Toronto, Ontario, June 29, 2009. Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront” or the “Company”) (TSX Venture: NOT) is pleased to provide the following exploration update of the company’s activities:
- At Eagle One, hole NOT-09-049, drilled subvertically below known mineralization, intersected two zones of disseminated, semi-massive and massive sulphides, one from 269.54 metres to 510.69 metres and the other from 749.7 metres to 945.67 metres; more than tripling the known down dip extent of the mineralization to greater than 900 metres;
- Hole NOT-08-045 at Eagle One, deepened in 2009, intersected 46.12 metres of nickel, copper sulphides including two short intervals of high-grade massive sulphides;
- Hole NOT-09-047 at Eagle One intersected 2.15 m of nickel, copper sulphides including 1.75 m of massive sulphides approximately 275 m below surface;
- At the Thunderbird Occurrence, holes NOT-09-24 and 25 intersected magnetite and titanium mineralization similar to hole NOT-09-2G21 which returned significant vanadium mineralization within the company’s McFaulds Lake claims;
- At the Blackbird chromitite deposits, 92 holes were completed (25,477 metres of drilling);
- Micon International was contracted to complete a NI 43-101 Technical Report for the Blackbird One and Two deposits;
- AECOM Canada Ltd. was contracted to complete baseline environmental studies at McFaulds Lake;
- Currently there are three drills turning at McFaulds Lake including one at Eagle One, one at AT12 and one at Oval Lake;
- Discussions with Federal, Provincial and local government agencies on regional infrastructure development plans are continuing;
- We continue to develop initiatives with local First Nations interests to provide innovative and fair employment initiatives and business partnerships;
- Update on Windfall Lake Gold Project;
McFaulds Lake (“Ring of Fire”) Area
Noront’s holdings near McFauld’s Lake in the James Bay Lowlands, northern Ontario consist of 554 mining claims totaling 120,848 hectares. To date, Noront has discovered significant Ni, Cu and PGE mineralization at Eagle One, Eagle Two and AT-12; significant chromite mineralization at Blackbird One and Blackbird Two; and finally, a potentially significant vanadium deposit at Thunderbird. For the year to date, Noront has completed 131 holes (33.034.7 metres). Noront is currently focused on completing the planned drilling at the Eagle One, Eagle Two and AT-12 Ni, Cu and PGE deposits on its 100% owned McFaulds Lake claims. Work from July through to October will focus principally on completion of approximately 10,000 metres of drilling in the Eagle One, Eagle Two, and AT12 areas at McFauld’s Lake where expenditures are estimated to be in the range of $3.5 million. A plan map outlining all of the projects discussed in this exploration update can be found at http://norontresources.com/find/id/12/pb or by going to Noront’s website at www.norontresources.com.
Drilling at the Eagle One deposit resumed on May 21, 2009 and five holes (2,286 metres) have been completed to date. The objective of the drilling was to follow up on the significant mineralization intersected in hole NOT-08-44 (reference January 23, 2009 release) and to provide deep (+1,000 metre) platform holes for Borehole Electromagmetic (BHEM) survey.
Hole NOT-08-045, which failed to intersect the mineralized zone in 2008, was deepened in 2009 and intersected 46.12 metres of nickel, copper sulphides. This zone starts approximately 375 metres below surface, whereas the previously interpreted limit of mineralization at Eagle One was about 225 metres below surface. Hole NOT-08-46, drilled beneath hole 045 failed to intersect any significant mineralization. Hole NOT-09-047, targeted 100 metres below the mineralization limit defined in the Eagle One Technical Report, intersected 2.15 metres of nickel, copper sulphides including 1.75 metres of massive sulphide within a 55 metre thick peridotite zone considered to be the keel of the conduit that hosts the Eagle One Ni sulphide deposit. Hole NOT-09-048 was drilled beneath the extension of the Eagle One deposit intersected by NOT-08-044 but remained in granodiorite to the bottom of the hole.
Hole NOT-09-49 was planned as a 1,000 metre platform hole for BHEM survey evaluating the depth extension of the Eagle One mineralization. The hole was located at the northwestern contact of the Eagle One conduit. Visual inspection suggests the hole parallels the contact between the peridotite and granodiorite for its entire length. This hole intersected two zones of disseminated, semi-massive and massive sulphides one from 269.54 metres to 510.69 metres and the other from 749.7 metres to 945.67 metres, more than tripling the known down dip extent of the Eagle One mineralization to greater than 900 metres. The current results provide no information regarding the true thickness of the newly discovered zones because the hole was designed to follow the mineralization down dip and determine vertical continuity. Subsequent drilling will test these zones at higher angles to establish thickness.
Borehole EM surveys have been performed on holes completed by Noront in 2008 to the south of the Eagle One Deposit in two similar dikes called the Eastern and Southern Dikes. The results of these surveys are being utilized to guide drilling in and around the Eagle One anomaly. Assays are pending on all of these results and will be released when compiled and completed.
No drilling has been completed since 2008 at Eagle Two. BHEM surveys on several deeper holes have been completed and these results are currently being compiled and analyzed to identify additional nickel, copper, PGE targets for follow up drilling at a later date.
Three holes (1624.7 metres) have been completed at the AT-12 target. These holes tested geophysical targets between the northern Freewest Resources boundary and the AT-12 copper-nickel mineralization. These holes failed to intersect any significant mineralization.
Further exploration drilling is planned at the AT-12 anomaly using results of the BHEM surveys to define potential targets.
Wes Hanson, President and CEO notes that “we are extremely encouraged by the latest drill results at Eagle One which suggest significant potential to increase the previously estimated resource at Eagle One. Hole NOT-09-049, drilled down the mineralized structure at Eagle One, proves that high grade nickel, copper, PGE mineralization continues well below the previously interpreted resource limit. We are currently re-evaluating our planned exploration for the remainder of the field season with a view towards aggressively pursuing resource expansion at Eagle One. At the same time, we believe there is additional potential at both the Eagle Two and AT-12 anomalies where we are in the process of completing and interpreting BHEM surveys to assist in targeting prospective anomalies.”
Blackbird One and Two
A total of 92 holes (25,477.4 metres) were completed on the Blackbird chromite deposits. Noront’s objective for the Blackbird One and Blackbird Two deposits was to complete sufficient drilling to support an initial resource estimate and the company believes sufficient drilling has been completed to support an initial resource estimate as planned. This estimate will be the first chromite resource in the Ring of Fire area. Noront is pleased to announce that Micon International Ltd. has been contracted to complete the initial resource estimate for the Blackbird chromite anomalies which is expected during the fourth quarter of 2009.
The company is currently waiting for final assay results from the 2009 drilling at the Blackbird deposits. Analytical results take significant time due to the complicated process required to estimate chromite quantity and quality. As a result, few new chromite results are available at this time. Noront will release the remaining results of the Blackbird drilling once final results are received.
Mr. Hanson notes that “we are also highly encouraged by the results obtained from the Blackbird chromite deposits. Analysis of the drill results is a slow process due to the complicated analytical procedures necessary to estimate chromite quantity and quality. We have contracted Micon International Ltd, an engineering firm with experience in estimating chromite resources in South Africa, to complete an initial resource estimate for the company’s chromite assets. This estimate is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2009.”
Northern Claim Area
Noront has completed 19 holes (4669.5 metres) testing new geophysical anomalies within its 100% owned northern claim block. The drilling targeted specific, strong, coincident airborne EM and MAG anomalies at the Winisk, Oval Lake, Northeastern and Central targets. The targeted EM and MAG anomalies had been previously outlined by a Geotech VTEM survey completed in 2008. Results suggest that the anomalies tested are related to varying widths of barren, iron sulphide mineralization but final assays have not been received to date.
The company completed four holes (1322.5 metres) of drilling on the Grid One extension along strike to the southwest of Blackbird occurrences. This drilling was targeted to test airborne EM and MAG anomalies identified by various surveys. Results suggest the anomalies are related to barren iron sulphides.
An airborne gravity survey was completed over the Grid One area earlier this year and results are currently being interpreted. Airborne gravity surveys successfully identified the Blackbird One and Two chromite deposits and the company will evaluate results at the Grid One area with a view to increasing chromite mineralization through future drilling if warranted.
Thunderbird Target (Vanadium Mineralization)
A large, north-south trending magnetic anomaly approximately 7.0 km in length and 3.0 km in width, centered 4.0 km east of Noront’s AT12 copper-nickel occurrence was the subject of a 5 hole drill program totaling 2227 meters during February-April, 2009. The magnetic anomaly was attributed to a ferrogabbro intrusive believed related to the Ring of Fire intrusive complex and similar to the large peridotite intrusive hosting the Noront chromium deposits, 12 km to the south west.
The ferrogabbro Intrusive from the 5 holes completed along a strike length of 2.5 km by Noront contains significant amounts of titanium and vanadium-bearing mineralization over substantial widths (few hundred meters), (see Noront press release dated April 30, 2009). Three of the drill holes, over a 900m strike length near the north end of the ferrogabbro Intrusive have outlined a central core of encouraging iron-titanium-vanadium mineralization; designated the Thunderbird occurrence, with widths and grade, uniformly distributed similar to those encountered and reported in hole NOT-09-2G21.
All assay results are currently being completed and a preliminary assessment of this new mineral occurrence and its economic merits to be considered with a follow-up drill program if warranted.
First Nations Update
Noront is continuing their ongoing consultations with local communities and aboriginal groups. It has been the company’s philosophy to engage and consult with the local population and specifically the local aboriginal communities. The company is working with and engaging these local interests in a variety of ways including employment, business partnerships and compensation for impacts of past and current mineral exploration activities in the area. The company will continue to develop these initiatives and plans to formalize these relationships through early stage exploration agreements.
Local infrastructure development of the James Bay area of Northern Ontario is identified by all affected government departments as a top priority not only for mineral and aboriginal concerns but also for a wide range of industries including tourism, forestry, health and welfare. Within this dynamic, Noront is actively working with First Nations interests and the Ontario Government to further these developments through road and property permitting and funding efforts. These initiatives will directly promote and position the McFauld’s lake area for infrastructure framework such as the installation of power, and road for Noront’s properties in the James Bay Lowlands.
Windfall Lake Gold Project – Quebec
The company has completed all exploration at Windfall Lake Gold Project and the project has been placed on care and maintenance as disclosed in the company’s April 1, 2009 MD&A which is available on the company’s website at www.norontresources.com.
The underground decline targeted the F11, F17 and W3 zones, as defined by surface diamond drilling, which had returned very high gold grades in several holes. The F-11 and F-17 were tested about 50 metres below surface and the W-3 at 100 m below surface.
Underground development exposed 54 metres, 120 metres and 130 metres respectively on the F11, F 17 and W3 zones. The underground development was extensively sampled using chip samples, muck samples and test hole samples. Results confirmed the presence of high grade gold but continuity was limited. Also, sampling suggests that the grades are associated with narrow structures trending perpendicular to the original zones.
Noront is currently finalizing its report on the underground sampling at Windfall Lake and plans to release a complete listing of significant results by the end of July, 2009.
Mr. Hanson notes that “Windfall Lake was placed under care and maintenance earlier this year and review of the available data provides no compelling reasons to change the status of the project at this time. Noront is currently completing our obligations under the operating permits issued for Windfall Lake and we are evaluating all alternatives for the project going forward. At this time, the company will remain focused on its McFauld’s Lake project for the foreseeable future.”
All holes drilling in the current program are being systematically logged and sampled, with samples being shipped regularly to Actlabs in Thunder Bay, Ontario for sample preparation and initial analysis, with final chrome analysis being done at the Actlabs facility in Ancaster, Ontario. Due to the high Cr and Cr203 results that Noront is receiving on a regular basis, additional analyses are being completed using alternate labs to confirm and compare analytical methodologies using cross lab verification of chrome results.
This press release has been reviewed and approved for dissemination by Noront’s Senior Management including John Harvey, P.Eng, Chief Operating Officer, Dr. James Mungall, P.Geo., Chief Geologist; and Jim Atkinson, P.Geo, Exploration Manager, all being Qualified Persons under Canadian Securities Guidelines.
About Noront Resources
Noront Resources is focused on its significant and multiple, high-grade nickel-copper-platinum-palladium, chromite and vanadium discoveries in an area known as the “Ring of Fire”, an emerging multi-metals district located in the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario, Canada. Noront is the dominant land holder at the Ring of Fire and continues to delineate and prove up its discoveries with NI 43-101 technical and economic reports and an aggressive drill plan for 2009.
For further information please contact the Investor Relations Department at (416) 238 7226, or visit Noront’s website at: http://www.norontresources.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
“Wesley (Wes) C. Hanson
President & Chief Executive Officer”