Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX: FT) (OTCQB: FTMDF) (“Fortune” or the “Company”) (www.fortuneminerals.com) is pleased to announce that it has secured an additional extension to the option to purchase the JFSL Field Services ULC (“JFSL”) brownfield site in Lamont County, Alberta (see news releases, dated January 24, 2022, July 14, 2022, and October 3, 2022). Fortune plans to construct a hydrometallurgical refinery at this site for its vertically integrated NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper critical minerals project (“NICO Project”). The JFSL facility is a former steel fabrication plant located on 76.78 acres of lands in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland northeast of Edmonton and has 42,000 square feet of serviced shops and buildings adjacent to the Canadian National Railway. The JFSL site is also close to services, sources of reagents, and a commutable pool of engineers and skilled chemical plant workers to materially reduce capital and operating costs for the planned NICO Project development.
Pursuant to the option agreement, Fortune can acquire the JFSL site and facilities for C$5.5 million. The term of the option can be extended for up to six months by Fortune paying JFSL C$15,000 per month. JFSL’s has the right to solicit competing offers for the facility, subject to Fortune’s right to complete its purchase on the agreed terms by the end of the month for any extension period and/or Fortune’s right of first refusal to match the competing offer.
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The NICO refinery would process metal concentrates from the planned NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper mine and concentrator in the Northwest Territories (“NWT”) enabling Fortune to become a vertically integrated producer of cobalt sulphate needed to make the cathodes of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, portable electronics and stationary storage cells. The refinery would also produce bismuth ingots and oxide, an ‘Eco-metal’ used in the automotive and pharmaceutical industries and with growing demand as an environmentally safe and non-toxic replacement for lead in free-machining steels and aluminum, brasses and solders used in potable drinking water sources and electronics, ceramic glazes, radiation shielding, glass, ammunition, and fishing weights, and environmentally safe plugs to decommission oil and gas wells. The Mineral Reserves for the NICO deposit also contain more than one million ounces of gold, and copper as a minor by-product. The vertically integrated NICO Project is an advanced development stage critical minerals development asset that has already received environmental assessment approval and the major mine permits for the facilities in the NWT. The project has also been assessed in positive Feasibility and Front-End Engineering and Design (“FEED”) studies that will be updated to reflect the new refinery site and recent project optimizations.
For more detailed information about the NICO Mineral Reserves and certain technical information in this news release, please refer to the Technical Report on the NICO Project, entitled "Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for the NICO-Gold-Cobalt-Bismuth-Copper Project, Northwest Territories, Canada", dated April 2, 2014 and prepared by Micon International Limited which has been filed on SEDAR and is available under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com. The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been approved by Robin Goad, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortune, who is a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101.
About Fortune Minerals:
Fortune is a Canadian mining company focused on developing the NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper critical minerals project in the NWT and Alberta. Fortune also owns the satellite Sue-Dianne copper-silver-gold deposit located 25 km north of the NICO Deposit and is a potential future source of incremental mill feed to extend the life of the NICO mill and concentrator.
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This press release contains forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. This forward-looking information includes statements with respect to, among other things, the exercise by the Company of its option to purchase of the JFSL site, the successful construction and completion of the proposed hydrometallurgical refinery at the JFSL site, and the Company’s plans to develop the NICO Project, including the successful the development and construction of the planned NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper mine and concentrator. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management as well as certain assumptions at the date the information is given (including, in respect of the forward-looking information contained in this press release, assumptions regarding: the successful completion of the Company’s due diligence investigations on the JFSL site, the Company’s ability to secure the necessary financing to fund the exercise of the option and complete the purchase of the JFSL site, the Company’s ability to complete construction of a NICO Project refinery; the Company’s ability to arrange the necessary financing to continue operations and develop the NICO Project; the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals for the construction and operation of the NICO Project, including the planned NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper mine and concentrator and the timing thereof; growth in the demand for cobalt; the time required to construct the NICO Project; and the economic environment in which the Company will operate in the future, including the price of gold, cobalt and other by-product metals, anticipated costs and the volumes of metals to be produced at the NICO Project). However, such forward-looking information is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. These factors include the risks that the COVID-19 pandemic or global geopolitical situations may interfere with the Company’s ability to continue development of the NICO Project, the Company may not be able to complete the purchase of the JFSL site and secure a site for the construction of a refinery, the Company may not be able to finance and develop NICO on favourable terms or at all, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of required permits, approvals and agreements for the development of the NICO Project, including the related hydrometallurgical refinery, the construction of the NICO Project may take longer than anticipated, the Company may not be able to secure offtake agreements for the metals to be produced at the NICO Project, the Sue-Dianne Property may not be developed to the point where it can provide mill feed to the NICO Project, the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties and in the mining industry in general, the market for products that use cobalt or bismuth may not grow to the extent anticipated, the future supply of cobalt and bismuth may not be as limited as anticipated, the risk of decreases in the market prices of cobalt, bismuth and other metals to be produced by the NICO Project, discrepancies between actual and estimated Mineral Resources or between actual and estimated metallurgical recoveries, uncertainties associated with estimating Mineral Resources and Reserves and the risk that even if such Mineral Resources prove accurate the risk that such Mineral Resources may not be converted into Mineral Reserves once economic conditions are applied, the Company’s production of cobalt, bismuth and other metals may be less than anticipated and other operational and development risks, market risks and regulatory risks. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information because it is possible that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forms of forward-looking information will not be achieved by the Company. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise it to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.