TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 21, 2014) - Victory Nickel Inc. ("Victory Nickel" or the "Company") (TSX:NI) today provided an update on the commissioning process that is currently underway at its 500,000 ton-per-year (TPY) Seven Persons frac sand plant (the "7P Plant") near Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Further to the Company's news release of March 19, commissioning of the 7P Plant is progressing well. The commissioning process involves introducing washed premium-quality Jordan Formation sand from inventory stored at the 7P Plant into the newly-built drying and screening facility in order to perform the necessary tests and inspections to ensure that the 7P Plant is operating at specified performance levels. The 7P Plant is currently producing at an annualized rate of 182,000 tons; the ramp-up to full production at an annualized rate of 500,000 is expected to be complete by mid-year as additional staff is hired to operate the 7P Plant on a seven-day-per-week, 20-hour-per-day basis.
"Plant throughput is steadily increasing as we work through any minor equipment debugging issues, and thus far results have met our expectations," said Victory Silica CEO Ken Murdock. "Not only does the commissioning process enable us to optimize operation of the plant, but also allows us to build finished-sand inventory in advance of sales to ensure the availability of finished 16/30, 20/40, 30/50 and 40/70 frac sand to our customers."
About Frac Sand
Frac sand is a proppant used in the oil and gas business as a part of the hydraulic fracturing process - a means of increasing flow to the wellhead. Frac sand must have particular characteristics including achieving certain levels of crush resistance, sphericity and roundness, and it is therefore a relatively rare commodity. Vast quantities of frac sand are consumed, and more is needed all the time, as shale gas and oil plays in Canada and the US rise to prominence.
About Victory Silica Ltd.
Victory Silica is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and is charged with a phased plan to establish the Company in the frac sand market. In Phase 1, the Company plans to begin sales in 2014 of premium quality midwestern white frac sand from the 7P Plant in Seven Persons, Alberta near Medicine Hat by shipping partially-processed sand purchased in Wisconsin to the 7P Plant for final processing and distribution. The 7P Plant is well located in an area populated with fracking companies, its potential customers, and is within only a few hours' trucking distance of major oil or gas play well sites. Phase 2, which includes the construction of a concentrator in Wisconsin, is expected to reduce costs and assure security of sand supply through the control of a frac sand mine in Wisconsin. In Phase 3, Victory Silica has identified a site in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where it plans to build a larger frac sand plant to process and distribute both imported and domestic sands, including sand mined as a co-product of development of a nickel mine at the Company's 100%-owned Minago project in Manitoba. With margins expected to be in excess of $25 per ton of frac sand sold, the Company should generate sufficient cash flow in Phases 1 and 2 to provide the financial flexibility to expand its activities by developing a second plant as Phase 3 of its growth plan.
About Victory Nickel
Victory Nickel Inc. is a Canadian company with four sulphide nickel deposits containing significant NI 43-101-compliant nickel resources and a significant frac sand resource at its Minago project. Victory Nickel is focused on becoming a mid-tier nickel producer by developing its existing properties, Minago, Mel and Lynn Lake in Manitoba, and Lac Rocher in northwestern Québec, and by evaluating opportunities to expand its nickel asset base. Through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Victory Silica Ltd., Victory Nickel is establishing a presence in the frac sand market prior to commencing frac sand production and sales from Minago.
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Forward-Looking Information: This news release contains forward-looking information. All statements, other than statements of historic fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future constitute forward-looking information. This forward-looking information reflects the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things: uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs, production estimates and estimated economic return; the possibility that actual circumstances will differ from estimates and assumptions; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; failure to establish estimated mineral resources; fluctuations in commodity prices and currency exchange rates; inflation; recoveries being less than those indicated by the testwork carried out to date (there can be no assurance that recoveries in small scale laboratory tests will be duplicated in large tests under on-site conditions or during production); changes in equity markets; operating performance of facilities; environmental and safety risks; delays in obtaining or failure to obtain necessary permits and approvals from government authorities; unavailability of plant, equipment or labour; inability to retain key management and personnel; changes to regulations or policies affecting the Company's activities; the uncertainties involved in interpreting geological data; and the other risks disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the Company's annual information form dated March 28, 2013 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking information are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein.