INV Options Nickel Laterite Property in Tocantins State, Brazil
TORONTO, ONTARIO – (CCNMatthews – June 14, 2006) – International Nickel Ventures Corporation (“INV”)(TSX:NVC) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an option agreement to acquire 100% of the Aviao nickel laterite property in Tocantins State, Brazil from Calcario Tocantins Ltda (“CALTINS”), a private Brazilian limestone producer. The Aviao property comprises one exploration licence totaling 9,288 hectares and is located 55 km from Falconbridge Limited’s significant nickel laterite discoveries in Para State. In March, 2006, Falconbridge announced a preliminary inferred mineral resource for its Serra do Tapa and Vale dos Sonhos nickel laterite deposits of 73.3 million tonnes grading 1.5% nickel at a 1.0% nickel cut-off.
The Aviao property was identified through INV’s strategic partnership with Brazilian based Amazonia Mineracao (“Amazonia”), who has been engaged to explore for nickel on INV’s extensive 100% owned exploration properties in Brazil. Based on their preliminary visits to the Aviao property, Amazonia has determined that the property resides in the same geological setting of mafic and ultramafic rocks as recent discoveries by Falconbridge Limited in Para State. Falconbridge also holds much of the ground adjacent to the Aviao property. Amazonia plans to immediately launch an extensive exploration program on the Aviao property.
The Aviao property covers two adjacent and parallel north-south trending ultramafic zones 11 kilometers apart. Airborne geophysical maps indicate the presence of three magnetic anomalies, each measuring several square kilometers. Nickel laterite mineralization was first discovered on the Aviao property in the 1970’s by CPRM (Brazilian Geological Survey), which carried out further exploration work including soil sampling and pitting on a 400 x 400 meter grid for a total of 238 pits. Soil sampling identified multiple anomalies of over 0.1% nickel in areas 8 km and 3.3 km long respectively. A total of 939 channel samples were taken from the 238 pits. From these channel samples, 225 were assayed by X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), with over 95% returning grades between 0.5% to 1.5% nickel. No drilling was carried out by CPRM although CALTINS had carried out limited drilling on the property in late 2005 but not in areas regarded as prospective. Potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature. There has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource on the property to date and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the delineation of a mineral resource on the property.
The option payments totaling R$18.414 million for 100% of the Aviao property extend over five years and are payable in Brazilian $Real, equivalent to US$8 million at June 13, 2006 (Exchange Rate equals 2.3018). The first payment of R$575,450 (equivalent to US$250,000) was paid as of the effective date of the agreement of June 14, 2006. Subsequent payments are due at six month intervals over the five year period but INV has the right at any time to terminate the option agreement and not make any further payments.
While there is no work commitment required in the option agreement, INV plans to conduct a US$500,000 exploration program including ground magnetometer surveys, geological mapping, excavation of new pits in the vicinity of the old pits, and diamond drilling. INV will then assess these results to determine whether it will pay the next option payment of R$805,630 (equivalent to US$350,000) due December 14, 2006.
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 April 30, 2006, the Stage 2 drilling program was over one-third completed – see press release May 18, 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 120,000 hectares. INV also has a cash position of over $20 million and has 34.5 million outstanding shares.
For further information on the regulatory environment and mineral exploration industry in Brazil, please refer to the prospectus of INV dated March 13, 2006. This press release was prepared under the supervision of Mr. Al Spence, a “qualified person” within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties beyond the Company’s ability to control or predict which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. 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.