International Nickel Ventures and Amazonia Form Strategic Alliance for Brazilian Nickel Exploration
TORONTO, ONTARIO – (CCNMatthews – August 8, 2006) – International Nickel Ventures Corporation (“INV”) (TSX:INV) is pleased to announce that it has formalized a strategic alliance with Amazonia Mineracao Ltda (“Amazonia”), a Brazilian based exploration and mining company, to expand INV’s presence in prospective nickel camps in Brazil. The objective of the alliance is to fast-track the identification, acquisition and development of potential nickel deposits towards production jointly or through third parties.
The strategic alliance does not apply to the Santa Fe/Ipora joint venture which INV is actively pursuing with Teck Cominco Limited, nor the exploration properties in the immediate vicinity. It will apply to all other Brazilian nickel properties currently held by INV, including the Aviao optioned property and any future properties acquired or staked that have been introduced and/or developed jointly with Amazonia during the term of this agreement, which is initially to December 31, 2006 but can be extended by mutual agreement.
INV is actively conducting exploration work in Brazil with Amazonia and its team of senior geologists and technicians under the direction of Marco Tulio, Exploration Manager and Jo o Antonio da Silva, Nickel Exploration Manager who was formerly in charge of the development drilling program at Onca Puma for Canico. The overall exploration program is supervised by INV’s regional consultant, Roberto Pereira, who brings extensive geological and geophysical experience from BHP. The synergies encompassing INV’s technical, financing and commercial capabilities and Amazonia’s exploration expertise and extensive contact network within the Brazilian mineral sector, are expected to leverage INV into a highly competitive player in the Brazilian nickel environment.
The formalization of the strategic alliance, which includes the granting to Amazonia of a total of 200,000 INV stock options on an annual basis, is expected to provide added incentive for discovery on INV’s growing land position. INV’s collaboration with Amazonia has already been instrumental in bringing significant nickel properties to INV in Brazil. Since early 2006, INV’s 100%-owned land position has increased significantly and now totals over 230,000 hectares in more than forty separate areas. The exploration program accelerated following INV’s initial public offering in March 2006 with over $700,000 having been spent to June 30, 2006, including the first option payment on Aviao. The next stage of exploration will include a drilling program and, by year end, INV expects to have spent about $2 million on exploration on its 100% owned properties.
INV is focused on six main exploration areas as follows:
Santa Fe/Ipora Regional Properties: (5 targets totaling 28,000 hectares)
These properties are located within 50 km of the Santa Fe/Ipora properties. Ground magnetic surveys and geological mapping have been completed and drilling is planned for this month.
Pontalina/Crominia: (2 properties totaling 15,000 hectares)
Located to the southeast of the Santa Fe/Ipora properties, these properties have both nickel laterite and sulphide potential. Soil sampling, ground magnetic surveys and geological mapping have been completed. Pending results, drilling may be carried out later in the year.
Aviao: (Option totaling 10,000 hectares)
Located 55 km east of Falconbridge’s Araguaina nickel laterite discovery and adjacent to Falconbridge’s extensive holdings of over 500,000 hectares in the area, Aviao was optioned from CALTINS in June 2006. At Aviao, over 230 pits were completed by CPRM (Brazilian Geological Survey) in the 1970’s including extensive soil sampling, outlining zones of 0.5% to 1.0% nickel. Only very limited drilling was carried out previously. INV has optioned 100% of the property at a cost of US$8 million equivalent over five years. Having completed a detailed airborne magnetic survey, INV is currently conducting ground magnetic surveys, geological mapping and locating old pits. Plans are to begin drilling this month.
Goias, Para and Tocantins States: (180,000 hectares in 33 areas)
Goias: Comprises eleven properties totaling 45,000 hectares in an area trending north and northeast of the Santa Fe/Ipora deposits towards the producing Niquelandia nickel laterite mine owned by Votorantim. Several of these properties host zones of magnetic dark red soils. Soil sampling, ground magnetic surveys and geological mapping is in progress.
Para: Comprises seven properties totaling 35,000 hectares to the southwest of the Falconbridge Araguaina nickel laterite deposits. These properties also host large areas of red soil overlying ultramafic rocks. Geological mapping, stream sediment sampling and ground magnetic surveys are underway towards possible drilling programs later in the year.
Tocantins: South of Aviao, over 100,000 hectares has been staked in fourteen different properties. These targets are also nickel laterite deposits and initial geological work, magnetic surveys and soil sampling have begun on some of these holdings.
Details of Strategic Alliance
For the strategic alliance to apply to any particular property, Amazonia must introduce the opportunity and/or jointly develop the opportunity with INV. INV will then have 180 days to proceed and, should it elect to do so, Amazonia will conduct all exploration activities on INV’s behalf where INV is the operator. INV will assume all costs up to the feasibility stage and at feasibility Amazonia shall have the right to participate as to 15% of INV’s share of the property (or 30% in the case of direct shipping of nickel from deposits of less than 5 million tonnes) by reimbursing INV for costs and paying its proportionate share going forward. Should Amazonia elect not to participate, it shall have the right to a 0.75% to 2% sliding scale Net Smelter Return royalty on INV’s share of the property should the average nickel price be equal to US$3.50/lb or more at the time of election, or to a 5% Net Profit Interest royalty at a nickel price below US$3.50/lb.
INV is a Canadian mineral resource company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of nickel projects in Brazil. Its primary asset is an option to acquire, with partner and operator Teck Cominco Limited, a 75% interest in two advanced-stage nickel laterite deposits, the Santa Fe and the Ipora, in the Goias nickel camp of Brazil. At the end of June, 2006, the Stage 2 drilling program was about 75% complete – see press release of July 27, 2006 for the excellent progress being made at Santa Fe/Ipora. INV’s 100%-owned land position of prospective nickel properties in Goias, Para and Tocantins States now totals over 230,000 hectares. This includes the recently optioned Aviao property located 55 km from Falconbridge Limited’s significant Araguaia nickel laterite discoveries in Para State.
INV has a cash position of about $20 million and has 34.5 million outstanding shares. Effective the start of trading on July 6, 2006, the shares of the Company began trading under the stock ticker symbol “INV” on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties beyond the 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. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters, future price of nickel, changes in labour costs or other costs of production, failure of plant equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, possible variations in mineral grade or recovery rates and other general risks of the mining industry. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, refer to INV’s filings with Canadian securities regulators available on www.sedar.com or the Company’s website at www.nickelventures.com.