VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Junior exploration firm KWG Resources has appointed a China-based consulting engineering group to undertake a conditional bankable feasibility study (BFS) on a proposed railroad from the mineral properties in Ontario's Ring of Fire (RoF), to a junction with the CN Railroad at Exton, Ontario.
KWG on Monday announced that it had signed a framework strategic cooperation agreement with China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group (FSDI) to undertake the study. KWG had hosted a delegation of eight railroad engineering specialists from FSDI earlier this year to conduct a reconnaissance visit to review the proposed railroad alignment and the field and design work previously completed by the company.
Under the terms of a conditional BFS consultation service agreement, the parties have agreed on the FSD's deliverables and timetable. The study is expected to be complete by year end.
KWG advised that, once completed, it would share the results with the chiefs of the Marten Falls and the Webequie First Nations for dissemination within their communities to consider KWG's proposal to create an equal partnership with them in the integrated mining and transportation operations.
KWG has also appointed Canarail Consultants to provide the professional services and data required of KWG, as the client of FSDI. Canarail will provide current materials and services pricing in Canada, together with design advice and assistance in complying with local environmental, social and other applicable standards to facilitate and expedite completion of the feasibility study.
KWG has been credited for being instrumental in the initial discovery of the RoF.
Through its subsidiary, Canada Chrome Corporation, KWG had in 2010 staked mining claims in Northern Ontario with a view of developing and constructing the proposed 340 km railway corridor from Exton to the Koper Lake project and the Big Daddy project in the RoF.
However, a February judgment by the Ontario Court of Appeal in a series of legal actions involving previous regional player Cliffs Natural Resources and, indirectly, Ontario, resulted in KWG losing its exclusive surface rights to the proposed corridor.
KWG’s aim is to provide the provincial Natural Resources Minister with the railroad feasibility study to ensure that surface tenure be assured as an assumption in the study, that the consolidated aggregates may be mined from the claims to provide material for the railroad bed, and that the claimholder’s priority to consolidated aggregate is maintained.
KWG has several interests in the RoF, including the Koper Lake project, where it has an option to earn up to 80% in any chromium production and 20% in other minerals from Bold Ventures who, in turn, have an option to earn a 100% interest in the property from Fancamp Exploration. The project has an inferred resource of 85.9-million tonnes grading 34.5% chromium, derived from nine drill holes.
It also holds a 30% interest in Noront Resources’ Big Daddy project, which holds a compliant measured and indicated resource of 29.1-million tonnes grading 31.7% chromium, and inferred resources of 3.4-million tonnes grading 28.1% chromium.
The company also has the right to earn 80% of the Black Horse chromite project, where resource delineation is ongoing.
The most advanced project in the RoF is Noront's 100%-owned Black Thor project, which holds a measured and indicated resource of 137.7-million tonnes grading 31.5% chromium.
KWG had recently received significant media attention for a recent marketing campaign. It had posted a company-sponsored video featuring scantily clad women promoting the mineral and economic potential of the RoF.
While the video drew a lot of attention, critics were upset by the use of sexual innuendo and the objectification of women to promote a mineral play.