Niocan Inc.
TSX VENTURE : NIO

Niocan Inc.

March 17, 2016 17:03 ET

Niocan Issues a Statement in Connection With the Public Consultations Requested by Eco-Niobium Resources Inc.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - March 17, 2016) - Niocan inc. (the "Company" or "Niocan") (TSX VENTURE:NIO) would like to report that, the Municipality of Oka, at the request of Eco-Niobium Resources Inc. ("Eco-Niobium") has forwarded a letter dated March 10, 2016 to the population of the Municipality of Oka inviting the population to attend four information sessions (the "Information Sessions") where Eco-Niobium will present and seek social acceptance of a project for a niobium mine on the old site of the St-Lawrence Columbium mine and the surrounding area in the Municipality of Oka (the "Proposed Mining Project"), for which the mining rights belong to Niocan and for which Niocan has not be consulted.

The Company understands that Eco-Niobium has met with the Municipality of Oka and entered into a purported letter of intent (the "LOI") in blatant disregard to Niocan's own project for a niobium mine and Niocan's mining rights.

In its public statements and in the LOI, Eco-Niobium does not specifically address the fact that it does not hold the applicable mining rights to develop a niobium mine and falsely represents that Niocan's mining rights, as well as the laws and regulations to which it refers to, do not allow Niocan to develop the mining resources subject to its rights. Furthermore, Eco-Niobium draws negative conclusions with respect to Niocan's project for a niobium mine with the clear intent of undermining any development by Niocan of the Company's mining rights.

These statements and the proposed presentation of Eco-Niobium's project to the residents of the Municipality of Oka are false and misleading and are aimed at deceiving the municipality and its population into believing that Eco-Niobium has the mining rights to develop a niobium mine on this site and to support Eco-Niobium's project to the great detriment of Niocan.

Niocan is committed to a responsible partnership with the Municipality of Oka, the aboriginal communities and the Quebec Government to plan, develop and build a first class niobium mine that will serve as a model of constituent cooperation. Niocan has taken steps in the recent years to set a new vision for the Company, including through changes in the management and securing financial backing to be in a position to develop its mining project when the constituent parties are amenable and when market conditions are favorable. Niocan stands ready to discuss this project with all local constituents.

Niocan is concerned about the steps that have undertaken the Municipality of Oka and Eco-Niobium in complete disregard of Niocan's mining rights and the damages that it will cause to it. Eco-Niobium is a newly formed company that possesses no mining rights in the area described publicly for its Proposed Mining Project. Not only does Eco-Niobium not hold the applicable mining rights, Niocan has serious doubts that Eco-Niobium has a viable project technically, after reviewing the plans, and that it has the financial capacity to undertake a project of this magnitude with the current markets.

The management and major shareholders of the Company believe in the potential of its project which is reflected in the significant investments that they have made year after year to protect Niocan's assets.

Accordingly, this attempt to discredit Niocan's mining project, which causes serious damages to Niocan, and to act on the Proposed Mining Project to the exclusion of Niocan is outrageous. Niocan must protect its rights and act on its duties to its shareholders and partners.

As a result, Niocan has sent letters to Eco-Niobium and the Municipality of Oka, asking them to cease and desist from promoting any development project in violation of Niocan's mining rights, to cancel the proposed Information Sessions with the population of the Municipality of Oka and to confirm to Niocan in writing that they have done so by noon today.

Niocan understands from the response received from Eco-Niobium and the lack of official position obtained from the Municipality of Oka at this time that the Information Sessions will proceed. Accordingly, Niocan is currently looking into its rights and remedies.

Niocan finds this turn of event most unfortunate given that the Company should have been contacted first by Eco-Niobium and the Municipality of Oka given that it is the sole owner of the mining rights for this project and that it has always been open to speaking with all constituent parties or potential ones. Niocan reiterates that its door is open for discussion and that it intends to initiate new discussions with the constituent parties in the midst of these new developments but it strongly believes that its role remains essential for the Proposed Mining Project to happen.

Niocan is of the view that its project will eventually bring significant financial returns to the local parties involved and it hopes to work with the community to eventually build a mutually beneficial project.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, known and unknown. For information identifying known risks and uncertainties, relating to the issuance by the Ministry of Environment of the Certificate of Authorization to build the mine in Oka, financial resources, market prices, exchange rates, politico-social conflicts, competition, regulatory approvals, the purchase of the old St-Lawrence Columbium mine site from the Municipality of Oka should the Certificate of Authorization be issued, and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Risk and Uncertainties Section of the Corporation's most recent Management's Discussion and Analysis, which may be found at www.sedar.com. Consequently, actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results expressed in these forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • Hubert Marleau
    Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
    514-288-8506
    514-843-4809 (FAX)
    info@niocan.com