TORONTO, Dec. 3 /CNW/ -- Noront Resources Ltd. ("Noront" or the "Company") (TSX Venture: NOT) is pleased to provide an update on their project development plans for their Ring of Fire deposits.
The Project development milestones identified were:
- Establish feasibility schedules for various project components
- Initiate socio economic studies
- Complete environmental baseline and environmental studies
- Initiate project consultations with First Nations communities
- Environmental review and permitting
- Complete marketing and sales studies
- Define project execution plans including Private Public partnerships
for infrastructure development
Noront's projects are the most advanced in the Ring of Fire and we estimate that Feasibility Studies could be completed on the Eagle's Nest (nickel, copper, PGE's) and the Blackbird (chromite) deposits by the first quarter of 2011. Due to the different complexities of the two types of deposits, Noront believes the Eagle's Nest deposits could be put into production by the first quarter of 2016 while the chromite development is expected to follow as a result of increased infrastructure requirements.
The main differences in the two time schedules are driven by many factors, which are largely out of Noront's control. These differences include:
- The Eagle's Nest deposit is a much higher grade deposit and as a
result can withstand additional inventory costs and could likely be
developed with seasonal access;
- The Blackbird chromite deposits, along with other chromite deposits
in the region, will require significant infrastructure development in
order to be economic;
- The chromite deposits will require the development of all season
access that will require the evaluation of numerous options, for both
routing and mode of transportation, and will require extensive
consultation with First Nations communities;
- The subsequent development of a ferrochrome smelter will require
extensive environmental review and will be further complicated by the
requirement of significant power supply in the order of 400-500 mega
- Noront's due diligence shows that it is unlikely that Ontario's
current power generation or transmission capacity can handle this
expanded electrical load and the development of the power supply
project alone is likely to extend the ferrochrome project past 2016.
Noront is confident in the project milestones currently established and in support of achieving these milestones has taken the following steps:
- Engaged SNC Lavalin to complete a transportation study that includes
numerous routes and modes of transportations. SNC Lavalin is expected
to finalize the feasibility study on the preferred routes and mode of
transportation, as well as the other alternatives considered, by the
fourth quarter of 2010. This work, including the evaluation of
alternatives, will be a significant part of the project approvals and
- Environmental baseline studies are currently underway;
- NI 43-101 resource reports have been initially completed for Eagle's
Nest and are being finalized for Blackbird and as a result we are
confident that our procedures and quality analysis and quality
control protocols will meet or exceed industry standards;
- Noront is currently reviewing qualifications from various contractors
in support of the feasibility studies and expects to have all major
contractors engaged by early 2010; and
- Through discussions with our First Nations Advisory Board, Noront is
developing a consultation schedule and intends to initiate the
consultation process with the First Nations communities in the first
quarter of 2010. This will include the expansion of consultations as
project definitions are finalized during the feasibility study
Mr. Paul Semple P. Eng, Noront's Chief Operating Officer stated, "The development plans and schedules we are currently proposing are based on months of strategic planning and numerous conversations with First Nations leaders, industry professionals and Federal and Provincial government officials. We are confident of the schedules that we are proposing for the nickel copper projects and at the same time we intend to work diligently on developing the more complex chromite projects. These projects are multifaceted and will require extensive consultations, discussions and negotiations. Until we complete these steps, we cannot responsibly report on the development plans including the capital costs, schedule or the project economics of the Ring of Fire chromite deposits." Mr. Semple further stated, "Based on Noront's due diligence regarding the chromite market, the technical demands of a ferrochrome project, the unknown aspects of the permitting process, the complexity of developing a large infrastructure project especially as a private public partnership along with the current the status of Ontario's infrastructure, we currently believe that the project costs, scope, smelter location, project economics or development timeline can not be accurately forecast or estimated. We believe any forecasts on the chromite projects, at this stage, absent of a project definition being completed, consultation with impacted First Nations being initiated and intensive discussions with the Provincial and Federal governments is purely speculation."
Noront Resources Ltd. is focused on its significant and multiple, high-grade nickel-copper-platinum-palladium, chromite, gold and vanadium discoveries in an area known as the "Ring of Fire", an emerging multi-metals district located in the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario, Canada. Noront is the dominant land holder at the Ring of Fire and continues to delineate and prove up its discoveries with NI 43-101 technical and economic reports and an aggressive and well financed drill plan for the remainder of 2009 and 2010. All material information on Noront can be found on the Company's website at www.norontresources.com or at SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Wesley (Wes) Hanson
President & Chief Executive Officer
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation, including predictions, projections and forecasts. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements that address activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including such things as future business strategy, competitive strengths, goals, expansion, growth of the Company's businesses, operations, plans and with respect to exploration results, the timing and success of exploration activities generally, permitting time lines, government regulation of exploration and mining operations, environmental risks, title disputes or claims, limitations on insurance coverage, timing and possible outcome of any pending litigation and timing and results of future resource estimates or future economic studies.
Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "planning", "planned", "expects" or "looking forward", "does not expect", "continues", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "potential", "anticipates", "does not anticipate", or "belief", or describes a "goal", or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.
Forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions, including, the result of drilling and exploration activities, that contracted parties provide goods and/or services on the agreed timeframes, that equipment necessary for exploration is available as scheduled and does not incur unforeseen break downs, that no labour shortages or delays are incurred, that plant and equipment function as specified, that no unusual geological or technical problems occur, and that laboratory and other related services are available and perform as contracted. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, future events, conditions, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, prediction, projection, forecast, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the interpretation and actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold; possible variations in grade or recovery rates; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the failure of contracted parties to perform; labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of exploration, as well as those factors disclosed in the company's publicly filed documents. Although Noront has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
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 release.