2010

FINANCIAL UPDATE OF THE OKA NIOBIUM PROJECT INDICATES TO CONTINUED ROBUST ECONOMICS

MONTREAL, QC, March 31, 2010 – Niocan Inc. (TSX: NIO) announced today an update of the capital and operating costs (“capex/opex”) for its Oka niobium project. A recent engineering and financial review by Met-Chem Canada Inc. (“Met-Chem”) of the capex/opex concluded to the enhanced economics of the Oka niobium mine project.

The Board of Directors of Niocan mandated Met-Chem in 2009 to update, for internal use only (not yet as per NI 43-101 reporting practices), the Oka niobium mine project economic feasibility studies of 1998 and 2000. The results of the Met-Chem update indicate improved economics of the initial studies, and this is despite the significant increases in the operating and capital costs in the comparable mining sector in the last decade.

The Met-Chem review was based on the same parameters as per the original project design of an annual production of 4,370 tonnes of ferroniobium equivalent to 6,263,600 pounds of contained niobium for a mine life of 17 years. The original plant included the paste backfill, a ferroniobium converter using aluminothermic process, but the recent review has added the costs for additional environmental measures as required by the Ministry of Sustainable Development Environment and Parks (“MSDEP”). The purpose of these measures was, among others, to reduce the potential impact of the mine dewatering on the surrounding farm lands water table and to add a fluorine element reject system.

Met-Chem estimated an expected increase of 71% of the 2009 dollar base project capex and an increase of 61% of the opex compared to the 1998 figures. However, in the interim, the price of FeNb has increased by over 300% in the international markets where Niocan would sell its product but a more representative price has been considered.

The economics remain sensitive to variations in capex and opex but are more impacted by the variations in revenue. Met-Chem has calculated an average price for ferroniobium (65% Nb contained) for the project Internal Rate Return (“IRR”) calculations. The price of ferroniobium over the last five (5) years was a running average of $16.77 USD per pound. The economics of the project at this aforementioned average price, without any optimization of the mining and metallurgical features, would yield after taxes IRR of 23%. If the FeNb average 2009 price of $21 USD per pound is applied, Met-Chem’s calculations give after taxes IRR of 34% for the project.

2000 2009
After taxes IRR 15%± 23-34%±

The updated analysis and results of the engineering and financial review of capex/opex completed by Met-Chem in 2009 cannot be relied upon since they were not performed in accordance with the requirements of NI 43-101. The Company believes that these results provide a conceptual indication of the financial potential of the project and are therefore relevant. The capex/opex studies of 1998 and 2000 cannot be relied upon since they were completed before the adoption of NI 43-101.
Niocan has also mandated KPMG in 2009 to update its 2004 socio-economic impact study of the Oka niobium project. The 2004 and the recent 2009 studies have been and are being used extensively to provide additional information to the Quebec government ministries and to stakeholders in the region of Oka. Niocan issued a press release dated March 17, 2010 which summarizes the results of KPMG’s 2009 update of this study.

The Company continues to request the delivery of the Certificate of Authorization from the MSDEP and management continues to make numerous representations and all necessary communications to stakeholders and government ministries to demonstrate the strong sustainable development aspects of the project. Niobium is classified a Kyoto Protocol metal because of it is weight saving in metallurgical and engineering applications. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted on December 11, 1997 and entered into force on February 16, 2005. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the EU for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. In October 2002, the Quebec National Assembly supported a unanimous motion for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol in Canada.

The Company plans to complete the bankable economic feasibility of the Oka niobium mine project as per NI 43-101 as soon as the certificate of authorization is issued by the MSDEP. The Company estimates that it would take approximately six months to finalize the bankable economic study, and that this update would follow the 1998 and 2000 detailed engineering work for the project. Niocan has already filed a recent Technical Report as per National Instrument 43-101 (which is available on SEDAR since March 15, 2010) on its mineral resources at Oka.

About Niocan
Niocan’s corporate mission is to become a significant scale ferroniobium producer, following the issuance of a Certificate of Authorization from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks for its Oka niobium property. Niocan`s assets include mining rights in two (2) properties: 48 claims covering 1604 acres as well as surface rights on 231 acres at Oka and the Hudson Bay Great Whale Iron property covering 17,098 acres.

On behalf of the Board of Directors
For more information, please contact
G. Bernard Coulombe
President, CEO
514-288-8506
514-843-4809 (fax)
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NIOCAN’S NIOBIUM MINE PROJECT RECONFIRMS POSITIVE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS FOR ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS OF OKA AND QUEBEC

MONTREAL, QC, March 17, 2010 – Niocan Inc. (TSX:NIO) has received a detailed report from KPMG which reviews and updates the Socio-Economic Impacts Study of November 2000, taking into account development since then, and new information and work done by the Company during this period. The considerations include new information related to update the project construction costs, operating costs, additional requests by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks (MSDEP), BAPE 167, BAPE 208 contents, Golder’s hydrogeological study in 2005 and new inputs from Quebec and Canada statistical data banks.

The KPMG’s report covers three aspects: The description of the project, the Company’s Socio-economic commitments and the economic impacts of the project. The Oka project is for a small underground mine extracting 2500 tonnes of ore per day and producing 4350 tonnes of ferroniobium per year, located in the Ste-Sophie range of Oka. The mine life is estimated at 17 years and the 6.4 hectares of agricultural land for the mine site will be restored to its natural state at the end of the exploitation of the ore bodies. The tailings (55%) are used to paste backfill the underground openings and the remaining limestone sand will be used to restore the old St-Lawrence Columbium abandoned mine site, thus adding 85 ha of land rehabilitation.

The Company’s commitments are significant to the community, including the management of the underground water table, the complete controls of any pollutants, radiation, gas, noise, dust, water discharge quality and the formation of an independent vigilance committee to monitor all such activities. The Company will also bring the aqueduct along the range of Ste-Sophie and build a water reservoir of 15 millions gallons to supply for irrigation water to the neighbors’ farms in case of summer draughts.

Niocan has visited and discussed at length with the individual property owners, which are farmers living in the Ste-Sophie range of Oka, between Route 344 and Montée St-Joseph (21 properties). They are located near the planned mine site up to 1,500 meters away. The Company discussed with these residents about compensations for future possible nuisance during the two (2) years of construction, and discussed the terms of conditional acquisition and/or customized arrangements to continue and to improve the agricultural vocation of their lands. Such cooperation was well received by these residents. The cohabitation and co-existence of traditional farming and modern ecological mining is being more appreciated by the Niocan project stakeholders and the residents of the region of Oka.

The direct economic impacts is the creation of 160 direct jobs where 20% are reserved for the Mohawks of Kanasetake. The average annual salary would be over $80,000 (2009 dollars) a year including anticipated fringe benefits. The project construction costs are estimated in excess of $180 million over a period of two years. The municipal taxes generated by the project are evaluated at least $3 million and the Quebec Government’s total taxes are estimated to reach close to $80 million throughout the life of the mine.

This study was done in order to better re-inform, on the project socio-economic impacts, the residents of Oka (town council, Ste-Sophie range farmers), relevant government ministries, the "Union des Producteurs Agricoles" and other stakeholders including the shareholders of Niocan.

The company plans to update the bankable economic feasibility of its Oka niobium mine project as per NI 43-101 immediately upon the issuance of the certificate of authorization by the MSDEP. Niocan has filed a Technical Report on its mineral resources for its Oka niobium property as per the requirements of National Instrument 43-101 and has also mandated Met-Chem to update, for internal use only (not yet as per NI 43-101), the costs of construction/production and the internal rate of return (CAPEX/ OPEX/ IRR) of this project.

About Niocan
Niocan’s mission is to become a ferroniobium producer as soon as possible, following the issuance of a Certificate of Authorization from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks for its Oka niobium property. Mining assets include mining rights in two (2) properties: 48 claims covering 1604 acres as well as surface rights on 231 acres at Oka and the Hudson Bay Great Whale Iron property covering 17,098 acres.

On behalf of the Board of Directors
For more information, please contact
G. Bernard Coulombe
President, CEO
514-288-8506
514-843-4809 (fax)
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LE PROJET DE MINE DE NIOBIUM DE NIOCAN RECONFIRME LES RETOMBÉES SOCIO-ÉCONOMIQUES POSITIVES POUR OKA ET LE QUÉBEC

MONTRÉAL, QC, 17 Mars 2010 – Niocan Inc. (TSX:NIO) a reçu le rapport commandé à KPMG qui a mis à date et révisé l’étude originale de novembre 2000 sur les retombées socio-économiques en prenant compte de nouvelles données provenant d’une revue interne sur les mises à date des coûts de construction et de production ainsi que des requêtes additionnelles du Ministère du Développement Durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) découlant des recommandations des BAPE 167, BAPE 208, de l’étude hydrogéologique de Golder en 2005 ainsi que les statistiques récentes du Québec et du Canada.

Le rapport KPMG porte sur trois aspects : La description du projet tel que défini par Niocan, les engagements de la compagnie envers le MDDEP et les retombées économiques de l’ensemble du projet tant au niveau de sa mise en oeuvre que de la période d’exploitation. Le projet est une petite mine souterraine de 2 500 tonnes par jour de minerai pour produire 4 350 tonnes par année de ferroniobium dans le rang Ste-Sophie d’Oka. La durée de la mine est estimée à 17 ans et occupera environ 6.4 hectares de terre arable qui sera restaurée à la fin de l’exploitation du gisement souterrain. Les résidus (55%) de l’usine de traitement serviront au remblayage des chantiers d’extraction du minerai et la balance de sable de calcaire va servir à remplir les fosses et à la restauration du site abandonné de l’ancienne mine de St-Lawrence Columbium; ainsi quelques 85 hectares de terrain sera réhabilité et ajouté à la culture dans le rang.

Les engagements de la compagnie sont nombreux mais particulièrement dédiés aux impacts possibles de l’abaissement local de la nappe phréatique et au contrôle total des polluants, de la radiation, des gaz, du bruit, des poussières, de l’eau d’exhaure et de la formation d’un comité indépendant de vigilance. La compagnie s’est engagée à amener l’aqueduc dans le rang et à construire un réservoir de 15 millions de gallons d’eau pour provisionner les bassins d’eau d’irrigation des maraîchers et pomiculteurs en cas de sécheresses durant l’été.

Niocan a revisité et discuté longuement avec presque tous les voisins immédiats, qu’ils soient agriculteurs ou simplement résidents du rang Ste-Sophie d’Oka, localisés depuis la Route 344 et la Montée St-Joseph; 21 propriétés en tout situées jusqu’à 1500 mètres du futur site de la mine. La compagnie a présenté des arrangements personnalisés aux résidants sur des compensations monétaires pour nuisance durant les deux (2) années de construction, les termes pour des acquisitions conditionnelles de propriétés de gré à gré et des conditions pour la continuité et même l’amélioration de la vocation agricole de leurs terres; programme de coopération qui fut bien reçu par ces résidents. La cohabitation harmonieuse de l’agriculture (maraîchers et pomiculteurs) et l’industrie minière écologique devient de plus en plus acceptable par les gens impliqués à Oka.

Les principales retombées économiques sont la création de 160 emplois directs dont 20% sont réservés aux Mohawks de Kanasetake. Le salaire annuel moyen serait de $80 000 incluant les bénéfices marginaux. Le coût de la construction est estimé à $185 M sur une période d’environ 2 ans. Les taxes municipales générées par le projet minier sont évaluées à plus de $3 M et le total des taxes au gouvernement du Québec va atteindre presque $80 M sur la durée de la vie de la mine.

Cette étude des impacts a été refaite expressément pour re-informer les résidents d’Oka, particulièrement le conseil municipal et les agriculteurs du rang Ste-Sophie, les ministères concernés au Québec, l’UPA locale et régionale et autres parties prenantes locales et régionales ainsi que les actionnaires de la compagnie.

La compagnie veut refaire l’étude de faisabilité (1999 et 2000) selon le Règlement 43-101 aussitôt que le gouvernement du Québec (MDDEP) aura émis le certificat d’autorisation. Niocan a publié le rapport technique sur la qualification des ressources minérales selon le Règlement 43-101 de sa propriété de niobium à Oka. Aussi, la compagnie a mandaté Met-Chem pour mettre à date les coûts de construction, de production et le rendement du projet original de production de ferroniobium pour usage interne seulement, mais pas encore selon le Règlement 43-101.

Au sujet de Niocan.
La mission de Niocan est de devenir un producteur de ferroniobium aussitôt que le Certificat d’Autorisation du Ministère du Développement Durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) sera émis. Les actifs miniers de la compagnie sont la propriété de niobium d’Oka qui comprend 48 claims sur 1604 acres et les droits de surface sur 231 acres ainsi que la propriété de fer de Grande Baleine qui couvrent 17,098 acres de claims.

Pour le conseil d’administration,
Veuillez contacter pour plus d’information,
G. Bernard Coulombe
Président, directeur général
514-288-8506
514-843-4809 (télécopie)
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NIOCAN PLANS TO REVISIT RARE EARTHS RECOVERY AT ITS OKA NIOBIUM PROPERTY

MONTREAL, QC, March 12, 2010 – In perspective of the improvement of the rare earth market, Niocan Inc. (TSX:NIO) had mandated in year 2000 J.R. Goode and Associates, Metallurgical Consulting to prepare a conceptual study on Niobium Refinery and Rare Earth Recovery Project for its niobium property in Oka. The study considered the processing of unleached pyrochlore concentrate to produce a high grade niobium product (about 99% pure), an intermediate grade tantalum product (about 80% grade), a semi-refined cerium oxide (95% grade) and a mixed rare earths product (about 80% total rare earths). In 2000 the market for rare earths was almost completely under the control of China and the project was not followed up.

Niocan’s pyrochlore concentrate at its Oka niobium property contains 52% Nb2O5 pentoxide of niobium, 0.28% Ta2O5 of pentoxide of tantalum and 13.2% of rare earths including 9% of Ce2O3 trioxide of cerium (Reference Analysis by Lakefield, reported by Jean-Claude Caron, Inc. Protec; October 14, 1998). These data are historic and cannot be relied upon until qualified under NI 43-101.
Niocan plans to update the bankable economic feasibility of its Oka niobium mine project as per NI 43-101 immediately after the issue of the Certificate of Authorization from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, and at this time, will include a process plant addition to extract the rare earths co-products along with a high grade pentoxide of niobium (Nb2O5). Niocan will publish on SEDAR March 15, 2010 a Technical Report as per NI 43-101 on its mineral resources for its Oka niobium property.

About Niocan
Niocan’s mission is to become a ferroniobium producer as soon as possible, following the issuance of a Certificate of Authorization from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks for its Oka niobium property. Mining assets include mining rights in two (2) properties: 48 claims covering 1604 acres as well as surface rights on 231 acres at Oka and the Hudson Bay Great Whale Iron property covering 17,098 acres.

On behalf of the Board of Directors
For more information, please contact
G. Bernard Coulombe
President, CEO
514-288-8506
514-843-4809 (fax)
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NIOCAN ADVANCES TOWARDS PLANS FOR THE CONCEPTUAL STUDY OF ITS GREAT WHALE IRON PROPERTY

MONTREAL, QC, February 22, 2010 – Niocan Inc. (TSX:NIO) today announced it has received positive preliminary metallurgical testing results for its iron ore property. Eleven (11) short boreholes were drilled in summer 2009 under Met-Chem Canada Inc (Met-chem) supervision, 9 boreholes on Deposit A and 1 borehole on respectively Deposits D and E. The preliminary metallurgical testwork realized on new core drilling, performed during 2009 by Corem laboratory under Met-Chem directives, indicates positive results and a quality grade concentrate with no contaminant. Based on metallurgical result obtained, Niocan is looking to interest a joint venture partner(s) in order to raise the funds to start a conceptual-scoping study to be completed in 2011. Once the project is started, the Company expects that it would take approximately three (3) calendar seasons to conduct this study.

The testwork on Deposit A (36% - 41% Fe mainly magnetite) responded well to low intensity magnetic separation and the first indication of the iron recovery are in the 90%+ with a percentage Fe in the concentrate of 65% to 68%. The testwork on Deposits D and E with coarser magnetic grains indicates similar pattern to reach liberation. At this stage it is anticipated that a high quality concentrate could be produced at industrial scale. It is worthy to mention that the potential contaminants in the concentrate such as phosphorous are low (0.05%) because it appears that they could be easily removed by magnetic separation.

The conceptual-scoping study would cost about approximately $ 6,000,000, and will include: preliminary environmental base line, stakeholders and native issues, geological mapping, diamond drill on deposit A (45DDHs, 13,000 meters), bulk sampling, additional metallurgical tests to better define the concentration and the pelletizing process as well as the preliminary Capex and Opex of this project.

The Great Whale Iron Property (GWIP) (17098 acres) is located 80 kilometers from the twin villages of Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui at the South East end of the Hudson Bay. Intensive exploration carried out in the 1960’s indicated an estimate of 942,000,000 tonnes from 3 open pit shells defined as Deposits A, D and E (still open at depth and laterally) of iron historical resources (Great Whale Iron Mine Limited for Belcher Mining Corporation Limited; November 1960 by L. M. Scofield). According to the compilation report prepared by Met-Chem on August 31, 2006, it is mentioned: “In the 1960’s, such calculation method was considered reliable. However today mineral resources or reserve calculations are generally based on mining software which are more robust and can perform 3D calculation. It will be necessary to twin some historic holes with new ones in order to establish a correlation between historic information and new ones before being able to use concentration tests indicator for new mineral resource or reserve estimates for compliance with NI 43-101’’.

Niocan has not established new drilling campaign and converted the past historical resource into mineral resources. The past historical resource is not considered as mineral resources or reserves under NI 43-101 and new drilling is needed. In addition, since no qualified person has performed sufficient work required to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves, Niocan is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves as defined in sections 1.2 and 1.3 of NI 43-101, and therefore, the historical estimate should not be relied upon.

The construction of a 250 kilometers road between Radisson (James Bay, LG2 hydroelectric project), and the twin villages at the discharge of the Great Whale River, is planned within the next 5-10 years by the Ministry of Transport of Quebec (News: Nunavick November 12th, 2009, Jane George). Credible information obtained by Niocan indicates that this road will pass at 3 kilometers South-East from Niocan’s GWIP Deposit A.

Niocan will also consider the suggestion made by a major Asian steel producer to produce pig iron instead of a 65 % Fe concentrate in pellets containing 35% sterile rock, for shipment all around the world; the electric power is abundant nearby (James Bay LG2), and the coal could be transported by rail to Moosonee, just across the Hudson Bay, to the Great Whale River.

Niocan will first concentrate its scoping-conceptual study on Deposit A (historical resources inside a design pit shell of 530,000,000T) before performing additional works on Deposit D (historical resources in a design pit shell of 145,000,000T) and Deposit E (historical resources in a design pit shell of 265,000,000T).

About Niocan
Niocan’s mission is to become a ferroniobium producer as soon as possible, following the issuance of a Certificate of Authorization from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks for its Oka niobium property. Mining assets include mining rights in two (2) properties: 48 claims covering 1604 acres as well as surface rights on 231 acres at Oka and the Hudson Bay Great Whale Iron property covering 17,098 acres.

On behalf of the Board of Directors
For more information, please contact
G. Bernard Coulombe
President, CEO
514-288-8506
514-843-4809 (fax)
Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.

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