VANCOUVER — Noront Resources (TSXV: NOT) is encouraged that the Ring of Fire camp in northern Ontario, where the junior has its remote Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper and platinum group metal (PGM) deposit, has been designated a priority in Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Sept. 23 mandate letter to re-appointed Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle.
The most specific item in the letter is an instruction to Gravelle to “work towards upgrading existing roads and infrastructure in the region to connect with future Ring of Fire infrastructure, with a target of 2018 to begin road work.”
The nearest paved road from Eagle’s Nest is 280 km to the south, and Noront is looking for the provincial government to pay for and build an all-season, all-access road into the Eagle’s Nest site, which is the leading contender to be the first deposit mined in the camp.
Noront’s proposed road would use an existing East-West winter road corridor just north of Pickle Lake, where the paved highway ends, and pass through four remote communities before connecting to a main trunk road that would service the Ring of Fire.
“What we’d like to see is the government table a proposal that industry and First Nations can then gather around and fine-tune towards the ultimate infrastructure,” Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront, tells The Northern Miner during a phone interview. “There’s a number of communities that would really stand to benefit from the road, so it’s really now about nutting out the final alignment.”
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