Novicourt Inc.

Novicourt Inc.

March 22, 2005 10:09 ET

Novicourt Inc. Announces Special Cash Distribution


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: NOVICOURT INC.

TSX SYMBOL: NOV

MARCH 22, 2005 - 10:09 ET

Novicourt Inc. Announces Special Cash Distribution

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 22, 2005) - Novicourt Inc.
("Novicourt")(TSX:NOV) announced today that it will ask shareholders to
approve a plan of arrangement pursuant to which each common share of
Novicourt would, through a series of steps, be exchanged for $1.30 per
share in cash and 0.5 of a new common share. The plan of arrangement
would be effected under Sections 49 and 123.107 of the Companies Act
(Quebec) (the "Arrangement").

As the Louvicourt mine approaches closure by mid-2005, favourable prices
for Novicourt's copper and zinc production have allowed it to accumulate
more cash than is anticipated to be necessary to meet future reclamation
obligations or to sustain its growing investments in exploration.
Accordingly, the board of directors of Novicourt believes that the most
appropriate strategy is to return the capital, which is in excess of
Novicourt's anticipated requirements to meet future obligations and to
sustain its growing exploration program, to shareholders pursuant to the
Arrangement. The amount returned to shareholders would be approximately
$52.3 million and Novicourt would retain approximately $36.5 million in
cash and working capital.

The Arrangement is contingent upon the approval of Novicourt's
shareholders by a special resolution approved by 75% of the votes cast
at the meeting as well as Quebec Superior Court, Toronto Stock Exchange
and other regulatory approvals. Subject to court approval, it is
expected that a management proxy circular containing a detailed
description of the Arrangement will be mailed to all shareholders on or
about April 8, 2005, and that the proposed Arrangement will be dealt
with at Novicourt's annual and special general meeting on May 3, 2005 at
2:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Salon Vice-Royal of the Ritz
Carlton, Montreal, Quebec.

Joint Venture in Brazil

Novicourt is also pleased to announce the signing of an option earn-in
agreement with Noranda Inc. to earn a 30% joint-venture interest in the
latter company's extensive Canaa property interests in the Carajas
region of Brazil. This property is located south of Companhia Vale do
Rio Doce's Sossego mine and 118 Deposit and southwest of this company's
Vermehelo and Cristalino deposits. First-year option expenditures are a
firm commitment totalling US$1.2 million over a three-year US$5.0
million option. The program will be executed by Noranda's resident
exploration team based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

About Novicourt

Novicourt is the owner of a 45% undivided interest in the Louvicourt
Mine through its participation in the Novicourt Inc. / Aur resources
Inc. / Teck Cominco Limited Louvicourt Joint Venture. Novicourt is a
copper-based company which receives its revenues from the sale of copper
as well as zinc concentrates produced by the Louvicourt Mine. Novicourt
also participates with Virginia Gold Mines Inc. and Noranda Inc. in
extensive exploration programs. Novicourt is seeking to create
additional shareholder value through further joint ventures.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Novicourt Inc.
    Michael Boone
    Vice President, Finance and Controller
    (416) 982-7188
    or
    Novicourt Inc.
    David Sandison
    Vice President
    (416) 982-7023
    or
    Novicourt Inc.
    Stephen Young
    Secretary
    (416) 982-7069