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Moose Cree FN and NIOBay Metals Renew Protection Agreement

Apr 5, 2021

By Kevin Vincent, Mining Life

One of northern Ontario’s most anticipated projects continues a slow and steady march toward production. As the billion-dollar James Bay-area niobium project progresses in that direction, NIOBay Metals has signed and updated a Protection Agreement (PA) with Moose Factory-based Moose Cree First Nation (MCFN) that represents the region’s cultural and business interests.   

The PA sets out a framework for effective communication, information exchange, environmental protection and the inclusion of MCFN businesses in the exploration program. The exploration project area, just south of Moosonee, is considered one of the world’s most promising niobium deposits. Niobium is used to both harden and lighten industrial metals such as steel.  

Niobium is used in alloys including stainless steel. It improves the strength of the alloys, particularly at low temperatures. Alloys containing niobium are used in jet engines and rockets, beams and girders for buildings and oil rigs, as well as oil and gas pipelines. Niobium also has superconducting properties.

“The PA reflects the mutual interests of NioBay and Moose Cree to work in partnership with the exploration program and continue to build a relationship that could then see a mine built with MCFN consent,” said Claude Dufresne, NioBay President and CEO.

“Respect for Moose Cree’s Aboriginal and treaty rights is at the core of the Protection Agreement. NioBay has acknowledged our community’s rights and decision-making role. This forms the basis of a positive working relationship between Moose Cree First Nation and NioBay,” said MCFN Chief Mervin Cheechoo in a joint statement earlier this year.

On January 8, 2021 the company received an exploration permit valid for three years, from the Ministry of Energy Northern Development and Mines to drill up to 20,000 metres or approximately 20-30 drill holes.

The first objective is to achieve an infill drilling pattern that will allow the company to upgrade the majority of the inferred resources category into the indicated resource category.

The second objective is to test the high-grade zone extending and raking to the north. Drilling started in early February.

To finance the program, the company raised more than $11 million in late 2020 just two weeks after releasing a positive PEA (Preliminary Economic Assessment).

With money in the bank and the impending agreement with MCFN, Niobay listed its shares in the US on the OTCQB exchange. The company says listing NioBay on the OTCQB will be an important step to provide easier access and trading capability in company shares for both institutional and retail investors. Claude Dufresne, President and CEO of NioBay adds, “This will contribute to one of our core strategies to enhance liquidity and building on the significant progress we have made over the past years.”

NioBay Metals Inc. is an exploration company with a 100% interest in the James Bay Niobium Project, 45 km south of Moosonee. NioBay also holds a 72.5% interest in the Crevier niobium and tantalum project in Quebec and a 47% direct participation in mineral titles situated in the Chibougamau region, Quebec, under a joint venture agreement with SOQUEM. 

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