Fortune Minerals engages BNP Paribas to arrange NICO Project debt facility

    
    Important relationship with major bank with significant mine finance
    experience

    Issued Capital: 68,240,857
    

LONDON, ON, Oct. 21 /CNW/ - Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX-FT) ("Fortune Minerals" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has retained BNP Paribas to provide advice and financial services in connection with the arrangement of a US$ 200-250 million debt facility to finance the construction, start-up and operation of the Company's NICO Gold-Cobalt-Bismuth-Copper development in the Northwest Territories. Based in Paris, France, BNP Paribas is a world class financial institution and leader in global banking and financial services. The engagement with BNP Paribas contemplates that it would act as sole and exclusive "bookrunner" and lead arranger for this debt facility. The relationship with BNP Paribas represents a significant milestone in the evolution of Fortune Minerals and the development of the NICO project as a pending significant producer of gold and high-grade cobalt and bismuth metal co-products, and by-product copper cathode and nickel carbonate.

BNP Paribas has been reviewing data from Fortune Minerals' NICO Project for several months while it has been undergoing the first phase of environmental assessment for mine permitting. BNP Paribas has expressed its interest in working with Fortune Minerals based on the Company's strength of management and NICO's multi-metal profile, location and advanced stage of development. BNP Paribas will manage detailed due-diligence of: the Company, NICO front-end engineering, and the financial models, over the next few months while Fortune continues through the second half of the permitting process. The engagement does not constitute a commitment on the part of BNP Paribas to lend or commit to lend moneys, or to provide any other facilities in connection with the NICO Project. The establishment of the contemplated debt facility remains subject to additional due diligence, financial modelling, market conditions and various other factors.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is an AA rated financial institution, the largest in France, fifth largest in the banking industry worldwide, and the largest banking group in the Eurozone. BNP Paribas is one of the six strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. With operations in 85 countries BNP Paribas provides a full range of product and distribution capabilities, including a dedicated group specializing in providing debt solutions to the energy, metals and mining industries for project and structured finance. BNP Paribas is perennially a highly ranked market leader in global project finance and mine project finance, respectively, with a global syndication capability.

About the NICO Project

NICO is a proposed vertically integrated project to mine ores and process them to high value metal products. The NICO deposit is located in the southern part of the Northwest Territories, approximately 160 km northwest of the City of Yellowknife, 50 km north of the Tlicho community of Whati, and 80 km north of the highway to Edmonton, Alberta. The NICO mine will use a combination of open pit and underground mining methods to feed a conventional crushing, grinding and flotation mill at the site to recover metals in a bulk flotation concentrate. This concentrate will be trucked to the rail head at Hay River, Northwest Territories for delivery by rail to a refinery the Company will construct in southern Canada where it will conduct the refining process to produce gold doré, refined cobalt, bismuth and copper cathodes, and nickel carbonate. Fortune Minerals is in negotiations with landowners to purchase the property for this southern hydrometallurgical facility from a short list of sites in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and expects to announce the location in the next few weeks.

Fortune Minerals has already purchased the Golden Giant Mine buildings and equipment at Hemlo, Ontario from Newmont Canada Limited. These assets have been dismantled and are being stored at the Hemlo site for re-location to NICO upon receipt of the requisite permits. The NICO project has been assessed in a definitive feasibility study that shows an attractive rate of return for the development and has been successfully test mined and pilot plant processed to verify the mining and process conditions and reduce project risk.

About Fortune Minerals

Fortune Minerals is a diversified natural resource company with several mineral deposits and a number of exploration projects, all located in Canada. They include the Mount Klappan anthracite coal deposits in British Columbia, and the NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper deposit, the Sue-Dianne copper-silver deposit and other base and precious metals exploration projects in the Northwest Territories. Fortune Minerals owns the buildings and equipment from the Golden Giant Mine at Hemlo, Ontario, which have been dismantled for relocation to NICO. Fortune Minerals is focused on outstanding performance and growth of shareholder value through assembly and development of high quality mineral resource projects.

This press release contains forward-looking information. This forward-looking information includes statements with respect to, among other things, the establishment of the NICO debt facility referred to herein. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is given, and 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 inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of required permits and regulatory approvals and the timing and progress of the NICO project, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of such debt facility and/or other financing needed in the future, uncertainties related to metal recoveries and other factors. 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 them or revise it to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.

SOURCE Fortune Minerals Limited

For further information: For further information: Fortune Minerals Limited, Robin Goad, President - or - Lindsay Simmons, IR Coordinator, info@fortuneminerals.com, Tel.: (519) 858-8188, Fax: (519) 858-8155, www.fortuneminerals.com; Renmark Financial Communications, Dan Symons: dsymons@renmarkfinancial.com -or- Barbara Komorowski: bkomorowski@renmarkfinancial.com; Media Contact, François Trépanier: ftrepanier@renmarkfinancial.com, Tel: (514) 939-3989, Fax: (514) 939-3717, www.renmarkfinancial.com


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