Thunder Bay

Noront to buy Cliffs Ring of Fire camp in Northern Ontario

A mining camp in the Ring of Fire mineral deposit north of Thunder Bay is set to change hands by the end of the year.
Noront resources plans to buy the Cliffs camp (on left) alongside Noront's Esker camp (right) in the remote Ring of Fire mining development. (Noront Resources)

A mining camp in the Ring of Fire mineral deposit north of Thunder Bay is set to change hands by the end of the year.

Noront Resources announced Friday that it has entered into an agreement with Cliffs to acquire its exploration camp at McFaulds Lake.

"When [Cliffs} announced they were suspending their project indefinitely, we inquired what they were doing with the exploration camp," Noront president Alan Coutts said.  

'We're not going anywhere'

"Because we're going ahead with our project and we're coming to a stage, probably within the next six months to a year, that we're going to need a construction camp."

Coutts is optimistic that the environmental assessment and financing for Noront's nickel, copper, platinum and palladium mine will be in place by 2015, and construction completed as early as 2018.

"We're committed. We're not pulling out, we're not going anywhere," he said. "It hasn't necessarily been easy, but we're going to make this happen."

Cliffs says camp was 'temporary'

The purchase of the camp won't be finalized until the snow melts and an environmental study can be done, but Coutts said Noront is prepared to take on the liability for the property.

A spokesperson for Cliffs says the camp is located on Noront's claim area and "was designated to be temporary...with a goal of establishing a new camp at a permanent location at some point in the future."

"If we start-up the Chromite project in the future, we will assemble a camp on our property," Patricia Persico said in an email to CBC.

Cliffs suspended its operations in the Ring of Fire last November.