|By Marketwired .||
|March 12, 2014 07:07 AM EDT||
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 03/12/14 -- First Nickel Inc. ("FNI" or the "Company") (TSX:FNI) today provides commentary on recent nickel price increases and improved price forecasts, based on industry feedback from the Prospectors and Developers Association conference ("PDAC") held in Toronto from March 2nd to 5th, 2014.
Wood Mackenzie's principal nickel analyst, Andrew Mitchell, presented analysis regarding nickel production and demand growth at the PDAC and provided a long term price outlook. His assessment included an increase in the long term price of nickel related to the Indonesian ban and commencement of a supply shortfall earlier than previously anticipated. He stated that he believes an incentive price of US$11.10 per pound of nickel is required to justify further profitable investments in new nickel projects, and that the supply of nickel is expected to fall short of demand and could be in a deficit of close to 600,000 tonnes by 2030. Nickel has increased in value by approximately 12%, from US$6.32 per pound on December 31st, 2013 to US$7.07 per pound as of market close on March 11th, 2014. The improvement in the nickel price, combined with the weakening of the Canadian dollar by approximately 4% in the same period, represents a significant improvement in the price of nickel in Canadian dollar terms.
First Nickel is Canada's only publically traded producing junior nickel mining company. The Company successfully achieved 2013 nickel production targets at the Lockerby mine, located in Ontario's Sudbury basin, and expects to increase nickel production by between 5% and 17% in 2014, as disclosed in a press release on January 16, 2014 which is available on the Company's website (www.firstnickel.com) and on SEDAR.com.
First Nickel has positioned itself to benefit from expected higher metal prices thanks to the cost saving measures and improved efficiencies that were implemented in 2013 and continue to be a focus at the Lockerby Mine. First Nickel continues to mine and develop the Lockerby deposit, which was originally acquired from Falconbridge in 2005 and produced approximately 12.8 million lbs of contained nickel and 7.5 million lbs of contained copper in 2013. The Lockerby Mine is one of the highest-grade nickel operations currently in production in the Sudbury Basin.
Mr. Thomas M. Boehlert, President and CEO of FNI, commented, "Improving nickel market dynamics are positive for First Nickel. Higher prices result in higher revenue and an improved price outlook allows the Company to consider options to extend mine life at Lockerby. The Company continues to focus on its key objectives which include maximizing the value of the Lockerby mine, protecting balance sheet liquidity, and building the asset base through acquisitions of base metal assets with the support of our major shareholders, Resource Capital Funds and West Face Capital."
To learn more about the Company please visit www.fnimining.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @FNI_Mining.
FNI is a Canadian mining and exploration Company. The Company's mission is to be the most dynamic North American emerging base metal mining Company in which to work and invest and to be respected in the communities in which it operates. FNI owns and operates the Lockerby Mine in the Sudbury Basin in northern Ontario, which reached full production during 2013 and is the expected to produce approximately 14 million pounds of contained nickel and approximately 7 million pounds of contained copper in 2014, providing a foundation from which to grow the Company. More than half of FNI's common shares are held by institutional investors. FNI's shares are traded on the TSX under the symbol FNI.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements contained in this news release may contain forward-looking information about FNI. Forward-looking information can often be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate", "believe", "continue", "budget", "forecast", "estimate", "schedule", "expect", "goal", "intend", "target", "potential", "objective", "may", "plan" or "will" or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology. Forward-looking information may include, but is not limited to: the continued operation of the Lockerby Mine; expectations of obtaining financing in the near term; future financial or operating performance of the Company and its projects; the future price of metals; the long term supply and demand for nickel; continuation of exploration activities; mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates; the realization of mineral resource estimates; costs of production and key supplies; capital, operating and exploration expenditures; forecasts of sales and production; costs and timing of the development of new and existing deposits; costs and timing of future exploration; the requirements for additional capital; government regulation of mining operations; environmental risks, reclamation expenses and/or title disputes or claims.
By its nature, forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, realization of mineral resources, performance or achievements of the Company, financial position or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Accordingly, actual events may differ materially from those implied by any forward-looking information. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information, which speak only as of the date the statements were made and readers are also advised to consider such forward-looking information while considering the risk factors set forth in the management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2012 under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties" and under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2012. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and such forward-looking information, except as required by applicable law.