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Fortune Minerals Secures Canadian Government Funding for NICO Project

Fortune Minerals Limited (TSX: FT) (OTCQB: FTMDF) has announced additional funding from the Canadian Government to advance its 100%-owned NICO Critical Minerals project.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) will provide up to C$7.5 million through the Global Partnerships Initiative (GPI), covering 75% of the costs for additional engineering and test work, totaling approximately C$10 million. This funding builds on the support from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), which provided US$6,380,555 (~C$8.74 million) under the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III award. In total, Fortune expects to receive around C$16.2 million from both governments.

About the NICO Critical Minerals Project

The NICO Project is a development stage asset in the Northwest Territories (NWT) with a planned mine and concentrator, along with a related hydrometallurgical refinery in Alberta. The Alberta Refinery will process concentrates from the NICO mine to produce cobalt sulphate, gold doré, bismuth ingots, and copper.

Fortune and Rio Tinto are assessing the feasibility of blending intermediate products from Kennecott smelter wastes in Utah with NICO Project process streams to enhance cobalt and bismuth production. This vertically integrated supply chain will ensure transparency, reliability, and adherence to Environmental Social Governance (ESG) standards, aligning with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

GPI Funding Utilization for the NICO Project

The GPI funding from NRCan will be allocated to three main tasks for the NICO Project:

1. Expanded test work to assess feed source variability and blending of Rio Tinto’s materials.
2. Feasibility Study sensitivity analysis of blending Rio Tinto feed sources at the Alberta Refinery.
3. Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) Study to enable equipment procurement and ensure cost certainty.

Statements from Key Figures

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, emphasized the importance of this investment for supply chain resilience and job creation, contributing to a sustainable Canadian economy.

Robin Goad, President and CEO of Fortune Minerals Limited, highlighted the necessity of vertically integrated domestic production to meet the growing demand for critical minerals required for the energy transition.

Benefits of the NICO Project

Fortune’s goal is to become a reliable cobalt producer for the North American lithium-ion battery industry. The NICO Project’s cobalt production will comply with the IRA, aiding U.S. electric vehicle customers in qualifying for tax credits. The project will also support the automotive and pharmaceutical industries with 12% of global bismuth reserves, providing a non-toxic alternative to lead.

Additionally, the NICO Project contains more than one million ounces of gold, which serves as a countercyclical co-product, mitigating critical mineral price volatility.

Fortune has invested over C$137 million to advance the NICO Project from an in-house discovery to a near shovel-ready project with a positive Feasibility Study and major permits in place for the NWT facilities.

For more detailed information about the NICO Mineral Reserves and technical details, refer to the Technical Report on the NICO Project.

About Fortune Minerals

Fortune Minerals Limited is a Canadian mining company focused on developing the NICO Critical Minerals project in the NWT and Alberta. The company also owns the satellite Sue-Dianne copper-silver-gold deposit located 25 km north of the NICO Deposit, which may provide additional mill feed for the NICO mill and concentrator.

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