KWG disappointed in rail delays, reaffirms support for union’s ‘New Deal’ – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – September 16, 2013)

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TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Chromite mining hopeful KWG Resources on Monday expressed its disappointment in the near three-year delay of a planned railway into the Ring of Fire and reaffirmed its belief that a 300 km rail track would open up the region for mining.

After staking the right-of-way claims and conducting preliminary railroad engineering design and assessment, the development of the Ring of Fire railroad concept was delayed as a result of the dispute with US iron-ore major and joint-venture (JV) partner Cliffs Natural Resources, before the provincial Mining and Lands Commissioner last week dismissed Cliffs’ request to the Natural Resources Ministry for a road-access easement over KWG’s claims.

“We believe the railway is in the public interest and can be used to benefit the various mines in the Ring of Fire, as well as local communities, and is a much better alternative to a private road; a higher-cost transportation option, which the government is currently considering funding,” KWG president Frank Smeenk said in a statement.

While KWG proposed a rail route connecting at Exton to transport chromite to export markets, Cliffs proposes an all-weather road south towards Capreol, in the Sudbury area, where it has proposed to build a chromite beneficiation facility.

KWG holds a 30% interest in the Big Daddy chromite deposit and has the right to earn 80% of the Black Horse chromite deposit. KWG also owns subsidiary Canada Chrome, which had staked claims and conducted a $15-million surveying and soil testing programme for the engineering and construction of a railroad to the Ring of Fire from Exton, Ontario.

NEW DEAL

KWG previously advised the Minister of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) that it would support the business plan proposed by the ‘New Deal’ of the General Chairperson’s Association (GCA) representing unionised employees at provincial transport and telecommunications agency Ontario Northland.

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