Noront Announces Positive Results of Preliminary Assessment of Eagle’s Nest Deposit

Symbol: NOT:TSX-V
Shares Outstanding: 175,633,642
Fully Diluted: 187,075,793

TORONTO, Sept. 9 – Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront” or the “Company”) (TSX Venture: NOT) is pleased to announce the results of an updated NI 43-101 Preliminary Assessment (“PA”) for a stand alone nickel copper, platinum group metal (“Ni-Cu-PGM”) mine and mill complex exploiting the Company’s 100% owned Eagle’s Nest deposit (“the Project”), McFaulds Lake, James Bay Lowlands, Ontario.

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS:

The stand-alone economics of the Eagle’s Nest Ni-Cu-PGM deposit, based on the Assumed Metal Prices(1) are:

  • after tax NPV at a 6.0% discount factor of approximately $540 million;
  • after tax IRR exceeding 20%;
  • at current spot metal prices, the after tax MPV increases by approximately 250 million and the IRR increases by an additional 5%
  • initial capital investment estimated to be between $600- $625 million;
  • sustaining capital estimated to be between $270-$300 million;
  • operating costs estimated to be between $120-$130 per tonne;
  • project life of 11 years;
  • capital expenditure payback between 3 and 4 years; and
  • average operating cost estimate of approximately $3.00 per pound equivalent nickel based on the Assumed Metal Prices(1)

The objectives of the PA were:

  • to demonstrate the economic potential of Eagle’s Nest as a stand-alone project;
  • to estimate operating costs to determine cut-off grades to guide forexploration; and
  • to address the technical and environmental challenges of developing amine in the McFaulds Lake region.

Wes Hanson, CEO of Noront states; “The PA demonstrates a robust return on investment and mitigates the perceived risks of a stand alone nickel, copper sulphide mine and mill complex in the Ring of Fire by reducing the environmental footprint of the proposed development and utilizing proven technology to address the challenging environment. The Project offers a number of business opportunities for the First Nation communities of Marten Falls and Webequie, the two communities closest to the Project. Opportunities to further improve the economics of the PA, include resource growth at Eagle’s Nest and grade increases resulting from recent infill drilling. The Company is also encouraged that the PA demonstrates that the Eagle’s Nest Ni-Cu-PGM discovery can bear the full costs of infrastructure development if necessary.”

EXPLORATION SIGNIFICANCE

The PA estimates a break even nickel cut-off grade of between 0.3% and 0.5%. To date, the Company’s exploration has focused on the discovery of nickel-copper sulphide deposits with grades greater than 1% nickel, similar to that of Eagle’s Nest. The Company continues to have a number of targets proximal to the Eagle’s Nest deposit that are currently slated for follow up drilling. The lower cut-off grade estimated by the PA increases the exploration potential as large tonnage, low grade mineralization now becomes a viable exploration target. The Company has already intersected long, low grade intervals of nickel-copper sulphide mineralization at AT-12 but has not focused on these areas as they were considered to be of limited economic value. In light of the results from the PA, the Company will be reviewing these lower grade zones with a view to increasing the resource base.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

The remote location of the Project, and the challenging soil conditions in the James Bay Lowlands demanded that the Company’s Consultants(2) evaluate unique solutions. The Company also challenged the consultants to find technically feasible solutions that:

  • applied proven technology;
  • addressed the poor soil conditions typical to the James Bay Lowlands;
  • minimized the environmental footprint; and
  • minimized disruption to the wetland environment.

After numerous trade-off studies and evaluations, the Project, as defined in the PA, is summarized as follows:

  • 1.0 million tonne per year throughput rate;
  • underground mining of the Eagle’s Nest Ni-Cu-PGM deposit;
  • all major facilities (including the mill) would be locatedunderground;
  • tailings would be stored underground as cemented fill;
  • minimal surface disturbance;
  • construction aggregate would be sourced from underground waste rock;
  • the existing winter road from Pickle Lake to Webequie would beupgraded to an all-season road;
  • a diesel power plant would be located near Webequie and atransmission line would provide power to the mine site;
  • a slurry pipeline would be used to transport concentrate from site toa filter plant located near Webequie;
  • initial mine production would be from an internal ramp; and
  • a winze (internal shaft) will be developed by year three to accessthe lower levels of the deposit;

The planned infrastructure includes an all-season road, power line, and winter roads during construction. This infrastructure will benefit other companies and local communities. Although the Project could carry 100% of these costs, the PA assigned 25% of the all season road, 50% of the power line and 50% of the winter road costs against the Project.

The submerged slurry pipeline and power transmission line will greatly reduce traffic between Webequie and the Project site, eliminating the need for all season road access. This, in turn, significantly reduces the Project’s environmental impact on the wetlands. The Company believes that all construction materials can be transported to site utilizing a winter road network and critical spares can continue to be transported by air.

The costs developed include operating costs to operate the mine, process plant, market a bulk concentrate product, provide environmental monitoring and management of the proposed operation. Closure costs are included in the cashflow analysis. Of the estimated operating cost of $120-$130 per tonne, approximately 60% was attributed to underground mining, approximately 25% attributed to on-site processing and 15% related to G&A costs.

Mine production was estimated based on recovery of 95% of the resource defined in the Golder resource April 23, 2010 resource estimate and includes a 10% external mining dilution at zero grade.

Metallurgical recoveries were based on preliminary test work and resulted in estimates of overall nickel recovery of 89.1% and copper recovery of 90.8%.

The technical evaluations were based on review of similar projects, preliminary metallurgical test work and review of site conditions. The adjustment from previous projects, allowing for this specific data, allowed Micon International Limited (“Micon”) to develop scoping level cost estimates for the Eagle’s Nest Project utilized in the PA.

The updated PA will be available on SEDAR and on the Company’s website within 45 days from the date hereof.

Mr. R. Gowans, P.Eng., Micon’s Project Manager and a Qualified Person under Canadian Securities Administrators guidelines has reviewed this press release.

Note 1 Metal Price Assumptions:

The PA is based on metal prices derived from the Three Year Trailing Averages as follows:

Nickel $9.08 per pound
Copper $2.92 per pound
Platinum $1,427 per ounce
Palladium $345 per ounce
Gold $944 per ounce

The PA assumes a Canadian to US foreign exchange rate of 1.077.

Note 2 Project Consultants

The PA was completed by Micon and included technical input from SNC Lavalin Inc., Cementation Ltd., Knight Pi�sold Ltd., and Golder Associates. The PA was based on the proposed mining and processing of the Eagle’s Nest mineral resource previously defined by Golder Associates in a NI 43-101 resource estimate reported in March 2010. The Eagle’s Nest mineral resource estimate was previously disclosed in a report entitled, “McFaulds Lake NI 43-101 Technical Report and Resource Estimate Author: Golder Associates April 23, 2010”. Copies of this report are available on the Company’s website and SEDAR.

About Noront: Noront Resources Ltd. is focused on its significant and multiple, high-grade nickel-copper-platinum-palladium, chromite, gold 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 and well financed drill plan for 2010. All material information on Noront can be found on the Company’s website at www.norontresources.com or at SEDAR at www.sedar.com

Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

The assessment herein is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the PA will be realized.

Wesley (Wes) Hanson
President & Chief Executive Officer

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation, including predictions, projections and forecasts. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements that address activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including such things as future business strategy, competitive strengths, goals, expansion, growth of the Company’s businesses, operations, plans and with respect to exploration results, the timing and success of exploration activities generally, permitting time lines, government regulation of exploration and mining operations, environmental risks, title disputes or claims, limitations on insurance coverage, timing and possible outcome of any pending litigation and timing and results of future resource estimates or future economic studies.

Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “planning”, “planned”, “expects” or “looking forward”, “does not expect”, “continues”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “potential”, “anticipates”, “does not anticipate”, or “belief”, or describes a “goal”, or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved.

Forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and assumptions, including, the result of drilling and exploration activities, that contracted parties provide goods and/or services on the agreed timeframes, that equipment necessary for exploration is available as scheduled and does not incur unforeseen break downs, that no labour shortages or delays are incurred, that plant and equipment function as specified, that no unusual geological or technical problems occur, and that laboratory and other related services are available and perform as contracted. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, future events, conditions, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, prediction, projection, forecast, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the interpretation and actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold; possible variations in grade or recovery rates; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the failure of contracted parties to perform; labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of exploration, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company’s publicly filed documents. Although Noront has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

norontresourceNoront Announces Positive Results of Preliminary Assessment of Eagle’s Nest Deposit