TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 21, 2008) - Noront Resources Ltd. ("Noront") (TSX VENTURE:NOT) -
WINDFALL LAKE, URBAN TOWNSHIP, QUEBEC
Noront, the Company, is pleased to announce the successful completion of its 2008 underground access program (ramping) to further sample and assess several significant gold discoveries previously discovered in surface diamond drill programs by Noront and others at Windfall Lake.
The underground 1,432 meters of ramping and drifting, completed under a development contract with Entrepreneur Minier Monterie-Expert of Val d'Or, Quebec and GENIVAR Societe en Commandite of Val D'Or, Quebec as the supervising engineering firm was completed on time and within budget.
Noront has earned a 50% interest in the optioned property, where the F-11 and F-17 zones are located, from Murgor Resources Inc. ("Murgor") and Freewest Resources Canada Inc. ("Freewest") by having spent $4.0 million in total. Noront can earn an additional 10% interest, for a total 60% interest in the project by providing a positive feasibility study on the project (see press release dated February 5, 2007). Noront has 100% interest in the adjacent claim group to the south and southwest where the W3 zone was also accessed with the recently completed ramp.
The Windfall Lake Properties previously reported excellent gold grades in both surface sampling and diamond drilling during exploration leading up to the present program. Based only on surface exploration, it had been difficult to combine drill intersections into continuous zones that may be amendable to development. The recently completed underground program was designed to further sample and assess the F-11, F-17 and W3 (previously designated 100 zone) gold occurrences.
The underground program began with the ramp portal and initial 1,119 meters of the ramp, access and exploration drifts on the northern optioned Murgor and Freewest joint venture ground to the north. Subsequently the ramp was continued southerly into Noront's wholly owned property where an additional 313 meters of ramp, crosscut and drifts were accomplished by the mining contractor.
The total cost of the underground exploration program to date has cost approximately $12.5 mil. which is well within budget. The program was financed in advance by a $15.0 mil. flow through private placement in December, 2006 through the efforts of IBK Capital, the Company's financial advisors.
The company is indebted to the Province of Quebec, as through the latter's very effective exploration rebate program, approximately 35 percent of the total underground costs is being returned to the Company for more exploration and future benefits to our shareholders.
The underground program at the Windfall Lake property to date has included 55 meters of exploration drifts in mineralization and waste on the F-11 zone, 102 meters of exploration drifts in the F-17 zone and 55 meters of exploration drifts on the W-3 (formerly 100) zone. Sampling of the gold zones has consisted of muck, dump and chip sampling of each nominal 4.0m x 4.0m x 3.5m blasted round. Visible gold was observed in all 3 zones as was also experienced in the previous surface drilling programs.
Chip sampling of each round normally, will yield a fairly representative indication of gold grades in the mineralized zone, and is usually considered in mining to be most representative of the overall grade. In the Windfall Lake Deposit however, due to the known erratic nature of the gold distribution, and the fact that only 4 to 5 chip samples were taken every 9 meters (no chip samples were collected on night shift), the gold grades as estimated using chip samples were much lower when compared to the grades obtained from the muck samples. Visible gold was observed on joints and fractures running in many different directions and chip sampling was unable to estimate the contribution that this gold is making to the overall grade.
The muck sampling consisting of 15 samples selected on a prescribed pattern from scooptram buckets from each round was considered most reliable for indicating average gold grades. The muck samples were taken every round, as opposed to every other round for the chip samples. Any gold that was within structures lying obliquely to the predominant direction of the zones was better estimated using the muck samples.
The dump samples consisting of 8-10 per round are considered to be less reliable due to loss of fines by drying, washing by rain and sorting.
Samples were submitted to Bourlamaque Assay Labs in Val d'Or for fire assay using either AA or gravimetric analysis. Once the underground program was well underway, samples were also sent to Metanor's Bachelor Mill as the sample turnaround time was less. A strict quality program was in place consisting of the insertion of certified reference materials, blanks and duplicates to the sample stream both at Bourlamaque and at Bachelor. There were no problems encountered with the quality control results.
Considerable dilution in the muck sampling is experienced as the 4.0 meter-wide round exceeds likely minimum mining widths experienced during actual mining for production. Hence the average gold grades being stated below for the muck samples may well be lower than those possible in a mining environment employing strict grade controls. For any resource studies to be completed in the future at Windfall Lake very closely spaced drill holes will be necessary to ascertain an acceptable average grade estimate.
In the F-11 zone, at a vertical depth of 50 meters, the gold zone was exposed for a total horizontal length of 32.5 meters before it wandered into the drift walls. Average grades from the muck samples was 3.95 g/t gold over the exposed zone's length. The F-11 zone follows a lithologic contact zone causing a more consistent distribution of the gold values.
In the F-17 zone, at a vertical depth of 55 meters, the zone was exposed along the total 102 meter length of the horizontal drift. A 20 meter length along this zone averaged 2.34 g/t from the muck sampling. At F-17 the zone is fault bounded resulting in a more erratic distribution of the gold values with significant waste inclusions in the zone.
In the W-3 zone, on the Noront wholly owned claims, drifting for 55 meters along the zone at 100 meter below surface encountered sulphides over a total exposed length of 30 meters. All assays for samples taken from the W-3 zone todate are pending from the independent analytical laboratories. At the W-3, the zone follows a multiple set of cross-cutting fractures creating a very erratic distribution of the gold values and discontinuous gold-bearing, stringer-type mineralization.
Currently the geological team on site is completing test hole sampling employing jumbo or jackleg percussion drills to more fully evaluate the three zones and other mineralized structures encountered during the underground exploration work. Bulk samples of several zones in which visible gold was encountered are being recovered with a view to carrying out laboratory-scale testing to assess grade and continuity of the mineralization.
In addition a program of underground and possibly surface diamond drilling is being considered to establish the extent of mineralization over potentially mineable volumes.
Management proposes to pause the exploration program to allow for completion of all assaying, metallurgical testing and a review of progress todate. The Windfall Lake property, including camp and ramp facilities will be kept on a care and maintenance basis during the forthcoming winter months.
An economic evaluation of the property's merits and potential for the shareholders is the primary consideration to be addressed. Recommendations for future exploration at Windfall Lake, after all work currently underway is completed, will be submitted for Board approval if the latter is positive.
The recent completion at Windfall Lake of Phase 1 of the underground ramping program has fulfilled the obligation to the Noront shareholders, when Noront completed a financing in December, 2006 through IBK Capital, of $15.0 mil. through the private placement of units of common shares and warrants to further explore and assess the Windfall Lake gold discoveries. In addition to the latter commitment being fulfilled, Noront's shareholders have received the unexpected bonus of sharing in the added value to Noront's asset worth through the Copper-Nickel-PGE and Chromium discoveries in the McFaulds Lake area of northern Ontario.
While the Company continues to seek and review other exploration opportunities, it's primary focus at the present time remains the McFaulds Lake area where several excellent targets remain to be tested by Noront's capable and experienced exploration team. With a successful track record to date at the Double Eagle Project, additional discoveries continue with new Copper-Nickel-PGE and Chromium mineralization being encountered (see press releases dated October 10 and October 16, 2008).
Patrick Chance, P.Eng. and John Harvey, P.Eng. are supervising the Windfall Lake program on behalf of Noront. Bob Bryce of Abiting Inc, and Tracy Armstrong, P.Geo., of P & E Mining Consultants are consultants to the project, have reviewed the contents of this press release and are resident Qualified Persons from Quebec.
Noront is a tier 2 junior resource company on the TSX Venture Exchange, trading symbol NOT, with 129,894,783 shares issued to date.
Investors are invited to visit Noront's IR Hub at www.agoracom.com/IR/Noront where they can post questions and receive answers or review questions and answers by other investors. Alternatively, you can email questions to NOT@agoracom.com and also request to be added to the investor email list to receive all future press releases and updates in real time.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
R. Nemis, President and Chief Executive Officer
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Noront Resources Ltd.
President and Chief Executive Officer
(416) 367-5444 (FAX)