SAGUENAY, QUEBEC - (February 19, 2019) - Arianne Phosphate (the “Company” or “Arianne”) (TSX VENTURE: DAN; OTC: DRRSF; FRANKFURT: JE9N), a development-stage phosphate mining company, advancing the Lac à Paul project in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Jean Fontaine to the Company’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Fontaine is the Founder and President of JEFO Nutrition Inc., a global leader in high-performance non-medicated nutritional solutions for animals. Founded in 1982, JEFO has successfully grown its business and its products are now marketed in 80 countries. Mr. Fontaine brings with an extremely successful and distinguished career.
“I understand what it takes to build a successful international company,” commented Jean Fontaine. “I am fully aware of the challenges that smaller companies face and believe, from what I have seen, that Arianne has the ingredients in place to become a success story. I look forward to bringing my expertise to the Board and working with management to influence this success. I also believe that my strong agricultural background and international network will help this happen.”
“Mr. Fontaine’s appointment has come at a very significant time for Arianne,” said Dominique Bouchard, Arianne Phosphate’s Executive Chairman. “Mr. Fontaine has a proven record of growing business through innovation, entrepreneurship and global market penetration. These skills will be a strong addition to the Board and overall direction of Arianne.”
In conjunction with Mr. Fontaine’s appointment to the Board, he has been granted 200,000 stock options. Each Option entitles the holder to purchase one common share of the Company until February 18, 2029 at a price of $0.40 per share, this being the closing price of the Company’s shares on the trading day preceding the date of grant. The Options are subject to a three-year vesting period under the Plan and the Policy and are also subject to regulatory approval.
The fourth quarter of 2018 was very significant for Arianne Phosphate as the Company successfully executed on significant milestones necessary to bring its Lac à Paul project into development.
During the quarter, Arianne executed two commercial offtake agreements (see press releases dated September 25, 2018 and December 13, 2018) demonstrating strong commercial interest in its phosphate concentrate. These agreements provide for premium pricing, acknowledging the superior quality of Arianne’s high-end, low-contaminant concentrate. These agreements are a significant step towards satisfying the financing requirements put forth by project lenders and, these discussions have progressed with significant interest. Arianne is also continuing negotiations with several other parties to reach similar offtake agreements so that it may satisfy the borrowing requirements put forth by the project finance banks. In parallel, Arianne is also engaged in discussions focusing on bringing in strategic partners and 2018 has seen an increase in both interest and activity on this front.
In October of 2018, the Port of Saguenay received approval for the construction of a maritime terminal on the north shore of the Saguenay River (see press release dated October 23, 2018) from which, ships will be loaded with Arianne’s phosphate concentrate for delivery to international markets. This associated with Arianne’s receipt of its Ministerial Decree [permit] for the mine and, a collaboration agreement with the Innu First Nations, have addressed major environmental and social acceptability requirements that pave the way forward for the development of the Company’s Lac à Paul project.
The year also saw Arianne reach an agreement with the Province of New Brunswick to explore the possibility of a phosphoric acid facility (see press release dated August 9, 2018) that would use the Company’s phosphate concentrate to produce downstream products. With grants in place, Arianne can move forward on a preliminary feasibility study surrounding the opportunity and make commercial decisions based on the report. If favorable, this opportunity could represent a substantial end-use of the Company’s product and allow for Arianne to become vertically integrated.
Lastly, the appointment of Mr. Fontaine to our board continues the trend of upgrading Arianne’s Board and Management. Mr. Fontaine’s appointment follows the appointment of Claude Lafleur to the Company’s board (see press release dated August 30, 2018) and the addition of Andrew Malashewsky as Arianne’s new CFO (see press release dated January 24, 2019). These additions continue to enhance the skills necessary for Arianne to proceed to construction.
“I am doubtful that most investors have closely followed Arianne’s progress or, are fully aware of what the Company has accomplished,” said Brian Ostroff, CEO of Arianne Phosphate. “As we know, early-stage mineral exploration is a very risky proposition and most companies outright fail to find economically viable deposits. Beyond this, even if a viable deposit is found, a project still requires favorable economics including demand for the underlying commodity, access to infrastructure, or the possibility of building it economically, a supportive population and, of course, all the necessary regulatory and permitting approvals. Over the years Arianne has done just that, taking it’s Lac à Paul project successfully through all these steps, de-risking it along the way. Today, the Company sits on one of the world’s most significant phosphate assets; permitted, economically viable and shovel-ready. How many people recognize this, I am not sure. The last step for Arianne is to continue to work with potential funders and partners and bring the asset into development; unlocking the tremendous social and economic benefit that comes with it.”
Aside from Arianne’s corporate developments, the macro environment improved through 2018. After a very difficult period (2012-2017) in which phosphate prices, and overall fertilizer prices declined substantially, we have seen a definite improvement. Despite lower prices for five years, demand for phosphate continued to grow annually and this continually improving demand has provided a strong foundation for the increase in prices that has been seen in 2018. For the year, phosphate prices have increased roughly 25% as the industry now looks to secure supply going forward and, many industry analysts believe that prices should continue to increase.
Jean-Sébastien David, P.Geo., Qualified Person by NI 43-101, has approved this release. Mr. David is also the Company’s Chief Operating Officer.
About Arianne Phosphate
Arianne Phosphate (“Arianne Phosphate Inc.”) (www.arianne-inc.com) is developing the Lac à Paul phosphate deposits located approximately 200 km north of the Saguenay/Lac St. Jean area of Quebec, Canada. These deposits will produce a high quality igneous apatite concentrate grading 39% P2O5 with little or no contaminants (Feasibility Study released in 2013). The Company has 105,803,943 million shares outstanding.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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Source: Jean-Sébastien David, C.O.O. Tel. : 418-549-7316 firstname.lastname@example.org
Info: Brian Ostroff, C.E.O. Tel. : 514-908-4202 email@example.com
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Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities regulations in Canada and the United States (collectively, “forward-looking information”). Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, anticipated quality and production of the apatite concentrate at the Lac à Paul project. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, or “believes”, or the negatives thereof 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 information is subject to be 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 information, including but not limited to: volatile stock price; risks related to changes in commodity prices; sources and cost of power facilities; the estimation of initial and sustaining capital requirements; the estimation of labour and operating costs; the general global markets and economic conditions; the risk associated with exploration, development and operations of mineral deposits; the estimation of mineral reserves and resources; the risks associated with uninsurable risks arising during the course of exploration, development and production; risks associated with currency fluctuations; environmental risks; competition faced in securing experienced personnel; access to adequate infrastructure to support mining, processing, development and exploration activities; the risks associated with changes in the mining regulatory regime governing the Company; completion of the environmental assessment process; risks related to regulatory and permitting delays; risks related to potential conflicts of interest; the reliance on key personnel; financing, capitalization and liquidity risks including the risk that the financing necessary to fund continued exploration and development activities at Lac à Paul project may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all; the risk of potential dilution through the issue of common shares; the risk of litigation. Forward-looking information is based on assumptions management believes to be reasonable at the time such statements are made, including but not limited to, continued exploration activities, no material adverse change in commodity prices, exploration and development plans proceeding in accordance with plans and such plans achieving their stated expected outcomes, receipt of required regulatory approval, and such other assumptions and factors as set out herein. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such forward-looking 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. Forward-looking information is made as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake to update such forward-looking information except in accordance with applicable