Platinex surrenders claims and leases on Big Trout Lake property for $5M


Platinex surrenders claims and leases on Big Trout Lake property for $5M


(c) 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.


TORONTO _ Platinum exploration company Platinex Inc. (TSXV:PTX) has given up its claim to a disputed platinum project on First Nations land in northern Ontario in exchange for $5 million.


The company says it has an agreement with the Ontario government to resolve its litigation against the province and the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, or KI, First Nation over its Big Trout Lake exploration property.


Platinex was suing Ontario and the KI First Nation because KI was allegedly preventing the company from gaining access to its claims at Big Trout Lake.


The company claimed the province failed in its duty to consult with KI and also failed to warn Platinex that it wouldn't enforce the land claims.


Platinex was seeking more than $70 million from the province.


The government also says it will withdraw the KI lands from future staking and mineral exploration opportunities.


However, the company said Monday it will drop the lawsuit and surrender all its mining claims and leases at Big Trout Lake. In return, Platinex will receive $5 million and a 2.5 per cent net smelter royalty interest in connection with any future development on the property.


“Platinex is pleased to be able to recover value for the Big Trout Lake property,'' Platinex president and CEO Jim Trusler said.


“It became apparent that the company was not going to be able to access the property. We can now focus on our other (platinum group element) and gold properties and the money will enable Platinex to execute its business plan.''


“This is a unique situation, and I am pleased that we were able to reach a fair and reasonable negotiated settlement that will provide greater certainty to Platinex while allowing our government to continue working with KI to strengthen our relationship and to pursue future opportunities,'' said Michael Gravelle, minister of northern development, mines and forestry.


Platinex shares gained half a cent to 15.5 cents in morning trading on the TSX Venture Exchange.