Some Random Thoughts About Public/Media Pessimism About Ring of Fire – by Stan Sudol

The pessimism about the Ring of Fire is extraordinary. With two multi-billion-dollar Australian mining corporations fighting tooth and claw over this valuable mineral-rich camp, with one confirmed nickel/copper mine and one of the largest chromite deposits in the world, it is unjustified.

Many of the most prominent geologists in the country privately say that this is Sudbury Basin 2.0. For those outside the mining world, Sudbury’s polymetallic mineral deposits – nickel, copper, platinum group metals, cobalt, gold and silver – is the richest, multi-generational ore body in Canada and one of the most important integrated – mine, mill, smelter, refinery – mineral complexes in the world.

For much of the history of the last century, the city’s mines were the main source of nickel to the western world, a strategic metal vital for military weapons. In fact, the old Inco had long-standing connections to key people in the American Military Industrial Complex.

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Ring of Fire operator Noront warms to Wyloo takeover bid, but BHP looms – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 19, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Noront Resources Ltd. has agreed to a $391-million takeover from Australian private equity firm Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd., trumping an earlier bid from global giant BHP Group Ltd., but the minerals development company in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region is leaving the door open to a higher offer.

Backed by Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, Wyloo first proposed buying Toronto-based Noront in May for 31.5 cents a share. Melbourne-based BHP, the world’s biggest mining company, upped the ante with a 55-cents-a-share bid in July, and Noront’s board supported it. But Wyloo came back in late August, offering 70 cents a share.

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Wyloo Metals has inside track to acquire Ring of Fire’s Noront Resources – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 18, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Australian mine developer tables ‘superior’ proposal, BHP given five days to match

Wyloo Metals has tabled a “superior” offer over BHP’s in the bidding war to acquire Ring of Fire junior miner Noront Resources.

Wyloo, a Western Australian-based mine developer, announced it has reached an agreement with the Toronto company to acquire its nickel, copper, platinum group metals and chromite assets in the James Bay region.

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Road to Ring of Fire is Green National Priority for Ontario and Canada – by Stan Sudol

The thunder from down under has been reverberating through Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining camp – located roughly 500 kms northeast of Thunder Bay – as Australian mining giants BHP and Wyloo Metals are fighting a bruising bidding war for Noront Resources. The junior exploration company owns the Eagle’s Nest nickel/copper potential mine as well as extensive world-class chromite deposits and other mineral-rich promising ground.

BHP is the largest mining company in the world, whose current CEO, Mike Henry, is a Canadian, while Wyloo Metals is owned by Fortescue Metals, founded by mining billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, and is the world’s fourth largest iron ore miner.

“Noront’s ROF land package hosts some of the most prospective mineral deposits in the world. These deposits have the potential to become Canada’s next great mineral district, supporting the production of future-facing commodities for multiple generations”, claimed a Wyloo Metals news release in August.

The entry of multi-billion-dollar mining corporations signals a proverbial “game-change” in the stalled Ring of Fire mining camp. Noront Resource was a struggling junior company that did manage to consolidate almost half of the valuable mineral claims in the camp but did not have the funds to do significant further exploration or to build their existing mine. Newly established and well-funded explorer Juno Corporation is the largest claim holder who after extensive aerial geo-physics surveys that showcased promising anomalies, is hoping to add to future discoveries.

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Ontario Ring of Fire’s Astonishing World-Class Mineral Potential – by Stan Sudol (Huffington Post – April 20, 2014)

Please note that this article is from April 2014 – Stan Sudol

Located 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, the Ring of Fire mining camp contains billions worth of chromite — among the best deposits in the world — plus nickel, copper, platinum group elements, gold, zinc and vanadium.

In 2007, an interesting mix of six geologists and junior mining executives – Richard Nemis, Mac Watson, Neil Novack, John Harvey and Don Hoy — collectively found the most significant mineral discovery in Canada since the Sudbury Basin in 1883 and the Timmins gold camp in 1909.

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ChromeSA says imposition of export tax would be high risk – by Martin Creamer (MiningWeekly.com – September 14, 2021)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The imposition of a tax on the export of chrome ore would be high risk and the gain from such an intervention would likely be eroded fairly quickly by the high cost of electricity, which is the real problem.

Chrome SA’s Alistair McAdam and Paul Anderson of Genesis Analytics highlighted this summary when they spoke to Mining Weekly in a Zoom interview on Monday. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)

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What’s to become of Sault Ste. Marie’s ferrochrome plant? Wait for the bidding war to settle, says Noront CEO – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 10, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Chromite production plans, smelter plan in limbo until new ownership takes control of Noront’s Ring of Fire metal assets

Ask Alan Coutts what’s to become of a proposed ferrochrome processing plant for Sault Ste. Marie and the president of Noront Resources gives a straightaway answer.

“That will ultimately be a question that will be answered by the new owners.” Noront selected Sault Ste. Marie in 2019 is its preferred location for a high-tech smelting operation, settling on a brownfield site at Algoma Steel.

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Wyloo hikes bid for Ring of Fire explorer Noront Resources, trumps BHP offer – by Naill McGee (Globe and Mail – August 31, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd. has bumped up its offer for Noront Resources Ltd., trumping BHP Group Ltd.’s bid, and in a highly unusual move is proposing to keep the struggling Ring of Fire exploration company as a publicly traded entity.

Since May, Toronto-based Noront has been the subject of a takeover tussle between Australian private equity firm Wyloo and BHP, the world’s biggest mining company, which is also based in Australia.

Both are extremely well funded. BHP’s market valuation is US$165-billion. Wyloo is backed by Andrew Forrest, founder and chair of Fortescue Metals Group, and one of the richest individuals in Australia.

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Ferrochrome is part of the green revolution – Glencore – by Martin Creamer (MiningWeekly.com – August 6, 2021)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore views the ferrochrome market as being particularly strong currently. “We’ve seen very healthy ferrochrome prices and good cash generation in that business,” Glencore CEO Gary Nagle said.

In response to Mining Weekly during a media conference following the company’s presentation of record half-year results, Nagle highlighted ferrochrome’s good fortune as being driven by the very strong global production of stainless steel, in which it is a key ingredient.

Fiscal stimulus has boosted demand for white goods and the like, and stainless steel and its ferrochrome twin have provided the necessary innards to meet that demand.

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Zimbabwe bans chrome ore exports to boost ferrochrome industry – by MacDonald Dzirutwe (Nasdaq.com – August 3, 2021)

https://www.nasdaq.com/

HARARE, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe has banned the export of raw chrome with immediate effect in a bid to support the domestic ferrochrome industry, minister of information Monica Mutsvangwa said on Tuesday.

The southern African country holds the second-largest known chrome ore reserves after South Africa, which in October last year announced it was imposing a chrome ore export tax to boost local ferrochrome producers.

Mutsvangwa told reporters after a cabinet meeting that Zimbabwe had 22 operating chrome smelters, which could soon face insufficient feedstock if chrome mining capacity did not increase.

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ChromeSA fails to win ear of Competition Commission in controversial export tax row – by David McKay (MiningMX.com – June 21, 2021)

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SOUTH Africa’s chrome ore industry has failed in its attempt to win an exemption from the Competition Commission that would have enabled it to discuss alternatives to an export tax controversially proposed by Cabinet last year.

The export tax is intended to boost the country’s ferrochrome industry which uses chrome ore supply. However, ChromeSA says it will only have short-term benefits and could potentially backfire in the long run.

It argues that alternative chrome ore producers have an excess supply that could be brought to bear in the wake of uncompetitive South African material. The majority of South African chrome ore exports are to China which it uses for its own ferrochrome sector.

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South African ferrochrome furnaces need to regain competitive advantage, warns Roskill – by Simone Liedtke (MiningWeekly.com – June 15, 2021)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

The South African ferrochrome industry has benefitted from recent events in China, which commodity research consultancy Roskill says has removed significant global capacity through the closure of small furnaces.

While higher-cost furnaces in southern China have been able to fill the short-term gap, the demand expectations will require South African plants to remain operational throughout this year.

Taking this into account, Roskill predicts that the benchmark price for the third and fourth quarters of this year will maintain a premium to the South African cost structure.

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Wyloo Metals would put proposed Sault ferrochrome plant under the microscope, if successful in bid for Noront Resources – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 7, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/ Australian mining investor focused on mining, processing nickel for Ontario’s electrical vehicle manufacturers The prospective Australian buyer for Noront Resources won’t make any immediate shifts in strategy in the Far North mineral exploration camp should it acquire the Toronto junior mining company. But it will reassess the location of a proposed ferrochrome processing plant …

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COMMENT: Could China’s ferro-chrome futures be a game-changer? – by Jon Stibbs and Siyi Liu (Metal Bulletin – March 23, 2021)

https://www.metalbulletin.com/

The Shanghai Futures Exchange’s plans to list ferro-chrome futures, potentially this year, will bring welcomed hedging opportunities and may weaken the dominance of China’s stainless steel mills in the ore and alloy markets, participants told Fastmarkets.

While no definite date or specifications of the ferro-chrome futures have been announced, Fastmarkets asked participants what changes these contracts might bring to their businesses and if they could be a game-changer in the traditional pricing mechanism for the chrome ore and ferro-chrome markets.

Indeed, many ferro-chrome producer sources in China hold positive expectations because these financial derivatives would provide hedging opportunities to better control their production costs, especially in purchasing seaborne chrome ore.

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A road to the Ring of Fire is ‘everything.’ Railway? Not so much – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 22, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Noront Resources exploration boss digs into the details of the 2021 exploration year

The mineral endowment in the Ring of Fire appears to be vast, deep, rich and long-lasting.

As compelling as the geological picture is of the world-class base and precious metal deposits in the Far North exploration camp, 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, all anyone wants to talk about is, what’s happening with the access roads?

It’s a topic of discussion too with Noront Resources, the leading mine developer in the James Bay lowlands. “The road is everything,” said Ryan Weston, the company’s vice-president of exploration, at a recent web gathering of the Sudbury Prospectors and Developers Association.

“Without the road there’s no Ring of Fire development, which means there’s no exploration.”

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