Noront Resources Ltd. announced Thursday it has signed an exploration and project advancement agreement with Marten Falls First Nation in northern Ontario.

The agreement compensates Marten Falls for work that has been completed on their traditional land, the company said in a news release.

It also outlines a one year process that will be used to negotiate a pre-development agreement for the Eagles Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium mine located in northern Ontario. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Marten Falls will become a shareholder of Noront Resources after fulfilling certain obligations.

The company has agreed to issue 311,111 shares of Noront stock valued at $0.225, the closing price on April 12, 2017, subject to TSX Venture approval.

Chief Bruce Achneepineskum said in the news release the agreement is "a step towards a prosperous and sustainable future for both the youth and community of Marten Falls First Nation."  

Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts said "it marks the beginning of a long-term relationship that will provide opportunity and mutual benefits for both parties."

The Ring of Fire mineral deposit is located in the traditional territories of Marten Falls First Nation.

Noront is focused on developing its high-grade Eagle's Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit and high-grade chromite deposits including Blackbird, Black Thor and Big Daddy, all of which are located in the Ring of Fire.