International Nickel Ventures Corporation Reports 2008 Results and Provides Exploration Update
TORONTO, ON – March 12, 2009 – International Nickel Ventures Corporation (“INV” or “Corporation”) (TSX: INV) reports its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2008 and provides exploration update (see INV’s audited 2008 financial statements and MD&A filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Corporation’s web site at www.nickelventures.com).
Mr. Robert Bell, President and CEO, stated, “INV is well positioned financially due to the prudent cost cutting measures the Corporation has implemented during this period of market uncertainty. Management continues to prioritize exploration activities on INV’s properties while aggressively seeking out and evaluating advanced mineral exploration projects and business development opportunities.”
The Corporation recorded a net loss of $23,160,385 or $0.43 per share for the year ended December 31, 2008 (“2008”), compared with a net loss of $3,343,209 or $0.08 per share for the corresponding period ended December 31, 2007 (“2007”). The 2008 loss includes a write down of $13,569,306 in the Corporation’s investment in International Nickel Ventures Inc. (“INVI”) and a write off of mineral properties and deferred exploration of $5,136,136. General and administration expenses for 2008 were $2,166,884, compared to $1,982,280 for 2007. Interest income during the year totaled $661,562 which decreased by $358,725 from 2007. Cash flow from operating activities was a net outflow of $3,271,134 compared to a net outflow of $1,495,373 last year.
The cash balance at year end was $17.8 million, compared to $24.5 million at year end 2007; the decrease was mainly due to the Corporation’s exploration expenditures on its properties in Brazil and Canada. Working capital at the end of 2008 was $17.5 million compared to working capital of $23.8 million at December 31, 2007.
The Corporation provided notice to Teck Cominco Limited (“Teck”), its partner in the Santa Fé/Iporá project, that it elected not to fund its pro-rata share of expenditures with respect to the project. As a result of not funding INV’s share of the remainder of the Santa Fé/Iporá 2008 budget, the Corporation’s interest in INVI decreased from 27% to 26.6% as at December 31, 2008. Teck performed a review of the value of its investment in INVI during the fourth quarter and determined that the value of its investment declined. As a result, the Corporation has recognized a corresponding $13,569,306 impairment charge against the value of the Investment in INVI at December 31, 2008.
Mr. James Clucas resigned as Executive Chairman of the Corporation’s Board of Directors as of March 4, 2009. Mr. Clucas will remain on the Board of Directors of INV. The Board of Directors and management of INV wish to thank Mr. Clucas for his leadership throughout his management role with the Corporation.
The 2009 winter drill program at the Montcalm property, located near Timmins, Ontario commenced in late January and was completed in early March. The drilling tested 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 anticipated drilling nine holes totaling 2,000 metres. Due to issues with the availability of water, the program was reevaluated and six holes totaling 1,530 metres were completed. The results will be released when the drill assays have been received and interpreted. The untested targets remain of interest and may be drilled at a later date, pending a review and interpretation of the results of the winter program.
The Corporation continues to await the receipt of the permits required to commence drilling at the Itaporã gold project in Brazil.
The Corporation’s exploration and operating budget for 2009 is estimated at $4 million, including INV’s exploration programs at the Montcalm and Itaporã 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. The Corporation’s Brazilian and Vancouver offices have been closed in an effort to reduce the Corporation’s expenses.
The Corporation believes that, in conjunction with the funds on hand, it will have sufficient funds to conduct all of its currently planned business activities in 2009.
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 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 March 11, 2009 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 annual information form with Canadian securities regulators available on www.sedar.com or INV’s website at www.nickelventures.com.