PE-backed First Nickel completes debt refinancing transaction

Canadian mining company First Nickel Inc has closed a deal to refinance its debt obligations. The refinancing includes the issue of shares to U.S. private equity firm Resource Capital Funds (RCF) to satisfy obligations under a US$10 million convertible loan facility, as well as an increase in the principal amount of a term loan with RCF to US$15.5 million. The deal also increases the principal amount of a term loan with Canadian private investment firm West Face Capital to US$12.5 million. Based in Toronto, First Nickel owns and operates the Lockerby Mine in the Sudbury Basin of northern Ontario. RCF is currently the company’s largest shareholder.

PRESS RELEASE

First Nickel Completes Debt Refinancing

TORONTO: March 12, 2015. First Nickel Inc. (“First Nickel”, “FNI” or the “Corporation”) (TSX: FNI) announces that its previously announced transaction to refinance all of the Corporation’s outstanding debt obligations (the “Debt Refinancing”) became effective today. The Debt Refinancing includes the issuance of 624,150,000 common shares to Resource Capital Fund IV L.P. (“RCF IV”) in full satisfaction of FNI’s outstanding obligations under the US$10 million convertible loan facility with RCF IV, an increase in the principal amount of the term loan with Resource Capital Fund V L.P. (“RCF V”) to US$15.5 million (the “RCF V Loan”), an increase in the principal amount of the term loan with West Face Long Term Opportunities Global Master L.P. (“West Face”) to US$12.5 million (the “West Face Loan”), as well as the extension of the maturity date of the RCF V Loan and the West Face Loan to December 30, 2016.

Certain proceeds from the RCF V Loan and the West Face Loan were used to pay out the outstanding balance under the US$18 million revolving credit facility (the “BNS Facility”) with The Bank of Nova Scotia, and the BNS Facility was subsequently terminated.

The Debt Refinancing was approved by shareholders at a special meeting of shareholders of the Corporation held on March 11, 2015.

About FNI

FNI is a Canadian mining and exploration company. FNI’s mission is to be the most dynamic North American emerging base metal mining company in which to work and invest and to be respected in the communities in which it operates. FNI owns and operates the Lockerby Mine in the Sudbury Basin in northern Ontario, which reached full production during 2013 and is expected to produce approximately 13 million pounds of contained nickel and approximately 7 million pounds of contained copper in 2015, providing a foundation from which to grow the Corporation.

FNI’s shares are traded on the TSX under the symbol FNI.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Thomas Boehlert
First Nickel Inc.
President & CEO
T: 416 362 7050 x 225
E: tboehlert@fnimining.com

Alfred Colas
First Nickel Inc.
Vice President & CFO
T: 416 362 7050 x 224
E: acolas@fnimining.com

Photo courtesy of First Nickel Inc