Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to provide an update on its work plans for the winter 2014-15 season.
Noront has agreed to support Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) as the proponent of a winter road to access its Eagle's Nest Mine in the Ring of Fire. MFFN has submitted a permit application to build a winter road from Marten Falls to Noront's Esker camp where the Eagle's Nest Mine will be located. This road will be used to transport bulk materials including fuel and heavy equipment, to be used for work on the existing airstrip and to help ensure that Noront is in position to initiate mining activities once the necessary approvals are in place.
Work on the airstrip is planned for fall/winter 2014 and will be completed under an approved land use plan with Noront's development partner Marten Falls Logistics (a 100%-owned entity of Marten Falls First Nation). As part of this project, the landing area will be cleared to its final dimensions for use as a winter air strip during the 2014/15 season rather than the previously used ice air strip constructed on Koper Lake. The airstrip will be upgraded for all-season use when waste rock aggregate is available from construction of the underground mine at Eagle's Nest.
Feasibility Study Update
Noront is currently preparing an update to its 2012 Feasibility Study which is expected to be complete by the end of October. It is being prepared by Micon International based on detailed construction cost estimates provided by the companies contributing to Noront's Eagle's Nest project, a group of world class organizations that includes:
- Cementation - Canada's leading underground mine contractor. Responsible for underground mine development and concrete formations.
- Kiewit - A global expert on civil, heavy duty industrial construction and management of large complex civil/mining projects. Responsible for access road construction.
- Nuna Logistics - A leading Canadian aboriginal civil construction and logistics company. Responsible for winter road, all-season road, site roads and transportation logistics.
- ATCO Structures and Logistics - Responsible for permanent camp and associated infrastructure.
- AECON Group Inc. - A Canadian leader in industrial construction. Responsible for mechanical, electrical and instrumentation installation.
- Outotec - A global leader in process plant equipment. Responsible for design and supply of the process plant equipment.
- ABB Ltd. - Responsible for the design, supply of electrification, automation and communications systems.
- Atlas Copco - A global leader in underground and process equipment.
These contractors were selected based on their global and northern experience, proven track record of working successfully with First Nation communities, commitment to training an operating workforce and environmental health and safety performance as well as financial terms.
Status of Environmental Assessment
The federal environmental assessment process for Noront's Eagle's Nest Mine continued to progress throughout the summer. During that time, additional environmental studies and sampling were completed in response to requests from government reviewers. Comments were also received from several First Nation communities and their concerns/issues are being addressed. Noront is waiting for the provincial government to approve our Terms of Reference for the provincial environmental assessment process. Upon completion of the environmental assessments, we will proceed with the acquisition of the approvals and permits necessary to begin road and mine site construction activities, which are scheduled for a mid-2015 start.
We are also advancing discussions with a number of First Nation communities, with the objective of negotiating Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) and community participation in our environmental assessment processes.