Ring of Fire developer KWG Resources and Marten Falls First Nation have agreed to negotiate the terms of a chromite mining partnership agreement in the Ring of Fire.
The two parties are fresh from a May trip to China to meet with KWG’s project partner, China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group, to hear some encouraging results of a rail corridor feasibility study.
A proposed north-south rail corridor, once staked by KWG, crosses the traditional territory of Marten Falls.
A June 6 KWG release proposes an equal profit-sharing partnership “that may be derived from mining activities after provision for fully-absorbed manufacturing costs, including comminution, concentration and transportation, plus reclamation, and the amortization of project-finance borrowings.”
Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum said through a company release that he’s “encouraged” by what he’s seen and heard.
“KWG’s partnership proposal is within the spirit of equal sharing of the fruits of our lands as our ancestors had agreed to under Treaty 9. We will now try to fix the commercial terms of this massive undertaking. In our own case we consider that we are negotiating these terms as part of a process of reaching free, prior and informed consent. We also look forward to and welcome the involvement of other regional First Nations whose traditional territory might become a part of the planning process.”
KWG has a 30 per cent stake in the Big Daddy chromite deposit in a joint venture it shares with Noront Resources. The company is also holding a 50 per cent stake in the Black Horse chromite deposit in another agreement with Bold Ventures.
The Toronto-based junior miner is a proponent of a north-south rail corridor from the community of Nakina into the Ring of Fire deposits.
Marten Falls is located roughly halfway up that corridor and just to the east. Back in April, Noront Resources signed an exploration and project advancement agreement with Marten Falls and discussed the possibility to make the community a shareholder in Noront.
The remote community is also negotiating with the Ontario government on getting a permanent all-weather access with the exact route to be determined by Marten Falls.