TORONTO, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Noront Resources Ltd. ("Noront" or the "Company") (TSX Venture: NOT) reports the following update concerning the First Nations logistics halt from Esker Camp at its McFaulds Lake project.
The First Nations logistics halt at Koper Lake has forced Noront to temporarily suspend its winter drill program and reduce manpower levels. Although drilling is temporarily suspended, Noront remains confident that a negotiated settlement is possible and that the planned drilling for 2010 will be completed.
Noront's technical staff, both at camp and at its head office, are actively updating geological and geophysical models, reviewing results from the fall program, initiating sampling of the newly discovered Triple J gold zone and initiating a preliminary evaluation of the Eagle's Nest resource.
Although the Company's drilling activities have been temporarily suspended, Noront recognizes the right of the First Nations' communities of Marten Falls and Webequie to take such measures in order to make their concerns known. Noront continues to have an open dialogue with both Chief Moonias (Marten Falls First Nation) and Chief Wabasse (Webequie First Nation) in hopes of reaching a negotiated settlement in the very near future.
Wes Hanson, President and CEO of Noront stated; "When we were informed by the First Nations communities of the plan to disrupt logistical support to the Ring of Fire, we were hopeful for a quick resolution as we understood that the action was not directly related to Noront's activities. Unfortunately, this disruption has now progressed to the point where we have found it necessary to temporarily suspend drilling until such a time as a settlement can be reached. We have stopped all drilling as requested by the communities and are currently reducing staffing at Esker Camp. Noront is disappointed that negotiations are taking longer than expected. However, out of friendship and respect, rather than challenge this action, Noront has chosen to accept the actions of our neighbors to highlight their concerns regarding recent activities by other parties in the area. Mr. Hanson further notes: "It is unfortunate that Noront's operations have been temporarily impacted but ensuring that the communities are properly consulted is vital to the long term development of the Ring of Fire. We wish to demonstrate that we are good neighbors, that we understand the communities' concerns. We are actively negotiating with the communities involved and are confident that a fair and equitable settlement can be reached in the near future."