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Infrastructure Materials Corp. Optimistic About Cement Market Conditions for Blue Nose Project

RENO, Nev., Dec. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Infrastructure Materials Corp. (TSX-V:IFM) (OTC Pink:IFAM) (the "Company") is optimistic about recent trends in the United States cement market that position the Company's Blue Nose Project to become a significant supplier of cement grade limestone to the western United States. Since the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, U.S. cement market metrics have been substantially depressed due in large part to diminished demand resulting from the fall in residential housing starts. With less than a month left until the New Year, 2014 is shaping up to be the second consecutive year that economic conditions should surpass 2008 levels. This has created renewed excitement and focus for the Company's plans to commercialize its Blue Nose Project.

The Blue Nose Project, which includes 40 mineral claims covering approximately 826 acres, is located 90 miles (145 km) northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and is situated 6-10 miles (9.6 – 16 km) from a Union Pacific rail line. To date, the Company has completed three phases of drilling totaling nearly 30,000 feet (9144 m), including grid drilling to provide the data to calculate a block resource. Initial resource estimates for the Blue Nose Project consist of 168,349,800 tonnes of indicated and 23,097,000 tonnes of inferred cement grade limestone (contains CaO). Reference is made to the table below for further details of the resource breakdown and to the Canadian National Instrument 43-101 report posted on SEDAR at http://sedar.com/DisplayCompanyDocuments.do?lang=EN&issuerNo=00032039.

In 2010, the Company commissioned an independent market study on the United States cement market (prepared by Railroad Industries Inc. of Reno, Nevada) which presented several encouraging forecasts for cement demand growth over the balance of the decade and for the market's ability to absorb additional regional production. Below is a list of areas regional to the Blue Nose Project and their forecast cement demand growth by the year 2021:

  • Southern Utah along the I-15 corridor: expected cement demand growth of 80%.
  • Inland Southern California: an average growth rate of 31%.
  • Western Arizona: an average growth rate of 28%.
  • Inland Northern California: an average growth rate of 28%.
  • Northern Utah and Boise metro areas: an average growth rate of 24%.
  • Southern Nevada: an average growth rate of 20%

This list illustrates that regional cement demand is forecast to trend up over the next several years. The Railroad Industries Inc. study identifies the opportunity that a developed Blue Nose Project would have in these market conditions:

"(Infrastructure Materials Corp.) has many opportunities to gain a portion of the growing market share due to reduced capacity from plant closures, environmental regulation effecting competitors' costs, and a marketing strategy that attracts customers."

We note that the City of Las Vegas has no local cement supply. In the event that the Blue Nose Project begins production, it would be the closest supply of cement to Las Vegas in addition to being the newest and, potentially, most environmentally-friendly producer.

U.S. Housing Starts Recovery

In 2013 positive market factors finally culminated in a return of healthy demand for cement at a national level after a slow growth trend since the 2008 recession. Perhaps the most resounding bellwether for this economic turnaround has been the recovery of the housing market, which has historically represented approximately 30% of the demand for cement in the U.S. A review of California's housing starts offers a glimpse at the positive trend toward recovery since 2008. Referring to the table below, an important point to note is that housing starts in 2013 surpassed those of 2008.

California Housing Starts (2008-2013) as Reported by the California Building
Industry Association
Year Single Family Units Multi Family Units Total Units
2008 33,050 31,912 64,962
2009 25,046 11,163 36,209
2010 25,526 19,236 44,762
2011 21,631 25,705 47,336
2012 27,558 32,080 59,638
2013 36,878 48,432 85,310

http://www.cbia.org/tasks/sites/cbia/assets/File/Historical%20Housing%20Starts%201954-2013.pdf

Data from 2014 also bolsters evidence that the California housing market is strong. A report released by Metrostudy in August of this year indicates that both Northern and Southern California have experienced positive gains exemplified by housing starts in the Riverside area rising 48.5% quarter on quarter and up 14% year-on-year. Additionally, housing starts in Northern California rose 92% in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter and up 19% year-on-year, a record high since the housing boom. (http://www.metrostudyreport.com/category/southern-california-market/)

The Las Vegas housing market offers additional evidence to support the assertion that conditions are favorable for cement in the U.S. This assessment is even more noteworthy considering Las Vegas' proximity to the Blue Nose Project and the significant impact that the subprime mortgage crisis had on this housing market. A study published by Metrostudy in August identified several positive factors. According to this report, house builder confidence was strengthened in 2014 as price levels approached 2008 levels. Additionally land development increased 81% in 2013, with 2014 offering similar results as lot development increased 76% in the second quarter of 2014 over the second quarter of 2013. (http://www.metrostudyreport.com/category/las-vegas-market/).

U.S. GDP Trend

To understand the scope of the positive recovery trend in the United States, it helps to examine the country's gross domestic product (GDP) over the same time period, as this metric is often considered a primary indicator used to gauge the health of a country's economy. The GDP represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific period of time. As shown below, economic growth has been positive since 2009 with growth remaining between 3% and 5%. Though numbers have yet to be finalized for 2014, this trend appears to be on pace as the U.S. Department of Commerce has released an advanced estimate reporting that GDP increased 4.6% and 3.9% for the second and third quarter, respectively. (http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm)

United States Gross Domestic Product (2008-2013) as Reported by the
World Bank
Year GDP % Change from
Previous Year
2008 $14,480,300,000,000
2009 $14,720,300,000,000 1.7%
2010 $14,417,900,000,000 -2.1%
2011 $14,958,300,000,000 3.7%
2012 $15,533,800,000,000 3.8%
2013 $16,244,600,000,000 4.6%

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp

U.S. Cement Metrics

The impact that these positive economic indicators have had on cement as a commodity offers a similar upward trending pattern. As seen below, cement consumption and pricing fell dramatically post-2008. On the apparent consumption side, levels continued to fall until 2011 at which point consumption began to increase. Apparent consumption has been experiencing growth since 2012. Cement pricing lagged in recovery in comparison, as prices fell from 2008 until 2012. However, cement prices have been rising since 2013 and are forecast by Cemex to increase in 2014 between 5% and 6%, which would result in a cement price between $95 and $97 per tonne. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/05/cemex-prices-idUSL1N0SV46P20141105)

U.S. Cement Metrics
(As reported by www.statista.com)
Year Apparent Consumption
(Tonnes)
Price (USD/Tonne)
2008 96,800,000 103.5
2009 71,500,000 99
2010 71,200,000 92
2011 72,200,000 89.5
2012 77,900,000 89.5
2013 82,100,000 91

http://www.statista.com/statistics/273367/consumption-of-cement-in-the-us/

The upward trend in U.S. apparent cement consumption and pricing corresponds to infrastructure spending in the U.S. as well. A study released by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in June of this year indicated that infrastructure spending in the U.S. was expected to reach $1 trillion annually by 2025, growing an average of 3.5% a year. (http://www.bnn.ca/News/2014/6/23/Global-infrastructure-spending-to-hit-9T-by-2025-Study.aspx)

Global Snapshot

A look at the global stage and recent efforts to politicize the need for infrastructure spending offers further support for the recovery of the cement market. At the most recent G20 Summit meeting held in Brisbane, Australia, leaders released a joint communiqué that set out a goal of increasing economic growth by an extra 2% through commitments and efforts that include increased infrastructure investment. Prior to the G20 meeting and its economic commitments, PWC discussed global infrastructure spending in their June 2014 study mentioned above. In it, PWC forecast that infrastructure spending, which stood at $4 trillion per year in 2012, would increase to $9 trillion per year by 2025. In total, PWC forecast that this would amount to $78 trillion in capital projects and infrastructure spending between the time of this study and 2025. World cement consumption is expected to record sustained growth during 2013-16. Forecast growth rates include 3.6% in 2013, 4.0% in 2014, and remain near 4.0% growth during 2015-2016.

Blue Nose Resource Calculation

The table below summarizes the resources for the Blue Nose deposit. The resources are broken into the rock units for low MgO (<5%) indicated materials, Low MgO (<5%) inferred materials, and high MgO (>5%) materials. In the table below LG is low grade CaO and HG is high grade CaO in the two units, a Lower White unit and the overlying Blue Nose unit, the latter generally having a moderate to high silica content.

Blue Nose Resource – Low MgO (<5%) Indicated
Rock Code Class 000's Tonnes % CaO % MgO % Na2O % SiO2 % Al2O3 % Fe2O3 % LOI
Lower White Indicated 143,232.6 54.78 0.71 0.01 2.55 0.46 0.22 40.81
Lower White – LG Indicated 7,414.5 40.24 0.92 0.01 6.48 0.69 0.47 31.62
Blue Nose – HG Indicated 17,702.7 49.87 1.75 0.02 9.46 0.42 0.20 37.85
Subtotal Indicated 168,349.8 53.62 0.83 0.01 3.45 0.47 0.23 40.09
Blue Nose - LG Indicated 38,241.3 34.26 1.83 0.00 31.87 0.76 0.50 26.28
Total Low MgO Indicated 206,591.1 50.04 1.01 0.01 8.71 0.52 0.28 37.54
*Note: Blue Nose - LG may not be a viable cement product for blending due to high silica
Blue Nose Resource – Low MgO (<5%) Inferred
Rock Code Class 000's Tonnes % CaO % MgO % Na2O % SiO2 % Al2O3 % Fe2O3 % LOI
Lower White Inferred 18,242.5 54.60 0.79 0.01 2.56 0.45 0.21 40.95
Lower White – LG Inferred 505.2 47.21 1.03 0.03 12.56 1.03 0.68 35.86
Blue Nose – HG Inferred 4,349.3 50.01 1.54 0.02 8.51 0.45 0.20 38.77
Subtotal Inferred 23,097.0 53.57 0.94 0.01 3.90 0.46 0.22 40.43
Blue Nose - LG Inferred 4,659.0 35.64 1.98 0.00 32.37 0.76 0.48 27.93
Total Inferred 27,756.0 50.56 1.11 0.01 8.68 0.51 0.26 38.33
Blue Nose Resource – High MgO Indicated
Rock Code Class 000's Tonnes % CaO % MgO % Na2O % SiO2 % Al2O3 % Fe2O3 % LOI
Lower White Indicated 29.6 52.38 5.12 0.00 2.44 0.23 0.17 39.56
Lower White – LG Indicated 24.1 47.75 5.32 0.02 2.94 0.98 0.24 42.37
Blue Nose – HG Indicated 922.2 48.64 6.35 0.01 3.77 0.25 0.12 39.60
Subtotal Indicated 975.9 48.73 6.29 0.01 3.71 0.27 0.12 39.67
Blue Nose - LG Indicated 14,127.8 35.76 7.10 0.00 26.28 0.39 0.35 29.79
Total Indicated 15,103.7 36.60 7.05 0.00 24.82 0.38 0.34 30.43
*Note: Blue Nose - LG may not be a viable cement product for blending due to high silica
Blue Nose Resource – High MgO Inferred
Rock Code Class 000's Tonnes % CaO % MgO % Na2O % SiO2 % Al2O3 % Fe2O3 % LOI
Lower White Inferred 3.7 52.64 5.14 0.00 2.45 0.23 0.17 39.29
Lower White – LG Inferred 1.9 47.74 5.01 0.00 1.70 0.34 0.24 39.99
Blue Nose – HG Inferred 511.1 48.53 6.62 0.00 3.29 0.19 0.11 39.51
Subtotal Inferred 516.7 48.56 6.60 0.00 3.28 0.19 0.11 39.51
Blue Nose - LG Inferred 1,376.1 37.20 6.51 0.00 23.18 0.50 0.33 31.85
Total Inferred 1,892.8 40.30 6.54 0.00 17.75 0.42 0.27 33.94
*Note: Blue Nose - LG may not be a viable cement product for blending due to high silica

The reader is cautioned that the terms "resource," "indicated" and "inferred" are not terms recognized by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's (the "SEC") guidelines for disclosure of mineral properties, however, they are recognized defined terms under Canadian disclosure guidelines. Generally, "indicated" and "inferred" estimates do not rise to the level of certainty required by SEC guidelines. The mineralized material described in this press release is not considered a "reserve" as that term is used in the mining industry and in SEC disclosure guidelines.

Mr. John Pearson, an independently contracted geologist, and a Qualified Person as defined by Canadian National Instrument 43-101, reviewed and approved the technical disclosure on the Blue Nose deposit contained in this press release.

Infrastructure Materials Corp. is a Reno, Nevada based exploration stage company that is directing its efforts to the exploration and development, if warranted, of precious metal properties located in Nevada and cement grade limestone deposits in strategic locations in the United States.

For further information please see our public filings at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml or contact:

Mason Douglas, President and CEO
Phone: 866-448-1073
Email: info@infrastructurematerialscorp.com
or visit our website at
www.cementforthefuture.com or
www.infrastructurematerialscorp.com

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 press release.

This press release contains technical data concerning drilling results that are intended for persons who have expertise with respect to the interpretation of such data.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of U.S. securities laws. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate" and other similar words or statements to the effect that certain events or conditions "may", "have" or "will" occur. This press release also contains statements based upon historical records pertaining to our mineral claims that have not been verified by the Company. The term, "resource" is not a term that is recognized by SEC guidelines and does not rise to the level of certainty required by SEC guidelines. Forward-looking statements or references to historical records are based on the material in our possession, opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those stated or projected in this press release. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements or historical information unless specifically required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Source:Infrastructure Materials Corp.