Ring of Fire (Cr, Ni, Cu & PGM)


Location: Ontario, Canada
Operator: Noront Resources Ltd.
Royalty: NSR/GR: 1-3%

In April 2015, Franco-Nevada acquired royalty rights in the Ring of Fire mining district of Ontario by providing a loan and royalty financing to Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront”). The financing package enabled Noront to acquire the mining claims held by subsidiaries of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (“Cliffs”) in the Ring of Fire mining district. Post transaction, Noront holds a total of approximately 360 mining claims in the emerging mining camp, located 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay. In December 2020, Wyloo Metals, a private company, acquired Resource Capital Funds’ investment interests in Noront including a 22% ownership stake and a $15 million convertible loan. Andrew Forrest, founder of Fortescue Metals Group, is the principal investor in Wyloo Metals.

Franco-Nevada provided Noront with a $25 million loan for a period of five years at a 7% interest rate which is secured by the acquired Cliffs properties. Franco-Nevada paid an additional $3.5 million in cash as part of the granting of the royalty over the existing Noront property. Franco-Nevada received a 3% royalty over the Black Thor chromite deposit, a 2% royalty over all of Noront’s property in the region (excluding the Eagle’s Nest deposit, see below), 2% on certain other properties previously being advanced by Cliffs as well as a number of other third party exploration royalties.

In December 2019, Franco-Nevada acquired a 1% gross royalty on Noront’s Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper and PGM deposit, for $3.8 million. Eagle’s Nest currently has over 20 million tonnes of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources containing high-grade nickel mineralization with significant copper, palladium and platinum content. Franco-Nevada also extended the term of its $25 million loan to Noront to September 30, 2022, from its original maturity of April 28, 2020, under substantially the same terms and conditions.

The royalty packages provide Franco-Nevada with a long-term interest in a potential new mining camp with exposure to one of the largest global chromite resources and a nickel, copper and PGM deposit. The total royalty concession is estimated to cover over 1,000 km2. Noront continues to work with the provincial government and First Nations to permit and develop roads to provide access to communities in the Ring of Fire and to the project.