PRESS RELEASE: The provincial government agreed to support and fund the following road proposals which will connect First Nation communities to the Ring of Fire:
- An east-west road connecting Webequie and Nibinamik First Nations to the provincial highway network north of Pickle Lake (the “East-West Road”). This road will continue from the Community of Webequie to the Ring of Fire.
- A north-south community access road is being planned for construction by the Marten Falls First Nation with an option to expand the road to the Ring of Fire to support the development of chromite mining (the “North – South Road”).
An environmental assessment of both road projects is expected to begin by January 2018, followed by construction in 2019 pending all necessary approvals. This timeframe allows Noront to advance its pre-development work and ready itself for the three-year construction of its Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper, platinum group metal mine.
Noront’s president and CEO Alan Coutts said: “Construction of all-season industrial and community access roads is one of the key things we’ve been working toward with the government and our First Nation partners. I am very pleased to see it moving forward.”
Noront plans to create a multi-mine, multi-metals company in the Ring of Fire, in partnership with local First Nations communities. Eagle’s Nest which is the company’s first project would use the planned East – West Road, while its future larger-scale chromite project would use the North – South Road, which will allow for a greater volume of material to be moved.
In April 2017, Noront signed an Exploration and Project Advancement Agreement with Marten Falls First Nation, and is currently negotiating a pre-development agreement with this community. As development continues in the Ring of Fire, the company looks forward to collaborating with other First Nation partners on similar agreements and road projects in order provide input into the technical industrial road specifications and development timelines.