TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 18, 2012) - CHAMPION MINERALS INC. (TSX:CHM)(OTCQX:CPMNF)(FRANKFURT:P02) ("Champion" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has signed a long-term agreement (the "Port Agreement") with the Sept-Îles Port Authority related to its planned 50 million tonne per year multi-user port facilities. The Port Agreement has an initial term of 20 years, renewable for up to four additional 5-year terms. The Sept-Îles Port Authority has committed to complete its planned port facilities by March 31st, 2014, which is approximately eighteen months ahead of the planned production start-up date for Champion's wholly-owned Fire Lake North Project. This agreement guarantees Champion ship-loading capacity at the Port of Sept-Iles for a minimum of 10 million tonnes of iron concentrate per year at preferential rates, using two ship loaders, each with a capacity of 8000 tonnes per hour. The Port Agreement also provides an opportunity to expand Champion's reserved annual tonnage in the event of potential future expansions of iron concentrate production from Fire Lake North.
In order to finance the estimated $220 million cost of the new facility, the Sept-Îles Port Authority required Champion and other potential end-users to fund a portion of the construction cost through a "buy-in payment". Champion's buy-in payment is $25,581,000 payable in instalments, with the initial instalment payable on signing and the final payment payable on July 1, 2013. The buy-in payment will constitute an advance on Champion's future shipping, wharfage and equipment fees.
The Port Agreement also includes a sliding-scale fee schedule for shipping, wharfage and equipment fees payable on Champion's iron concentrate shipped through the port facilities and a monthly "take or pay" fee based on 50% of reserved tonnage commencing from the date of completion of the port facilities.
Tom Larsen, Champion's President and CEO commented, "We are extremely pleased to announce this agreement with the Sept-Îles Port Authority which will substantially advance our goal to bring Champion's robust Fire Lake North project into production."
About Champion Minerals Inc.
Champion Minerals is an iron exploration and development company with offices in Montreal and Toronto, and is focused on developing its significant iron resources in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador. Champion holds a 100% interest in the Fermont Iron Holdings and a 44% interest in the Attikamagen Iron Property in Quebec and Labrador.
Champion's Fermont Iron Holdings, including the flagship Fire Lake North Project, are located in Canada's major iron ore producing district, in close proximity to five producing iron mines. The Fire Lake North Property is located immediately adjacent to and north of ArcelorMittal's operating Fire Lake Mine and 60 km to the south of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.'s Bloom Lake Mine in northeastern Quebec. Champion's team and advisory board includes mining and exploration professionals with the mine operations experience to build and commission the Fire Lake North Project into a producing mine.
Please visit Champion's website at www.championminerals.com.
Statements made in this news release that are "forward-looking statements" are not historical facts. Readers are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and that actual developments or results may vary materially from those stated herein.
This news release includes certain information that may constitute "forward-looking information" under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements about mineral resource estimates and planned operations at the Company's projects, including its Consolidated Fire Lake North Project. Forward-looking information is necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including the risks identified in Champion's annual information forms, management discussion and analysis and other securities regulatory filings by Champion on SEDAR (including under the heading "Risk Factors" therein). There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. All forward-looking information contained in this press release is given as of the date hereof and is based upon the opinions and estimates of Champion's management and information available to management as at the date hereof. Champion disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
This press release has been prepared by Champion Minerals Inc. and no regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.