NEWS: Nunavut May 15, 2012 - 2:19 pm

More intensive mineral exploration slated for Nunavut’s Belcher Islands

Canadian Orebodies Inc. sees possible Plan Nord-benefits


Canadian Orebodies Inc. plans to continue exploration at its iron-rich Haig Inlet project on Nunavut’s Belcher Islands starting next month.

A May 15 news release didn’t say how many millions the company plans to spend this summer, but the company said it will evaluate a number of “high priority exploration targets” in the areas around Haig Inlet.

The company will drill on the project, located about 20 kilometres from the community of Sanikiluaq, in two phases, looking first at three separate targets, then drilling again on the areas which look the most suited for developing an open-pit mine.

“This summer’s exploration program will form part of a defining year for the company and the Haig Inlet project, as we continue toward our goal of establishing the Belcher islands as Canada’s next iron ore district,” said Gordon McKinnon, president and chief executive officer of Canadian Orebodies. “We hope to show in short order that a favourable product could be created from the ore at Haig Inlet,” McKinnon said.

The Haig Inlet project is located by Hudson Bay, which opens up the possibility for direct, year-round ocean shipping to global markets, the company said.

“The ability to ship via ocean freighter without using rail could be a major cost advantage on both the initial capital and operating side when compared to land locked projects,” it said.

The plan, as set out in a corporate presentation on its website, would see ore barged off Belcher Islands. The infrastructure (crusher, grinder, separator, concentrator, etc.) and an all-year port would then be built on the Quebec coast.

From there, it would be able to get inexpensive electricity from the huge La Grande hydroelectric projects.

And the company could receive incentives under Quebec’s Plan Nord.

The Haig Inlet deposit could contain more than 500 million tonnes of 35-per-cent iron, up from earlier estimates.

Orebodies’ business partners include Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., which holds sub-surface title to the affected lands and would receive royalties from any mineral production.

Orebodies entered into an agreement to acquire a 100 per cent interest over three years in the Haig Inlet property and will pay a $250,000 advance royalty to NTI when the production lease starts or in 2017, the sixth year anniversary of their 2011 deal.