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What's up with the biggest thing happening in mining in NW Ontario?

Ring of Fire News – April 17, 2014


 

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Ring of Fire News – April 10, 2014

  • New face on the KWG board  KWG Resources Inc announces that its Board of Directors has resolved to increase its number to five and appoint Donald Alexander Sheldon, B.A.Sc. (1970 University of Toronto), M.A.Sc. (1972, University of Toronto), LL.B. (1974, Osgoode Hall Law School at York University), P.Eng. (1973, Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario) as a Director of the Company.   Mr. Sheldon is a mining securities lawyer practising at the firm of Sheldon Huxtable Professional Corporation in Toronto. He is also a professional engineer. Mr. Sheldon has been practicing corporate and commercial law for over 30 years with an emphasis on corporate finance and securities regulation. He is licensed to practice law in both Ontario and Alberta. He is and has been the director and/or officer of numerous other public corporations listed on Canadian stock exchanges ….”
  • Former PM mentions Ring of Fire as opportunity  Brian Mulroney says the country needs risk-taking leadership to get domestic oil and gas moving overseas, as well as a plan to work co-operatively and bring Canadians onside …. Mulroney pointed to the lack of a “concrete action plan and an enhanced spirit of partnership” in the Ring of Fire mining project in northern Ontario. Plans to develop the massive chromite deposit are on ice for now as First Nations, the provincial government and the federal government struggle to figure out how to develop the region, who should pay for infrastructure and how the benefits of the resource should be shared ….”
  • New timeline shows how many of what kind of mining, mining-linked jobs will be needed in NW Ontario The North Superior Workforce Planning Board has released Visual Timeline of Occupational needs and Skills demands in mining. This fluid resource tool was developed for the NSWPB’s recent study entitled Occupational Time Continuum in Mining. The tool will provide a timeline continuum of the projected occupational and skills demands in mining projects over the next ten years in Northern Ontario. At issue was firming up some of the projections for employment that have ranged from 2000 to as many as 50,000 jobs in the mining sector in the region. The NSWPB’s study was completed in collaboration with community partners including the Thunder Bay CEDC and Confederation College. ichael Gravelle, Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines stated “As the population ages and Ontario’s mining industry continues to grow, youth across the north will play a vital role, serving as the next generation of engineers, geologists, miners and skilled tradespeople. I applaud the work of the North Superior Workforce Planning Board for the development of this exciting new tool that will bring new light to the many career opportunities available across Ontario’s mining sector.” ….” - Occupational Time Continuum in Mining
  • Former Noront guy now with Goldeye  Goldeye Explorations Limited is pleased to announce that Richard Nemis will be joining its Technical and Corporate Advisory Board …. Mr. Nemis, a Sudbury native, graduated from the University of Ottawa and Osgoode Law School. He practiced in the fields of corporate, commercial and securities law. He founded Noront Resources Ltd. in 1983 ….”
  • NW Ontario municipal leaders talk mining  “Roads to Resources . . . Through Partnerships” will be theme of the annual general meeting of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (in Fort Frances) April 23-25. NOMA executive director Kristen Oliver said the focus of the conference, which is expected to draw about 150 delegates from across Northwestern Ontario, will be on natural resources in the region, strengths, challenges, and where partnerships can be made to move forward into the future. For example, the keynote speaker will be Stan Wesley from the Wesley Group, who will focus on municipal-aboriginal partnerships. Meanwhile, Chantelle Bryson, of the law firm Weiller Maloney Nelson, will speak on the new regional governance model and implementation legislation that has been reached in Quebec between First Nations and municipalities, and whether the same can be done in Ontario—especially in regards to the “Ring of Fire” and other mining opportunities here ….” – NOMA conference page 
  • Ottawa and Queen’s Park made separate funding announcements on April 4 toward training Aboriginal workers for mining-related jobs in northwestern Ontario and the Far North. Federal Natural Resources and FedNor minister Greg Rickford announced in his home riding of Kenora that $5.2 million is going to Seven Generations Education Institute to provide training and work experience to 315 participants involved in mining-related programs in the Thunder Bay-Rainy River area. The money is coming through the federal Skills and Partnership Fund. Four other Aboriginal organizations and private sector partners are involved to bring the total project value to $11.4 million. Meanwhile the Ontario government invested $565,000 for training programs with the Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment & Training Services (KKETS) for First Nation communities located near the Ring of Fire. The announcement was made at a graduation ceremony for 45 Matawa First Nations participants involved in the Aboriginal Skills Advancement Pilot Program ….”
  • Given the depressed state of metal prices, they could be forgiven for feeling a little morose. But the Ontario Prospectors Association says it expects to attract more than 300 participants (Tuesday) and Wednesday to its annual Thunder Bay mines and minerals symposium. And the mood should be upbeat, despite price drops in key metals like copper and gold. “You get a bunch of prospectors, geologists and junior miners in one room and you can’t help feeling optimistic,” OPA executive director Garry Clark remarked Monday from his Thunder Bay office. “I think people are cautiously optimistic about the market’s ability to raise money for exploration,” Clark added. “The minerals (in the ground) aren’t going anywhere.” ….”
  • Commentary on why the Fraser Institute is wrong about suggesting privatizing First Nation mineral resources  “…. In other parts of the country where either outstanding claims exist or where aboriginal communities who signed treaties a century ago are demanding the status quo interpretation of those treaties be revisited, the federal and provincial governments are moving to acquiesce to those demands more than they are openly suggesting they should be ignored. Ottawa’s reaction to the Northern Gateway debacle? Beef up its attention to treaty negotiations in British Columbia. Ontario’s reaction to the Ring of Fire play? Enter into an unprecedented economic co-operation agreement with First Nations in the region. Just where in this picture are policy-makers seriously considering an end to entrenching aboriginal claims and instead asking the conversation to revolve around establishing private property rights instead? ….

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Ring of Fire News – April 6, 2014


All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act. The blog is not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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Ring of Fire News – April 3, 2014


 

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Ring of Fire News – March 31, 2014

  • More here from media on the signing of a Ring of Fire framework agreement between Ontario and Matawa’s First Nations.
  • The province is prepared to make a “very significant” infrastructure investment in the Ring of Fire, said Michael Gravelle, Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines during a visit to Sudbury, March 27. “Our commitment to a major investment is locked in. It’s real,” Gravelle said in an interview after speaking at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “We have not spoken about that figure specifically and I’m not in a position to do that right now.” Gravelle made the comments a day after the province signed, what he called, an “historic landmark” framework agreement with the nine communities of the Matawa First Nations on how to move forward with mineral and community development in the Ring of Fire, a string of massive chromite and nickel mineral deposits in the James Bay lowlands ….”
  • The Government of Ontario won’t put a number on the “significant investment” it is committed to making to develop infrastructure in the Ring of Fire. But whatever that figure is, it wants the federal government to match it. Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle told reporters in Sudbury on Thursday it’s important to have discussions about developing the vast chromite deposits “without setting the bar, without putting a figure in place.” That’s because the costs of developing transportation, power and other infrastructure will vary according to whether access to remote first nations communities is factored in or not. But Gravelle insisted the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne is committed to investing heavily and is looking for that same level of commitment from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives ….”
  • Analyst:  Not much hope yet for Cliffs’ return  “…. Let’s just say it’s but one checkbox ticked off in a long list of boxes needing checks. The Ontario government said it’s signed an agreement with Matawa First Nations laying out a framework for developing the province’s northern mineral resources. Although a minimal achievement, it’s an important one because a lack of cohesion among all the parties involved was key to Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF ) indefinitely suspending work on its $3.3 billion Ring of Fire chromite project last year …. each announcement is simply another part of the slog through the morass. And if Casablanca Capital gains control of Cliffs Natural Resources’ board it will demand the chromite project be sold. Investors, therefore, shouldn’t get their hopes up that all the boxes will be checked off for Cliffs anytime soon.”
  • FedNor’s staff boss on the Ring of Fire  Future development of the Ring of Fire will depend more on the business case for companies to develop the rich mineral deposit, than the role government has to play in the region, said Aime Dimatteo, director general of FedNor. Dimatteo addressed the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, and echoed Bob Rae, now the chief negotiator for the Matawa First Nations in the Ring of Fire, regarding the government’s role in the region. “It is a business decision,” Dimatteo said. “Bob Rae is very right, in that at the end of the day the businesses will make the decisions on whether they’re going to go forward with these projects.” …. Dimatteo said FedNor has worked quietly to create the building blocks for the Ring of Fire development. “We want to make sure we have all the elements in place,” he said. “We’re trying to be as proactive as we can.” ….”
  • More editorial commentary on Greg Rickford getting bumped to federal natural resources minister (while still working the Ring of Fire)  “…. Rickford’s promotion is good news for Northern Ontario which now has senior ministers in both governments actively trying to get the important Ring of Fire project over its hurdles and into production to stimulate this region’s economy following its bout with forestry failures. If Rickford and Gravelle can jointly steer the development forward soon, Ontario’s North will finally be able to breathe easier.”
  • A bit of “comic” commentary  “Alphonse and Gaston were two newspaper cartoon characters created in the 1920s by Frederick Opper, and the “glacial” progress of Ontario’s Ring of Fire harks back to them. Alphonse and Gaston were two waiters who never got anything done because they were too polite. “After you Alphonse,” Gaston said. “No, you first, my dear Gaston,” replied Alphonse. It’s very reminiscent of what is happening with Ontario’s Ring of Fire, a massive planned chromite mining and smeltering development project in the mineral-rich James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario. No one seems willing to be the first to launch the $60 billion mineral discovery in the area ….”
  • Elsewhere in the Ring of Fire ….  “Bold Ventures Inc. and KWG Resources Inc. are pleased to report that the 5,000 metre drilling program which commenced January 18th has been completed. The program met its objective of extending the Black Horse chromite deposit to depth. A total of six holes were drilled during the program: three on the Black Horse deposit and three on an untested gravity anomaly known as the C-6 target, one kilometer northeast of the Black Horse. It should be noted that further work, at depth, in the vicinity of the C-6 target remains to be accomplished in order to adequately test the nickel potential in this vicinity ….”


 

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Ring of Fire News – March 26, 2014


All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act. The blog is not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

 

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Ring of Fire News – March 15, 2014


All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act. The blog is not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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Ring of Fire News – March 8, 2014

  • From the big PDAC convention in Toronto this week:  In Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. remains the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk aboutA Tuesday lunch panel at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention focused on the giant undeveloped deposit in the James Bay Lowlands and what has to be done to move it forward.  There were some encouraging comments in that regard from former premier Bob Rae, who is representing the Matawa Tribal Council in its negotiations with the province over Ring of Fire development. He said the two sides are “making good progress at the bargaining table,” and he is optimistic that they will reach a framework agreement soon. That is good news for all involved.  But the panel largely ignored the broader questions investors have about the Ring of Fire: Does it make economic sense for a major mining company to invest the capital required for this highly remote project? And do any of them want to? ….”
  • The latest from Bob Rae  “The Ring of Fire’s slow road to development is inching along thanks to talks between First Nations and Queen’s Park, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual conference heard Tuesday.  The vast pristine wetland region in northern Ontario that became subject to rapid interest on the part of mineral investors a few years ago now has much of its fate in the hands of negotiations between Ontario and the Matawa First Nations.  “We’re making good progress at the bargaining table,” said Bob Rae, the former federal Liberal leader who is now chief negotiator for the Matawa First Nations.  Rae is in talks with retired Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci, the lead negotiator for the Ontario government.  “We are working hard on a framework agreement,” said Rae, speaking during a panel discussion at PDAC. “I believe we will have one soon.” ….”moremore
  • More from Rae speaking in Sudbury this time  “Aboriginal people in the Far North are looking for the same benefits from mining in the Ring of Fire that Sudburians have always sought from mining in the Nickel City, says Bob RaeThe former Ontario New Democrat premier, who is representing the Matawa Chiefs Council in negotiations with the province on revenue-sharing in the Ring, said that situation is no different than Sudbury’s.  Sudbury caucus colleagues from the early 1990s, such as former Nickel Belt MPP and NDP Finance Minister Floyd Laughren, used to press Rae to make sure mining companies returned a benefit to the community, Rae said Thursday night.  “That’s what aboriginal people are asking for,” Rae told about 300 people attending the Goring Family Lecture Series at Laurentian University’s Fraser Auditorium.  Rather than waiting for government handouts, the chiefs of the nine nations in Matawa First Nations Management want to become genuine economic partners in developing infrastructure and managing “how things are going to be done in the Ring of Fire,” said Rae.  He spoke on the topic Mining and First Nations: Sustainability is the Only Option, saying there was no better place to talk about sustainability than Sudbury ….” – more from the same talk here and here
  • From panel discussions elsewhere …. Development within the Ring of Fire needs the attention of Southern Ontario and the rest of Canada.  That’s one of the main barriers Josh Hjartarson, vice president, policy and government relations for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, believes is preventing the massive chromite mining project in the lower James Bay area from going forward.  “People in Timmins, Sudbury and Thunder Bay know about the Ring of Fire,” he said. “They have a clear understanding what the potential is but they don’t have that in the living rooms of Toronto, Hamilton or Windsor. That’s what needs to happen. This isn’t just a Northern play. It is an Ontario-wide play.”  According to a report recently released by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, there’s an estimated 9.2 billion tonnes of chromite reserves in the world with Ontario holding the fourth largest at 220 million tonnes.  The report goes on to say that the Ring of Fire project could generate $9.4 billion and sustain up to 5,500 jobs.  Hjartarson called the project a big opportunity for Ontario.  “There’s certain sectors in Ontario that are really suffering right now,” he said. “We know in manufacturing there’s been heavy job losses in the last 10 to 15 years. We’re looking for opportunities to show where we can be a global leader, where can we create those really high paying jobs. This is an obvious solution.”  Hjartarson was one of four panelist who took questions regarding the Ring of Fire development at a Timmins Chamber of Commerce event held at Cedar Meadows Resort and Spa ….”
  • More on the Cliffs-Casablanca fracas  The war of words between Cliffs Natural Resources Inc and Casablanca Capital escalated on Friday, after the activist investor rejected an offer to end a proxy battle to win control of the iron ore miner’s board.  Casablanca, Cliffs’ fifth-largest shareholder with a 5.2 percent stake, wants Chief Executive Gary Halverson gone, and the company to spin off its “riskier” international operations from cash-generating U.S. assets.  The hedge fund, which started its campaign in January, nominated six directors for election to Cliffs’ 11-member board on Thursday.  Cliffs had offered to let Casablanca appoint two independent directors and a third director was to have been appointed on mutual agreement, the company said in a statement issued early Friday morning.  Cliffs also said it acceded to Casablanca’s request to postpone the May 13 record date – the date on which an investor must own shares to be entitled to vote – for its annual meeting.  Casablanca, however, issued a statement later in the day denying making such a request.  “The board that owns virtually no shares and has presided over an 80 percent value destruction is in our view showing its true colors by indefinitely postponing a shareholder vote and falsely suggesting that the delay was advocated by Casablanca,” the fund said ….” – more from Cliffs here and here, and from media here
  • Also, lookit the faux-Cliffs page Casablanca has put up – interesting, indeed
  • KWG Resources Inc. announces that it has acquired 3,350,000 Common Shares in the capital of GoldTrain Resources Inc. at a price of $0.02 per share in settlement of $67,000 of debt owed by GoldTrain.  As a result, KWG now owns 10,634,000 Common Shares representing approximately 18.03% of the issued and outstanding Common Shares of the Company.  KWG has acquired the securities for investment purposes and has no present intention of acquiring additional securities of GoldTrain. Depending upon its evaluation of the business, prospects and financial condition of GoldTrain, the market for GoldTrain’s securities, general economic and tax conditions and other factors, KWG may acquire more or sell some or all of its securities of GoldTrain ….”

All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act. The blog is not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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Ring of Fire News – February 27, 2014

  • Whazzup with the smelter“The province has been silent on the future of a proposed $1.8-billion refinery in Capreol, that would have been tied to Cliffs Natural Resources’ involvement in the Ring of Fire. Cliffs stopped work on its $3.3-billion Ring of Fire development in 2013 due to a number of major hurdles. Those included a lack of agreements with First Nations in the area, and a lost appeal to the Ontario Mining Commission late last year that would have allowed the company an easement on the property to begin planning the necessary infrastructure. When asked about the future for the planned refinery in Capreol, Michael Gravelle, Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines, said the province needs to make decisions on transportation and infrastructure in the Ring of Fire before it can move on to proposed projects like the refinery. “They are one company,” Gravelle said about Cliffs. “There are other companies with very specific proposals and interests in the Ring of Fire.” ….”
  • Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle knows he has work to do. “We need to make some decisions on infrastructure,” said Gravelle in an interview with the News about the Ring of Fire mining find in the remote James Bay region of Northern Ontario. Once touted as the biggest mining find of the century in the province, the development has stalled over the past year with drilling activity almost stopping completely and global mining giant Cliffs Natural Resources saying it’s pulling out of the region. But Gravelle says work is still being done around the Ring of Fire and the most important ingredient is getting it right. “We’re all eager to see the project move forward, but we’re also eager to see that we do it in the right way,” said Gravelle. At the moment the Ring of Fire project is in the bureaucratic wash cycle simultaneously going through consultations/negotiations with First Nations, and environmental assessment and the number crunching analysis of how to get the ore from a remote challenging terrain to market. It is work Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli believes could be going a lot faster. During a recent trip to the Noront and Cliffs camps in the Ring of Fire, Fedeli said he is concerned about the speed of the roll out since the mining find was discovered in 2007 ….”
  • Canadian Mining Journal staffer’s column  “Sorry, but I find it hard to get excited by the recent news that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has broken ceremonial ground on a new all-weather highway from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk. As much as I favour any infrastructure work the Feds are willing to pay for, I have to question why a 140-km gravel highway (that’s been on the books since the Diefenbaker years in the 1960s) now gets a push and will still be on the books until it’s scheduled to be completed in 2018? Sure, the PMO’s office says, “The link that hooks up to the Dempster Highway running through the Yukon is expected to deliver many economic benefits and save northerners hundreds of dollars a year in shipping costs.” BUT, and that’s a big ‘but,’ is saving northerners hundreds of dollars worth it because I can think of a number of other highway projects that would not only save money but moreover, help make it? …. What about a road into Ontario’s Ring of Fire? That’s a road that should, almost must be built for the sake of “economic development” because like it or not, those vast resources buried in Northern Ontario are more of a key to Canada’s economic well being than anything the far north can offer right now.” As much as I like and understand many of the people who live and work north of the 60th parallel, the truth of the matter is that a road to viable resources is far more important than a ‘dream’ road to frozen reserves.”
  • Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce hosts Ring of Fire chat up  “The Ring of Fire needs the attention of southern Ontario. “I’m a Northern Ontario person and I understand the impact of projects like this on Northern Ontario and on southern Ontario but not very many people do,” said Paul Semple, the chief operating officer of Noront Resources. “I think when people realize there are manufacturing opportunities, there’s other opportunities that start from the south, they’ll see the significance of this project to Ontario.” The Ontario Chamber of Commerce released a report titled Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Economic Potential of Ontario’s Ring of Fire last week stating that once the project ia active, it will generate up to $9.4 billion in GDP over 10 years and sustain up to 5,500 jobs annually. At a luncheon hosted by the local chamber of commerce to discuss the report at the Airlane Hotel Wednesday, Semple said the importance of the report is raising awareness of the Ring of Fire throughout Ontario, not just in the North. “We tell the story to everyone who wants to listen,” he said. “I don’t think the average person in southern Ontario would get it because they don’t have some tie to mining but I think it goes a lot further than that.” ….”moremore 
  • One market analyst’s take  “Because of competing interests and parochial biases, the vast potential of Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral development project lays dormant, but the provincial government may yet break the logjam holding progress back as it lays the foundation of a road map for the way forward ….”
  • One reporter’s take on the transition  “The guys have just finished a Chinese food lunch and are parked in front of the TV, riveted to men’s Olympic hockey, Canada vs Finland, in the Esker Camp recreation room. Next door, a young chef cleans up the cooking show-worthy kitchen — complete with icemaker in the dry camp — and preps for the usual Friday night feast. This time it’s prime rib, which they alternate with steak and shrimp every other week. “We don’t mess around here,” says the burly manager on Cliffs Natural Resources’ half of the exploration camp, which sits on land claims owned by Toronto rival Noront Resources. Only a handful of miners from both companies are left at the remote Northern outpost now that drilling has stopped, so the vibe is collegial — particularly since Cleveland-based Cliffs dropped the bombshell three months ago that it was shelving its massive chromite mining project here in the Ring of Fire mineral belt. Up to 200 miners worked here a couple years ago, operating drill rigs that dug a kilometre underground for core samples to prove the grades of mine-worthy ore. Now a dozen men share an awkward co-existence in a virtual ghost town, the whirling snow substituting for tumbleweed. While the U.S. firm is in mothballing mode, Noront is loading up on fuel and other supplies as it gears up to start construction next year on its Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum mine – bumping Cliffs as the most likely to finally tap into the metals-rich region touted to be the next Sudbury basin ….”
  • A bit of legal beagle analysis of Noront’s next steps  “Noront Resources Ltd. submitted a draft environmental assessment report (the “Report”) for its project located in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire (the “Eagles Nest Project”). The Report responds to a federal-provincial co-ordinated environmental assessment process, governed by the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (“EAA”) and former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (“CEAA”). The assessment process is intended to identify, mitigate, and possibly prevent negative effects that designated projects may have on the surrounding environment. For the Eagles Nest Project to proceed, federal and provincial governments must approve it. If the project is approved, Noront expects commercial production at Eagles Nest by 2017/2018 ….”
  • This, from a senior Noront official and outgoing president of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, via Twitter  “Ontario smart to focus on developing northern infrastructure development and let companies build smelters.”
  • This, from an environmentalist, via Twitter  “Too many people are promoting Ring of Fire like a cash cow. Time to turn down the rhetoric. It’s creating unrealistic expectations.”
  • Meanwhile, KWG Resources Inc. announces that it has closed the last tranche of its previously announced flow-through private placement, the subscriptions to which totaled $2.33 million. The last tranche totaled 1,400,000 flow-through units at $0.05 each for gross proceeds of $70,000. Each unit comprises one flow-through treasury share and one warrant which may be exercised to acquire a further flow-through share for $0.10 at any time within three years. All securities issued are subject to a four-month hold period ….”
  • A Sudbury-based junior mining company isn’t ruling out a settlement agreement with the province to relinquish its claims on its dormant gold properties in northwestern Ontario after a dispute with a First Nation community. Northern Superior Resources is suing the Ontario government for $110 million for failing to consult with the Sachigo Lake First Nation after multiple disagreements with the band caused the company to abandon exploration on its mining claims in late 2011. “I have no ambition to go to court,” said company president and CEO Tom Morris. “It serves no purpose to any party. But we do need to get this resolved.” The gold exploration outfit claims the company was hurt by the inaction of the Ontario government and wants compensation for the $15 million invested in exploration since 2005 as well as the estimated value of its three gold properties located near the Manitoba border ….” – Company’s Statement of Claim (PDF) – Ontario’s Statement of Defence (PDF) – more from Northern Superior Resources on the lawsuitmore from media – more

All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act. The blog is not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

 

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Ring of Fire News – February 20, 2014

  • Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC):  Ring of Fire is a HUGE opportunity – get stuck in, province and feds!  “The highly touted Ring of Fire mineral belt in Northern Ontario is expected to generate nearly $2 billion in tax revenues and up to 5,500 full-time jobs in the first 10 years of mining activity, says a new report.  The Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s action plan and economic analysis, to be made public in Toronto Thursday, also calls on the federal government to make the Ring of Fire a national priority.  The report says that within the first decade of development, the mineral-rich area will generate up to $9.4 billion in GDP and nearly $6.2 billion for the province’s mining industry.  Hoping to spur activity in the stalled region, the chamber is calling on Ottawa to take a more active role in the financing of the lucrative mining camp, since it stands to be the primary benefactor of tax revenues — and that “should provide a compelling incentive to invest.”  “At a minimum, it should match any provincial investments in the Ring of Fire infrastructure,” says the “Beneath the Surface” report ….”moremore from other news media (Google News) – OCC news releasemore from OCC
  • Reaction to Ontario hiring Deloitte to move the Ring of Fire Development Corporation along (1a)  “…. Federal Minister Greg Rickford states, “Economic Action Plan 2014 reaffirmed our government’s commitment to the new Building Canada Plan.  We look forward to the Government of Ontario identifying its priority infrastructure projects under Building Canada, including those projects related to the Ring of Fire”.  “We also look forward to Ontario providing the Government of Canada with details on the proposed Development Corporation,” adds the Kenora MP and Minister responsible for the Ring of Fire. “Our Government believes that the Ring of Fire is a legacy resource development project with the potential to contribute significantly to the economic future of Northern Ontario” ….”
  • Reaction to Ontario hiring Deloitte to move the Ring of Fire Development Corporation along (1b)  “….  Greg Rickford, the federal minister responsible for the file, says it’s up to Ontario’s provincial government to apply for infrastructure funding under the new Building Canada fund announced last week.  “We have always been clear that the Build Canada fund contemplates these large-scale, economic development-based, responsible resource development projects,” Rickford said in an interview. “That’s what it’s intended to do.”  “But those resources have to align with the priorities of the province — so to the extent that the province says ‘this is our major file, this is where we want considerable resources to go into,’ … then we can do that.”  That could eat up a huge portion of Ontario’s $2.4-billion share of the 10-year federal fund.  “That’s for Queen’s Park to sort out,” said Rickford ….”Building Canada Fund information
  • Reaction to Ontario hiring Deloitte to move the Ring of Fire Development Corporation along  (2)  “…. Opposition politicians were quick to criticize Gravelle’s announcement Friday as lacking in substance. Nipissing Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli, who just returned from his fourth visit to the Ring of Fire, said virtually no progress has been made on establishing the development corporation three months after it was announced.  He also expressed his support for the rail transportation option proposed by KWG Resources.  New Democrat Northern Development and Mines critic, Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha, said Friday’s announcement by Gravelle was a “stark reminder of the Liberal government’s inability to spur development in the mining sector.  “The Liberal government continues to govern by press release; all talk no action,” said Mantha.  He called the hiring of Deloitte LLP “a plan to make a plan to make a plan. Industry, as we have seen, are packing up and leaving, taking their investment dollars and good jobs elsewhere,” he said.”more from opposition politiciansmore
  • Reaction to Ontario hiring Deloitte to move the Ring of Fire Development Corporation along (3)  “….  Noront Resources vice-president of Aboriginal affairs Glenn Nolan said it’s a good idea to bring the company on board in order to get some clarity and direction in the Ring of Fire.  “We’d like to see the idea move forward, to advance. That’s our only issue,” he said.  As the only company that has a feasibility study done, as well as a submitted Environmental Assessment with a proposed East-West Road from Pickle Lake, they should be considered as the primary option when it comes to infrastructure.  “We’re the only company that actually has anything of substance,” he said ….”
  • Meanwhile, Noront continues to offer itself as the solution  “Sticking to the basics, keep their eye on the ball and concentrate on making contact is the strategy Noront Resources is continuing as it continues to outpace all others in the most touted mining discovery in a generation – the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario.  CEO and president of Noront Alan Coutts brakes down the complexity of his specific proposal to create a viable mine in one of the remotest parts of the province.  “You don’t need to go for the grand slam homerun right away. You just need to get a base hit,” said Coutts.  After years standing in the on deck circle Noront is preparing to take its best swing for that base hit this year applying for permit approvals for a permanent road to the mine site about 500 km north of Timmins. The road would run east-west from Pickle Lake above Thunder Bay running mostly along a route that serves four First Nations communities via winter road.   With a 282 km route to cover across James Bay Lowlands the company is saying it is the best way to push their proposed Eagle’s Nest deposit from very expensive find to an active mine.  The road is plan A in a draft environmental assessment proposal submitted jointly to the federal and provincial governments this past December with plans to submit a formal proposal early this year so work can start next winter to connect the Ring of Fire by something other than air transport.  While the company has some ideas about how to build the road, paying for it is something that remains up in the air. Noront is prepared to budget an amount of money in the tens of millions of dollars towards it but believes the government should also be at the table. The east-west route could bring direct year-round road access to the First Nations of Webequie, Naskantanga, Nibinamik and Eabamatoong – all currently fly-in communities relying on diesel generation – along with the possibility of hooking into the provincial grid ….”
  • More of the latest from Cliffs  “Though some shareholders of Cliffs Natural Resources have been calling for his replacement, the Sudbury native who put the brakes on what had been expected to be the first operating mine in the Ring of Fire has been given a promotion.  Cleveland-based Cliffs last week elevated Gary Halverson so that he is the company’s CEO as well as president.  Halverson, 55, was hired in November as Cliffs’ president and chief operating officer.  “We are confident that Gary is the right candidate to lead Cliffs, given his proven experience with international and long-term mining operations and understanding of the global commodities industry,” said a Cliffs news release.  A few days after Halverson was hired, Cliffs announced that it was stopping all pre-development work on a proposed ROF chromite mine about 550 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay ….”
  • Analyst commentary  “Like most relationships, the affair between Cliffs and Canada started off with a long slow flirtation, then got hot and heavy, cooled off, and eventually got downright dysfunctional. On a Valentine’s Day press conference, Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) told Canada “It’s not you, it’s me.” ….”More Cliffs analysis
  • The latest on another Ring of Fire player  ” Fancamp Exploration Ltd. is the subject of a Mining MarketWatch Journal Review offering insight and opportunity afforded investors. FNC.V is a junior miner with ownership interests in several exceptional advanced-stage flagship properties that it originated and has since vended. FNC.V is positioned for potential extraordinary share price appreciation over the coming months and years as the reality of the large inherent value that the Company possesses is understood by the market and milestones by its partner companies are achieved.  The full Mining Journal review may be found at http://miningmarketwatch.net/fnc.htm online ….”
  • Another possible way, from the In Support of Mining blog  “The Quebec government has stunned the natural resource sector with an announcement that it will trade public funding for a big equity stake in oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  It’s an interesting move, and Ontario’s provincial leaders should take notice.  In a Thursday announcement, the PQ government said it was striking two separate equity deals with all the companies that hold exploration permits on Anticosti Island, in exchange for funding their drilling programs.  The first of the deals will see Quebec contribute $70 million for a $100-million drilling program undertaken with two Canadian-based juniors, Pétrolia Inc. and Corridor Resources, who will throw in their exploration licences, and the French firm Maurel & Prom, which will invest up to $43 million in the program. The province will hold a 35-per-cent stake, while the others split the rest.  A second deal contemplates a $45-million government investment in a $90-million program undertaken with Quebec-based junior Junex, which will transfer its land rights into the joint venture for a 20 per-cent-stake. Another partner would be brought in to complete the set.  As Junex described it, the two-phase exploration program will be financed by Ressources Quebec and “a third party industry player who remains to be identified and who will be at arm’s length,” in return for an 80-per-cent stake in “a special purpose vehicle created for the project which will control 100 per cent of Junex’s Anticosti Island permits.”  So the move comes with a hefty price tag. But, according to the government, the yet-unproven Anticosti development could represent a $45-billion boon to the province over the next 30 years, in the form of royalties, taxes and return on equity. If the play comes through, it could also help reduce the province’s reliance on foreign oil …. Yes, there is risk associated with the move.  Risk of losing public money. Risk of looking bad.  Risk of provoking backlash from environmental organizations.  Risk of being castigated by ROC commentators for profligate ways and a socialist mindset.  But there is also the promise of significant profit that could benefit the province well into the future.  Are there any lessons here for those who would develop Ontario’s far northern Ring of Fire mineral zone? …”
  • More analyst commentary  “…. Without a doubt, the value of the Ring of Fire’s current and future potential mineral discoveries are in the hundreds of billions of dollars and these multi-generational mines will provide enormous wealth and employment opportunities for the surrounding First Nations communities. This is an economically and socially transformative project that will positively impact not only Ontario’s northwestern frontier but the entire country as well.  But current provincial indecision over what type of transportation – rail or road – that would best spur economic development of the mining camp, various legal challenges between Cliffs and KWG over access to a coveted north-south route, First Nations negotiations about resources revenue sharing, and provincial/federal conflicts over how to pay for transportation and power infrastructure are all stalling the massive chromite projects as well as further exploration efforts.  With a possible provincial election on the horizon, the lack of progress in the Ring of Fire may affect the outcome of many northern ridings. Considering that current polling indicates no party with a commanding lead, these northern ridings may ultimately impact on who becomes the next Premier of Ontario.”

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