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UPDATE 1-Niocan gets buyout offer; CEO resigns
January 13, 2011 / 4:25 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Niocan gets buyout offer; CEO resigns

* Says largest shareholder Nio-Metals made offer

* Forms special committee to evaluate offer

* CEO Bernard Coulombe resigns

* Appoints Hubert Marleau interim CEO

* Shares soar 55 pct, at year-high

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Nio-Metals Holdings LLC, the largest shareholder in Niocan Inc NIO.TO, has proposed to buy out the company, even as Augyva Mining Resources Inc AUV.V said it intends to make an offer to acquire the junior rare earth mineral explorer.

Niocan Shares were trading up 55 percent at a year-high of $0.87 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Niocan, which owns and develops niobium property in Oka, Quebec, said it has formed a special committee of independent directors to evaluate Nio-Metals’ proposal.

Nio-Metals Holdings has a 42 percent stake in the company, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Niocan also said its Chief Executive Officer Bernard Coulombe, who has a 5 percent stake in the company, resigned for personal reasons and that Hubert Marleau was appointed interim CEO.

On Wednesday, mineral explorer Augyva Mining Resources Inc AUV.V said it intends to make an offer to acquire all of Niocan’s shares for cash or stock, or both. [ID:nASA01DGG]

Interest in rare-earth miners and explorers soared after China, which currently mines 90 percent of the global supplies, clamped down on exports of minerals, prompting supply concerns. (Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca in Bangalore; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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