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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – December 18, 2014

  • Ontario asks (again) …. “The province has formally asked for the federal government to match its $1 billion commitment to Ring of Fire infrastructure.  Provincial Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle and federal Minister of Natural Resources Greg Rickford still haven’t spoken since Rickford called out the province in the House of Commons last month saying its much-touted $1 billion commitment wasn’t actual policy.  But last Thursday Gravelle sent Rickford a letter saying that the province has submitted its application under the federal government’s Building Canada fund to get Canada to match the figure. Gravelle said the ask, formally submitted by economic development minister Brad Duguid, was very detailed.  “There have been many detailed discussions about it beforehand as there will be afterword,” Gravelle said. “Certainly the federal government is very familiar with the project. They’re very familiar with the infrastructure needs.”  Ontario is eligible for around $2.7 billion under the fund. But the province chose instead to try and access the $4 billion unallocated so far and set aside in the fund for national infrastructure, something Gravelle said the federal government needs to recognize ….”
  • …. and Canada responds – with a bit of a threat thrown in  “Ontario’s plan for the remote Ring of Fire mineral deposit has “serious structural problems” according to the federal Natural Resources Minister, and that’s why Greg Rickford says Canada is cautious about partnering with the province to build roads and power lines …. He outlined what he describes as three key structural problems with Ontario’s approach that “only the province can resolve.”  The slow pace of talks with First Nations on “own source revenue” also known as resource revenue sharing – “They have a mandate to negotiate a mandate to negotiate,” Rickford said; The Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner’s intervention on the potential north-south transportation route – “It shouldn’t have even come to a decision anyway, but that stifled discussions around any road options that could also serve as electricity corridors,” he said;  The makeup of the Ring of Fire Development Corporation – Rickford said the federal government would be “loathe” to invest money “to park it in a development corporation that Ontario senior bureaucrats would administer… That’s not an option for us, it’s not an option for the First Nations, it’s not an option for the private sector.”  It is possible for a mining company and a First Nation to partner on a proposal to the Building Canada Fund without the province, Rickford said.  It would be “unfortunate” if the province were cut out of the opportunity to play a key role in the development but “we’re not far off of that place,” he said ….”
  • More detail from Rickford:  “…. Despite several announcements, no one knows anything about the Ring of Fire development corporation beyond the fact that so far its board is made up of four senior provincial bureaucrats. It cannot be a policy option and will not be until stakeholders have at least seen how it’s going to work Rickford said. “Let’s get this straight. Neither the federal government, any of the private sector companies and importantly the First Nations communities have seen any documents, not articles of incorporation, not policy position statements on what the devco would do except administer all of this money that we would apparently pour into it,” Rickford said.  “We don’t drop off money into a devco where we don’t have any ability to even so much as sit on its board and have a decision making capacity. That’s not an option for us.” “
  • Still, it looks like a meeting’s coming between Rickford and Gravelle:  “High-level government talks on infrastructure development in the Ring of Fire mining area are imminent.  Federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford said Wednesday that he will be discussing Ring of Fire infrastructure projects with (Ontario’s) Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle in the new year.  Rickford said he was pleased to get a letter last week from Gravelle requesting the meeting.  “We see this letter as a positive signal that the province is interested in joining the federal government, First Nations and industry in a more refined discussion on what we feel is important (infrastructure development) in the RoF,” said Rickford.  “Gravelle’s letter, in short, sends a strong message – we can now all work together on a proposal to the Building Canada Fund.  This letter means the RoF is a priority for the provincial government and they are willing to move forward on specific projects ….”
  • Commentary on the federal-provincial RoF tug o’ war  “…. The issues between the Ontario and Canadian governments appear to be a combination of political direction, and personalities. That could include a cup of political ideology in the recipe that is making the end result for the Ring of Fire a more bitter recipe for Northwestern Ontario …. This impasse is happening, and seemingly, left on the sidelines are the mining companies who are watching the value of their investment slowly drip down the drain.  Activity in Northwestern Ontario’s mining sector needs more action. Without the active engagement of governments, it is likely that getting the Ring of Fire going will take a lot longer than proponents will be able to wait.”
  • More on resource revenue sharing in Ontario, courtesy of page 30 of this Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada report (PDF):  “…. There have been some initial negotiations on GRRS planning in the Ring of Fire, located in northern Ontario. In 2012, the Minister of Northern Development and Mines updated a Memorandum of Co-operation (MOC) with Webequie First Nation to discuss providing Webequie with “social, community and economic development supports and resource revenue sharing associated with mine developments in the Ring of Fire.” Additionally, in July 2013, the Ontario government appointed the Honourable Frank Iacobucci as the lead negotiator for Ontario to participate in discussions with the Matawa member First Nations related to proposed development in the Ring of Fire. Consideration was given to resource revenue sharing, along with environmental monitoring, infrastructure and economic supports.  In March 2014, the parties signed a framework agreement  o guide negotiations on these issues ….”
  • “Noront Resources Limited President and CEO Al Coutts is looking to get mining. The Noront President says that getting moving on the Ring of Fire is important for Ontario. Coutts shares in an interview with NetNewsLedger, what is key is for Ontario to move forward on the permitting process, while it is working on the Regulatory Framework Agreement. The Ring of Fire chromite discovery in Northwestern Ontario offers opportunity for the region. “Getting the Ring of Fire right,” has been the message from the province of Ontario and Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle. Often it is the quiet player who is the one to watch. In the Ring of Fire, Noront Resources has been quietly doing things right ….”
  • One analyst’s take  “Cliffs Natural Resources: Time To Be Bearish Again? — Cliffs Natural Resources shares remain under pressure despite the fact that iron ore prices have recently stabilized. Clearly, the overall bearish outlook for iron ore prices weighs on the company’s valuation ….”
  • Another analyst’s take  “If You Believe In Cliffs Natural Resources, Consider The Preferred Shares …. The share price of Cliffs Natural Resources has declined substantially lately.  However, if you believe in the company, there is an interesting value proposition being offered in the form of equity designation you choose ….”
  • Environmental group, worried about caribou habitat, (again) calls for “regional strategic environmental assessment” in RoF area:  “In Ontario we’re particularly concerned about a proposed 300km transmission line designed to supply power from Ignace/Dryden through high-risk caribou ranges to Pickle Lake; the five-year exemption for forestry activities from the Endangered Species Act; and active discussions of plans for roads, hydro lines and other infrastructure to allow industrial access to the Far North including the Ring of Fire,” said Anna Baggio, Director, Conservation Planning for CPAWS Wildlands League.”  National news release here, full report here (although it doesn’t mention RoF specifically)
  • Interesting, but not ENTIRELY surprising …. “For the first time, the amount of money northeastern Ontario First Nations receive from agreements with private resource companies has been made public.  The figures were included in financial documents posted under the new First Nations Transparency Act.  Many bands have been reluctant to discuss specific figures in the past and the impact benefit agreements often prohibit the companies from discussing payment to neighbouring First Nations without band permission …. Most First Nations in northeastern Ontario do get some amount of money from a mining, forestry or power company.  All of the bands along the James Bay Coast receive money from DeBeers, for its Victor diamond mine near Attawapiskat ….”

 

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – December 12, 2014


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Please ignore previous post

Obviously, jihadi videos have very, very little to do with the Ring of Fire.

Apologies for populating your e-mail box needlessly – my mistake.

Thanks for your patience.


 

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – December 5, 2014

  • Ontario Chamber of Commerce:  get moving on RoF, Ontario  “Ontario needs to move quickly on development of the stalled Ring of Fire mineral belt or risk losing huge economic benefits for the province when metal prices bounce back again, warns a preliminary report card by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.  “Despite the tremendous economic and social opportunities the Ring of Fire affords Ontario, progress on development has been slow,” says the consultation paper obtained by the Star Wednesday …. “Unfortunately, in the last few months, the tone of the conversation surrounding the Ring of Fire has turned net negative,” says the document, which provides a preview of the chamber’s official report card on the Ring’s progress expected in February.  “Permitting delays and seemingly interminable negotiation processes have put development a long way off. As Ontario businesses tell us over and over: There’s a greater need for urgency at the Ring of Fire,” says the report ….”
  • Ontario Conservative Party leader wanna-be Vic Fedeli presents petition in Legislature this week “I’ll be reading a petition on the Ring of Fire.  “To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:  Whereas the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines granted Noront Resources an exploration permit on April 19, 2013; and Whereas this permit is for a duration of three years with possibility of a three-year renewal; and Whereas the public consultation period (EBR registry #011-8444) was held between February 26, 2013, and March 28, 2013, with no comments received; and Whereas the shareholders of this company expect the law to be upheld for Noront Resources and for this company to be allowed to explore as per the permit received;  We, the undersigned,”—there are several hundred signatures here—“petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to release the exploration permit and road permit for Noront Resources before the shareholder price is further damaged.”  I agree with this. I sign my name to this …. “
  • Meanwhile, same RoF message from Ottawa to Ontario  “Federal Natural Resources and FedNor Minister Greg Rickford remains optimistic about the future prospects for the Ring of Fire despite the slow exit of Cliffs Natural Resources from Ontario.  But the Kenora MP stuck to the federal government’s line that the province must identify “focused infrastructure projects” before Ottawa is prepared to spring for any dollars to help the Wynne government develop a transportation corridor to reach the stranded chromite and nickel deposits in the James Bay region.  “I remain confident that the province will come to understand that that’s what Northern Ontarians expect on this legacy resource development project.”  Rickford was in Sudbury Dec. 4 to announce the Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario, a FedNor program that sets aside $3 million for small towns and remote First Nations to hire economic development officers to advance local projects in their communities ….”
  • “Northern Ontario is getting short-changed by Ottawa when it comes to receiving funds for economic development, says MP Charlie Angus (NDP – Timmins-James Bay).  Angus said the federal Conservative government held back $11 million in economic development money for Northern Ontario over the past four years. The money would have been distributed through FedNor.  Instead, Angus said that money was returned to the federal treasury to create a surplus and be spent on other priorities.  “It would be difficult to believe there are less initiatives and business ideas coming out of Northern Ontario,” especially with opportunities on the horizon within the Ring of Fire, Angus told The Daily Press.  Development within the mineral-rich area of the James Bay lowlands appears to be “stuck in neutral” at the moment, Angus added ….”
  • Ontario’s mines minister talks up RoF (a bit) in the U.K.  “Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle shares the latest information on mining in Ontario. The Minister was in London England this week at a mining conference, Money and Mining, sharing the news on the opportunities in Ontario for mining, and economic development.  Minister Gravelle stated that in London he was a little surprised that not as many people in the conference were fully aware of the opportunities in Ontario for mining. “One of the keys is to be selling the province of Ontario,” stated Gravelle.  The Minister states that the opportunities in the mining field in Ontario are large and that there are 70 million hectares in the Northwest which are open for stalking.  On the Ring of Fire, the Minister shared how critical it is, for Ontario to “Get the Ring of Fire right”, and the steps are being taken to do just that.  Gravelle points to the historic agreement with the Matawa First Nations, and the creation of the Ring of Fire Development Corporation as some of those critical steps on the way forward ….”
  • Speaking of Northern Development and Mines, lookit who’s the new DM?  David de Launay will be the new deputy minister of Northern Development and Mines, effective Jan. 5, 2015.  He replaces George Ross, who left last summer to assume a new role with the Government of Yukon as its new deputy minister of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources.  Steve Orsini, the province’s secretary to cabinet, made the announcement on Nov. 26 ….”
  • A couple of mentions of RoF in an economic discussion paper (PDF) by the Mowat Centre think tank “…. New projects and emerging sectors, such as the development of the Ring of Fire, create an opportunity for integrated labour force planning in smaller communities and improved training for Aboriginal populations …. Regions such as the Ring of Fire hold enormous potential, but require equally sizeable investments and community development if they are to yield equitable and on-going benefits ….”more here if you want to comment on this paper
  • “What’s the ideal development scenario for the Ring of Fire? Not what most of the protagonists in the long drawn out saga have proposed to date, according to Frank Smeenk, president and CEO of KWG Resources.  Forget about Cliffs Natural Resources and the $1.8 billion electrically-powered ferrochrome smelter in Sudbury. Ditto for the billion dollar plus railroad from the CN line to the chromite fields of the Ring of Fire, as proposed by Smeenk himself.  The KWG president’s latest grand scheme for the Ring of Fire hinges on a new gasfired production method for chromite, a slurry pipeline bringing the ore south to a gas reduction reactor in Nakina and a second parallel pipeline bringing natural gas north to two gas-fired electrical generating stations ….”
  • One analyst’s take  “Ring of Fire miner (Noront) may be best used as a tax-loss sale”
  • “As the holiday season draws nearer, Noront Resources’ employees are organizing the Sixth Annual Ring of Fire Christmas Fund. Over the past five years, the fund has raised more than $75,000 in donations. That ensured that each child under the age of 13 living on or off reserve in the communities of Marten Falls and Webequie First Nation received a wrapped gift at Christmas.  All of the mining community is invited to support Santa and his elves to bring presents and a festive supper to youths in three First Nations communities this year ….”
  • “Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. announced (Thursday) that it has terminated its previously announced cash tender offers for up to a maximum aggregate principal amount of its outstanding (i) 3.95% Senior Notes due 2018 (the “2018 Notes”), (ii) 5.90% Senior Notes due 2020 (the “March 2020 Notes”), (iii) 4.80% Senior Notes due 2020, (iv) 4.875% Senior Notes due 2021 (the “2021 Notes”) and (v) 6.25% Senior Notes due 2040 that it can purchase for up to $600.0 million in cash, excluding accrued and unpaid interest.  The Tender Offers are being terminated because the Company’s debt refinancing has been postponed due to perceived adverse market conditions ….”
  • A bit of legal beagle analysis of some old news  “On July 30, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court granted an appeal to a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (“Cliffs”), setting aside a decision made by the Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner (“MLC”). The appeal concerned a request for an order to dispense with consent, pursuant to s. 51 of the Mining Act (Ontario) (the “Act”), for an application by Cliffs for an easement under s. 21 of the Public Lands Act. The easement would allow Cliffs to build a road to its chromite deposits in the “Ring of Fire” in northern Ontario. The proposed road would pass over Crown land containing unpatented mining claims held by Canada Chrome Corporation (“CCC”), a subsidiary of KWG Resources Inc. Section 51 of the Act requires that an applicant obtain the consent of a claim holder in order to acquire an surface rights over Crown land. CCC refused to consent to the easement on the grounds that Cliffs’ proposed road would undermine its priority to the surface rights and interfere with its plans to build a railway on the same land ….”  – alternative link for article

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – November 28, 2014

  • This question in Ontario’s Legislature yesterday, from Tory Aboriginal Affairs critic Norm Miller  “My question is to the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. Minister, $2.7 billion is waiting for Ontario in the Building Canada Fund for infrastructure. While your government has yet to submit a list of projects for this application, you were quoted last week stating that the upcoming application from Ontario is “unlikely” to include a request for infrastructure funding for the Ring of Fire.  Minister, could you please let us know which specific infrastructure projects are more important to your government than making the Ring of Fire a reality?”  The Minister’s answer?  “It’s time for the federal government to come forward with a proposal to match our commitment of a billion dollars in the Ring of Fire. They can keep playing games all they want with infrastructure projects. It’s a very simple request: Match our funding. That’s all we’re asking.”
  • Mo’ from Ontario  “Responding to a sea of criticism over its handling of the Ring of Fire, the province’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines insisted Tuesday his government’s strategy will make the chromite discovery a success.  Michael Gravelle said he’s pleased with the progress his government has made, despite comments from opposition politicians and business that the $60-billion project is languishing under the Liberal guidance.  “We have a clear plan and we’re implementing it,” Gravelle said, who said they have made significant progress in recent weeks.  But the biggest stakeholders in the project is considerably less optimistic ….”
  • RoF in the first Ontario Tory leadership debate in Sudbury  “It was the last question at the first Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership debate, submitted online by a man from Huntsville. But it fired up candidates and an audience of about 150 people, most party faithful, at College Boreal on Monday night.  Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod and Barrie MP Patrick Brown were asked what their plans were to spur development of the Ring of Fire.  “We’ve heard a lot of talk and promises from the Liberals,” wrote the Huntsville resident, “but no real plan to move forward.”  All four candidates couldn’t have agreed more with that statement ….”
  • From an Toronto Star editorial on the PM and Ontario’s Premier butting heads  “…. The leaders are at loggerheads over one project: the massive Ring of Fire chromite mining and smelting development in Northern. Ontario wants Ottawa to match its $1-billion contribution. The federal government says its share of the Building Canada Fund is more than that ….”
  • Some opinion from a northwestern Ontario NDP MP  “…. What’s my opinion on the Ring of Fire debacle? Ministers Rickford and Gravelle are both right. Both of their governments have failed the people of Northwestern Ontario. In particular Mr. Rickford, whose riding in which the $50 billion mineral deposit is located, has proven to be a completely ineffective Member of Parliament for his constituents and an extremely weak Minister for his Conservative government. Thankfully New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair has hired Howard Hampton to be his Special Advisor on this important project. Howard brings more than 30 years’ experience in politics and working with the mining sector and First Nations. He, and we, can finally get this job done once and for all ….”
  • “The David Suzuki Foundation is siding with two northern First Nation communities in requesting a moratorium on mining exploration permits in the Ring of Fire.  The Toronto and Vancouver-based environmental organization has been working with Neskantaga and Nibinamik to build the remote communities’ policy and decision-making capacity toward making planning and land-use decisions that are in keeping with their traditional way of life ….”Foundation’s 27 Nov 14 news release
  • Not everyone keen on new Mushkegowuk Grand Chief’s idea of bringing power from James Bay down to the RoF  “…. If the chiefs are going to sign the lands away without the people’s consent, then there is no meaningful consultation. A Chief of any organization (such as the Mushkegowuk Council) or any First Nation is not to sign any agreements with mining companies unless the people he represents tell him to do so, A chief is only a spokesperson for his people and cannot, or should not make decisions without proper consultation and fully informed consent ….”
  • Again with the “blimps for the RoF”  “…. Here is a fantasy about northern development and the Ring of Fire. Everyone in the story really exists. Not a single event in the story has happened—yet.  In late 2014, the chief of the Moose Cree First Nation, Norm Hardisty, wrote to Stephen McGlennan, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles in Britain, asking if their Airlander 50 would be a suitable vehicle for CreeWest, a First Nations-owned air carrier. Hardisty didn’t have a clear plan in mind, but he knew that if First Nations controlled an essential transportation system they would be big winners in the development of Ontario’s North. McGlennan phoned Hardisty back saying he would fly a half-dozen people to the hangar in London where the radical airship is being built ….”
  • An “oopsie” by a brokerage firm with only the briefest contact (thinking about contact, really) with the RoF  “A brokerage industry executive at the centre of one of Bay Street’s biggest criminal frauds in the 1980s is facing new accusations of improperly selling shares in a small mining company.  The Ontario Securities Commission said Tuesday that it has laid quasi-criminal charges in provincial court against Venard (Lenny) Gaudet of Toronto, accusing him of unregistered trading in shares and selling securities without issuing a prospectus. The allegations involve the sale of shares of Intrinsic Minerals Ltd. in 2012 …. Intrinsic was incorporated in 2007 and said its mission was to acquire and explore prospective mineral projects. In a 2008 news release, the company announced it had entered into an option to buy a half-interest in properties in the Ring of Fire location in Northern Ontario owned by Noront Resources Ltd., but the option expired unexercised ….”

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – November 24, 2014


 

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – November 14, 2014

  • Latest KWG estimate for Big Daddy, from a regulatory filing (NI43-101 Technical Report, 75 page PDF) this week  “…. In 2010 Micon published a resource estimate for the Big Daddy, using a cut-off of 15%. They identified 26.4 million tonnes grading 39.37% Cr2O3 of Indicated resources and a further 20.5 million tonnes of Inferred resources grading 37.47% Cr2O3 (Gowans et al, 2010a). Using the same cut-off of 15% Cr2O3 the current model identifies 37.4 million tonnes grading 28.5% Cr2O3 of Measured and Indicated resources and 4.8 million tonnes at a grade of 25.0 % Cr2O3 of Inferred resources. The current estimate has more tonnes of Measured and Indicated resources, reflecting the additional drilling done in the intervening two year s, but at a lower grade. In addition, the current model has much less Inferred resources, also at a lower grade. The differences lie in the fact that the previous model was much more tightly constrained as only samples above a 15% cut-off were used and the mineral domain was extended approximately 250 metres below the deepest drilling …. To fully evaluate underground mining, and to properly define the limits of open pit mining, additional drilling is required to extend the limits of the resource down dip (proposed exploration budget for infill drilling: $3.465 million) ….”
  • More from Matawa’s negotiator Bob Rae  “The courts have spoken on aboriginal rights. Governments must act …. What is deeply troubling is the gap between the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions and the willingness of both provincial and federal governments to enforce and follow the decisions …. The numbered treaties could be described as trillion-dollar misunderstandings ….”
  • Some relevant Tweets coming out of a recent Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development’s conference, via MiningWatch Canada:  Chuck Birchall at #canenviroperf: #Indigenous ppls could take Canada’s “consultation” requirements to include regional/strategic EA …. But many First Nations & tribal/regional bodies already developing their own land use plans & protocols, no thanks to gov’t or EA processes.” – More on Charles Birchall from his corporate bio
  • “Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse called for “true partnerships” at the 4th Annual Mining Ready Summit, held Oct. 28-29 in Thunder Bay. “That’s the way going forward for us to have a step in the processes and also be part of the processes that are potentially going to happen in our area,” Wabasse said. “We have to have these agreements and they have to be real and they have to be honoured.” Wabasse said his community does not want to sign agreements where “nothing is happening on our side.” “We know that we have to work our part as well too to make that agreement become reality,” Wabasse said. “We need to understand as First Nations about that agreement, what we need to do to make that happen as well too.” Wabasse said his community is not opposed to development. “We want to be able to benefit from our lands and resources,” Wabasse said ….”
  • “Long Lake #58’s Wyatt Waboose is proud of the work he put into his winning Noront t-shirt design. “It had to be traditional so I used the eagle feather and the four colours,” said the Grade 11 Migizi Miigwanan Secondary School student. “I was going to put the feathers underneath, but then I made a rough draft (with the feathers) over (top) and I chose between the two of them, with the feather underneath and the feather over top. I asked my mom about it, what I should use and what shouldn’t I use, and she said the top one.” ….”
  • Editorial“When it comes to developing the Ring of Fire, or building the Maley Drive extension, Sudburians are getting to watch the old political shell game. It’s not a game they want to play or one in which they can get any satisfaction ….”

 

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – November 6, 2014

  • Some interesting tidbits came up after we put yesterday’s version to bed, so here you go ….
  • Tick, tick, tick …. “KWG Resources Inc. announces that by mutual agreement of the parties, KWG and Bold Ventures Inc. have extended to December 30, 2014, the deadline by which KWG must provide that it intends to make the $700,000 option payment due February 7, 2015 under the KWG/Bold Option Agreement and expend an aggregate of $8,000,000 on the property by March 31, 2015. KWG has to date incurred $5.8 million of the $8.0 million required expenditure and is proceeding with a prospectus offering of securities to fund the additional work. If the notice is not delivered within the extended time, the Option will be terminated. “Recent events have dramatically altered the current value of opportunities in the Ring of Fire,” said KWG President Frank Smeenk. “That has exacerbated a difficult exploration and development financing environment for those of us working there. We need some time to discuss these circumstances with all the participants affected by this new reality.” ….”
  • “The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is at work on a report, grading the Government of Ontario on its performance on 13 steps it recommended in February the province take to develop the Ring of Fire. The goal of the first report, Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Potential of Ontario’s Ring of Fire, was to raise awareness about the impact mining the Ring of Fire would have on the economies of Ontario and Canada.  Josh Hjartarson, vice-president of policy and government relations for the Ontario chamber, said governments’ priorities are determined by the pressure people put on them, so his group is trying to “generate some virtuous pressure on all levels of government.”  Hjartarson compares the Ontario chamber’s public awareness campaign to what Canadian petroleum producers did to promote the Alberta oil sands. Many observers have compared the importance of the Ring of Fire on a national scale to the oil sands and Churchill Falls generating station ….”
  • “There’s a lot of misconceptions in the public about the Ring of Fire and First Nations and Neskantaga Chief Peter Moonias said he’s tired of it. The First Nation community leader says people believe First Nations in Matawa communities are being handed things and that everything is rosy in the Far North. Those, the chief says, are lies.  “We’re not getting anything,” Moonias said as Matawa Tribal Council and Noront met at the Victoria Inn Wednesday. “We’re not getting anything in the way of being consulted.”  Moonias said he and other Matawa chiefs have been repeating themselves for years that meaningful development from industry and government needs to occur if the development is going to take off.  While both parties have said that’s happening, Moonias said consultation needs to happen at the community level in a language that all members can understand. Many people in his community don’t have the education needed to be able to decipher reports or hear from lawyers.  “Speaking to the First Nations people is not consultation or going for coffee with the First Nations people is not consultation. Consultation happens in the community in that language that my people understand,” he said.  While the province championed a regional framework agreement with Matawa, Moonias said it’s been a long time since any discussion has taken place.  “We haven’t really heard from them since they won the majority government and I don’t know what’s happening,” he said.  Noront CEO Alan Coutts said Matawa’s concerns show that even if there are political and legal definitions for consultation, industry and communities need to come to their own agreement about what the process is ….”
  • More “who does what during consultation?” litigation coming next summer  “A Sudbury junior miner has nailed down a date to take the Ontario government to court for failing in its legal duty to carry out consultation with First Nations.  Northern Superior Resources announced that a Superior Court judge overseeing the company’s litigation has set June 1, 2015 for the trial date.  Four weeks have been set aside for the proceedings.  The company is suing the Ontario government for $110 million for failing to consult with First Nations after a series of disputes with the Sachigo Lake First Nation led to the company abandoning work on its mining claims in northwestern Ontario in 2011. The company was evicted from the area by the First Nation.  The company wants compensation for the $15 million invested in exploration since 2005 and the estimated value of its three gold properties located near the Manitoba border.  The government contends it’s not liable for any damages incurred by the company and any decision to stop exploration was theirs alone. The Crown further said it’s not responsible for any demands made on the company by Sachigo, or the company’s decision to reject them ….”company news release
  • Matawa’s negotiator Bob Rae on treaties and resources  “…. (at a recent speech) Rae suggested the concrete steps needed to move forward to renew the treaties. These include more revenue sharing and jurisdiction for Aboriginal people as resource extraction in Canada continues to march through traditional Aboriginal territory.  “The resource frontier of the country is moving north and west, where there is traditional territory of Aboriginal people. We cannot ignore this issue. And if I was a smart guy in oil or gas or mining or forestry, I would need to get my head around this question,” Rae said.  Rae criticized provincial Premiers for their unwillingness to share revenue with First Nations. In Ontario, Rae continues to negotiate on behalf of nine First Nations with respect to proposed developments in the “Ring of Fire,” where resource revenue sharing is a key component of discussions about the massive mining project.  “Canada tried assimilation, marginalization, dependency and powerlessness,” Rae said. “None of them worked… Now it is time for more self-government, and the transfer of land, money, and jurisdiction to First Nations peoples.” “ – speech text here, video of speech here

 

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – November 5, 2014


 

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – October 30, 2014


 

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