|By Marketwired .||
|May 16, 2014 07:30 AM EDT||
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/16/14 -- Victory Nickel Inc. ("Victory Nickel" or the "Company") (TSX: NI) today announced that it has filed its financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2014. Commissioning of the 500,000 ton per annum frac sand processing facility in Seven Persons, Alberta (the "7P Plant") is continuing, and frac sand sales began during the first quarter. Given Victory Nickel's significant in-situ nickel resources, the Company remains encouraged by the fact that nickel was one of the best performing metals on the London Metal Exchange during the first quarter of 2014.
In March, 2014, Victory Nickel and its subsidiary Victory Silica Ltd. ("Victory Silica") announced that commissioning of the 500,000 ton per annum 7P Plant was underway and that frac sand sales had begun. Effective March 31, 2014 the 7P plant was still being commissioned and accordingly is not being depreciated. Any sales generated during the commissioning period are being offset against pre-operating expenditures. During the first quarter, sales totalled $274,000.
The construction and commissioning processes have been affected by the severe weather conditions experienced throughout Canada and the US this past winter. Not only was the 7P Plant site impacted, but so were Victory Nickel's suppliers.
"As an example, delivery of concentrated sand was delayed because rail companies were forced to reduce the number of cars pulled due to the impact the severe cold has on air brake performance, causing backups and delays in delivery of rail freight of all types," said Rene Galipeau, CEO. "At the 7P Plant site, frost penetrated to depths never before experienced and resulted in damage to gas lines and dryer gears, causing potholes and heaving of warehouse floors. Hopefully this is behind us and production can ramp up to the expected levels in the near-term. On the bright side, all forecasts suggest a strong 2014 for the fracking industry as activities return to normal following the annual spring break-up during which time fracking activity slows significantly."
"According to New York-based investment bank Cowen and Company, US frac sand pricing was up 4% in March and another 1% in April, marking the highest month in the index since January 2013 (see graph below). In addition, a weakening Canadian dollar and strengthening nickel price bode well for Victory Nickel's Minago nickel project," added Mr. Galipeau. "As of May 15, the nickel price on the London Metal Exchange was US$9.36. The IRR of the Minago project based on the Minago Feasibility Study ("FS") at the metal prices and US-Canadian dollar exchange rate on May 15, 2014 is 17.7%. At a discount rate of 8%, the net present value of the Minago project is approximately $322 million; this compares with an IRR of 22.4% at the FS Base Case prices."
About Victory Silica Ltd.
Victory Silica Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company and is charged with a phased plan to establish the Company in the frac sand market. In Phase 1, the Company has begun processing sand imported from Wisconsin at the 7P Plant and selling the processed frac sand to customers on a spot basis. The 7P Plant is well located in an area populated with fracking companies, its potential customers, and is within only a few hours' trucking distance of major oil or gas play well sites. Phase 2, which includes the construction of a concentrator in Wisconsin, is expected to reduce costs and assure security of sand supply through the control of a frac sand mine in Wisconsin. In Phase 3, the Company intends to construct a larger frac sand plant to process and distribute both imported and domestic sand, which may potentially, but not necessarily, include sand mined as a co-product of development at the Company's Minago project. The Company has already identified a site in Winnipeg, Manitoba for this purpose.
About Frac Sand
Frac sand is a proppant used in the oil and gas business as a part of the hydraulic fracturing process - a means of increasing flow to the wellhead. Frac sand must have particular characteristics including achieving certain levels of crush resistance, sphericity and roundness, and it is therefore a relatively rare commodity. Vast quantities of frac sand are consumed, and more is needed all the time, as shale gas and oil plays in Canada and the US rise to prominence.
About Victory Nickel
Victory Nickel Inc. is a Canadian company with four sulphide nickel deposits containing significant NI 43-101-compliant nickel resources and a significant frac sand resource at its Minago project. Victory Nickel is focused on becoming a mid-tier nickel producer by developing its existing properties, Minago, Mel and Lynn Lake in Manitoba, and Lac Rocher in northwestern Quebec, and by evaluating opportunities to expand its nickel asset base. Through a wholly-owned subsidiary, Victory Silica Ltd., Victory Nickel is attempting to establish a presence in the frac sand market prior to commencing frac sand production and sales from Minago.
Forward-Looking Information: This news release contains forward-looking information. All statements, other than statements of historic fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future constitute forward-looking information. This forward-looking information reflects the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things: uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs, production estimates and estimated economic return; the possibility that actual circumstances will differ from estimates and assumptions; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; failure to establish estimated mineral resources; fluctuations in commodity prices and currency exchange rates; inflation; recoveries being less than those indicated by the testwork carried out to date (there can be no assurance that recoveries in small scale laboratory tests will be duplicated in large tests under on-site conditions or during production); changes in equity markets; operating performance of facilities; environmental and safety risks; delays in obtaining or failure to obtain necessary permits and approvals from government authorities; unavailability of plant, equipment or labour; inability to retain key management and personnel; changes to regulations or policies affecting the Company's activities; the uncertainties involved in interpreting geological data; and the other risks disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the Company's annual information form dated March 31, 2014 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking information are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
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