International Nickel Ventures Corporation Provides 2009 Outlook and Exploration Update
TORONTO, ON – February 5, 2009 – International Nickel Ventures Corporation (“INV” or “Corporation”) (TSX: INV) is pleased to provide an exploration update and guidance on the Corporation’s 2009 operating budget. The Corporation’s unaudited cash balance as of December 31, 2008 was approximately C$17.8 million. The Corporation’s exploration and operating budget for 2009 is estimated at C$4 million, including INV’s planned exploration programs at the Montcalm (Ontario, Canada) and Itaporã (Goiás State, Brazil) properties, business development expenditures to seek out, identify, evaluate, and if warranted acquire an interest in advanced mineral exploration projects and the Corporation’s general and administrative costs.
Drilling has commenced on the Montcalm property, located near Timmins, Ontario. The drilling will test a number of ground electromagnetic conductors that occur on the property, within the four kilometres of the interpreted strike extension of Xstrata Nickel’s Montcalm nickel mine host rocks. The planned program anticipates drilling nine holes totalling 2,000 metres at an estimated cost of C$450,000. Further funds will be allocated if positive results warrant additional exploration work on the property.
At the Itaporã gold project, located in Brazil, the Corporation is still awaiting the receipt of the required permits to commence drilling. Upon receipt of the permits, INV will begin the planned drill program of six holes totalling 1,200 metres at an estimated cost of C$300,000.
As a result of INV’s February 2008 flow-through common share offering, INV is required to incur approximately C$3.2 million in Canadian Exploration Expenses (“CEE”) prior to December 31, 2009. As at December 30, 2008, INV had incurred approximately C$1.7 million in CEE expenditures, therefore, the Corporation is required to spend an additional approximate C$1.5 million in CEE expenditures prior to December 31, 2009. In addition to the planned CEE expenditures on the Montcalm property, the Corporation is evaluating a number of Canadian exploration opportunities to satisfy its total CEE expenditure requirements.
The Corporation has provided notice to Teck Cominco Limited, its partner in the Santa Fé/Iporá project, that it has elected not to fund its pro-rata share of expenditures with respect to the project. Although management believes that its investment in the Santa Fé/Iporá project continues to be the underpinning asset of the Corporation, given the market uncertainty, management and the Board of Directors are focused on preserving the Corporation’s treasury. The effect of not funding INV’s share of the remainder of the Santa Fé/Iporá 2008 budget and the proposed 2009 budget, will result in dilution of the Corporation’s interest in International Nickel Ventures Inc. but is not expected to have a material effect on its indirect ownership percentage of the project.
The Corporation continues to conserve cash and lower operating costs. The Brazilian and Vancouver offices have been closed in an effort to reduce the Corporation’s expenses. The Corporation is committed to allocating its cash resources prudently and is well positioned to withstand the current market uncertainties. The Corporation will continue to evaluate and prioritize its ongoing projects and to seek out new promising business opportunities and outstanding advanced exploration targets.
INV is an international mineral resource company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of base and precious metal projects in Brazil and Canada. Currently, INV’s primary assets are: (1) the advanced-stage Santa Fé-Iporá nickel laterite deposits located in Goiás State, Brazil; (2) the Montcalm nickel-copper property located contiguous to Xstrata Nickel’s operating nickel mine in the Timmins, Ontario area; (3) its nickel-copper-precious metals properties located in the ‘Ring of Fire’ area in northern Ontario; (4) its nickel-copper sulphide properties and gold properties, located in Brazil and (5) an option/joint venture agreement with Votorantim Metais Níquel S.A. on all but two of INV’s nickel laterite exploration properties located in Brazil. For further information on the Santa Fé-Iporá properties, please refer to the Technical Report of March 10, 2008, entitled “43-101F1 Technical Report On The Santa Fé And Iporá Nickel Laterite Properties In Brazil for International Nickel Ventures Corp.” which details all QA/QC procedures and interpretation of the exploration data and a summary description of the geology and is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Please also refer to INV’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis dated November 10, 2008 and other technical reports on INV’s website at www.nickelventures.com to view additional details relating to the properties.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to variety of risks and uncertainties beyond 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. In this news release there is no guarantee that any drill targets or economic mineral deposits will be found on INV’s properties. Forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievement of INV to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, risks related to the actual results of current exploration activities, conclusions of economic evaluations, uncertainty in the estimation of mineral resources, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, future prices of nickel and other minerals, economic and political stability in Canada and Brazil, environmental risks and hazards, increased infrastructure and/or operating costs, labour and employment matters, and government regulation. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors, refer to INV’s most recent annual information form with Canadian securities regulators available on www.sedar.com or INV’s website at www.nickelventures.com.