VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 11, 2012) - CaNickel Mining Ltd. ("CaNickel" or the "Company") (News - Market indicators) is pleased to report that the Company achieved positive EBITDA1 (earnings before interest, income taxes and amortization) of $0.4 million for the first quarter of 2012 ended March 31, 2012 ("Q1 2012").
Highlights of the operation results in Q1 2012 are summarized as follows:
- Achieved positive EBITDA of $0.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012 ("Q1 2012"). Net loss for Q1 2012 was $1.36 million, or ($0.00) per share compared to net loss of $5.96 million, or ($0.01) per share in the same period last year;
- Mined 60,518 tonnes of ores and milled 54,034 tonnes of ore to produce 1,062,056 pounds of nickel. For the same period last year, the Company has no mining and milling operations due to temporary shutdown;
- Sold 905,855 pounds of payable nickel at average selling price of $8.65 per pound for $7.8 million at an average cash cost of $8.02 per pound of payable nickel sold;
- Completed the phase I tailing management area construction;
- Achieved positive operating cash flow before changes in non-cash working capital1 with positive working capital of $1.3 million as at March 31, 2012 (December 31, 2011 - negative $26.3 million).
1 Non-GAAP Performance Measures
The Company uses certain non-GAAP performance measures in this press release, such as EBITDA, cash cost, operating cash flow before changes in non-cash working capital. These performance measures have no meaning within generally accepted accounting principles under IFRS and, therefore, amounts presented may not be comparable to similar data presented by other mining companies. The data is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The following are non-GAAP measures that the Company uses as key performance indicators. For detailed explanation on and the reconciliation to these non-GAAP measures, please refer to the Company's management discussion and analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2012.
Increase in loan facility with Hebei Wenfeng Industrial Group Limited ("Hebei Wenfeng")
In order to continue to fund the development and expansion projects at its 100% own Bucko Lake Mine, Hebei Wenfeng, the largest shareholder of the Company, has agreed to increase its current loan facility from US$5.0 million to US$15.0 million. The loan facility is expiring on May 28, 2014 and bears an annual interest rate of 10% and the Company is required to pay to Hebei Wenfeng a restructuring fee of 2% of the aggregate amount of any funds drawn down under the loan facility to reimburse Hebei Wenfeng for its out-of-pocket expenditures for arranging funds for the loan facility.
As Hebei Wenfeng is an insider of the Company, the transaction proposed above is a "related party transaction" pursuant to Multilateral Instrument 61-101 Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions, but minority shareholder approval is not required. The rules of the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") do not require the Company to obtain shareholder approval for the transaction. Notwithstanding this, the Company decided to present the proposed loan facility increase to the Company's minority shareholders for approval during the annual general and special meeting, which is to be held on June 11, 2012. Upon receipt of minority shareholders' approval, the Company will formalize the loan facility amending agreement with Hebei Wenfeng.
CaNickel Mining Limited, formerly "Crowflight Minerals Inc.", (News - Market indicators) is a Canadian junior mining company that owns and operates the Bucko Lake Nickel Mine near Wabowden, Manitoba. The Company also holds nickel, copper and Platinum Group Mineral (PGM) projects in the Thompson Nickel Belt and Sudbury Basin.
Advisory Respecting Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking statements under Canadian securities legislation. Forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to formalizing the loan facility amending agreement. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those risks of the Company described in its annual information form that is available under its profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.