No sense getting into the chromite business without having China on your radar, according to KWG Resources.
With more than half of the world’s ferrochrome is being consumed by the People’s Republic, Moe Lavigne, vice-president of exploration and development for the Toronto junior miner, said it’s a no-brainer that his exploration firm would strike a deal with a Chinese railroad engineering outfit to investigate the economics of a Ring of Fire railroad.
KWG announced on Nov. 24 a three-year agreement with China Railway First Survey and Design Institute to conduct, what amounts to, a pre-feasibility study of KWG’s long-standing plans for an ore-haul railway from northwestern Ontario to the James Bay region to haul out chromite for processing.
The company claim-staked a 340-kilometre long route running from the CN main line into the mineral belt and to KWG’s Big Daddy chromite deposit, of which it owns a 30 per cent share with Noront Resources.
Talks with Chinese interests about chromite off-take agreements is a discussion that KWG has been having for “many years” without gaining much traction until about two months ago, said Lavigne.
The Chinese government wants its state-owned railway engineering companies to do more international work.
“One of our contacts in China called us,” said Lavigne. “That’s what precipitated this.”
With no interest from Canada’s major railways on financing and constructing a Ring of Fire line, KWG hopes they’ve opened a door to eventually secure capital from Beijing.
In return, they would guarantee the globe’s biggest economy a 100-year supply from the world’s largest chromite reserve to feed their stainless steel industry.
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