m grading 0.3% copper;

-- 91.5 m grading 0.1% copper.

The Kaoko property is comprised of approximately 9,000 km2, located in Kaokoland, Northwest Namibia (see Figure 3). Teck has assembled an extensive prospective land position to gain control of key ground in a belt geologically analogous and potentially similar in size to the African Copper Belt, located in Zambia and the DRC. The objective of exploration at the Kaoko property is the discovery of world-class, low cost open-pit, sediment hosted copper, cobalt and silver deposits in a politically favourable jurisdiction.

Teck's previous exploration at Kaoko has consisted of regional and detailed geological mapping, stream sediment sampling, induced polarization geophysical surveys and diamond and reverse circulation drilling. Teck completed 13,400 m of drilling at 16 distinct prospect areas ranging over approximately 68 km of the property in order to assist in the interpretation of the geological structure and stratigraphy of the area and to establish potential areas for further detailed drilling. Mineralization intersected by Teck ranged from weakly anomalous to well mineralized. Significant drill intercepts at four key prospect areas include 26.2 m grading 1.9% copper and 27.9 g/t silver, 26.0 m grading 1.5% copper and 12.1 g/t silver, 23.0 m grading 0.3% copper and 91.5 m grading 0.1% copper (see Figure 4).

The exploration program undertaken by Teck indicates the potential for widespread mineralization on the Kaoko property. Further detailed interpretation of the geological setting is required along with additional detailed mapping, soil sampling, trenching and drilling to identify targets located in previously unexplored areas of the Kaoko property and to identify and confirm high priority targets within the prospect areas previously drilled. A detailed mapping program will commence upon receiving necessary governmental approvals at the Kaoko property with an extensive drill program expected to begin in late 2009 or early 2010, subject to the rainy season.

Namibia is a politically stable country with excellent infrastructure and an established mining industry which produces diamonds, uranium, gold and base metals. Namibia is home to several large operating mines, which include the Rossing uranium mine majority owned by Rio Tinto which began operation in 1976; the Skorpion zinc mine owned by Anglo American Plc which began operation in 2004; and the newly constructed Langer Heinrich uranium mine owned by Paladin Energy Ltd. which began operation in 2007.

Under the terms of the Kaoko property agreement, INV may earn an initial 50% interest in the Kaoko property by making an initial $1,064,094 payment to Teck and funding exploration expenditures of $7 million over 4 years, with guaranteed expenditures of $3 million over 2 years, after which a joint venture will be formed on a 50% basis.

Once the joint venture is formed, with INV and Teck both holding a 50% interest, Teck may elect, prior to November 30, 2013, to increase its interest in Kaoko to 60% by funding expenditures equal to $7 million over the subsequent 2 years. If Teck increases its interest in Kaoko to 60% by satisfying the required expenditure commitments, Teck then has the option to elect to earn an additional 5% interest in Kaoko to increase its interest to 65%, by funding $21 million over the subsequent 4 years.

If Teck does not exercise its first option to increase its interest in Kaoko to 60%, INV may elect to increase its interest in Kaoko to 60% by funding expenditures of $7 million over the same subsequent two years as per Teck's option above. If INV then earns a 60% interest in Kaoko, Teck has the option to elect to increase its interest back to 60% by making an initial cash payment to INV of $7 million, funding additional expenditures equal to $14 million over the subsequent 3 years and making an additional cash payment to INV of $3.5 million prior to the expiry of the 3 year period.

TRANSACTION DETAILS

In addition to the expenditure requirements discussed above:

- INV has committed to first-year aggregate expenditures on the combined properties of $3 million.

- INV will transfer its 20% indirect interest in the Santa Fe-Ipora nickel laterite project to Teck for a nominal amount, retaining certain rights to future compensation should Teck sell the project to a third party within 3 years.

- Teck will purchase an additional 2,875,929 common shares of INV at a price of $0.37 per share for proceeds of $1,064,094, increasing its ownership interest in INV to 9.9%.

- If INV exercises its initial option at the Kaoko property, Teck, if its shareholdings have decreased below 9.9% at such time, will have the option to increase its shareholding in INV up to 9.9% by way of a private placement.

- Teck will also have the right for 3 years from the date INV has exercised its initial option at the Kaoko property to increase its ownership position in INV to 19.9% by participating in any INV equity issues and at the end of the 3 years will have the option to increase its shareholding in INV up to 19.9% by way of a private placement. Thereafter, Teck will have the right to maintain its equity position provided Teck holds more than 10% of the Corporation's issued and outstanding common shares.

Closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of the TSX and to the approval of the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Additional information and graphics will be provided in the latest corporate presentation to be available on INV's website at www.nickelventures.com.

About INV

INV is an international mineral resource company currently focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of base and precious metal projects in Brazil, Namibia and Canada. Currently, INV's primary assets are: (1) its option to acquire 50% of the Rio Novo property, located in Brazil; (2) its option to acquire 50% of the Kaoko property, located in Namibia; (3) its Itapora gold properties, located in Brazil; (4) its option to acquire 50% of the Thorne Lake gold property, located in northwestern Ontario; (5) the Montcalm nickel-copper property located contiguous to Xstrata Nickel's operating nickel mine in the Timmins, Ontario area; and (6) its nickel-copper-precious metals properties located in the 'Ring of Fire' area in northern Ontario. Please also refer to INV's website at www.nickelventures.com to view additional details relating to the properties.

Potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature. There has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource on either of the Rio Novo Property or the Kaoko Property to-date, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in either such target being delineated as a mineral resource. All scientific and technical disclosure contained in this press release has been prepared under the supervision of Mr. Robert Bell, the President and Chief Executive Officer of INV and a qualified person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators. Mr. Bell has not verified the data disclosed above as such data was prepared and compiled by third parties prior to INV's involvement with either the Rio Novo property or the Kaoko property.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to variety of risks and uncertainties beyond INV's ability to control or predict which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. In this news release there is no guarantee that any drill targets or economic mineral deposits will be found on INV's properties. Forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievement of INV to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, uncertainty in the estimation of mineral resources, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, future prices of nickel and other minerals, economic and political stability in Canada, Brazil and Namibia, environmental risks and hazards, increased infrastructure and/or operating costs, labour and employment matters, and government regulation. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, refer to INV's annual information form with Canadian securities regulators available on www.sedar.com or INV's website at www.nickelventures.com.

To view Figure 1, please visit the following link:

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/inv0805fig1.pdf

To view Figure 2, please visit the following link:

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/inv0805fig2.pdf

To view Figure 3, please visit the following link:

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/inv0805fig3.pdf

To view Figure 4, please visit the following link:

http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/inv0805fig4.pdf

Contact Information

  • International Nickel Ventures Corporation
    Candace MacGibbon
    Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
    (416) 703-8416
    cmacgibbon@invc.ca
    or
    International Nickel Ventures Corporation
    Robert Bell
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (416) 703-8416
    rbell@invc.ca