Company investing capital to improve safety and mine operating efficiencies
Issued Capital: 194,578,180
/NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES/
LONDON, ON, Oct. 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX: FT) (OTCQX: FTMDF) ("Fortune" or the "Company") (www.fortuneminerals.com) announces that it has received US$ 25 million and closed the purchase of a 100% interest in the Revenue Silver Mine ("RSM") in southwest Colorado, U.S.A. through its wholly-owned subsidiary Fortune Revenue Silver Mines, Inc. With the transition of ownership of the RSM now complete, Fortune has accomplished its goal of becoming a producing mining company with two organic development assets to grow the business.
Fortune received the US$ 25 million installment from the previously reported US$ 35 million production pre-pay facility from Lascaux Resource Capital Fund 1 LP ("Lascaux") (see Fortune News Release dated August 20, 2014). The second tranche of US$ 10 million is expected to close on October 16, 2014. Proceeds from this financing were used to fund the RSM acquisition, including amounts owing to the previous owner of the mine, make investments in the mine to improve operations, and provide working capital. The metal prepay facility is to be repaid from a fixed schedule of metal shipments from the RSM to Lascaux, plus interest over an amended five-year term. The facility includes a six-month grace period as Fortune completes the mine commissioning. New York-based KLR Group, LLC acted as advisor to Fortune in connection with this transaction.
Robin Goad, Fortune's President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "Our ability to arrange financing and close this purchase of the Revenue Silver Mine in a challenging capital market is a testament to our team. We look forward to completing the changeover of operations and are delighted to welcome the employees of the mine to Fortune as we continue with the ramp up to 400 tons per day and cash flow from operations."
Mike Romaniuk, Fortune's Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer remarked, "We are excited about the transition of ownership at the Revenue Silver Mine, and in keeping with our corporate values, safety is a top priority and major focus area during the transition period and for the life of the mine. As we continue improving site safety systems and processes, we look forward to establishing our own operating record with MSHA and build upon our relationships with the local regulatory authorities and community."
Fortune is pleased to report that a number of capital improvements are underway at the RSM to improve safety and realize efficiencies at the mine to meet production objectives. These include drilling a 460 metre deep / 2.45 metre diameter raise bore from the surface to improve mine ventilation and provide a secondary escape way for emergency egress at the back of the mine. This raise will also be used as an ore pass to access high-grade mineralized material contained in surface stockpiles located at the top of the mountain, which will be used as incremental mill feed during the ramp up to full production. Fortune is also driving a 300 metre long decline ramp to access the 100 Level of the mine where there are developed stopes with broken muck from previous test mining and undeveloped stopes with higher grade mineralized material. Scaling, bolting track and ventilation improvements have also been made to improve safety and tramming capacity in the main haulage tunnel. Mill performance is being improved with the installation of new higher capacity pumps, modifications to the crushing and grinding circuits, and installation of a thickener to improve tailings filtration capacity.
Prior to completing the acquisition of the RSM, Fortune entered into an amending agreement with the current owners of the RSM and related assets, including Silver Star Resources LLC, Star Mine Operations LLC and Revenue-Virginius Mines Corporation (collectively, "the Vendors") to acquire the assets under more attractive terms. Pursuant to the amending agreement, Fortune paid the Vendors US$ 15.5 million from the proceeds of Tranche 1 of the Lascaux facility, and has agreed to pay a further US$ 3 million upon receipt of the second tranche plus 17,744,000 common shares of Fortune. The issuance of the shares is subject to the approval of a majority of disinterested shareholders of the Company. Prior to the amendment, Fortune was required to pay the Vendors US$ 10 million upon receipt of the second tranche of the Lascaux facility. The agreement was amended to make funds available for the capital improvements to the mine and for working capital.
Fortune also entered into an amending agreement with the Vendors and RVM Holdings Inc. ("RVM"), the previous owner of the mine. Pursuant to this amending agreement, Fortune paid US$ 4 million to RVM from the proceeds of Tranche 1 of the Lascaux facility instead of two installments of US$ 1.5 million on October 1, 2014 and US$ 3 million on October 1, 2015, collectively totalling US$ 4.5 million.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of any of the securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act"), or the securities laws of any state of the United States and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to or for the account or benefit of a U.S. Person or a person in the United States (as such terms are defined in Regulation S under the U.S. Securities Act) unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or pursuant to an exemption from such registration requirements.
About the Revenue Silver Mine:
The RSM is an operating high-grade, underground silver mine with a 400 ton per day mill and concentrator located in an underground excavation. The mine is situated on 146 patented and unpatented mining claims, totaling approximately 1,095 acres in southwest Colorado, 11 km southwest of the town of Ouray and 490 km southwest of Denver. The RSM is an historic producer that operated between 1876 and 1912 by Caroline Mining Co. and had production estimated at approximately 15 million ounces of silver before the mill burned and the mine closed. The RSM is located in the prolific Sneffels silver mining district where there are many past producers. Fortune believes there is very good potential to identify additional resources on the mine property and in the district generally.
About Fortune Minerals:
Fortune is a diversified North American mining and development company that owns and operates the Revenue Silver Mine in Colorado. The Company is developing the vertically integrated NICO gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project that is comprised of a proposed mine and mill in Canada's Northwest Territories ("NT") that will produce a bulk concentrate for shipment to a refinery in Saskatchewan for processing to high value metal and chemical products. Fortune is also developing the Arctos anthracite metallurgical coal project in British Columbia and owns the Sue-Dianne copper-silver-gold deposit and other exploration projects in the NT. Fortune is focused on outstanding performance and growth of shareholder value through assembly and development of high quality mineral resource projects.
The disclosure of scientific and technical information contained in this press release has been approved by Robin Goad, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortune Minerals Limited, who is a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101.
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 anticipated completion of the second tranche of the metal prepay facility from Lascaux described herein, the proposed increase in the production rate at the RSM, the potential to identify additional resources in the area of the RSM and the proposed development of the NICO and Arctos projects. 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 complete the second tranche of the Lascaux financing, to repay Lascaux from production at the RSM, to increase production at and identify additional resources near the RSM and to complete the development of the NICO and Arctos projects). 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 inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the risk that the Company may not be able to complete the second tranche of theLascaux metal prepay facility; unexpected technical delays and associated timing delays in the ramp-up of the RSM and associated production of silver and other metals; the risk that the Company may not be able to establish increased resources near the RSM; the risk that the Company may not be able to arrange the necessary financing to complete the NICO and Arctos projects; the risk that operating and/or capital costs may be materially higher than anticipated; the risk of decreases in the prices of relevant commodities; potential loss of key personnel; potential discrepancies between actual and estimated production; potential discrepancies between actual and estimated mineral resources or between actual and estimated metallurgical recoveries; potential labour shortages; the risk of mining accidents; the risk of changes in applicable laws or regulations; uncertainties with respect to the timing and receipt of all necessary permits; and other factors. In addition, the risk factors described or referred to in Fortune's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2013, which is available on the SEDAR website, should be reviewed in conjunction with the information contained in this news release. 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, Robin Goad, President, or Troy Nazarewicz, Investor Relations Manager, [email protected], Tel.: (519) 858-8188, www.fortuneminerals.com; Renmark Financial Communications, Barbara Komorowski: [email protected], or Farialle Pacha: [email protected], Montreal Tel: (514) 939-3989, Toronto Tel. (416) 644-2020, www.renmarkfinancial.com