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Northern Iron is a mineral exploration company focused in high quality iron ore in the Red Lake mining division, district of Kenora, Ontario, Canada.

Message: Northern Iron Corp. provides first annual exploration & operations summary


VANCOUVER, Dec. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - Northern Iron Corp. ("Northern" or the "Company") (TSXV: NFE) (OTCQX: NHRIF) (Frankfurt: N8I) is pleased to provide its first annual summary of significant
exploration and operational activity on its high-potential iron ore
properties in the prolific Red lake Mining District of Red Lake,
Ontario, Canada. Company President and CEO, Mr. Basil Botha reports the

"We are extremely pleased with the progress the Company has made toward
qualifying and quantifying our estimated mineral resources, and
ultimately in establishing Northern Iron as a North American supplier
of premium concentrated raw material for use by domestic and Asian
foundries hungry for supply of near pure forms of DRI (direct reduced
iron). Though we have been on the ground on our properties for just
eight months, we are on-track to achieving both our near term
exploration and strategic partnership goals, and our mid-term goal of
addressing the global shortfall of DRI. We look forward to a highly
successful new year," says Mr. Botha.

Exploration Activities:

In May 2011, Northern initiated a drill program at its 100% owned, 3,200
hectare Karas property in the Karas Lake Township, with a view to
providing an NI 43-101 measured, indicated and inferred resource
estimate in the first quarter of 2012.

The drill program on the Karas property will be approximately 35 holes
(12,000 metres). Each hole is angled at 45 degrees and is drilled to a
depth of between 250m and 550m. To date 26 holes have been drilled on
the Karas property.

Hole Ka-11-18 intersected 443.15 Metres grading 32.43% Fe2O3, including
77.6 Metres of 43.21% Fe2O3, being the best magnetite intersection to
date in the Karas property.

18 holes have been assayed by SGS Canada and the details have been
released into the market. SGS Canada is an accredited mineral assay
laboratory in Lakefield, Ontario. Assays show long intervals with
consistent magnetite mineralization and no sulphides. The magnetite on
the Karas property has been locally recrystallized due to metasomatism
resulting in coarse grained magnetite compared to other banded iron
formations in the area, and this fact is expected to require less
grinding for magnetic separation to achieve an Fe concentrate, which
could possibly lower the cost of production.

In mid November 2011, a second drill arrived on the Karas property.
Drilling will continue during the early part of the winter of 2011.

On August 26, 2011, Northern completed an Initial Purchase Offering of
$14,140,190 and was listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.

In November 2011, Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. (RPA) was engaged to
produce a mineral resource estimate on the Karas property.

Drilling on the 100% owned, 1,776 hectare, past-producing Griffith
property mine (formerly Griffith Iron Mine) near the Bruce Lake
Township, should commence by mid 2012.

Metallurgical Studies:

Historical analysis completed by Stelco during the 1960s suggests that
the mined ore at the Griffith mine produced a pellet product grading
66.5% Fe2O3 and 3.6% silica. 'In addition to pellet production, 300,000 tonnes of
sponge iron was also produced. Sponge iron is reduced iron oxide (magnetite - Fe3O4) to iron (Fe) and is used in the steel making process. It is important
to note; these analyses pre-date NI 43-101'. As a result, Northern will
be conducting metallurgical studies. Moreover, management believes that
there have been many technological advances since the 1960s that
provide substantial opportunities for improvement in processing
methods, recoveries and products.

Strategic Partnerships:

Since March 2011, Northern has been actively searching for strategic
partners. The goal is to secure an off-take agreement for Northern's
proposed Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) production and to secure additional
investment that will be required to construct the mine and build the
plant and equipment. To date, meetings have been held with major steel
producers around the globe. Discussions with interested parties will
continue until a suitable partner is found and an agreement is secured.

Definition of HBI

Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) is a premium form of Direct Reduced Iron
(DRI)* that has been compacted at a temperature greater than 650degrees C at
time of compaction and has a density greater than 5000 kilograms per
cubic meter (5000 kg/m3).

*DRI is a metallic material produced from iron oxide fines or iron oxide
pellets and/or lump ores that have been reduced (oxygen removed)
without reaching the melting point of iron.

Description of HBI:

HBI is a premium quality, high density steel industry raw material
containing 90-94% total iron (Fe) in a nearly pure form, which is used
in electric arc furnace (EAF) and basic oxygen furnace (BOF)
steelmaking, blast furnace (BF) ironmaking, and foundry applications.

HBI Advantages:

High bulk density of 2500-3300 kg/m3 (156-206 lbs/ft3).

Known, consistent chemistry certified by the producer.

Minimal (trace) amounts of undesirable chemical elements (Cu, Ni, Cr,
Mo, Sn, Pb, and V).

High thermal and electrical conductivity

Low reactivity with fresh and saltwater (reoxidation).

Resistant to degradation due to handling and weathering.

Compatible with all bulk materials handling equipment.

Safe, easy to store in all types of weather.

Qualified Person: Technical information in this news release has been prepared under the
supervision of Raul Sanabria, P. Geo. who is a Qualified Person within
the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.

About Northern Iron

Northern Iron is a mineral resource company engaged in reviving a past
producing iron mine and concurrent exploration of high quality iron ore
resources in the Red Lake mining division, district of Kenora, Ontario,

Northern Iron holds 100% interest in minerals claims covering
approximately 14,672 hectares, comprised of the El Sol Property, the
past producing Griffith Property, the Karas Property, the Papaonga
Property and the Whitemud-Slate Property.

The Griffith Mine owned at the time by Stelco, produced 78.8 million
tonnes of iron ore for conversion to pellets and DRI from 1968-1989.
Total magnetic iron recovery was 86.26%

The Red Lake area is accessible year round by Highway 105, which joins
the Trans Canada highway at Vermillion Bay, 175 km south and 100 km
east of Kenora. Commercial air services operate to Red Lake from
Thunder Bay, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba

Cautionary Statement

The foregoing information may contain forward-looking statements
relating to the future performance of the Company. Forward-looking
statements, specifically those concerning future performance, are
subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may
differ materially from the Company's plans and expectations. These
plans, expectations, risks and uncertainties are detailed herein and
from time to time in the filings made by the Company with the TSX
Venture Exchange and securities regulators. The Company does not
assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as
that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange)
accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority
has approved of disapproved the information contained herein.

For further information:

Basil Botha President & CEO Northern Iron Corp.

Tel: 604-566-8570 Fax: 604-602-9868 Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.northernironcorp.com/">www.northernironcorp.com Follow us on Twitter: @NorthernIC

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