New Millennium Iron Corp.

New Millennium Iron Corp.

December 21, 2015 06:00 ET

New Millennium Iron Corp. Responds to Dissident Shareholders' Claims

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Dec. 21, 2015) - New Millennium Iron Corp ("NML" or the "Company") (TSX:NML) CEO Robert Patzelt issued the following statement on behalf of the Company's Board of Directors in response to a number of claims made by a group of dissident shareholders who have a requisitioned a special meeting of shareholders with the aim of replacing all of NML's independent directors and, in turn, setting a new, yet undefined direction for the Company:

"The past two years have been among the most challenging ever for the iron ore industry. Iron ore prices have plunged, due primarily to weaker demand in China at a time when significant new supply from previously committed projects in Australia and Brazil continues to flood the market. Combined, these factors have resulted in weak financing conditions and sharp declines in share prices for all mining companies.

"Against this background of unfavorable conditions and negative market sentiment, NML has transitioned from mainly an exploration company to one in the development stage, through investment in a direct shipping ore project, comprehensive feasibility studies on two taconite deposits and the successful definition of further large NI 43-101 taconite resources. This record is unique in the Labrador Trough's junior mining sector."

"NML's present strategy is designed to maintain this momentum while preserving working capital, its asset base and its reputation with various stakeholders in the Labrador Trough as a company committed to building a successful and responsible iron ore business."

"Our plan to optimize the development of NML's taconite properties using transferable know-how from the previous feasibility work in order to arrive at an appropriately sized and competitive project capable of servicing the high-quality segment of the iron ore market is adaptive, and we are only carrying out essential work to make this project concept ready and reduce lead times for market entry as conditions permit."

"To efficiently implement this strategy we have a streamlined new generation of management in place with considerable experience across the necessary iron ore industry disciplines. Our continuing Board renewal initiative has resulted in the appointment of three highly qualified, independent directors with proven mining industry, capital markets, fund-raising and corporate governance experience that will further support our drive to build shareholder value."

"We also maintain a strong, ongoing commitment to preserving capital with significant reductions in operating expenses achieved as a result of two restructuring initiatives and continued cost cutting, leaving us a strong balance sheet and considerable financial flexibility through at least 2018. During that period, we will continue to closely monitor market conditions with a view to adjusting our strategy to preserve and grow shareholder value, as required."

"We firmly believe the direction we are taking will enable NML to progress even under present industry circumstances. We find the position taken by the dissident shareholders to be unwarranted and misleading. Nevertheless, the Company formed a special committee that will examine the claims of the dissident shareholders more closely and develop recommendations as appropriate. In this regard, we regret that our approaches to date to discuss their concerns have been unsuccessful."

As previously announced (please see NR 15-19 dated December 14, 2015), NML has scheduled a Special Meeting of shareholders for March 15, 2016, in Toronto. In advance of the Special Meeting, the Company will send a Management Information Circular to shareholders that will formally respond to the position of the dissidents, and provide information on its strategic direction in greater detail.

About New Millennium

The Company is a Canadian iron ore development company with an extensive property position in Canada's principal iron ore district, the Labrador Trough, straddling the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Province of Québec, in the Menihek Region around Schefferville, Québec. The Company's project areas are connected via a well-established, heavy-haul rail network to the Port of Sept-Îles, Québec, where the Company is among the investors in a new deep-water iron ore loading dock.

In addition to having a management team experienced with the technical, environmental and commercial aspects of Labrador Trough ores, the Company is in a strategic partnership with Tata Steel, a global steel producer and industry leader. Tata Steel owns approximately 26.2% of the Company and is the Company's largest shareholder.

Together through Tata Steel Minerals Canada Ltd., which is owned 94% by Tata Steel and 6% by the Company, the two companies have developed a direct shipping ore ("DSO") project that is producing and shipping sinter fines.

Beyond the DSO project, the Company offers further development potential through seven, long-life taconite properties capable of producing high quality pellets and pellet feed to service the requirements of steel makers with either blast furnace or direct reduced iron making operations. Two of these deposits -- LabMag and KéMag - were the subject of large-scale development feasibility studies carried out by the Company and Tata Steel and published in March 2014.

With these feasibility study results as a foundation and all seven taconite properties now explored to a NI 43-101 compliant resource, the Company can optimize its taconite development strategy and is currently focused on a smaller market entry project.

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Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains certain forward looking statements and forward looking information (collectively referred to herein as "forward looking statements") within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements other than statements of present or historical fact are forward looking statements. Forward looking information is often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "could", "should", "can", "anticipate", "expect", "believe", "will", "may", "projected", "sustain", "continues", "strategy", "potential", "projects", "grow", "take advantage", "estimate", "well positioned" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. In particular, this news release may contain forward looking statements relating to future opportunities, business strategies, mineral exploration, development and production plans and competitive advantages.

The forward looking statements regarding the Company are based on certain key expectations and assumptions of the Company concerning anticipated financial performance, business prospects, strategies, regulatory developments, exchange rates, tax laws, the sufficiency of budgeted capital expenditures in carrying out planned activities, the availability and cost of labour and services and the ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms, the actual results of exploration and development projects being equivalent to or better than estimated results in technical reports or prior activities, and future costs and expenses being based on historical costs and expenses, adjusted for inflation, all of which are subject to change based on market conditions and potential timing delays. Although management of the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to them, they may prove to be incorrect.

By their very nature, forward looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties (both general and specific) and risks that forward looking statements will not be achieved. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward looking statements, as a number of important factors could cause the actual results to differ materially from the beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations and anticipations, estimates and intentions expressed in the forward looking statements, including among other things: inability of the Company to continue meet the listing requirements of stock exchanges and other regulatory requirements, general economic and market factors, including business competition, changes in government regulations or in tax laws; general political and social uncertainties; commodity prices; the actual results of exploration, development or operational activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; accidents and other risks inherent in the mining industry; lack of insurance; delay or failure to receive board or regulatory approvals; changes in legislation, including environmental legislation, affecting the Company; timing and availability of external financing on acceptable terms; conclusions of, or estimates contained in, feasibility studies, pre-feasibility studies or other economic evaluations; and lack of qualified, skilled labour or loss of key individuals; as well as those factors detailed from time to time in the Company's interim and annual financial statements and management's discussion and analysis of those statements, along with the Company's annual information form, all of which are filed and available for review on SEDAR at Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive.

The forward looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. The forward looking statements included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake and is not obligated to publicly update such forward looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise unless so required by applicable securities laws.

With respect to the disclosure of historical resources in this news release that are not currently in compliance with National Instrument 43-101, a qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves, the Company is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves and the historical estimate should not be relied upon.

Contact Information

  • New Millennium Iron Corp.
    Robert Patzelt, Q.C.
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    (514) 935-3204 ext. 370

    New Millennium Iron Corp.
    Ernest Dempsey
    Vice-President, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs
    (514) 935-3204 ext. 349

    New Millennium Iron Corp.
    Andreas Curkovic
    Investor Relations
    (416) 577-9927