Shares of New Millennium Iron (TSX: NML) jumped 6.17%, 14.08% and 12.70% in the three days following the Aug. 14 announcement that the junior’s joint-venture company with Tata Steel known as Tata Steel Minerals Canada, had signed a cooperation agreement with the NunatuKavut Community Council, an aboriginal organization that represents the Southern Inuit of Labrador.
The cooperation agreement comes about a month after Tata Steel Minerals Canada (TSMC) loaded its first ore train with direct shipping ore products from its dry crushing and screening plant near Schefferville to the Iron Ore Company of Canada terminal in Sept-Iles.
New Millennium owns a 20% stake in the direct shipping project and Tata Steel owns 80%. Tata Steel—one of the world’s top ten steel makers—is the largest shareholder in New Millennium with a 26.3% stake.
The agreement comes after months of negotiations and addresses key issues of concern to the NunatuKavut Community Council (NNC) in addition to socio-economic benefits for its people. The agreement covers environmental protection, employment, and business opportunities including financial benefits. It also commits the joint-venture’s management to ensure that contractors hired to work on the project also comply with the agreement.
Labrador’s Southern Inuit number about 6,000 and have asserted land rights to a vast area of Labrador.
NCC’s president, Todd Russell, said in prepared remarks that the agreement demonstrates that companies “know they have to deal with our real concerns,” and that “we can do so in an air of mutual respect.”
“It’s about building relationships,” he continued, “and this agreement will work to achieve just that.”
The direct shipping ore project contains 64.1 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves at an average grade of 58.8% iron.
Measured and indicated resources stand at 21.0 million tonnes grading 59.2% iron and inferred resources add 10.3 million tonnes at an average grade of 58.3%.
Millennium’s shares closed down 1¢, or 1.2%, today at 85¢ apiece.
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