Cliffs’ application for an easement over Canada Chrome claims dismissed

11th September 2013 By: Henry Lazenby - Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America

TORONTO ( – The Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner on Wednesday dismissed an application by a subsidiary of US iron-ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources seeking an easement over mining claims that TSX-V-listed junior KWG Resources had staked from Exton, in the Ring of Fire, in Northern Ontario, on which it proposes to build a railway.

In August 2012, Canada Chrome said it was pushing ahead with its proposed 300 km railway and had applied to Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources for 32 aggregate permits on sites located along a string of claims that could form the bed of its proposed railway. The claims on the northern half cover the only ridge of high ground where road and rail is constructible.

However, Cliffs brought an application seeking that the Minister of Natural Resources grant an easement under the Public Lands Act over Canada Chrome’s mining claims.

The easement was sought to build a road for the development of the Black Thor deposit, while Canada Chrome wants to build a railroad to develop its interests in the Ring of Fire, including the Big Daddy and Black Horse deposits.

In a recent interview with Mining Weekly Online, KWG Resources CEO Frank Smeenk said that given the vast potential of Northern Ontario’s still-dormant Ring of Fire polymetallic region, the timing is now ideal to extend the existing provincial railway infrastructure northwards to open up the region for mining.


Meanwhile, KWG Resources this week received a revised geological report and resources calculation inferred from drilling data recovered to date from the Black Horse chromite deposit, from Sibley Basin Group Geological Consulting Services.

The company said that in 2008, Fancamp Exploration and Noront Resources had jointly completed diamond drill hole NOT-08-40 from a collar on the Noront claim to the west, into the mineralised horizon on the Fancamp claim to the east.

The analysis for chromium conducted at that time did not meet the current standards and KWG submitted the stored pulps for reanalysis of the chromium content, after optioning the property earlier this year.

However, through clerical misadventure, these results were not included in the data delivered to Sibley Basin Group for preparing the geological report and resource calculation reported at the start of the month.

KWG said Alan Aubut had completed an amended report and resource calculation, under the provisions of National Instrument 43-101, which provided, in part, that at a 20% cutoff, there are a total of 46.5-million tonnes at a grade of 38.8% chromium oxide in the inferred category, which should be upgradable through gravity and/or heavy media concentration.

The company said these resources were “blocks above” cutoff and have had no mineability criteria applied to them.

"While higher-grade areas exist at depth and along strike, they are poorly defined as a result of the sparse drilling. Infill drilling, plus drilling to follow the mineral zone along strike to the east could identify and expand the presence of the chromite-bearing horizon, in particular higher-grade material,” KWG said.

"The mineral zone is open to depth and along strike to the east. Thus, there is excellent opportunity to expand resources significantly with additional drilling."

“This is a significant addition to the Ring of Fire’s chromite resource inventory. The grade is quite handsome and was derived using the same cutoff grade of 20% that was utilised to define the Big Daddy resource and the Black Thor resource.

“We have received a proposal to now complete a trade-off study on mining this from underground, using shared facilities with Noront’s underground mining of the Eagle’s Nest nickel and platinum-group metals deposit. That would seem a logical and productive next area of inquiry to move forward the understanding of the Ring of Fire’s economic viability,” Smeenk said.