VANCOUVER, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Northern Iron Corp. ("Northern" or the "Company") (TSXV: NFE) (OTCQX: NHRIF) (FRANKFURT: N8I) today formally submitted a Project Description ("PD") for its Griffith Mine Redevelopment Project with the Government of Canada. This comes after a three month period of discussions and review of the draft PD with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency ("the Agency").
The PD is the first major step in securing environmental assessment ("EA") approval for the redevelopment of the mine. After a formal ten day review of the PD for completeness, the Agency will post an executive summary of the PD on their website for 20 days in order to receive public comments. A complete copy of the PD will be available on Northern's website www.northernironcorp.com and a copy of the PD will be lodged with the Town of Ear Falls. First Nations in proximity to the mine site and the local Metis Nation of Ontario representatives will be contacted during this period and offered the opportunity to be engaged with the EA.
"Given Griffith is a past producing mine, we are confident that the permitting process will go smoothly enabling us to reach our anticipated schedule of being in production by 2016 and fulfilling off-take agreements for 960,000 tonnes of HBI from Chinese customers," commented Basil Botha, President and CEO of Northern. "We have engaged the local First Nations groups in active conversations and are currently employing/contracting work out to them as we move forward on dewatering the Griffith pit. Unlike some of the development iron ore projects in the Labrador Trough, Griffith is year round accessible by road with excellent infrastructure including rail, natural gas and skilled labour. Once permitted, we can move quickly to get product to market without waiting on large infrastructure projects to be built."
After a statutory time period of 60 days, the Agency prepares a set of Draft Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines that will guide the EA process. Environmental baseline studies are already underway and will be tailored to conform with the Agency's Guidelines and best management practices for conducting these studies. Northern is proceeding with other components of the EA and permits which they plan on submitting to the federal government by the end of 2013 so that government approvals can be obtained by the summer of 2014. This will allow Northern to keep on schedule in producing HBI in 2016 to honour their existing off-take agreements.
About Northern Iron Corp.
The Company is a 100% owner of five iron ore properties in the Red Lake district containing over 500 million tonnes of historical resources with grades ranging from 22% to 31% Fe. The Red Lake district is situated in an established mining area in Ontario, where the company has two near term development projects, the past producing Griffith mine and the Karas property.
A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources, the issuer is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources.
The Company is currently working towards the production of HBI, a transportable form of direct reduced iron. HBI is complementary and a viable metallic alternative to scrap steel. Quality scrap is a critical raw material in the steel making process. With the diminishing supply of quality scrap steel and ever increasing market demand, steel producers around the world will be looking to secure alternative supplies of metallic products.
As part of the business plan, the Company acquired the past producing Griffith mine, which produced pellets and sponge iron (Direct Reduced Iron/DRI) from 1968 to 1986. The mine was owned and operated by STELCO and supplied pellets and sponge iron to the Hamilton and Nanticoke steel mills in Ontario. The metallurgy of the deposit has been proven over eighteen years of production.
Almost the entire transportation infrastructure is currently in place to both produce HBI and to ship produced HBI into the North American market via rail and lake barges and into Asian markets via rail through the port of Prince Rupert. Existing infrastructure includes all weather roads, 115kV power line, natural gas line, rail bed and port facilities.
The Company is focusing on de-risking the project by seeking out potential joint venture partners, off-take agreements or a combination thereof.
The foregoing information may contain forward-looking statements relating to the future performance of the Company. Forward-looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from the Company's plans and expectations. These plans, expectations, risks and uncertainties are detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by the Company with the TSX Venture Exchange and securities regulators. The Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.
SOURCE: Northern Iron Corp.
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President & CEO
Northern Iron Corp.
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