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#RingOfFire (RoF) News – March 27, 2015

  • First Nations not happy with Noront being the lead player?  “Matawa First Nation Chiefs re-affirmed their commitment to a community based processes for Ring of Fire Development, including creating environmental protections and economic opportunities which are driven by their community members, not just industry plans ….”moremoremore
  • An Ontario minister responds  “The Minister of Northern Development and Mines is taking the concerns of First Nation leaders seriously and says they have an important role to play in the development of the Ring of Fire. “The province, our government, remains absolutely committed to continuing the work we are doing with the Matawa First Nations related to implemented the regional framework agreement,” said Michael Gravelle (Lib., Thunder Bay-Superior North) Thursday morning ….”
  • Editorial (1)  Chiefs rain in Ring parade …. While many people viewed Noront Resources’ plan this week to acquire the vast chromite properties of Cliffs Natural Resources as a welcome shot in the arm of the stalled Ring of Fire mining project, Matawa First Nations Chiefs were grumpy …. Rather than express optimism at Noront’s move, the chiefs said in a statement Wednesday that the company, “seems intent on driving this agenda rather than working together” …. Matawa needs to re-think its hasty and inappropriate response to the first good news about the Ring of Fire in a while.”
  • Editorial (2)  “…. There’s a feeling now that development will still happen, but at a slower pace than before, which may give government power-brokers the time to research and prepare recommendations for financial support that will really make a difference.  That doesn’t mean they should sit on their laurels just because the rush of a few years ago has worn off and, in fairness, they haven’t ….”
  • Meanwhile, “Mushkegowuk Council has announced that it will explore possible alliances with the Quebec Crees to bring a new hydro transmission corridor to Ontario and ultimately, to the Ring of Fire. Grand Chief of Mushkegowuk Council, Lawrence Martin met last Monday in Val d’Or with Jack Blacksmith, Chairman of the Board of Compensation and President of CreeCo (Cree Regional Economic Enterprises Co). They outlined the economic potential of such a corridor project. The parties also discussed possible support, collaboration and sharing of information between Cree governments and their economic organizations ….”
  • Noront to KWG:  Let’s talk “KWG Resources Inc. is pleased to have been invited to talks with Noront Resources Ltd. when informed this morning of the proposed purchase by Noront of the Ring of Fire assets of Cliffs Quebec Iron Mining ULC. “This is positive news for us,” said KWG CEO Frank Smeenk. “Noront CEO Al Coutts has invited us to discuss our future plans to develop our properties in partnership with the First Nations. We are delighted with this evolution of the Ring of Fire’s opportunities and are hopeful that our relationship with our Big Daddy joint venture partner will become more constructive and collaborative. We think that the transportation and processing options we have developed can now be pursued in concert with our two governments and the First Nations constituencies to see the mineral assets of both Noront and KWG go into production.” ….”
  • “KWG Resources Inc. jumped 20% on volume of 4.2 million Tuesday after the company announced that it has been invited to talks with Noront Resources Ltd., the junior that has agreed to acquire Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Ring of Fire properties in northern Ontario ….”
  • In other RoF corporate news …. “Bold Ventures Inc. is pleased to report that KWG Resources Inc. has made the third optional payment of $700,000 to Fancamp Exploration Ltd. in satisfaction of the option agreement whereby KWG may earn up to 80% of Bold Venture’s chromite interests and up to a 20% working interest in Bold Ventures interest in all “other metals” in the Koper Lake Project. The payment was made in shares of KWG Resources Inc …. KWG has until September 30, 2015 to expend an additional $2.2 million in exploration work on the claims in order to earn Bold’s 50% interest in the Koper Lake Project, of which KWG will hold 80% of Bold’s chromite interests and 20% of Bold’s interest in all “other metals”. Should KWG not proceed to make the $2.2 million of expenditures by September 30, 2015, Bold has until March 2016 to make those expenditures or the balance of any unexpended portion of the $2.2 million in order to earn the first 50% interest in the property. Bold is Operator of the Koper Lake Project ….”
  • Glass-is-half-full analysis  “Once billed as the economic equivalent of Canada’s oil sands industry, the vast oil deposits in the country’s western provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where 97% of its oil reserves reside, Ontario’s Ring of Fire chromite region held the promise of being an engine of economic growth in its own right worth somewhere north of $120 billion. Unfortunately it was also mired in parochial biases and competing interests that served to quench any fire for success ….”
  • Why yet another player, with skin in the game, is interested in the RoF  “The Ring of Fire, an Achaean greenstone belt in Northern Ontario, has become synonymous with – and infamous for – chromite. Cliffs Natural Resources was until couple years ago to put the region on the map as a new global mining centre of the stuff. It has, as many will recall, scuttled those plans and agreed to sell its assets – chiefly a series of chromite deposits, but also a lot of interesting exploration claims – in the Ring of Fire to Noront Resources, the leading junior still operating in the remote region. Among other chromite assets it is chiefly developing a modest-sized nickel-copper-palladium deposit. At the heart of the deal is Franco-Nevada, the leading gold royalty company. It’s lending Noront $22.5 million to cover the $20 million acquisition cost of the assets. Along with the five-year loan at 7% interest, payable in an accumulated lump sum at the end, it’s also paying Noront $3.5 million to secure Franco-Nevada a couple NSR (net smelter return) royalties. Most directly, Franco-Nevada is to get a 3% NSR in Cliffs’ large chromite deposit, Black Thor ….”

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