Noront is not threatening to walk away from the Ring of Fire its CEO says.
The Financial Post ran a story with anonymous sources Tuesday saying the company has threatened to walk away from its Eagle’s Nest project if it doesn’t see progress from the province and First Nations soon. Alan Coutts said that same day the company announced a new exploration program in the area with nearby First Nations as participants.
“We don’t have any plans to shut down operations,” he said. “I don’t want to get into speculative stuff but we’re active.”
It’s a weak market out there, especially for a junior company like Nortont but Coutts said they’ve been finding the money they need and that’s happened because they’ve shown progress. “There’s activity, there’s alignment and there’s progress in the Ring of Fire,” he said.
Obviously the company would like to see firmer plans from the province on infrastructure for the project but Coutts said there are current discussions on those issues.
Commitments were hard to come by from the federal government but now that the Liberals are in power, he sees more alignment between them and the province.
So does Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle.
Gravelle, who was quoted in the Financial Post story saying the province and company continue to work together, said part of the issue for timelines has been the previous Conservative government, especially the development corporation.
“I think it’s fair to say that one of the barriers to those discussions moving forward in a positive way was a difficult relationship we had with the federal government,” he said.
Gravelle said he was caught off guard by the story given the amount of discussions he’s had with Coutts and other Noront employees over the past few weeks.
“We have the same goals in mind,” he said. “Noront remains very committed to the project.”
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