NEWS RELEASE: PDAC Recommends Measures to Support the Canadian Mineral Exploration Sector in Pre-Budget Submission

Toronto, February 2, 2016 – In its pre-budget submission to the Government of Canada, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) outlines its priorities for Federal Budget 2016 to support Canada’s mineral exploration and development sector. The PDAC recommends the Government take action to improve the flow of capital to the junior exploration sector, and address the infrastructure deficit in northern and remote Canada.

“A healthy junior mineral exploration sector is vital to the continued prosperity of Canada’s minerals and metals industry—an industry that contributes 4% of GDP and employs over 375,000 workers across the country,” says PDAC President Rod Thomas. “Canada’s junior mineral exploration sector is world-class, and has made 70% of all discoveries in Canada over the last 10 years.”

While the minerals sector is a key driver of the Canadian economy, it currently faces challenges that threaten its ability to continue to be a source of economic growth.

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Magnesium mine promising jobs, diversity in Timmins – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – February 1, 2016)

A new mining project coming to Timmins has the capacity to create 1,000 local jobs and economically diversify the City With a Heart of Gold.

General Magnesium Corp. is set to start production this spring on a magnesium-talc mine that has an NI 43-101 resource estimate of close to 100 million tonnes, including 54,076,357 tonnes in the measured and indicated category, and 43,000,000 tonnes in the inferred category.

Last fall, following 16 months of due diligence, the company secured a multi-year, $4.9-billion deal with Hunter Douglas Metals, whose parent company manufactures aluminum blinds. Magnesium is a key component used as an alloy in manufacturing aluminum.

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Canadians see appeal in [Australian] Beta Hunt – by Jarrod Lucas (The West Australian – February 3, 2016)

Toronto stock exchange-listed Royal Nickel Corporation will take a controlling interest in the privately owned Beta Hunt mine near Kambalda in a $C7.5 million ($7.56 million) cash-and-scrip deal.

Royal Nickel will emerge with 67 per cent of Derek Fisher’s Salt Lake Mining, which acquired Beta Hunt for $10 million in 2013. Beta Hunt first operated in the 1970s and has the rare feature of nickel and gold resources in adjacent mineralised zones.

Nickel ore is delivered to BHP Billiton’s Kambalda concentrator, while gold is treated at St Ives, owned by South Africa’s Gold Fields, which holds the mining tenements at Beta Hunt.

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Royal Nickel diversifies with gold, copper acquisitions – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – February 2, 2016)

In a bid to break out of a depressed market for junior miners in general and nickel projects in particular, Royal Nickel Corp. is transforming itself into a gold and copper producer.

The Toronto-based company has spent years touting the potential of its Dumont nickel project in Quebec, but the steep decline in the price of the metal has deterred potential backers. As a result, Royal Nickel has yet to generate revenue and its share price has faded in line with the fortunes of its namesake product.

On Monday, it struck off in a new direction when it announced it was acquiring a stake in Salt Lake Mining, an Australian nickel and gold producer, as well as all of Vancouver-based VMS Ventures Inc., part-owner of a copper mine in Manitoba.

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Roosen: Osisko’s Drinking from a “Fire Hydrant” (Global Mining Observer – December 2015)

A smelter, a town, these are the obstacles that Osisko hits reviving old gold camps in Canada.

The Horne gold project in Quebec, which sits 2.5km below an industrial park in the town of Rouyn-Noranda, is overlooked, misunderstood and one of the best gold properties in Canada, Osisko Gold’s chairman Sean Roosen told Global Mining Observer in an interview on Wednesday.

Horne is owned by Falco Resources, one of a rising number of companies backed by Osisko and its Quebec-based mine-building team. It has a 2.8m gold resource and is targeting 5m ounces, after drilling that ended last month, including 109m grading 3.1 grams per tonne.

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Junior miner takes B.C. to court over land transfer – by Iain Marlow (Globe and Mail – February 1, 2016)

A junior miner with offices in Vancouver and Beijing is taking the government of British Columbia to court over a treaty-related transfer of land to a First Nations group that the company says should concern all resource companies in the province.

China Minerals Mining Corp. and its subsidiary Cassiar Gold Corp. have filed a petition with the Supreme Court of British Columbia that seeks to reverse a portion of the B.C. government’s transfer of Crown land near the Yukon border in northern B.C. to the Kaska Dena Council.

The transfer was done through an incremental treaty agreement, an arrangement in which the province can grant treaty-like benefits to First Nations groups in advance of a formal modern treaty – a process that could take many years in a province where most First Nations never signed treaties.

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Canada’s Royal Nickel turns producer with two acquisitions – by Susan Taylor (Reuters Africa – February 1, 2016)

TORONTO Feb 1(Reuters) – Canada’s Royal Nickel Corp , capitalizing on discount asset prices as commodity markets swoon, announced two cash and stock acquisitions on Monday that transform the mine developer into a cash-generating nickel, copper and gold producer.

Royal Nickel Chief Executive Mark Selby said the company will acquire a 67 percent stake in Australia’s privately-held Salt Lake Mining Pty, in a deal worth C$7.7 million, and 100 percent of Vancouver-based VMS Ventures Inc, in a separate transaction worth C$11.4 million.

Salt Lake Mining owns the Beta Hunt Mine, a low-cost nickel and gold mine in Western Australia. VMS’s main asset is a 30 percent stake in Reed Mine, a Manitoba copper mine that is 70-percent owned and operated by HudBay Minerals.

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Exploration at standstill: prospectors – by Rick Owen (Kirkland Lake Northern News – December 14, 2015)

KIRKLAND LAKE – A Northern Prospectors’ Association member is involved in a process that includes the Wabun Council and the provincial government, in an attempt to coming to some sort of resolution that will allow prospectors back to work in the bush.

John Rapski has mineral claims that fall within Wabum Council’s traditional land, and he has been consulting for an extended period of time, to try and get access to explore his mineral claims. Currently, he is still being held on the sidelines instead of prospecting and exploring for new mineral finds.

Rapski said the problem is the Wabum Council wants prospectors to sign the same agreement that would apply to mining corporations and this doesn’t work for prospectors. He said if a prospector sighns the agreement they are personally libel and the agreement doesn’t look after the individual prospector.

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NEWS RELEASE: Transition Metals Acquires Advanced Stage Ni-Cu-PGM Projects

Sudbury, January 25, 2016 – Transition Metals Corp. (XTM – TSX.V) (“TMC” or “the Company”), is pleased to announce the acquisition of all of the former exploration and development assets of First Nickel Inc. The purchase includes approximately 1,100 hectares of leased and patented mining and surface rights property and 7,591 hectares of mining claims, including projects with defined historical NI 43-101 nickel, copper and platinum group metal (PGM) resources located in the Sudbury and Timmins areas.

The properties were purchased pursuant to an asset purchase agreement between the Company and the court-appointed Receiver of First Nickel Inc. (the “Receiver”). The Receiver has obtained a vesting order from the court and confirmation of closing is expected on or about January 25, 2016.

The Company has agreed to pay consideration of $100,000 cash and 980,392 common shares of the Company at a price per share of $0.102, representing a value of $100,000 based on the 20 day trading weighted average share price.

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Economic downturn hits B.C. mining exploration hard – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – January 22, 2016)

Rob McLeod’s IDM Mining Ltd. raised $2.6 million at the close of the year to advance its Red Mountain project in British Columbia’s northwest, making it one of the bright lights on an otherwise gloomy horizon for the province’s mining exploration sector.

Typically a powerhouse presence in Vancouver’s downtown business community, mining exploration is headed into the fifth year of a brutal downturn in mining overall that has vaporized the market value of companies, making venture capital almost non-existent for grassroots exploration.

“If you had asked me last year, I would have said how bad it was in January 2015,” McLeod said. “It’s even worse this year — it’s full-blown capitulation.”

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Four ways to fix the ‘broken’ TSX Venture Exchange – by Peter Koven (National Post – December 29, 2015)

The TSX Venture Exchange has real problems. Liquidity is drying up. Listings are declining. Hundreds of listed companies have almost no money and no apparent way to create shareholder value. Competition from both new and established rivals is growing.

And the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index is hitting humiliating new lows on a regular basis. It fell below 500 points for the first time on Dec. 14, down a mind-boggling 85 per cent from its record high in 2007.

None of these facts will come as a shock to investors who, for the most part, are avoiding this exchange like the plague. But the meltdown has finally reached a stage where TMX Group Inc. acknowledges that it is time to take action.

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[Abitibi Royalties] Aiming to be the Uber of mining – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – December 25, 2015)

Abitibi Royalties CEO Ian Ball is aiming to transfer Uber’s successful business model to the rough world of mining

At 31, Ian Ball became one of the youngest mining company presidents on Bay Street. But he didn’t just work at any old metals exploration company in the rugged, aging industry.

It was McEwen Mining, which operates in four countries, has 1,700 employees and owns a market cap approaching $1 billion. His boss was none other than legendary gold mining magnate Rob McEwen, who famously turned Red Lake in Northern Ontario into a massively successful, well, gold mine.

Still, the go-getter had been there about 10 years and was itching to spread his wings, despite being the protégé of one of the most recognized people in the business.

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Commentary: How to revive exploration in Manitoba – by Stephen Masson (Northern Miner – December 23, 2015)

Creation of vast parks would create “wilderness ghettos”

The opportunities related to mining and exploration are enormous in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but mineral exploration in these two provinces is decreasing, and our industry will need to see changes if we are to expect improvement.

Across the country, although there are some exceptions such as Fission Uranium’s uranium discovery in Saskatchewan and Balmoral Resources’ nickel find in Quebec, the lack of exploration activity by junior companies has resulted in a fall-off in discovery rates.

Without discoveries, mines rapidly approaching the end of their life will not be replaced, and our once-vibrant mining camps and towns will go into decline, and new mining camps will not be founded.

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Fission Uranium nears landmark $82-million investment from state-owned Chinese giant CGN Mining Company Ltd – Peter Koven (National Post – December 22, 2015)

Fission Uranium Corp. is closing in on a landmark deal with a Chinese company that would represent China’s first direct investment into a Canadian uranium firm.

Fission and state-owned CGN Mining Company Ltd. have signed a letter of intent for CGN to acquire a 19.9 per cent stake in Fission for $82.2 million. The two sides also plan to enter an offtake agreement in which CGN would buy uranium output from Fission’s Patterson Lake South (PLS) property in Saskatchewan.

Companies often sign letters of intent that never turn into firm deals, but Fission chief executive Dev Randhawa said it is “highly likely” this transaction will close next month. CGN announced the deal publicly on Monday, and it put the money in trust with Fission’s lawyers, he added.

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Ontario pledges to grow mining exploration industry over next 10 years (CBC News Sudbury – December 14, 2015)

On the heels of a scathing report by the province’s auditor general in recent weeks, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines says it’s making some changes.

The province has released a renewed mineral development strategy that aims to grow the exploration industry over the next decade — and has announced an investment of $5 million towards exploration work by junior mining companies.

The investment is needed, says the executive director of the Ontario Prospector’s Association. “The main thing with the exploration industry’s needs is that we need to be able to raise money,” Garry Clark said.

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