Toronto, Ontario, March 20, 2012. Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront” or the “Company”) (TSX Venture: NOT) is pleased to announce an updated, independent Mineral Resource Estimate for it’s 100% owned Blackbird chromite deposit at the Company’s McFaulds Lake Project, in the Ring of Fire, James Bay Lowlands, Ontario.
Micon International Ltd. (“Micon”), an independent consulting engineering company, completed the resource estimate. The estimate is classified according to the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM”) Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves which have been incorporated by reference in the Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) National Instrument 43-101, Standards for Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
|Measured Resource||9.3 M tonnes averaging 37.44% Cr2O3 and 2.00 Cr:Fe|
|Indicated Resource||11.2 M tonnes averaging 34.36% Cr2O3 and 1.95 Cr:Fe|
|Measured and Indicated Resource||20.5 M tonnes averaging 35.76% Cr2O3 and 1.97 Cr:Fe|
|Inferred Resource||23.5 M tonnes averaging 33.14% Cr2O3 and 1.97 Cr:Fe|
Wes Hanson, CEO of Noront states: “Drilling at Blackbird exceeded expectations, resulting in a tripling of the previous resource estimate at Blackbird but more importantly, converting a large percentage of the deposit to the measured and indicated classification. The updated estimate demonstrates that Blackbird is similar in size and grade to the nearby Big Daddy and Black Thor chromite deposits. The close proximity of Blackbird to our flagship Eagle’s Nest nickel sulphide deposit offers exceptional synergies as both deposits can be exploited using the same underground infrastructure, limiting the incremental capital cost while minimizing the environmental footprint. The Company intends to complete an internal evaluation of a northwest Ontario based mine, mill and smelter facility capable of producing between 200,000 and 250,000 tonnes of high quality ferrochrome annually, approximately equal to current North American imports, which originate from South Africa.“
RESOURCE PARAMETERS AND METHODOLOGY
The resource database comprises 119 drill holes. Chromite grades were capped at 45% Cr2O3. A cut-off grade of 30% Cr2O3 (with allowance of internal waste to respect geological continuity) was selected to allow for reasonable prospects of economic extraction by comparison with current world producers (e.g. in Finland, Turkey, South Africa, etc). An Inverse Distance Cubed (“ID3”) interpolation method was used to estimate model grades. ID3 provides a fairly high level of selectivity, which ensured zones with internal waste remained distinct. The resource model was validated visually by sectioning, and by domain statistical validation and swath plots.
The updated resource estimate focused mainly on massive chromite lenses. Numerous, small, intercalated chromite lenses identified in previous estimates constitute only 13% of the Inferred resource.
The Micon staff with responsibility for this resource estimate are Messrs Charley Z. Murahwi, M.Sc., P. Geo., FAusIMM and Alan J. San Martin, MAusIMM(CP). Both are Qualified Persons as defined in NI 43-101, and are independent of Noront Resources Limited. Micon acknowledges that it has read this press release and there are no errors contained herein.
A Technical Report documenting the updated estimate will be available on SEDAR and the Company’s website within 45 days.
The Company is currently completing the final holes of the 2012 winter drill program at McFaulds Lake. The focus of the winter drilling was to test for the potential for new nickel sulphide mineralization at new geophysical targets highlighted by the Company’s recently completed ground based geophysics.
Targets at AT12 and AT2 were drilled and the Company is currently awaiting analytical results, which are expected in the next six to eight weeks.
EAGLE’S NEST PROJECT
The Company is assembling the final costs for the Eagle’s Nest Feasibility Study, which is scheduled for release in a few weeks. Analyst consensus pricing for nickel, copper, platinum and palladium have been steadily increasing over the past year which is expected to have a favourable impact on the economics of the project.
The Company has held seven separate community open houses throughout northwestern Ontario including Thunder Bay, Ignace, Pickle Lake, Eabametoong, Mishkeegogamang, Neskantaga and Webequie. Attendance has been robust and the communities have shown great interest in Noront’s future plans. The Company intends to continue holding community open houses throughout northwestern Ontario as it continues to advance its flagship Eagle’s Nest Project towards commercial production in 2016.
At the recent Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (“PDAC”) Annual Convention in March, the Eabametoong, Neskantaga, Nibinamik and Webequie First Nations signed an agreement pledging to work together to develop an East West Corridor to the Ring of Fire. Final routing is yet to be determined but the Company is encouraged to see the First Nations communities becoming increasingly involved in infrastructure development in the Ring of Fire.
INDEPENDENT QUALITY CONTROL AND ANALYTICAL PROTOCOL
All holes are systematically logged, sampled and shipped under strict chain of custody procedures to Activation Labs (“Actlabs”) in Thunder Bay, ON for sample preparation and initial analyses utilizing fusion X-ray fluorescence (“XRF”) methods.
A thorough quality control program has been in effect for the McFaulds Lake Project, which includes grouping samples into batches of 35 into which are added one blank, three internationally certified reference materials (“ICRMs”), one quarter sawn field duplicate, a coarse reject duplicate and a pulp duplicate. The pass/fail criteria demands that if the measured concentrations of the ICRMs exhibit a difference greater than three standard deviations above or below the established mean grade of the ICRM the entire batch is considered to have failed and must be re-analysed.
It can be said with confidence that all assays have passed the strict quality control guidelines established by Noront’s Qualified Person.
For more information on assay methodology please visit the Actlabs website at http://www.actlabsint.com or reference the Company’s NI-43-101 technical report “Technical Report on the Mineral Resource Estimate for the Blackbird Chromite Deposit, James Bay Lowlands, Ontario, Canada” (effective January 22. 2010) available on the Company’s website and at www.sedar.com.
Nickel, copper, platinum, palladium, gold and silver
All holes are systematically logged, sampled and shipped under strict chain of custody procedures to Activation Labs (“Actlabs”) in Thunder Bay, ON for sample preparation and initial analyses. A thorough quality control program has been in effect for the McFaulds Lake Project, which includes grouping samples into batches of 35 into which are added one blank, two internationally certified reference materials (“ICRMs”), one quarter sawn field duplicate, a coarse reject duplicate and a pulp duplicate. The pass/fail criteria demands that if the measured concentrations of the ICRMs exhibit a difference greater than three standard deviations above or below the established mean grade of the ICRM the entire batch is considered to have failed and must be re-analyzed.
All samples reported upon herein were submitted to Activation Labs (“Actlabs”) of Ancaster, Ontario, for multi-element analysis. Nickel and copper were analyzed using a four acid digestion method. Samples returning values exceeding the established limits are subjected to ICP-OES analysis.
Gold, platinum and palladium are analyzed using standard fire assay procedure based on a 30 gram aliquot with an ICP finish. Silver analyses are completed using a 3-acid digestion method with an ICP finish. For more information on assay methodology please visit the Actlabs website at http://www.actlabsint.com.
For further information on the McFaulds Lake Project, please refer to the Company’s NI 43-101 compliant technical report “Technical Report and Resource Estimate, McFaulds Lake Project, James Bay Lowlands, Ontario Canada” (effective April 18, 2011) available on the Company’s website and at www.sedar.com.
The content of this Press Release has been reviewed by Mr. W. Hanson, P.Geo, President and CEO.
About Noront: Noront Resources Ltd. is focused on developing the high-grade Eagle’s Nest nickelcopper- platinum-palladium deposit, the exploration and development of the Blackbird chromite discovery and regional exploration for additional mineral deposits within it’s large, highly prospective land position in an area known as the “Ring of Fire”, an emerging multi-metals camp located in the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario, Canada.
For further information please contact Wes Hanson, President and CEO at (416) 367-1444, access the Company’s website at www.norontresources.com or search the Company’s publically filed documents at www.sedar.com.
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.