Noront announces historic chromite resource estimate for Blackbird deposit at
McFaulds' Lake

    Symbol: NOT:TSX-V
    Shares Outstanding: 163,631,957
    Fully Diluted: 173,461,957

TORONTO, Dec. 9 /CNW/ - Noront Resources Ltd. ("Noront" or the "Company") (TSX Venture: NOT) is pleased to present an initial resource estimate for a portion of its Blackbird chromite deposit, McFaulds Lake Project.


    -   Measured and indicated resource of 8.9 million tonnes sufficient for
        a 15 year project producing 200,000 - 225,000 tonnes of ferrochrome
        annually and a further inferred resource of 6.0 million tonnes with
        the potential to add an additional 10 years to the project.
        Mineralization remains open at depth;

    -   Canada's first independent NI-43-101 resource estimate for chromite;

    -   Estimate based on 154 drill holes (52,375 metres);

    -   The resource is a classic stratiform deposit with original chromite
        layers broken up into segments 300 to 400 metres in length;

    -   The chromite layers are sub-vertical and extend from surface to
        beyond 300 metres;

    -   There are four massive segments, grading approximately 35% Cr(2)O(3)
        and ranging from 7 to 18 metres in average true thickness;

    -   There are two intercalated lenses, grading approximately 25 to
        28% Cr(2)O(3) and ranging in thickness from 150 to 200 metres;

    -   All chromite layers are open at depth and additional gravity targets
        that have potential to expand the resource have not been drill tested
        to date; and

    -   Deposit geometry is very well suited for a low impact, underground
        mine with a limited environmental footprint.

During the fourth quarter of 2008, Noront's management committed the funding necessary to identify a chromite resource at Blackbird. Management's objective was to define a Measured and Indicated chromite resource sufficient to support a 200,000 to 225,000 tonne per annum ferrochrome furnace for 15 years. At then current prices, Noront management estimated that a project of this size would generate approximately $500 million in revenue per year.

By the second quarter of 2009, Noront had completed 154 drill holes totaling 52,375 metres on the Blackbird chromite project. Drilling was completed on sections spaced at 50 metres. Noront contracted Micon International Ltd. ("Micon"), one of only a few North American firms with the requisite expertise and experience to estimate chromite resources, to complete an NI 43-101 resource estimate and Technical Report.

Micon estimated the massive and intercalated resources independently. The layers of massive chromite lenses host a Measured and Indicated resource of 7.6 million tonnes grading 36% Cr(2)O(3) with a chrome to iron ratio of 1.94 Cr:Fe. A further 3.5 million tonnes @ 35% Cr(2)O(3) and 1.95 Cr:Fe are classified as Inferred resources. The currently identified Measured and Indicated resource is more than adequate to supply a 200,000 to 225,000 tonne per annum ferrochrome facility for at least 15 years, the design goal of the drill program approved by Noront in 2008. Infill drilling of the identified Inferred resource has the potential to add a further 5-10 years of production and, more importantly, the deposit remains open at depth. The intercalated resource can readily be upgraded to a high quality concentrate, offering an additional 5-10 years of mine life.

Noront's President and CEO, Wes Hanson, states: "The Blackbird chromites are analogous and typical of Kemi-type deposits, characterized by lensoid bodies of layered chromite several tens of metres thick and several hundreds of metres in size. We are very pleased to deliver Canada's first 43-101 resource estimate for the Blackbird chromite deposits and I am grateful that our Board of Directors had the foresight to approve the exploration expenditures that led to the completion of this estimate. This estimate represents a starting point for Noront's chromite resource, as there is excellent potential to increase the resource in the future. Once again, Noront has delivered value to our shareholders by being proactive and leading the charge in the Ring of Fire. Wes Hanson further stated; "This near surface resource is more than adequate to support a 200,000 to 225,000 tonne per annum ferrochrome furnace for 15 years with potential for an additional 10 years based on the inferred resources; which actually exceeds the objective mandated by our Board late last year. The deposits remain open at depth but our focus going forward will be to ensure sufficient metallurgical testing is completed and all reasonable design alternatives are considered during our preliminary engineering studies. We are currently in the process of evaluating alternatives for developing our many mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire. The close proximity of the Eagle's Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposit, the Blackbird chromite deposit, the Eagle Two nickel-copper deposit and the Triple J gold deposit now being referred to as the "Eagle's Nest - Blackbird Complex") provides a unique opportunity whereby all four deposits can be potentially accessed and developed from a centrally located shaft. This central infrastructure will radically reduce the environmental footprint of the project area and will eliminate the operational and geotechnical uncertainty and capital cost associated with open-pit dewatering dikes. An underground mine at this location provides a stable, climate controlled work area that can easily be operated year-round. Our work is presently conceptual in nature but we, as a management team, believe that there is excellent potential in this centralized approach to reduce operating and capital costs and to minimize our environmental footprint."

Jeremy Niemi, P.Geo., Noront's Vice President Geology also notes: "Opportunities to increase the chromite resource can be realized through additional drilling, both at depth and with targeted infill drilling. Incomplete sampling has resulted in a general understatement of grade that we can address in the future through re-sampling programs. Combined with yet untested geophysical targets in the vicinity of the deposits,, there are excellent opportunities for resource expansion."

Micon is currently in the process of completing the NI 43-101 Technical Report supporting the estimate and this Technical Report will be filed with SEDAR and made available on the Company's website within 45 days of this press release. The table following this press release summarizes Micon's resource estimate.

Preparation of this press release has been supervised by Noront's senior management including Jeremy Niemi, P.Geo. Vice President, Geology, who is a Qualified Person under Canadian Securities Administrators guidelines. The contents of this press release have been read and approved by Mr. R. Gowans, P.Eng, Micon International Ltd., who is a Qualified Person under Canadian Securities Administrators guidelines.

For further information on the McFaulds Lake Property, please refer to the Company's NI 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects compliant technical report "Technical Report and Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Eagle One Deposit, Double Eagle Property, McFaulds Lake Area, James Bay Lowlands, Ontario" (effective: October 20, 2008) available on the Company's website and at

                                                           AVG         Cr:Fe
                  DEPOSIT      ZONE             TONNES     Cr(2)0(3)%  Ratio
                  BLACKBIRD 2  BB 2-1           1,635,000       38.42   1.97
    Measured                   BB 2-2             881,000       35.35   1.95
                               BB 2-4           1,675,000       35.36   1.90
                  BLACKBIRD 1  BB 1             1,895,000       36.56   1.97
                  BLACKBIRD 2  BB 2-1             816,000       36.75   1.94
    Indicated                  BB 2-2             438,000       32.91   1.88
                               BB 2-4             223,000       35.76   1.85
    Total Measured
     and Indicated                              7,562,000       36.34   1.94
                  BLACKBIRD 2  BB 2-1           2,142,000       36.07   1.95
    Inferred                   BB 2-2             624,000       24.83   1.65
                               BB 2-4             772,000       40.26   2.19
    Total Inferred                              3,488,000       34.93   1.95

                                                           AVG         Cr:Fe
                  DEPOSIT      ZONE             TONNES     Cr(2)0(3)%  Ratio
    Measured      BLACKBIRD 2  BB 2-3a(301)       450,000       20.35   1.39
                               BB 2-3b(302)       537,000       29.63   1.79
    Indicated     BLACKBIRD 2  BB 2-3a(301)       245,000       25.42   1.55
                               BB 2-3b(302)        61,000       28.31   1.67
    Total Measured
     and Indicated                              1,293,000       25.54   1.60
                  BLACKBIRD 2  BB 2-3a(301)       121,000       22.38   1.37
    Inferred                   BB 2-3b(302)       185,000       30.51   1.84
                               BB 2-Lenses(50)  2,280,000       31.94   1.78
    Total Inferred                              2,586,000       31.39   1.77

Note: MICON International Limited, ("Micon") is an independent consulting firm commissioned by Noront Resources Ltd. The Micon estimate was prepared under the supervision of Mr Richard Gowans, P. Eng and Mr. Charley Murahwi, M.Sc., P.Geo, MAusIMM who are "Qualified Persons" for the purposes of NI43-101 in Canada. The estimate has been completed to NI43-101 definitions and standards and were calculated using the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Reserves, Definitions and Guidelines prepared by the CIM Standing Committee on Reserve Definitions and adopted by CIM Council December 11, 2005. The estimate capped high values for chromite at 43%. The estimate was completed using a cutoff of 30% Cr(2)O(3) for the massive chromite and 0% Cr(2)O(3) for the intercalated chromite. All sample preparation and analyses were completed at Activation Laboratory, ISO 17025 accredited and independent of Noront Resources and Micon. Micon inspected the facilities in Thunder Bay on July 9 and 10, 2009. Micon observed that the sample preparation was carried out to the highest industry standards. All sample batches were submitted to the laboratory with suitable reference material, blanks and duplicates inserted into the sample batches by Noront at the Esker Camp prior to shipment. Micon has reviewed the QA/QC data and determined that the analyses have been completed to acceptable standards. Micon has completed a site visit from July 6 through 9, 2009. Micon estimated the mineral resource from a block model based on geological interpretation. Drill data (analytical and geological) was interpreted on section to develop polygons representing the chromite deposits. These polygons were used to create solids of the chromite deposits. The solids were used to isolate the analytical data internal and external to the solids. A total of five solids representing the known chromite layers discovered to date were generated. The sample data internal and external to each solid was evaluated statistically to determine appropriate composite intervals and to establish the density relative to the chromite content. The statistical analyses determined a grade cap of 43% was appropriate for estimation purposes. This level of grade cap affects approximately 400 samples. Statistical analysis determined a composite interval of 1.5 metres was appropriate. Geostatistical analysis was conducted to determine the optimum drill spacing for resources categorization. On this basis the search ellipse for grade interpolation was defined. A block model was generated to allow grade estimation into the individual model cells. The inverse distance cubed method was utilized for better selectivity and the resource generated was validated using ordinary Kriging Density was assigned based on the chromite content of each sample composite based on a sliding scale with 0% chromite assigned a density of 2.8 t/m3 and 30%+ chromite assigned a density of 3.8 t/m3. Each 5-10% interval of chromite was assigned a unique density in the model. The classification of Measured, Indicated and Inferred was determined statistically based on the variography. The model was evaluated, tested and verified for accuracy and a block tabulation at various cutoff grades for chromite was utilized to estimate the global resource.

Mineral resources, which are not mineral reserves, do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may also be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing or other relevant issues. There is no guarantee that Noront will be successful in obtaining any or all of the requisite consents, permits or approvals, regulatory or otherwise for the project or that the project will be placed into production. Micon is currently in the process of completing the NI 43-101 Technical Report supporting the estimate and the Technical Report will be filed within 45 days of this press release with SEDAR at and made available on the Company's website at

    Freewest Offer

Under Noront's current Offer, for each seven (7) Freewest shares held, Noront will issue two (2) freely tradeable Noront shares and one (1) five-year (5) purchase warrant with a strike price of C$4.00. The implied value at the time of the offer was estimated to be C$0.86 per Freewest share and is currently C$0.95 per Freewest share.

Noront's Offer expires on December 11, 2009. All Freewest shareholders are urged to tender their shares to the Noront bid, the only bid that will provide all Freewest Shareholders with the opportunity to participate in the upside of the Ring of Fire

For more information on the Freewest Offer, please visit Noront's website at or contact Noront's Investor Relations Department at +1 (416) 367 1444. ext 126

    To tender your Freewest shares, please contact;
    Laurel Hill at Laurel Hill Advisory Group
    North American Toll Free Phone: +1 (888) 882 6742
    Outside North America, Banks and Brokers Call Collect: +1 (416) 637 4661

About Noront:

Noront Resources Ltd. is focused on its significant and multiple, high-grade nickel-copper-platinum-palladium, chromite and vanadium discoveries in an area known as the "Ring of Fire", an emerging multi-metals district located in the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario, Canada. Noront is the dominant land holder at the Ring of Fire and continues to delineate and prove up its discoveries with NI 43-101 technical and economic reports and an aggressive and well financed drill plan for the remainder of 2009 and 2010. All material information on Noront can be found on the Company's website at or at SEDAR at

    Wesley (Wes) Hanson
    Chief Executive Officer


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.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

%SEDAR: 00003339E

For further information: For further information: Joanne Jobin, Vice President Corporate Communications at (416) 367-1444 ext 126, or visit Noront's website at:

Organization Profile


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890