Noront Resources completes preliminary metallurgical tests on Blackbird chromite mineralization



    
    Symbol: NOT:TSX-V
    Shares Outstanding: 154,578,457
    Fully Diluted: 161,033,457
    

    TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - Noront Resources Ltd. ("Noront" or the
"Company") (TSX Venture: NOT) is pleased to present the results of preliminary
metallurgical studies prepared by SGS Lakefield on chromite mineralization
from its Blackbird chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire area of northern
Ontario located in the James Bay Lowlands. The studies were undertaken to
establish the feasibility of extracting marketable products, not only from the
high grade massive chromite beds, but also from lower grade zones diluted by
intervening beds of silicate rocks containing disseminated chromite.

    
                            HIGHLIGHTS of TESTING

    -   Massive chromite is amenable to dense media separation (DMS) at (less
        than) 2 mm size fractions. Further testing is planned at the small
        lump and chip size to confirm that direct shipping ores can be
        produced by DMS;
    -   Narrow intercalated chromite beds and heavily disseminated chromite
        within ultramafic beds can be combined to produce a high quality
        concentrate using conventional gravity separation;
    -   Bench-scale gravity concentration tests provide Cr recoveries of 87%
        on massive chromite, and 80% on a mixture of heavily disseminated
        chromite and intercalated chromite beds;
    -   Gravity concentrates grade 51.9 to 53.4% Cr2O3 with Cr:Fe ratios of
        2.2 to 2.4 and SiO2 below 3%, suitable as metallurgical concentrate
        for ferrochrome production;
    -   The potential for generation of high value-added products such as
        foundry sands, refractories, or chemical feedstocks by further
        slightly lowering silica contents to below 1% is being investigated
        by continued metallurgical test work.
    

    Mineralization types:

    The Blackbird deposit comprises both thick massive beds of chromitite up
to several tens of metres thick, and extensive intersections of intercalated
chromitite and silicate rocks containing various amounts of disseminated
chromite, commonly interbedded on scales of millimetres to metres. The massive
chromite beds are of grade and composition comparable to products sold
worldwide as direct-shipping lumpy ore (Cr(2)O(3) (greater than) 40%, Cr:Fe
(greater than) 1.8). The intercalated material contains narrow beds of the
same material that are too narrow to mine separately and therefore would need
to be beneficiated in order to recover economically valuable chromite
concentrates.

    
    Noront has identified five grade categories of chromite mineralization:
     -  MC is massive chromite ((greater than) 75modal % chromite) occuring
        in beds greater than 4 cm true thickness.
    -   D3 includes heavily disseminated chromite ((greater than) 25 modal %
        chromite) hosted by ultramafic silcate rocks.
    -   D2 is disseminated chromite ((greater than) 15 modal % chromite).
    -   D1 and D are disseminated chromite with greater than or less than 5%
        chromite, respectively. Intercalations of sillicates and chromitite
        beds (less than) 4 cm in true thickness are included in the
        estimation of modal abundance of the disseminated chromite.
    

    Metallurgical study:

    We report here the results obtained on two samples chosen to represent
the range of medium (D2, D3) to high-grade (MC) mineralization styles present
in the Blackbird deposit. Material was obtained by quarter-sawing previously
assayed core. One sample (henceforth referred to as massive) comprises 17 m of
NQ quarter core continuously sampled through a single bed of massive chromite
between 201 and 228 m in drill hole NOT-08-1G017. Another sample (henceforth
referred to as intercalated) consists of 15 m of continously sampled NQ
quarter core comprising intercalated chromitite beds and heavily disseminated
chromite between 190 and 205 m from drill hole NOT-08-065, as well as two
one-metre continuous samples of similar NQ quarter core (215 to 216 m and 220
to 221 m) from the same hole. Only 51% of the intercalated chromitite sample
consisted of massive beds; the remainder was interbedded D2 and D3
disseminated (32%) and D+D1 disseminated (16%).
    Three types of separation were investigated by SGS Lakefield. Results are
summarized in Table 1. After stage crushing to -10 mesh the +20 mesh size
fraction (+841 / -2000 mm) was treated with heavy liquids (HLS) to simulate
the process of dense media separation (DMS). In the intercalated chromitite
sample the recovery in the sink fraction at SG of 3.3 was 88.7% of the Cr
content of the initial sample, resulting in an upgrading from 35.1% Cr(2)O(3)
to 42.1% Cr(2)O(3). No significant change was observed in the grade of the
massive chromite during heavy liquid separation.
    Magnetic separation was performed after further pulverizing to -48 mesh
on the +200 mesh size fraction (+74 / -300 mm). Low intensity magnetic field
was used to remove any magnetite present, followed by a high-intensity step to
concentrate the chromite. The intercalated chromitite sample was upgraded from
35.1% to 47.1% Cr(2)O(3) in the high-intensity concentrate while achieving a
Cr recovery of 78% and reducing SiO(2) contents from 11.4% to 6.32%. The
massive chromite sample was upgraded to 50.1% Cr(2)O(3) with Cr recovery of
81.9% in the high-intensity magnetic concentrate. Material lost to fines was
not included in the calculation of Cr recoveries; the reported values are
taken over the entire size range below 48 mesh.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          Cr
             Cr(2)O(3)   Cr     Fe         SiO(2)   MgO Al(2)O(3)   S  reco-
    Material       %      %      %  Cr:Fe      %      %      %     (%)  very
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Intercalated
     chromite
     (head)     35.1   24.0   12.0   2.00   11.2   18.8   10.1   0.06    100
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HLS
     concentrate
     (SG
     (greater than)
     3.3)       42.1   28.8   12.7   2.27   8.51   16.0   10.8   0.04   88.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    high
     magnetic
     flux
     concen-
     trate      47.1   32.2   14.6   2.21   6.32   14.6   10.2   0.01   78.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    gravity
     concen-
     trate      51.9   35.5   16.2   2.19   2.78   11.6   10.8   0.04   80.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Massive
     chromite
     (head)     43.7   29.9   13.4    2.2    7.3   14.5   12.0   0.02    100
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HLS
     concentrate
     (SG
     (greater than)
     3.3)       44.1   30.2   14.0   2.16    7.0   14.7   12.7   0.01   96.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    high
     magnetic
     flux
     concen-
     trate      50.1   34.3   14.1   2.43    4.6   12.8   12.6   0.01   83.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    gravity
     concen-
     trate      53.4   36.5   15.2   2.40   2.12   11.3   12.7  1.012   87.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 1. Head grades and concentrate compositions for two samples of
    chromite mineralization.
    

    Gravity separation was done by stage grinding to -70 mesh ((less than)
212 mm) and passing this material over the Wilfley table and the superpanner.
The intercalated chromitite sample produced a gravity concentrate grading
51.9% Cr(2)O(3) and 2.78% SiO(2) while providing 80.7% overall Cr recovery.
The massive chromite sample produced a gravity concentrate grading 53.4%
Cr(2)O(3) and 2.12% SiO(2) while achieving 87.6% Cr recovery.

    Discussion of results:

    Gravity separation was highly successful, producing material equivalent
to high quality metallurgical concentrate at 52% Cr(2)O(3), SiO(2) below 3%,
and a Cr:Fe ratio of 2.2 from intercalated chromitite to 2.4 from massive
chromite. Continued testwork will be aimed at the production of clean
concentrates with SiO(2) below 1% for end-uses such as foundry sands, chemical
feedstock, and refractory applications.
    The magnetic separation was successful at producing concentrates suitable
for pelletizing as a very high quality direct smelter feed in the range from
47 to 50% Cr(2)O(3). However with SiO(2) concentrations in the range 4 - 6%
these materials cannot be considered metallurgical concentrates. Ongoing test
work is aimed at improving the removal of silica.
    The heavy liquid separation was intended to be a diagnostic tool to
demonstrate the feasibility of sorting massive chromite from disseminated
material using dense media. In this regard it was successful, since the
particles being separated in this manner are small rock chips comprising many
grains of chromite and gangue. The procedure therefore demonstrates clearly
that waste can be separated from potential ore using dense media. However the
grain size employed was finer than would normally be used in mine-scale DMS
plants and therefore the results should be taken only as encouragement that
massive material can be sunk to separate it from finely intercalated and
disseminated materials requiring further concentration by magnetic or gravity
separation. Further work is planned to determine the DMS recoveries of direct
shipping massive chromite ore achievable at the chip (+1 / -6 mm), small lump
(+6 / -25 mm), and lump size range (+15 / -80 mm).
    The Blackbird deposit contains, in addition to extensive massive beds of
chromitite, very large volumes of intercalated thin chromitite beds and weakly
to strongly disseminated chromite. The dilulted grades estimated by averaging
the intercalated beds appear to be low, and show Cr:Fe ratios that are
affected by the presence of iron-rich silicate gangue within the diluted
average grades. The present test results demonstrate unequivocally that high
grade products can be generated from both kinds of mineralization using
conventional low-cost methods of DMS and gravity separation, and show that the
Cr(2)O(3) and Cr:Fe content of the extractable chromite is much higher than
would be suggested by the diluted values reported over low-grade
intersections.
    Joseph Hamilton, Co-Chief Executive Officer states that "These
metallurgical results are an excellent preliminary start, demonstrating that
Noront's chromite discoveries not only have the potential to be world class,
but are high grade and of desirable quality, giving Noront the flexibility to
produce a range of chromite materials for a wide variety of end-users. We look
forward to finalizing our metallurgical testing."
    This press release has been reviewed and approved for dissemination by
Noront's senior management including John Harvey, P.Eng. Chief Operating
Officer, Dr. James Mungall P.Geo., Chief Geologist, and Jim Atkinson, P.Geo.
Exploration Manager, all being Qualified Persons under Canadian Securities
guidelines.

    
    ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
    "Paul A. Parisotto and Joe Hamilton"
    Co-Chief Executive Officers
    

    FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

    This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of
applicable Canadian securities legislation, including predictions, projections
and forecasts. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to,
statements that address activities, events or developments that the Company
expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including such things
as future business strategy, competitive strengths, goals, expansion, growth
of the Company's businesses, operations, plans and with respect to exploration
results, the timing and success of exploration activities generally,
permitting time lines, government regulation of exploration and mining
operations, environmental risks, title disputes or claims, limitations on
insurance coverage, timing and possible outcome of any pending litigation and
timing and results of future resource estimates or future economic studies.
    Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by
the use of words such as "plans", "planning", "planned", "expects" or "looking
forward", "does not expect", "continues", "scheduled", "estimates",
"forecasts", "intends", "potential", "anticipates", "does not anticipate", or
"belief", or describes a "goal", or variation of such words and phrases or
state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might"
or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.
    Forward-looking statements are based on a number of material factors and
assumptions, including, the result of drilling and exploration activities,
that contracted parties provide goods and/or services on the agreed
timeframes, that equipment necessary for exploration is available as scheduled
and does not incur unforeseen break downs, that no labour shortages or delays
are incurred, that plant and equipment function as specified, that no unusual
geological or technical problems occur, and that laboratory and other related
services are available and perform as contracted. Forward-looking statements
involve known and unknown risks, future events, conditions, uncertainties and
other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements
to be materially different from any future results, prediction, projection,
forecast, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the
forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the
interpretation and actual results of current exploration activities; changes
in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of gold;
possible variations in grade or recovery rates; failure of equipment or
processes to operate as anticipated; the failure of contracted parties to
perform; labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in
obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of
exploration, as well as those factors disclosed in the company's publicly
filed documents. Although Noront has attempted to identify important factors
that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from
those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that
cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or
intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove
to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially
from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not
place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

    
    The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept
    responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
    

    %SEDAR: 00003339E




For further information:

For further information: please contact the Investor Relations
Department at (416) 238 7226, investor.relations@norontresources.com or visit
Noront's website at: http://www.norontresources.com

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