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News Releases

News Releases

NovaCopper's Largest Shareholder Adds an Additional 5.2 million NovaCopper Shares Through Warrant Exercise

Electrum Group increases stake to 27%

January 2, 2013 - Vancouver, British Columbia - NovaCopper Inc. (TSX, NYSE-MKT: NCQ) ("NovaCopper" or "the Company") announces that it has been informed by NovaGold Resources Inc. (NYSE-MKT, TSX: NG) ("NOVAGOLD") that its largest shareholder, Electrum Strategic Resources L.P. ("Electrum"), has elected to exercise the entirety of its 31,337,278 NOVAGOLD share purchase warrants. Each NOVAGOLD share purchase warrant allows the holder to purchase one NOVAGOLD common share and one-sixth of a NovaCopper common share at an exercise price of CAD$1.479. These warrants were to expire January 21, 2013. The entire cash proceeds of this warrant exercise have been remitted to NOVAGOLD.

By exercising all of its NOVAGOLD warrants, Electrum has increased its holdings in the Company by 5,222,879 shares to 13,261,579 shares or 25.6% of the Company held directly and, Electrum and its affiliate GRAT Holdings LLC now hold, in the aggregate, 14,094,912 shares, or 27.2% of the Company. The total number of issued and outstanding shares of the Company has increased to 51,887,948 shares. The total number of fully diluted shares of the Company is now 62,986,812 (including 2,986,704 shares reserved for issuance in connection with the 2,121,319 outstanding NOVAGOLD arrangement options and the remaining NOVAGOLD share purchase warrants).

"We are extremely pleased to have Electrum and its affiliate increase their holdings in NovaCopper," said Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, President and Chief Executive Officer of NovaCopper. "We are looking forward to advancing our high-grade and growing Arctic and Bornite projects in Alaska, one of the most favorable mining jurisdictions in the world."

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

About NovaCopper

NovaCopper Inc. is a base metals exploration company focused on exploring and developing the Ambler mining district in Alaska. It is one of the richest and most-prospective known copper-dominant districts located in one of the safest geopolitical jurisdictions in the world. It hosts world-class VMS deposits that contain copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver, and carbonate replacement deposits which have been found to host high-grade copper mineralization. Exploration efforts have been focused on two deposits in the Ambler district -- the Arctic VMS deposit with ~7%1 copper-equivalent grades and the Bornite carbonate replacement deposit. At Bornite, drill hole RC11-187 contained 178 meters of 4.0% copper, including 34.7 meters of 12.0% copper. Both properties are located within NovaCopper's land package that spans approximately 143,000 hectares. NovaCopper has formed an alliance with NANA, an Alaskan Native Corporation and both companies are committed to developing the Ambler mining district in cooperation with the local communities. Our vision is to develop the Ambler mining district into a premier North American copper producer.

More information on the Company, its properties and its management team is available on the Company's website at www.novacopper.com.

NovaCopper Contact:

Patrick Donnelly
Vice President, Corporate Communications
patrick.donnelly@novacopper.com

604-638-8088 or 1-855-638-8088

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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements" (collectively "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation including the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, without limitation, statements relating to the future operating or financial performance of NovaCopper, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as "expects", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "potential", "possible", and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions, or results "will", "may", "could", or "should" occur or be achieved. These forward-looking statements may include statements regarding perceived merit of properties; exploration results and budgets; mineral reserves and resource estimates; work programs; capital expenditures; timelines; strategic plans; completion of transactions; market prices for precious and base metals; or other statements that are not statements of fact. Forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from NovaCopper's expectations include the uncertainties involving the need for additional financing to explore and develop properties and availability of financing in the debt and capital markets; uncertainties involved in the interpretation of drilling results and geological tests and the estimation of reserves and resources; the need for cooperation of government agencies and native groups in the development and operation of properties; the need to obtain permits and governmental approvals; risks of construction and mining projects such as accidents, equipment breakdowns, bad weather, non-compliance with environmental and permit requirements, unanticipated variation in geological structures, ore grades or recovery rates; unexpected cost increases, which could include significant increases in estimated capital and operating costs; fluctuations in metal prices and currency exchange rates; and other risk and uncertainties disclosed in NovaGold Resources Inc.'s Management Information Circular dated February 27, 2012 for the special meeting of securityholders held to consider the spin-out of NovaCopper Inc. filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, and NovaCopper's registration statement on Form 40-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and in other NovaCopper reports and documents filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time. NovaCopper's forward-looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections on the date the statements are made. NovaCopper assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements or beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors

This press release has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. Unless otherwise indicated, all resource and reserve estimates included in this press release have been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101") and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators which establishes standards for all public disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. Canadian standards, including NI 43-101, differ significantly from the requirements of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), and resource and reserve information contained herein may not be comparable to similar information disclosed by U.S. companies. In particular, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the term "resource" does not equate to the term "reserves". Under U.S. standards, mineralization may not be classified as a "reserve" unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. The SEC's disclosure standards normally do not permit the inclusion of information concerning "measured mineral resources", "indicated mineral resources" or "inferred mineral resources" or other descriptions of the amount of mineralization in mineral deposits that do not constitute "reserves" by U.S. standards in documents filed with the SEC. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. U.S. investors should also understand that "inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an "inferred mineral resource" will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimated "inferred mineral resources" may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies except in rare cases. Investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an "inferred mineral resource" exists or is economically or legally mineable. Disclosure of "contained ounces" in a resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations; however, the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute "reserves" by SEC standards as in-place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. The requirements of NI 43-101 for identification of "reserves" are also not the same as those of the SEC, and reserves reported by the Company in compliance with NI 43-101 may not qualify as "reserves" under SEC standards. Accordingly, information concerning mineral deposits set forth herein may not be comparable with information made public by companies that report in accordance with U.S. standards.

[1] CuEq basis calculated using the following metal price assumptions (in USD): $3.93/lb. Cu, $1,815/oz Au, $40.55/oz Ag, $1.08/lb. Pb, and $1.00/lb. Zn. and is based on grades of 4.05% Cu, 0.80 g/t Au, 59.55 g/t Ag, 5.81% Zn, and 0.97% Pb.

Calculation excludes any adjustments for metal recoveries.