Ring of Fire News


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

#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – July 4, 2016

  • Still? (ON mines) Minister urges Ring of Fire patience in Sudbury trip — Recommendations due any day from four first nations involved in the community corridor study will “inform” decisions the province will make about a transportation route to the Ring of Fire.  The $785,000 study is being led by Webequie First Nation, in partnership with Eabametoong, Neskantaga and Nibinamik First Nations. It is being funded by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and Natural Resources Canada.  Among other issues, the study was to look at the cost and viability of moving ore and people by both freight and road in the chromite-rich area about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.  Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said … the study will look at the best way to access ore deposits.  The study, which was announced in February 2015, was to be completed in March of this year, but the group conducting it was given a three-month extension.  It was expected to be wrapped up by the end of June, Gravelle said (29 June) after a funding announcement about another issue at Laurentian University.  “I recognize people tend to be impatient about the project moving forward,” said Gravelle of the Ring of Fire. “The fact is, ultimately it will be the markets that will decide” when that happens …”
  • More financing news from Noront … “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has entered into a second amending agreement dated June 30, 2016 with its largest shareholder, Resource Capital Fund V (“RCF”) to extend the term of its existing US$15 million convertible debenture. The maturity date of the Convertible Debenture has been extended for a year and a half to December 31, 2017. The Second Amending Agreement also requires RCF to accept all interest payments in common shares of the Company, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, with interest paid quarterly in arrears with the interest rate remaining the same at 8% per annum …”
  • … while analysts watch Noront stock go up (as of 22 June) and down (as of 27 June).
  • Outside the RoF, more court action on who does what for consultation in Ontario “It’s back to court for Northern Superior Resources.  The Sudbury junior miner is heading to the Ontario Court of Appeal after its $25-million lawsuit against the Ontario government was dismissed by a Superior Court judge in late May.  After taking a few weeks to consult with his lawyer, company president-CEO Tom Morris claims Justice Thomas Lederer’s ruling overlooked many critical issues that forced his exploration firm to abandon their northwestern Ontario gold claims in 2011 due to a conflict with Sachigo Lake First Nation.  “Many of the important issues we brought to trial were simply ignored by the judge or sidestepped.”  According to Morris, it’s tough to play by the Ontario government’s rules on the duty to consult with First Nation communities when there are no clear-cut rules to follow, even by today’s new standards …” – more in the company’s news release here, and court filings here (Notice of Appeal) and here (Trial Judgement Summary).
  • Remember the University of Calgary study looking at the idea of a cross-Canada northern resource corridor (last bullet)? Based on this, TV Ontario asks, “Does Ontario need a cohesive national plan for northern infrastructure?”
  • Speaking of infrastructure … “A new online map is offering a snapshot of northern Ontario’s railways, roads, and even rest stops.  The Northern Ontario Infrastructure Map shows passenger rail and bus routes, major highways, border crossings, airports, and more. Users can click on the interactive map to compare each route along with nearby cities, towns, and First Nations reserves. The publicly available map, commissioned by the Northern Policy Institute, also shows the Ring of Fire and the far north’s ice roads …” Be warned:  the map may take a while to download.


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – June 21, 2016

  • Northern mayors like Ring of Fire, east-west road in “Mayors from Northern Ontario’s five largest cities gathered in North Bay on June 15, to discuss a series of northern issues during their Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayors (NOLUM) meeting … “Another issue and one that has been on the radar for 6 years at least is the Ring of Fire. All Mayors recognize the substantial benefit to our communities if and when the Ring of Fire becomes operational. We support the East-West road so that Noront Resources can get production moving and get their Copper/Nickel to market,” stated (Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs). “Sudbury will benefit as the host for processing and we will all benefit from the value added business related. We want to see the Infrastructure built that will benefit our communities and First Nation communities” …” – more on the mayors’ position here and here.
  • One First Nation’s (Long Lake #58) #RoF update “… The Province of Ontario and the Matawa First Nations continue their dialogue following the signing of the Regional Framework Agreement related to the Ring of Fire.  Long Lake #58 First Nation (“LLFN”) continues to participate in the Ring of Fire on various levels to help advance the concept of achieving a long-term agreement between Ontario and Matawa to scope, permit, develop, approve and manage the mineral resources in the Ring of Fire.  Since the signing of the Regional Framework Agreement the Chief has been an active participant at the Chief’s Table that helps set the strategic direction for negotiations with Ontario … In addition, Chief and Council initiated a revenue sharing study that has two Phases:      Phase 1:  an indepth analysis of the revenue sharing market including examining government to government agreements, examining corporate information, looking at best practices in other jurisdictions and reviewing key indicators from the mining sector; and  Phase 2:  developing some revenue sharing models that will provide a basis for negotiating revenue sharing agreements with the Province of Ontario for mining initiatives …” – update also available here if link listed above doesn’t work
  • Ontario Cabinet Shuffle: Mike Gravelle remains mines minister, Bob Chiarelli now infrastructure minister and Kathryn McGarry now natural resources/forestry minister  – here’s the news release and backgrounder on the shuffle, and the official list of ministers, all updated.
  • Some analyst optimism about Noront stock (as of last week, anyway) “The stock of Noront Resources Ltd is a huge mover (as of 15 June)! The stock is down 3.23% or $0.01 after the news, hitting $0.3 per share. About 69,500 shares traded hands. Noront Resources Ltd has risen 6.00% since May 16, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 7.14% the S&P500 …”
  • One analyst’s take on a recent court case “Score one for Ontario.  A mining strategist said the Ontario government won an impressive victory in its court case against a Sudbury exploration company that sued the province for breach of its duty to consult with a northwestern Ontario First Nation band.  Waterloo-based natural resources consultant Bill Gallagher considers the May 25 ruling in an Ontario Superior Court of Justice a landmark decision, not just for Ontario but across Canada.  “It is the most important ruling in terms of getting this country up and running in the mining sector on the duty to consult.”  He’s also called it an indirect legal win for First Nations even though they were not a party to the lawsuit …” – more from the same analyst on the Northern Resources decision here, and decision itself (Northern Superior Resources Inc. v. Ontario, 2016 ONSC 3161) here.


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – June 10, 2016

  • Noront CEO Alan Coutts: Good with any easy access into RoF (but we’re not interested in owning transportation infrastructure) “… Although the road corridor is often viewed as a Noront project, Coutts insists they are a mining company, not an infrastructure company, and want to see the road taken care of by the province and companies in the business of building roads. “We don’t want to be infrastructure developers, we want to be infrastructure users. So we’ll stick to what we’re good at and let them build the infrastructure – come what may,” said Coutts. Noront is willing to support any proposal that will help establish easy transportation to the Ring of Fire region, provided that it is in line with environmental policy and can bring the local First Nations on board. This apparently includes KWG‘s railway corridor proposal which the company revealed this week may be paid for in its entirety by the Bank of China. “At Noront we’re a user of infrastructure, so we’re not going to pick and choose one project over another. If there’s a sound feasibility study that’s publicly available, if there’s financing that is really there and place, if there’s a consultation process with First Nations and an environmental assessment done, we would back any infrastructure proposal for the region,” replied Coutts when asked about the KWG railway deal with the Chinese. Noront has no reason not to work with KWG, said Coutts, especially considering that Noront is largest shareholder in KWG …”
  • KWG Resources CEO Frank Smeenk on Ontario Northland’s & First Nations’ roles on the (proposed) railway, via the company’s information machine (YouTube): “… They may participate in the management and operation of it, but I don’t think we’re going to be able to persuade the Ontario government to make them the owner of this new railroad, so we’re talking to the First Nations on how to do this together with them. We need their consent because the railroad will cross their traditional lands. If that’s forthcoming, it would only be on the basis that they do make some money somehow. That led us to conclude that they’d simply have to be partners in the mining operation. That way, we get social license from them to have this railroad operate at cost in their traditional territories…”One Noront prognostication, as of Wednesday past (8 June): “The stock of Noront Resources Ltd hit a new 52-week low and has $0.25 target or 14.00% below (8 June’s) $0.29 share price. The 6 months bearish chart indicates high risk for the $73.75 million company. The 1-year low was reported on Jun, 8 by Barchart.com. If the $0.25 price target is reached, the company will be worth $10.33 million less …”
  • A bit more on KWG’s proposal to share some equity with First NationsWebequie and Marten Falls First Nations are considering a revenue sharing proposal with KWG Resources that could create an equal partnership to develop the Ring of Fire. The agreement would transfer KWG’s mining claims into a limited partnership provided the two First Nations closest to the chromite deposit commit to an equal financial investment. The company have offered the communities $40 million in loans to create the fund …”
  • Timmins-James Bay federal New Democrat Charlie Angus underwhelmed with Ottawa’s recent record on mining  “… “The Liberal Party ran on a platform that said nothing about the mineral exploration community or mining. It’s one of the biggest drivers in our economy,” said Angus, who has long been a prominent MP with the NDP. “They’ve done nothing on the Ring of Fire.” …”
  • 125 years into the Ontario Geological Survey’s history, a bit on how it helped in the Ring “… When asked if the OGS mapped the Ring of Fire chromite deposits in the James Bay Lowlands, (acting OGS director Jack) Parker said it did some regional work in the 1970s, along with the federal government. There were rocks that suggested there was “chrome potential,” he said. When the OGS was working with first nations in the area, sampling stream sediment in the lowlands, geologists found extremely high levels of chromite. It turned out it was coming from the Ring of Fire, although geologists didn’t know it at the time …”





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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – June 2, 2016

  • KWG Makin’ Deals (1)  And what OTHER tunes might whoever pays the piper call?  “China would pay for rail into Ring of Fire – KWG — KWG Resources expects it will have a deal with the state-owned Bank of China to fund the entire cost of their proposed railway corridor to the Ring of Fire by the end of this year.  The company’s vice-president of development, Moe Lavigne, told The (Timmins) Daily Press negotiations are well underway that could see the project – which some estimates say could cost $1.5 billion – entirely paid for by the Chinese in exchange for a secure source of chromite to support their country’s stainless steel industry.  “China understands the totality of this project and is interested in getting guaranteed delivery of chromium for the next few decades, and they’re willing to put up some money to make that happen. And in this case, the Bank of China appears to be willing to finance the building of the railroad,” said Lavigne …”
  • KWG Makin’ Deals (2)  “KWG Proposes Partnership With Webequie & Marten Falls — In meetings this week KWG Resources Inc. has discussed with the Chiefs of the Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations an outline of principal terms for the possible creation of an equal partnership through which to undertake the development and exploitation of mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire … … we have proposed to transfer our mining claims into a limited partnership provided that Webequie and Marten Falls make an investment into the limited partnership equal to KWG’s. We have offered to provide them with a non-recourse loan of $40 million to facilitate this.  The shares of the General Partner managing the limited partnership would be equally held by KWG as to half, and Webequie and Marten Falls jointly, as to the other half. Both shareholders would appoint an equal number of Directors but the Chairman of the Board would be a KWG nominee …”
  • In other industry news … “What’s Next for Noront Resources Ltd After (Wednesday)’s Huge Increase? — The stock of Noront Resources Ltd (was) a huge mover (Wednesday)! The stock is up 1.67% or $0.005 after the news, hitting $0.305 per share. About 183,147 shares traded hands or 13.17% up from the average. Noront Resources Ltd has risen 6.00% since May 2, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 4.95% the S&P500 …”
  • On the political front, one editorialist thinks having a Sudburian in Ontario’s cabinet might help the Ring of Fire   “Glenn Thibeault belongs in cabinet … His inclusion in the cabinet would be good for Sudbury and under the right circumstances, the North. If Wynne really wants to shake things up, she would give Thibeault the responsibility of moving – actually moving – the stalled Ring of Fire project forward …”

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – May 27, 2016

  • #RoF on the agenda for David Suzuki visit to remote NW Ontario First Nation “Chief Johnny Yellowhead and his community will be welcoming David Suzuki to Nibinamik First Nation for a community visit on May 28 and 29, 2016  … They will also be discussing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on October 15, 2014 between Nibinamik First Nation, the David Suzuki Foundation, Mamow Ki-ken-da-ma-win and Ryerson University.  The shared vision of the MOU is that throughout the planning and development processes in the Ring of Fire region, and any other foreseeable developments in the Nibinamik region, ecosystems will be conserved such that the provision of ecological services and the traditional Aboriginal ways of life are maintained.”
  • Stock analyst optimism about Noront earlier this week “The stock of Noront Resources Ltd (was) a huge mover (Tuesday)! The stock is down 4.69% or $0.015 after the news, hitting $0.305 per share. About 149,550 shares traded hands. Noront Resources Ltd has risen 6.00% since April 24, 2016 and is uptrending …”
  • Some #RoF pessimism in North Bay earlier this month “After 10 years the Ring of Fire remains stalled at the earliest stages of development, and that’s bad news for North Bay with up to 70 mining related companies located here …”
  • Ontario Northland still interested in #RoF  “If and when the Ring Of Fire mining development takes off, Ontario Northland is ready to get the wheels rolling and show them how to run a railway.  That was the message from Ontario Northland president and CEO Corina Moore, who spoke in Timmins at the FONOM conference earlier this month … “We are repeatedly asked about the Ring Of Fire. I want to be clear on this. We do not make the decision of whether the Ring Of Fire is going to be supported by rail or by road.  However, if it is supported by rail we want people to know of our capabilities in rail,” said Moore …”
  • Still VERY early days, but a University of Calgary study recommends doing more research into a possible ($100 billion?) cross-Canada route through northern regions (including the #RoF area) – from the news release: “The School of Public Policy and CIRANO are pleased to announce that they are undertaking a major research project designed to gauge the feasibility of a “Northern Corridor” – a game-changing multi-use right-of-way that could meet Canada’s pressing need for resource transportation routes across Canada and to ports on three coasts … “A large, single, multi-use right-of-way could allow the construction of a rail line away from towns and cities, and pipelines that make it to ports.  The reality is that the window of opportunity for Canada to take advantage of the international demand for our renewable and non-renewable resource is not infinite, and could already be closing.  Canada needs new markets.  A single right-of-way could radically accelerate Canada’s progress towards market diversification and creates a literal and figurative bridge across Canada’s regions,” said Jack Mintz, Director of The School of Public Policy …” – more details here (full study – 10 pg PDF), VERY rough map here, and in media reports here, here, here and (via Google News Search) here.


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – May 12, 2016

  • New VP Exploration, more fundraising for Noront “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce the addition of Ryan Weston, P. Geo, to its senior management team in the role of Vice President, Exploration.  Ryan has a broad background in base and precious metal exploration and has filled numerous senior roles, most recently as Chief Geologist for Carlisle Goldfields and as Senior Geologist for Cliffs Natural Resources working on the Ring of Fire chromite properties.  Ryan has an Honours degree in Geology from the University of Toronto, a Master’s degree in Economic Geology from Laurentian University and is a Queen’s MBA graduate.  The Company also announced today, the closing of a private placement of 1,162,500 flow-through shares at a price of $0.40 per flow-through share for gross proceeds of $465,000. The Company intends to use the proceeds for its exploration program in the Ring of Fire …” –  Weston’s LinkedIn profile
  • Some analyst up-and-down on Noront’s stock … “Could Noront Resources Ltd See a Reversal After This Very Weak Session?” (2 May) – “Time to Buy Noront Resources Ltd After Today’s Huge Increase?” (5 May) – “Is Selling Stock Like Noront Resources Ltd After Such Decline Winning Strategy?” (11 May)
  • Op-ed: Chinese more likely to build rail link to Ring of Fire … Ontario has a great provincial railway. It should have been instructed long ago to plan for a rail link to the Ring of Fire.  A highway through rough country, including a lot of muskeg, will never be able to carry the very large and heavy mining and processing equipment used by modern mining companies. It will have a hard time standing up to the tons of ore or concentrates that must be transported out of the Ring of Fire. Only a railway can do it.  It is also a commentary on the Toronto Stock Exchange which apparently cannot promote a railway to a great national resource.  Canada must now rely upon foreign powers to open up its frontiers and bring development to its North. It is no cause for celebration.”
  • More from Premier Wynne during a visit to Thunder Bay earlier this month“Ontario and federal cabinet ministers keep in touch regularly on important projects including the Ring of Fire, claims Kathleen Wynne … She made it clear that communication with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet is much better than under the former Conservative government.  “Unlike the previous government, we actually have regular conversations between ministers about these files,” Wynne said.  “The Ring of Fire project is about opening up an area of the North that is ripe for economic development, but it is also about opening up communities. The Matawa First Nations have been partners in this. We have a framework agreement in which we are working. I have made it clear that we need to work with all of the communities involved.” …”
  • … and from Matawa negotiator Bob Rae during a speech in Timmins “… Just before Rae took the podium Kenora Mayor David Canfield had remarked that the future of Ontario is Northern Ontario.  Rae said he agreed with that statement, adding that that it applies not merely to Northern Ontario, but to all of Northern Canada.  “I think it is really important that when we think of the North, we think of all the people who live in the North,” Rae told the conference.  “We have a particular need to understand that this part of Canada, this part of Ontario is the traditional home of people who have lived in this part of the world for thousands of years, since time immemorial,” said Rae.  He said the sense of frustration can still be heard in Northern Ontario from those who suggest that First Nations consultation is just the latest in a series of frustrations and setbacks to development.  “If we had the same kinds of rules and laws and regulations back in the late 19th century and early 20th century, Sudbury would never have been built and Timmins would never “ have been developed,” Rae said he had been told recently.  “My response was to say well, certainly they would not have been developed in the same way. The existence of the natural resource would inevitably mean that something would happen. Development would take place. It would take longer. We might have polluted less. Fewer people would have died. That’s for sure,” said Rae.  At the same time he said, it would have been done without marginalizing the First Nations. Rae said he wasn’t pointing fingers or placing blame …”


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – May 1, 2016

  • Premier’s take on the Ring while speaking in Thunder Bay  “Kathleen Wynne views the Ring of Fire as more than just an economic development opportunity.  The Ontario premier was asked about the province’s progress in developing the potentially lucrative mineral deposit in the remote north during her media availability in Thunder Bay … Wynne responded that her government is dedicated to acting in an environmentally responsible manner while engaging and consulting with First Nations communities to ensure their children will experience the resulting economic prosperity.  “That’s a bigger vision than just how do we, as fast as possible, get trucks in to get those minerals out, get them out and then leave the site,” Wynne said.  “That’s not the vision we have and I think there are a lot of critics who look at us and say ‘you haven’t moved fast enough,’ but the reality is that the work that’s going on now to build those relationships, do the training, to make a plan that’s actually going to have long-term impact, that’s what’s important about the Ring of Fire potential.” …”
  • Ontario’s Tory Leader Patrick Brown also mentions the Ring  “Using a local mill as his backdrop, Ontario’s Tory leader blamed a decade of Liberal policy for shedding jobs in Northern Ontario.  Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown returned to Thunder Bay … for the 70th annual Northern Ontario Municipal Association conference …  “My solution for employment is one you cut red tape,” he said. “The regulatory burden is intense in Ontario. You look at the terms of reference on the Ring of Fire that’s supposed to take five days but takes three years, the government needs to be more agile.  “You need to build infrastructure to product to market place and you need to have affordable energy prices.” …”
  • More on Chinese interest in the Ring  “A team of Chinese engineers has proposed a 340km rail line to northern Ontario to get access to a rare metal, and has suggested that the project would enable Chinese companies to penetrate Canada’s infrastructure market.  The scheme under consideration would connect a planned chromite mining and smelting complex known as the “Ring of Fire” with the existing rail network at Nakina in the south of the province …”
  • Yet more on China in the Ring  “… Rail and resources the perfect combination … It’s the combination of those two factors that makes this potential investment a “real prize” for China, said Walid Hejazi, a University of Toronto professor and expert in global competitiveness, with a focus on China.  “I would argue that one without the other, this deal may not go through,” he said.  Filling infrastructure gaps in other countries is one way China secures access to desired resources, Hejazi said …”
  • Meanwhile, Noront presses road over rail  “The biggest player in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire says government infrastructure cash should focus on an east-west road rather than grand plans for a $2-billion north-south rail line.  Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources Ltd., responded to a proposal recently promoted to the federal and Ontario governments for a 340-kilometre-long rail line that would be built and financed by Chinese investors.  “What we’re saying is let’s not blow our brains out building the biggest, costliest infrastructure known to mankind without the economic justification,” Mr. Coutts told The Globe and Mail …”
  • One commentator’s take on the need for the stars to align (at more than one level)  “… A series of common interests may be lining up. Pushing development of the Ring of Fire checks off a number of important boxes for Mr. Trudeau – trade, infrastructure, indigenous policy, the economy and perhaps even climate change.  Mining development would require putting the area on the power grid, allowing remote First Nations communities to stop using dirty gas-fired power plants.  A delegation of Chinese engineers, along with executives of KWG, made a timely visit to Parliament Hill last week to talk up their railway road project with MP Marc Serré, who chairs the Liberals’ Northern Ontario caucus.  “This is an international trade deal,” KWG Resources chief executive officer Frank Smeenk said, spinning the broader trade implications. “From the Chinese perspective, this is an opportunity to begin the relationship with Canada that they have long aspired to and one that is really mutually beneficial.”  Earlier this month, executives of Noront Resources Ltd., which also owns extensive mining claims in the Ring of Fire, also met with a group of Liberal MPs in Ottawa.  It’s still unclear whether this confluence of common interests will lead to anything more than chatter …”
  • KWG raising more money for their work  “KWG Resources Inc. has received and accepted subscriptions of $390,000 to close the private placement of units previously announced, for a total of $1.75 million including $0.6 million in settlement of amounts payable to directors, officers, employees and consultants …”
  • Point:  Aboriginal commentator Doug Cuthand explains not enough diamond taxes on De Beers is causing problems with the Ring “… The tax grab by the Dalton McGuinty government set back all the resource projects in the Ring of Fire area and created the climate of distrust between the First Nations and the province. So when the media lament the missing economy in Attawapiskat, they don’t have to look further than to Queen’s Park …”
  • Counterpoint:  Mining Watch Canada’s Ramsay Hart, in the comments of Cuthand’s commentary, begs to differ:  “… The diamond royalty also has nothing to do with the over-hyped Ring of Fire. It is smoldering due to extreme infrastructure costs and low commodity prices, along with the fact that the Matawa communities are taking their time in reviewing their options …” 


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – April 20, 2016

  • The latest Chinese #RoF moves Engineers from China recently visited the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario to assess the potential of building a $2-billion railway line, a proponent behind developing minerals in the area said … Frank Smeenk, CEO of Toronto-based mineral exploration company KWG Resources, said the rail line is crucial for the extraction of nickel, chromite, copper and platinum from the massive deposits. He said a team of engineers from a subsidiary of the state-owned China Railway Construction Corp. surveyed a proposed 328-kilometre route last week as part of detailed engineering work before they advance toward a final investment decision. “They had to visit the route, to see it with their own eyes,” said Smeenk. Smeenk said roads would also have to be built to construct the mine and railway. Those roads would also link several remote northern communities, and they should be built, regardless of whether the mine proceeds, he said …” – more on the Chinese work under way here (Globe & Mail), here (CBC.ca), here (tbnewswatch.com) and here (Timmins Today)
  • More PM Trudeau on the #RoF from his recent northern Ontario drop-bythis from CBC.ca: “… Trudeau’s answers were vague. “We’re still talking with them about how the federal government can best be an active partner in this and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “We’re not at the announcement phase yet. We are having discussions with our partners right now.” “
  • Another #RoF PM-ism from the drop-by, via the Chronicle-Journal: “… “It continues to be something we’re working on with the province,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while in Thunder Bay … “It is normal and expected that the federal government should be a partner in developing large-scale projects like this,” he said …”
  • More PM-isms, via tbnewswatch.com: “… Trudeau said his federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr recently met with Ontario Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle where they discussed the development. “It continues to be something we’re working on with the province. Obviously the province has the lead on it but we’ve expressed very clearly a number of times we’re willing to be a partner and that’s what we’re engaging with the provincial government on a regular basis,” he said …”
  • Two Sudbury-area Liberal MPs pledge to keep fighting the #RoF fight “Innovation and infrastructure spending are keys to rebuilding Canada’s – and Sudbury’s – economy, the region’s two Liberals MPs said … Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre made the comments while speaking at an event presented by Laurentian University and the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce … Both MPs said Ottawa is committed to the Ring of Fire, a mineral rich area located in northwestern Ontario. They said the government needs to focus on both the infrastructure around the Ring of Fire and the First Nations living within it. Developing road and railway links is key, they said. “We’re investing in First Nation education, health and infrastructure. That is the door into the Ring of Fire,” said Lefebvre. He also said the participation of First Nations is absolutely key in moving the project forward …”
  • KWG continues to raise money for their work “KWG Resources Inc. has received subscriptions to complete the $1.5 million private placement of units previously announced, including $0.6 million in settlement of amounts payable to directors, officers, employees and consultants … The proceeds will be used to pay the initial costs of the feasibility study to be undertaken by China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group Co., Ltd. and for working capital …”
  • Meanwhile, Noront shares its latest (exploration and financials) as well “… The Company is progressively and systematically exploring the favourable footwall contact that hosts the Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposit and the showings known as Blue Jay and Eagle Two … A program is also being proposed over Project Area 5, known as the Big Daddy property, now held by Noront (70%) and KWG (30%). Similar to the Black Thor property, the favourable footwall contact remains virtually unexplored as the target of previous drilling focused on chromite resources higher up in the ultramafic sill. This latest round of geophysical test work will be conducted over the next six months and will be supported by local First Nations workers employed as line cutters, geophysical helpers and cooks … The Company issued 1,403,273 common shares at a deemed issue price of $0.3387 per share in satisfaction of legal advisory fees in relation to the previously announced financing of the purchase of the Cliffs Chromite Assets which closed on April 28, 2015 … In addition, the Company’s Board of Directors has granted the option to acquire an aggregate of 500,000 common shares to new employees with an exercise price of $0.33 per common share …”
  • Point … What Ontario needs to unlock Ring of Fire’s mineral wealth is a Marshall Plan … If the Trudeau government worked in conjunction with Ontario and adopted something akin to a “Marshall Plan” — the name of the American initiative to rebuild war-torn Europe after the Second World War — to develop and modernize infrastructure in the isolated northwest, it would kill two birds with one stone …”
  • … and counterpoint (attributed to the Chief of Eabametoong First Nation): “… Is a Marshall Plan needed? No. Rather, our First Nations and Ontario need to collaborate on a new, long-term vision of human and environmental life that can incorporate wise industrial development. Let’s work together on that … Am I, or the First Nation that I represent, categorically against development? No. However, we will not be bought off. We are interested in the development of meaningful, relationship-based partnerships that could lead to wise management of resources …”
  • Think tank report: lessons to be learned from the past? “The ongoing saga to develop the Ring of Fire could — and perhaps should — draw lessons from the past, states a new report from the Northern Policy Institute. In the report From Resource to Revenue: Dryden Mill Lessons for the Ring of Fire, Laurentian University history professor Mark Kuhlberg draws comparisons between the Ring of Fire and the early history of the pulp and paper mill in Dryden. “Following the discovery of copper-nickel and chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire nearly a decade ago, there has been much talk about the enormous potential for economic development represented by this untapped resource,” Kuhlberg wrote. “Eight years later, however, many are questioning why so little progress has been made and some are becoming increasingly frustrated with the pace of development.” …”


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#PMJT on #RoF?

Well, we’ve heard a little something from the PM during his stop in Sudbury …

“… The prime minister was also asked about the Ring of Fire and whether the federal government would be providing infrastructure funds to get a road into the mineral deposit in northwestern Ontario. Trudeau acknowledged the importance of developing the deposit, and said he would have more to say on funding in the coming months …”

More via Google News here.

We’ll see …


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“Trudeau to visit resource-rich northern Ontario to talk infrastructure”

This, from The Canadian Press, shared shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) – we’ll see how often the old Ring of Fire’ll come up during his visit…

 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to northern Ontario today as he continues to talk up his government’s infrastructure spending plans.

Trudeau is expected to make an announcement in Liberal-friendly Sudbury, where city officials have been hoping for federal funding to match a $26.7 million Ontario government commitment to an $80-million road construction project.

Sudbury was among the first stops Trudeau made as last year’s federal election campaign was ramping up, during which he made promises that included $200 million for the mining and forest sectors.

His government’s first budget last month included $87.2 million for a wide range of research projects in forestry, mining and minerals, earth sciences and mapping, and innovation in energy technology.

But the budget has been criticized by some — including some of the Liberal government’s own members, sources say — for a lack of support for the forestry sector.

While mining and other resource companies haven’t garnered the national headlines the oil sector has been capturing of late, the sluggish international economy and a collapse in commodity prices has also left them reeling.

During last year’s election campaign, Trudeau also promised to work with the Ontario government to bring resources to market from a vast stretch of territory known as the Ring of Fire — a region once dubbed by former federal Conservative cabinet minister Tony Clement as the oilsands of Ontario.

Sudbury has been tabbed as a possible home for a smelter to process chromite from the Ring of Fire, but resource development in the region has been hampered by negotiations between the Ontario government and First Nations over education, training, jobs and environmental concerns.

On Friday, Trudeau is expected to visit Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., where the biggest employer in town — Essar Steel Algoma — has been under bankruptcy protection since last fall.

More, as it unfolds …


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