Fortune Minerals produces premium battery-grade cobalt sulphate sample from NICO to support off-take discussions

BDO has been appointed as the Company's Auditor to reduce administrative expenditures

Issued Capital: 227,077,580

LONDON, ON, Jan. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX: FT) (OTCQX: FTMDF) ("Fortune" or the "Company") (www.fortuneminerals.com) is pleased to report that SGS Canada Inc. ("SGS") has produced a premium high purity cobalt sulphate heptahydrate sample from cobalt sulphate product previously produced for the Company in a pilot plant from concentrates originating from the NICO Gold-Cobalt-Bismuth-Copper deposit ore. This premium grade ultra-pure sample exceeds the chemical specifications for cobalt sulphate heptahydrate received from several large manufacturers of lithium ion batteries. SGS produced the sample to provide product for testing by a potential off-take customer. The sample was also produced to test minor changes to the process flow sheet the Company plans to utilize at its proposed refinery near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Fortune continues to advance discussions for off-take agreements for its cobalt product with potential customers to support project financing.

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NICO is a planned vertically integrated project comprised of a mine and concentrator in the Northwest Territories and refinery near Saskatoon where the Company plans to process concentrates from the mine to higher value products including gold, cobalt sulphate, bismuth metals and oxide, and copper. The cobalt market is now approximately 100,000 tonnes per annum and has had a compound average annual growth rate of approximately 6% over the past two decades. Most of this increase in consumption is attributed to the use of cobalt in high performance rechargeable batteries for portable electronic devices, electric vehicles and stationary storage cells. Batteries now account for 46% of cobalt demand – having increased from only 1% of the market in the mid 1990's. The battery market continues to expand with wider usage of portable electronic devices and growing popularity of electric vehicles. Significant growth in the market is also expected from stationary storage cells connected to intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar generators, and off-peak charging from the electrical grid. The Paris Agreement on climate change at COP21 and other environmental initiatives support the shift to electrification to reduce carbon-based greenhouse gas emissions.

The NICO deposit also contains a significant gold co-product and 12% of global bismuth reserves. Bismuth is a metal used in a broad range of industrial applications, particularly in the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors. It is also an environmentally safe replacement for lead which is subject to lead-toxicity concerns and legislation banning its use in potable drinking water sources and consumer products in some jurisdictions. Bismuth is replacing lead in solders, brasses, steel, aluminum and zinc galvanizing alloys, as well as paint pigments and ceramic glazes. The NICO project has already been assessed in a positive feasibility study and it has received its water license and land use permit following the environmental assessment approval in the Northwest Territories. The Saskatchewan refinery has also obtained environmental assessment approval.

Fortune is also pleased to announce that it has appointed BDO Canada LLP ("BDO"), Chartered Accountants, as auditors of the Company for the December 31, 2015 fiscal year. This change in the Company's auditors was made as a cost control measure to reduce administrative expenditures. A reporting package with respect to the change of auditors has been filed with the regulators and will be included in the management materials sent to shareholders for the next annual general meeting of the Company.

About Fortune Minerals

Fortune is a Canadian development stage mining company focused on advancing the vertically integrated NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project in the Northwest Territories and a related refinery the Company plans to construct in Saskatchewan. Fortune also owns the Sue-Dianne copper-silver-gold deposit located 25 km north of NICO and is a potential future source of incremental mill feed. Additionally, the Company maintains the right to repurchase the Arctos anthracite coal deposits in northwest British Columbia that were recently purchased by a provincial Crown corporation.

The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this press release has been approved by Robin Goad, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and CEO of Fortune, who is a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101.

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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 Company's plans to develop NICO and anticipated growth in the market for rechargeable batteries and the use of stationary storage cells. 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 Company's ability to arrange the necessary financing to continue operations and the development of 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 Company may not be able to arrange the necessary financing to continue operations, and that the Company may not be able to finance and develop NICO on favourable terms or at all and that the market for rechargeable batteries and the use of stationary storage cells may not grow to the extent anticipated. 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.

SOURCE Fortune Minerals Limited

For further information: Fortune Minerals Limited, Troy Nazarewicz, Investor Relations Manager, info@fortuneminerals.com, Tel.: (519) 858-8188, www.fortuneminerals.com

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