SUDBURY -- Noront Resources Ltd. Announced Thursday it is reopening its Esker Site and mobilizing its team to resume exploration activities in the Ring of Fire.

The company's Esker Site, which is located in the James Bay Lowlands, closed in April because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It normally has about 20 workers, the majority of whom are from the remote local First Nation communities of Marten Falls and Webequie.

“We are initiating a late summer field program that will require 12-15 people, during which we’ll employ soil sampling to explore for gold and airborne geophysical surveys to explore for nickel,” Noront president and CEO Alan Coutts said in a news release.

Back-to-work protocol

Now that the site is reopening, the company said a rigorous back-to-work protocol is in place. It will ensure workers travelling to and from the site are symptom-free and low risk.

"In addition, travel will be reduced to essential staff with minimal planned flights," Noront said in the news release. "While at site, workers will practise social distancing and wear face masks when necessary. Regular sanitizing of common touch points will be performed daily.

"At no point will Noront flights will be landing in either Webequie or Marten Falls First Nation as per guidance from the local chiefs and councils."

Noront previously discovered gold in more than 50 diamond drill holes along the Triple-J fault zone and within the Thunderbird intrusion, 13 kilometres northeast of Esker Site. Both occurrences are close to the Webequie Shear Zone, which is believed to be prospective for greenstone hosted gold mineralization but has never been explored for gold.

In addition to gold, several areas are believed to have significant nickel deposits.

"From this work, the Victory project, located 25 kilometres east of Esker Site, was ranked highly and staked in early 2020," the company said. "

Noront Resources Ltd. ( is focused on development of its high-grade Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit and the world class chromite deposits including Blackbird, Black Thor, and Big Daddy, all of which are located in the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario in an emerging metals camp known as the Ring of Fire.