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Progress being made in Eagle's Nest mine in Ring of Fire

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It was a packed house inside the Holiday Inn on Thursday as Ring of Fire Metals CEO Stephen Flewelling addressed the Sudbury crowd via Zoom.

"We've begun upgrading our feasibility work, our engineering work and a few Sudbury firms are already core parts of the team," Flewelling said.

He had to deliver his speech virtually after bad weather in southern Ontario made his travel plans out of Pearson Airport unfeasible.

Formerly Noront Resources, Ring of Fire Metals has pledged its Eagle's Nest Mine in the Ring of Fire would set a new global benchmark in sustainable mining.

While no timelines are set in stone yet, Flewelling said building the mine would take three years once the road to the region is built.

The project still faces some hurdles, but he told reporters they have every confidence in both levels of government that the work can be done expeditiously.

"We're going to be putting forward proposals and discussions with both the provincial and federal governments on how do we create a framework to get these assessments done in a timely and responsible way,” Flewelling said.

“Do we believe that can happen? Absolutely.”

And while he said Sault Ste. Marie remains in the running for their choice of a ferrochrome plant, their priority is in getting the Ring of Fire mine up and running.

"It's not our focus, as I described in the presentation, our focus is to develop the Eagle's Nest nickel, copper, PGM deposit," he said.

He said social license is a big part of their mandate and they've signed agreements recently with both the bands in Webequie and Marten Falls.

Among those in the audience was Greater Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre, who recently met with the company's executives. He said there's opportunity here in the city for economic development.

"Every one of us will be able to benefit and that's the key here,” Lefebvre said.

“From the Sault to Timmins, to North Bay to Sudbury and Thunder Bay, as well, and that's what I'm focused on, surely for Sudbury and what's good for Sudbury will be good for northern Ontario.”

"Sudbury is well known for its wealth of knowledge and wealth of mining supplementary so I think Stephen Flewelling and the Ring of Fire team knows Sudbury would be a great asset to have on board," added the chair of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, Anthony Davis.

Once operational, it's anticipated the mine will produce 15,500 tonnes of nickel a year along with copper, palladium and platinum. 

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