Mirabela signs 5 year off-take agreement with Norilsk Nickel



    
    TSX: MNB, ASX:MBN
    Ordinary shares outstanding: 129,784,100
    

    PERTH, Australia, Sept. 9 /CNW/ - Mirabela Nickel Limited (TSX: MNB, ASX:
MBN) is pleased to announce it has entered into a 5 year off-take agreement
with Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy. Norilsk will purchase 50% of the nickel
concentrate produced at Santa Rita until the end of 2014. The nickel
concentrate will be shipped to Norilsk's Harjavalta smelter in Finland.
    As part of the off-take arrangement, Norilsk has agreed to provide
Mirabela with a subordinated loan facility of US$50m. Norilsk has an option to
convert the subordinated loan to shares in Mirabela at a price of US$8.00 per
share, up to a maximum of 5 million shares (US$40m).
    "We are delighted to have secured Norilsk, the largest nickel producer in
the world, as an off-take partner for 50% of our nickel sulphide
concentrates," said Managing Director, Nick Poll. "The agreement with Norilsk
meets our expectations on net payments for nickel and various credits."
    The Company recently announced a separate 5 year off-take agreement with
Votorantim of Brazil for 50% of nickel concentrate produced, so off-take
agreements are now secured for 100% of nickel concentrate produced by the
Santa Rita project until the end of 2014.
    A total of US$100m in subordinated debt is being provided by the off-take
partners (US$50m each). This subordinated debt is an important part of the
Company's overall project financing strategy, particularly because it doesn't
carry the hedging requirements of the senior debt or the dilution of straight
equity.
    Production from Santa Rita is expected to start mid 2009 at a capacity of
18,500tpy of nickel in concentrate, increasing to 27,000tpy within the first
year of production. Construction of the project is now about 60% complete and
is on schedule.
    In accordance with ASX Listing Rule 3.10.3, we confirm that Norilsk is
granted an option to convert up to US$40m of subordinated loan to up to 5
million ordinary shares at a price of US$8.00 per share. The option is
exercisable at any time monies remain owing under the subordinated loan, to
the extent of the outstanding debt, in tranches of at least US$10m. The option
is granted in consideration of Norilsk entering into the subordinated loan
agreement. The option is not being granted to a class of security holders. The
5 million shares falls within the company's 15% placement capacity and
therefore shareholder approval is not required under ASX Listing Rule 7.1.

    
    Nick Poll                                           Craig Burton
    Managing Director                                   Corporate Director
    

    Background

    Mirabela Nickel Ltd owns 100% of the world class Santa Rita nickel
sulphide project and is listed on the Australian and Toronto stock exchanges.
With a JORC Indicated open-cut resource of 130mt grading 0.60% Ni for 780,000t
of contained Ni, Santa Rita is the largest nickel sulphide discovery
world-wide in the last 12 years.
    Construction of a 6.4 mtpa nickel sulphide concentrator commenced in
November 2007 and is currently 60% complete. The plant will produce 18,500 tpa
of nickel in a sulphide concentrate from one open-cut mine starting from mid
2009 increasing to 27,000 tpa by mid 2010. At this rate of production the
project will have a mine life of at least 20 years.
    Photos of the construction progress are available on the Company website
at: http://www.mirabela.com.au/projects_galleries.asp.





For further information:

For further information: Australia contact: Nick Poll or Craig Burton,
Telephone: +61 8 9324 1177, nickp@mirabela.com.au, craigb@mirabela.com.au;
Australia contact (media): Caroline de Mori, Purple Communications, Telephone:
+61 8 9485 1254 cdemori@purplecom.com.au; Toronto contact (media): Eric Tang,
Porter Novelli, Telephone: (416) 422-7200, eric.tang@porternovelli.com

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Mirabela Nickel Ltd.

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