A court ruling that opens up a prized overland route to the Ring of Fire was greeted with a shrug of the shoulders by Noront Resources, the leading mine developer in the remote exploration camp.
Though pleased with an Ontario appeals court decision that lifts KWG Resources’ exclusive hold on a vital north-south path of high ground into the James Bay lowlands, Noront president Al Coutts responded his company is more intent on driving a road from the west to reach their nickel deposit.
But it’s great to have options, he said. “It doesn’t really impact our plans going forward because we’re focusing on that east-west corridor of development and the Eagle’s Nest deposit.”
Noront inherited the court case when it picked up some high-grade chromite properties from Cliffs Natural Resources last April as the struggling Ohio mining giant was departing Ontario.
Mining chromite is not very high on Noront’s to-do list. Its cornerstone project is its Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit.
Noront has tabled a proposal for a 280-kilometre-long road, following the winter road network, extending east from Pickle Lake rather than use the 340-kilometre-long northerly route that KWG staked using mining claims.
KWG’s route was a controversial one, resulting in two years of litigation when Cliffs was denied permission by KWG to use that route for its own access route.
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