Noront Resources has announced agreements with Algoma Steel and Hatch to facilitate development of the Ring of Fire mineral district and the associated Ontario-based processing facilities, in the north of the Canadian province.
“Noront is partnering with two Ontario-based industrial and engineering giants to advance Ring of Fire development,” said Alan Coutts, President and CEO of Noront Resources. “This is truly a ‘made in Ontario’ collaboration on one of the most economically and socially important projects our province has seen.”
The agreement with Algoma provides Noront with a five-year, renewable option to lease a brownfield property in Sault Ste. Marie for a period of 99 years. Noront plans to design, construct and operate a ferrochrome production facility which will service the company’s Ring of Fire chromite deposits. This agreement provides Noront and Algoma with an opportunity to re-purpose an existing brownfield location with a view to sharing infrastructure, the exploration company said.
Michael McQuade, CEO Algoma Steel, said his company viewed the Noront project as a valuable business partnership and an exciting opportunity for Sault Ste. Marie.
“Our discussions have uncovered numerous economic synergies through the shared use of assets and services, and we look forward to exploring these options further with Noront, the City and the many stakeholder groups who may be engaged in this project,” he said.
In addition, Hatch will perform engineering and project support services for the Eagle’s Nest and Ring of Fire chrome projects as part of a Master Services Agreement, Noront said.
Eagle’s Nest is a nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit, while Noront also has chromite deposits including Blackbird, Black Thor, and Big Daddy, all of which are located in the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario.
As part of this collaboration, Hatch will participate as an equity partner with Noront, and form an integrated project management and engineering team to manage development and execution of projects in the Ring of Fire.
Joe Lombard, Hatch’s Global Managing Director of Metals, said: “The Ring of Fire represents a significant opportunity, not only for Noront and Algoma, but also for northern Ontario and local First Nations. We’re excited to be a part of these transformative projects and committed to partnering with Noront to develop innovative solutions that will bring long-term prosperity to the region.”
Today’s agreements mark another step toward a larger goal established by Noront to develop the Ring of Fire in true partnership with local First Nations, contractors, suppliers and the communities of northern Ontario, it said.
Noront previously signed agreements with Marten Falls First Nation and Aroland First Nation, which made both communities Noront shareholders, established ongoing working and communications protocols and created a dialogue regarding mutually beneficial economic development opportunities.
In consideration for entering the term sheet, Noront will issue Algoma 750,000 common shares and 750,000 warrants to purchase common shares, subject to approval from the TSX Venture Exchange.