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Noront is well positioned in the race for green metals

Nov 18, 2021

Noront Resources is an early-stage exploration and development company with the dominant land position in Northern Ontario’s emerging Ring of Fire mining district.
The company has made a number of significant base metal discoveries during the past 15 years, including the high-grade Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-PGE deposit. Uncovered in 2007, Eagle’s Nest is considered by many to be the most significant nickel discovery since Voisey’s Bay. Once in production, it is expected to be a low cost producer of nickel thanks to significant copper and PGE credits. The nickel produced there will feed the rapidly growing demand for battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs).
Other Noront Ring of Fire discoveries are the high-grade Blackbird chromite deposit, the Nikka copper-zinc deposit and numerous base and precious metal occurrences, which have yet to be fully delineated. Between 2015-2016 the company took advantage of the market downturn and consolidated their land position in the Ring of Fire through the acquisition of competitor properties for pennies on the dollar. This added the world class Black Thor and Big Daddy chromite projects and significant copper-zinc VMS properties to its portfolio. The company continued to acquire claims from 2017-2020 targeting gold and base metals, doubling down on their belief in the camp-scale potential of the belt.

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Despite the obvious metal endowment of the region, the question of access has troubled would-be investors as the deposits remain stranded in a remote area more than 300km from the nearest paved road. In 2017, the local Indigenous communities of Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations partnered with the provincial government to take the lead on environmental assessments required to study access roads into the region. In October 2021, these road studies reached a major milestone when their Terms of References were approved by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. Once approved and built, these First Nation-led road projects will become a model example of how infrastructure projects through remote regions can be achieved in an era of reconciliation.


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Planned timing for road development to the Ring of Fire meshes well with the burgeoning demand for nickel in EV batteries which is expected to require 7.5% to 25% of the total nickel market by 2025. This demand is intensified by the fact that not all nickel is the same. Only class-1 nickel, largely supplied by nickel sulfide deposits like Eagle’s Nest, can feed the EV battery market. Low nickel prices over the past decade have resulted in little investment in exploration and discovery of new resources to feed growing nickel demand.

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Pictured: Noront’s Eagle’s Nest Camp


Given the Eagle’s Nest value proposition, continued nickel prospectivity in the belt and recent progress in access roads to the region, it comes as no surprise that Noront is now subject to a bidding war between the world’s largest mining company, BHP, and Wyloo Metals, the private mining investment firm of Andrew Forest, one of Australia’s most successful mining magnates. Both companies have a strong mandate to advance a portfolio of nickel projects which will feed the emerging global demand for EVs as the world transitions to a greener economy. Both groups also have a proven record of engaging with local indigenous communities making the future for Noront and the Ring of Fire brighter than ever.

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Tags: Northern Ontario / Ring of Fire / Battery Metals / All Articles