An agreement between KWG Resources Inc and Marten Falls First Nation could prove to be a major breakthrough towards developing the vast mineral resources of the area known as the Ring of Fire in Northwestern Ontario.
The agreement, the possibility of which was announced this morning, could also eventually include Aroland and Webequie First Nations as well as the more remote members of the Matawa Council of First Nations.
A second breakthrough with a planned rail line to be build by a Chinese railway company to haul ore from the Ring of Fire also appears imminent.
The agreement could cost $4 Billion to develop the mining project - KWG asks for $1 Billion infrastructure funding from Ontario government.
The following is the full text of this morning's press release:
Marten Falls and KWG to propose Ring of Fire mining partnership, meet with China Railway FSDI
TORONTO — The Marten Falls First Nation has undertaken with KWG Resources Inc. (CSE:KWG)(CSE:KWG.CN)(FRANKFUR
The parties envisage large-volume underground mining operations for the delivery of chromite raw materials by railroad, for further processing.
The parties will travel to China in mid-May to establish interest in long-term offtake and financing arrangements there.
They will also meet with China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group ('FSDI') to discuss details of the feasibility study prepared for KWG last year by FSDI.
The proposed railroad traverses the traditional territories of the Marten Falls, Webequie and Aroland First Nations.
The capital cost of creating the mining operation and its railroad is estimated to be $4 billion.
The parties have requested that Ontario's Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation indicate its willingness to provide a $1 billion guarantee as consideration for project financing terms from Chinese lenders.
The partnership is envisaged to include the Aroland and Webequie First Nations as well as the more remote members of the Matawa Council of First Nations.
An offer of partnership will also be extended to Ring of Fire mineral claim holders Noront Resources Ltd., Fancamp Exploration Ltd., Bold Ventures Inc. and Probe Metals Inc.
KWG is the Operator of the Black Horse Joint Venture after acquiring a vested 50% interest through Bold Ventures Inc. which is carried for 10% (20% of KWG's equity in the JV) by KWG funding all exploration expenditures. KWG also owns 100% of CCC which has staked claims and conducted a surveying and soil testing program, originally for the engineering and construction of a railroad to the Ring of Fire from Aroland, Ontario. KWG subsequently acquired intellectual property interests, including a method for the direct reduction of chromite to metalized iron and chrome using natural gas. KWG subsidiary Muketi Metallurgical LP is prosecuting two chromite-refining patent applications in Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, and USA. The filings have been receipted in each of those jurisdictions.