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Cliffs appeals Ring of Fire road decision

by Cecilia Jamasmie | October 9, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

U.S.-based Cliffs Natural Resources NYE:CLF is not giving up on its battle against Canadian junior KWG Resources TSXV:KWG as Cliffs today appealed Ontario’s Mining and Lands Commissioner ruling that didn’t allow the iron ore giant road access to its US$3.3-billion chromite project through KWG’s mining claims.

Cliffs appeals Ring of Fire road decision

The Cleveland-based company wanted to build an all-weather road to its massive chromite mining and smelting project in Ontario’s mineral-rich Ring of Fire region. But the proposed route would go through lands belonging to KWG, which wants to build a railway connecting to the town of Exton instead.

In a ruling released September 10, the tribunal decided that granting an easement to Cliffs would interfere with KWG’s ability to work its claims since “numerous heavy trucks (passing) every day” would cover up future drilling and sampling sites.

“It’s extremely material,” said KWG president/CEO Frank Smeenk of the commissioner’s ruling. “There couldn’t be any more material information for the owners of KWG.”

The claims on the northern half cover the only ridge of high ground where a road and rail could be built.

Bill Boor, senior VP for global ferroalloys with Cliffs, told NetNewsLedger he believes there can be no Ring of Fire without access to the area.

“Without access to the surface lands to develop the needed infrastructure, there is no project. Our proposed development has the scale needed to develop the road access and is therefore a catalyst for other smaller mining opportunities in the Ring of Fire,” Boor was quoted as saying.

Toronto-based KWG has a 30% interest in the Big Daddy chromite deposit and the right to earn 80% of the Black Horse chromite deposit. KWG also owns 100% of Canada Chrome Corp, which has staked claims and conducted a $15-million surveying and soil-testing program for the engineering and construction of a railway to the disputed area from Exton.

Reprinted by permission of

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