| Jan 24, 2008

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Feature Article - January 24, 2008 Frontenac Ventures drilling delayed by Jeff Green

While lawyers for Frontenac Ventures Corporation have taken the position that the company will be in a position to start drilling test holes for uranium on their 30,000 acre mining claim in North Frontenac as of January 28, the company’s project manager, Jamie Fairchild, said they will not be ready for at least another month.

Mediation talks between the Ardoch and Shabot Obaadjiwaan First Nations and the Province of Ontario, which have been subject to a media blackout, will resume early next week. The talks are aimed at resolving an impasse between the First Nations and Frontenac Ventures over the company’s right to explore for uranium on the site.

The Algonquin communities occupied the site between June 28 and mid-November, claiming that the permits issued to Frontenac Ventures were illegal because the government did not consult with the First Nations before issuing the permits. The mining claims are located on land that is included in the ongoing Algonquin Land claim.

The company returned to the site in November, and under a schedule they provided to Kingston Superior Court during injunction proceedings against the Algonquins in September, they agreed not to drill test holes for 12 weeks after entering the site.

“We never got started until after hunting season in mid-November,” Fairchild told the News this week, “and a foot of snow fell right after that, so we have not completed the geological work we need to do before drilling. Drill availability is also an issue. All of this makes it extremely unlikely that we will be drilling by late February.”

The leadership of the Shabot Obaadjiwaan and Ardoch Algonquins, as well as environmental activists that are maintaining a presence outside the gate of the Robertsville mine, where the company has its headquarters, have vowed to prevent any drills from entering the property.

Last week, Ardoch Algonquin negotiator Bob Lovelace held a press conference in Toronto to reiterate that Ardoch is prepared to resume their blockade if mediation talks do not result in a moratorium on drilling for uranium.

On Monday, John Davis, a monitor appointed by the Algonquins, was given a tour of the work that Frontenac Ventures has done on the site since returning in February.

According to Jamie Fairchild, the work has been limited to trail preparation since the snow cover precluded most geological work.

Even though the drilling deadline seems to have been pushed back, a court date is scheduled for February 13, where Judge Cunningham of the Kingston Superior Court is scheduled to begin contempt of court proceedings against members of the two First Nations and others. The proceedings were initiated in early October when a court injunction ordering the First Nations off the Robertsville mine site was ignored.

Meanwhile, negotiating teams involved in the Algonquin Land Claim are descending on Sharbot Lake for negotiations this week. Robert Potts, chief negotiator for the land claim, recently announced that an agreement in principle is three years away. Potts had originally hoped to have one in place by 2008.

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