Ring of Fire News


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

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

  • More federal budget reaction Roads may come before mines — With the excitement that used to accompany potential Ring of Fire mining development pretty much worn off these days, mining companies and job-seekers alike might have to get used to a go-slow approach that could last several years, if not decades. That was the feeling on Wednesday, the day after the federal Liberals failed to reference the rich mining belt in their first budget. “I think things are still moving forward (in the RoF), but maybe at a snail’s pace,” said Garry Clark, the Thunder Bay-based executive-director of the Ontario Prospectors Association …”
  • One company’s take on the budget Ring of Fire player says federal budget will help — Officials with KWG Resources said they are pleased the federal government allocated money in last week’s budget that will help develop the Ring of Fire …” – “KWG Applauds Important Canadian Governmant Budget Support (company statement)
  • One NDP MP’s take: Hughes – The Devil is in the details with the federal budget — Canadians elected the Liberals in October with a lot of hope based on a campaign that promised the moon to just about anyone dissatisfied with Stephen Harper’s time in office. Now that they have delivered a budget it’s time to compare those promises with what is being delivered. The result is a mixed bag that will take years to fully understand. In Northern Ontario big ticket issues like the Ring of Fire, FedNor, and Forestry were left unaddressed and the haze surrounding infrastructure commitments makes it impossible to say whether the region will benefit …”
  • Another NDP MP’s take: Angus: Show me the money — “Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus wants a clear answer on whether infrastructure money is going to be spent on the development of the Ring of Fire mineral deposits. He says the multi-billion dollar project was overlooked in the both the Liberal platform and Liberal budget. Angus says Liberal MPs saying the government is doing its part through investment in clean water, education and First Nation infrastructure doesn’t cut it. Let’s not kid anyone here. Dealing with the crisis in education and lack of clean water is a constitutional and moral obligation of the federal government. They have to do this work. It should not be spun as the Liberals getting a multi-billion dollar mining project off the ground. That would be like pretending that fixing schools in Toronto is the federal role in building subways,” stated Angus …”
  • Liberal MP’s take: Ring of Fire not forgotten Ring on federal radar: MP — Historic investments in infrastructure and education for First Nations will help advance the Ring of Fire, says Sudbury Liberal MP Paul Lefebvre. In last week’s federal, the Liberals allocated $8.4 billion to be spent on First Nations in the next five years. There was no specific mention of other infrastructure investments in the rich chromite deposits in the James Bay Lowlands in the budget. Lefebvre said no projects were identified anywhere in Canada, but billions will be invested in such projects. The money for First Nations will be invested in decent housing and potable water for indigenous people who badly need them. Many of the First Nations that will receive funding are located in northwestern Ontario, in and around the Ring of Fire. Investments in basic necessities “all go together” with money the federal government may spend on other infrastructure such as roads, rail and hydroelectric systems …”
  • A Tory MPP remains underwhelmed by Ontario’s 2016 budget “Northern Minister Michael Gravelle’s Letter to the Editor (Showing priority of Northern Ontario, March 10) fails to mention some key facts about the 2016 Liberal Budget … And as I spent seven hours in the lock-up reading the budget, I was shocked to see the short paragraph on the Ring of Fire was simply a re-announcement of the 2015 paragraph, which itself was a re-announcement of the 2014 paragraph! …”
  • KWG raising money … “KWG Resources Inc. was granted a waiver by the Canadian Securities Exchange of its minimum share issuance price policy in order to complete a private placement of 75 million units for $1,500,000. Each unit will comprise one new treasury share and one warrant; each warrant may be exercised to acquire a further treasury share for $0.05 at any time within five years from closing …”
  • … as is Noront Resources “Noront Resources Ltd. … announced the closing of a non-brokered private placement of 1,500,000 units at a price of $0.35 per Unit for gross proceeds of $525,000 and 1,366,667 flow-through units at a price of $0.45 per Flow-Through Unit for gross proceeds of $615,000. The Company intends to use the proceeds for exploration activities and for working capital purposes …”
  • Commentary from a former provincial public servant Time to act on Ring of Fire — Remember the excitement and promise of the Ring of Fire? That’s the huge mineral deposit of chromite, nickel, gold, copper and platinum that was discovered in 2007, 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay … The current state of the Ring of Fire is a story of lost opportunity …”
  • Soo’s Liberal MP using Ring of Fire as another reason for funding said port “Speaking during a Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) breakfast (March 30th), MP Terry Sheehan spoke about Canada’s steel industry, the Port of Algoma, middle class tax cuts, First Nations issues and opportunities for youth … The port project came up during the initial Northern Ontario caucus meeting. Sheehan said he brought it up during discussion by the Thunder Bay-area MPs regarding the Ring of Fire development. “Absolutely, because we have a port that can be used with the development of the Ring of Fire and opening all of that up there’s a huge opportunity for my community,” said Sheehan …”


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – March 23, 2016

  • Here’s the federal budget document released yesterday (PDF). Number of mentions of “Ring of Fire”? Zero. Number of mentions of “chromite”?  Zero
  • More on that “First Nations and long neglected federal services like Via Rail and national parks were among the winners Tuesday in the new Liberal government’s first budget, but other specific Northern interests like FedNor and Ring of Fire infrastructure didn’t make the cut …”
  • NDP MP Charlie Angus’ take? “In terms of the North, no commitment to the Ring of Fire. Nothing. I don’t get that at all.” – a bit more from Angus here.
  • I guess the budget folks didn’t listen to mining analyst Stan Sudol … “PM can save Ring of Fire”
  • Heck, even Ontario’s mines minister Michael Gravelle was optimistic – before the federal budget, anyway“… with the election of Prime Minister Trudeau and a new federal government, the prospect of Ontario having a willing and supportive partner in this project of national significance has increased. We are encouraged by their commitment to infrastructure and look forward to working with them on developing the Ring of Fire.”
  • Even before the budget, Ontario Tory mines critic Norm Miller sounded unhappy: “… “The frustration out there, and this sort of demonstrates it, is there’s a lot of talk” but nothing substantive happening on the ground …”
  • Gravelle answering questions about hiring a consulting firm to help build up the RoF Infrastructure Development Corporation “… In February 2014 Deloitte was hired to work with mining companies, first nations and the provincial and federal governments on the governance structure of the ROFIDC. During this time, Deloitte worked with the ROFIDC and its partners to determine the terms of reference for a technical review of infrastructure options in the Ring of Fire. “The procurement for this work occurred in late 2015 and engineering firm Hatch Mott MacDonald Ltd. was the successful candidate in that procurement. The study is currently underway and is in its early stages. “Once completed, this review will provide a common basis of technical information for key partners as discussions regarding industrial infrastructure development continue to advance.”
  • KWG moving forward with its R&D “KWG Resources Inc. is in the process of filing the National Phase in the above-identified countries under the Patent Cooperation Treaty to seek patent grants for its method to reduce chromite ore to metallics utilizing natural gas, a carbon reductant, and a catalyst formulation. The grant of a patent will be sought for the invention in each of the countries where the method might have commercial application and viability …”
  • … while seeking a few bucks out there in the market “KWG Resources Inc. has filed a Notice of Sale from Control with respect to all of its 144,630,000 common shares of affiliate Debut Diamonds Inc. The notice provides that the shares will be sold either in whole or in part and either privately or through the facilities of the Canadian Securities Exchange stock market …”
  • Noront pulling in more bucks“Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that … it has closed its short form prospectus offering and has raised gross proceeds of $6,332,772 through the issuance of the maximum number of units and flow-through units under the base deal, as well as the exercise of the over-allotment option, by the Agent …”
  • … after facing an interesting day on the markets earlier this month The stock of Noront Resources Ltd is a huge mover today! The stock decreased 1.43% or $0.005 on March 9, hitting $0.345. About 755,629 shares traded hands or 100.93% up from the average. Noront Resources Ltd has risen 6.00% since February 9, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 11.66% the S&P500. The move comes after 7 months negative chart setup for the $84.23M company. It was reported on Mar, 10 by Barchart.com …” – more analysis here.


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – March 8, 2016

  • More on roads/rail connecting to the Ring of Fire “There could be battle shaping up on who gets first dibs on the government infrastructure money that has been promised for the Ring Of Fire mining development in far Northern Ontario. Speaking out the annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) now on in Toronto, Alan Coutts said his company is ready to move ahead with an all-season road for the project. Coutts is the president and CEO of Noront Resources Ltd., one of the major players in the Ring Of Fire venture a large mining development located about 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins, in the remote McFaulds Lake area. The prospect is identified mainly as a chromite project, valued in the tens of billions of dollars. Monday’s announcement by Coutts is at odds with an announcement made earlier this year by KWG Resources Inc, the other big player at the Ring Of Fire …”
  • A mining analyst on what’s needed to get the #Rof, and First Nations in the area, moving “… The mining companies in the Ring of Fire need infrastructure and so do the isolated aboriginal communities. If the Trudeau government worked in conjunction with Ontario and adopted a “Marshall Plan” — the name of the American multibillion dollar initiative to help rebuild European countries after the Second World War — to develop and modernize infrastructure in the entire isolated northwest, it would kill two birds with one stone …”
  • Ontario First Nation leader Isadore Day: #RoF (and remote First Nations) needs all-season infrastructure “… Any potential future mining development in the Ring of Fire is dependent upon the construction of a multi-billion dollar transportation corridor. With the full consent of First Nations, we need to conclude studies, and simultaneously out shovels in the ground. Imagine the spin-off economic benefits of all-season roads, from responsible resource development, to tourism, fishing and hunting? All-season roads would also greatly contribute to finally securing healthy, happy sustainable communities. Most importantly, all-season roads would allow our communities to more fully participate in Ontario’s economy …”
  • Ontario’s mines minister sounding optimistic as Ottawa prepares for a 22 March budget “Justin Trudeau’s federal government hasn’t even issued its first budget yet. But Michael Gravelle said he is already “very encouraged” it will play a strong role in development of Ontario’s “Ring of Fire” mineral belt. “I’m feeling very positive about the federal government role coming forward with the Ring of Fire,” Gravelle, Ontario’s minister of northern development and mines, said in an interview. Gravelle said he has a good working relationship with James Carr, the federal natural resources minister, and expects to have more discussions with him regarding the Ring of Fire this week at the PDAC show …”
  • … while an NDP MPP doesn’t sound quite as positive yet … “Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha is pushing the provincial Liberals to take action on developing the Ring of Fire. The Northern Development and Mines critic told CBC News the Liberals have promised to invest a billion dollars into the mining project since 2014, but said northerners are frustrated because they want stable jobs now. “We keep hearing the government is developing a plan, to implement the plan and put the plan in action,” Mantha said. “It’s time to move. It’s time to create jobs for Ontario. It’s time to bring prosperity to First Nations and into the entire province.” …”
  • … and a federal NDP MP continues to press Ottawa “Timmins-James Bay NDP MP Charlie Angus is calling for action on the Ring of Fire as the Liberal government is poised to announce new infrastructure spending. The massive mining project has been stalled for a decade due to lack of leadership at the provincial and federal levels, Angus said in a news release. While the Liberal Platform failed to mention the Ring of Fire, New Democrats are asking that the government commit to supporting it in the upcoming budget. Angus has written to Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr (letter here) urging federal action to ensure that the potential of the project is realized and to ensure that regional First Nations are able to benefit fully from the project …”
  • In business news, Noront continues to raise money “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has filed an amended and restated preliminary short form prospectus in the Provinces of Ontario and British Columbia and filed a preliminary short-form prospectus in the Provinces of Alberta and Nova Scotia, adding Alberta and Nova Scotia as offering jurisdictions. The Company has obtained a receipt from the Ontario Securities Commission for the Amended Prospectus to qualify the distribution of units of Noront (the “Units”) and flow-through units of Noront and the common shares and warrants underlying the Units and Flow-Through Units, in each of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia. If the maximum offering is achieved, the Company will raise aggregate gross proceeds of $5,500,000 and $3,000,000 if the minimum offering is achieved …”
  • Some recent media coverage of this report (52 pg PDF) out of the Northern Policy Institute “… The report, authored by Karl Skogstad and Ayman Alahmar, focuses on nine projects in northwestern Ontario that, for varying reasons, remain stalled at different stages of development … In the case of the Ring of Fire, particularly, Skogstad suggested the federal and provincial governments invest in energy and transportation infrastructure now when there can be a benefit to nearby First Nation communities. It’s not that the road’s just going to a single future resource development,” he said. “It’s that we have an opportunity to do some nation-building here to start improving the economic conditions in those communities, and as a positive spinoff of that, we’re ready to go when resource prices cycle high.” …”
  • An update on First Nation training under way around the #RoF “Development in the Ring of Fire is years away, but Indigenous communities in Matawa First Nations territory are strategically going about training their people so they’ll be ready for development when it arrives. Since 2011, Four Rivers, Matawa’s First Nations Environmental Services Group, has provided the tribal council’s nine communities with information and resources to help them make decisions about the management of their natural resources …” – more on Matawa’s recent training/education work here, here & here


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – March 3, 2016


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – February 29, 2016

  • Remember that court case on the mining claims along the route between Nakina & the RoF? The planned development of Northern Ontario’s “Ring of Fire” mineral belt got a potential boost (last) Wednesday when an appeals court ruled that a small junior mining firm should not have exclusive access to a transportation corridor. The decision opens the door to construction of a north-south road to the Ring, which is thought to contain about $60 billion of chromite and other minerals. The Ontario government supports a road, in part because it would link up with remote First Nations communities. …”
  • Put another way, KWG Resources no longer has exclusive rights on a strategic transportation corridor to the Ring of Fire. On Feb. 25, an Ontario appeals court upheld a divisional court ruling from last year that allows other mining companies to apply for an easement to use the 340-kilometre long route into the remote exploration camp in the province’s Far North …”
  • Great opening lines in the Ontario Court of Appeal ruling: ” “Mining is the art of exploiting mineral deposits at a profit. An unprofitable mine is fit only for the sepulchre of a dead mule”: T.A Rickard, The Romance of Mining (Toronto: MacMillan Co., 1944). The same might be said of an inaccessible mine. This appeal sees two mining companies fighting over access to valuable chromite deposits in northern Ontario …”
  • Next steps? This, from KWG: “… The application for an easement to build a road has never proceeded and KWG will now put before the Minister of Natural Resources the details of the railroad feasibility study to be undertaken to insure that surface tenure may be assured as an assumption in the study, that the consolidated aggregates may be mined from the claims to provide material for the railroad bed, and that the claimholder’s priority to consolidated aggregate is maintained …”
  • And Noront’s take? “… the company announced that The Court of Appeal for Ontario today upheld a Divisional Court decision in the matter of mining claims staked by KWG Resources along a North-South corridor to the Ring of Fire. The decision allows a proponent to apply for an easement along the corridor without requiring the consent of the claim holder (KWG). Noront inherited the case as part of its Cliffs acquisition that was completed in April, 2015 …”
  • Any Ring of Fire mentions in Ontario Budget 2016? This, from page 65 of the full budget document (408 page PDF) – note the lack of an attack on Canada for not coughing up its share of infrastructure money: “…Ontario has also committed up to $1 billion for strategic transportation infrastructure development in the Ring of Fire region, located about 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. The Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation has been established to support smart, sustainable and collaborative development in the Ring of Fire region, and has completed a number of studies to help inform infrastructure planning. The Province also continues infrastructure planning with First Nations. Ontario and the federal government jointly funded a community-based study of all-season access roads and the Province is also providing funding to First Nation communities for capacity building and social supports. For example, approximately 2,000 clients from Matawa First Nations communities have participated in education and skills training programs. The Province also continues to work actively with industry partners on development opportunities. The Ring of Fire project will support economic development in northern Ontario and provide benefits for Indigenous communities, Ontario and Canada as a whole…”
  • And Gilles Bisson’s (NDP MPP for Timmins-James Bay) take on the budget? “… Bisson was critical of the budget for rehashing previous promises on the Ring of Fire that have not been kept. “It’s a big Ring of Nothing,” Bisson said of the Liberal’s failure to act to develop the Ring of Fire. “Well what has been done despite these commitments? Nothing,” Bisson said. He said that Cliffs Resources would have built their chromite mine by now if the Liberals had acted on their commitments of seven or eight years ago. “They don’t have a plan that is going to get the Ring of Fire up and running,” Bisson said. “It’s all spin for the benefit of the Liberal government.” …”
  • In other industry news, Noront is raising some more money “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has filed a preliminary short form prospectus (more detail – 28 page PDF – here) in the Provinces of Ontario and British Columbia and obtained a receipt from the Ontario Securities Commission to qualify the distribution of units of Noront and flow-through units of Noront and the common shares and warrants underlying the Units and Flow-Through Units. If the maximum offering is achieved, the Company will raise aggregate gross proceeds of $5,500,000 and $2,500,000 if the minimum offering is achieved …”
  • Good think-tank RoF project summaries (pages 23 through 26) in this report The Province of Ontario is missing out on billions of tax dollars and thousands of mining jobs for the people of Northwestern Ontario. That’s according to a new research report published by the Northern Policy Institute (52 page PDF). NPI says eight potential mining projects are currently on hold in our region, with an estimated wealth of over $135 billion and the potential to create thousands of jobs. Among the mines listed as “failed projects” are the Noront Eagle’s Nest mine in the Ring of Fire, which is still waiting for approval, and the Phoenix Gold project in Red Lake, which was halted in November …”


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – January 25, 2016

  • #RoF infrastructure hopes from the President of the Mining Association of Canada  “In the midst of a significant economic downturn, the mining industry is working hard to weather the storm, says the head of an Ottawa-based industry lobby group.  “The mining business is cyclical and even though we don’t like it, we are used to it,” said Pierre Gratton, president and chief executive officer of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) … He said his association is hopeful the Trudeau government will align with that of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and commit to funding for the Ring of Fire, one of Ontario’s largest potential mineral reserves …”
  • An update on one of the more background-ish U.K.-based #RoF players  “A number of investment brokers have recently updated their price targets on shares of Anglo Pacific Group. According to the latest broker reports outstanding on Monday 25th January, 3 analysts have a rating of “strong buy”, 0 analysts “buy”, 1 analysts “neutral”, 1 analysts “sell” and 0 analysts “strong sell” … Its Early-stage royalties include Dugbe 1 Gold Project, Railway Deposit (Pilbara), Ring of Fire Chromite Projects and Isua Iron Ore Project …”
  • More on Noront’s finance machinations  “Noront Resources announced the closing of its extension on its US$15 million convertible debt debenture.  The Toronto Ring of Fire project developer has extended the term of its US$15 million convertible debt debenture with its largest shareholder, Resource Capital Fund (RCF).  The debt comes due on June 30 with all other terms and conditions remaining the same including the interest rate of 8 per cent per annum payable in shares or cash at the option of RCF …”
  • One MPP’s read, from Toby Barrett (Conservative agriculture, food & rural affairs critic, Haldimand-Norfolk)  “… People striving to develop resources tell us they’re under siege in the North – the Endangered Species Act, the Far North Act, and a plethora of rules and regulations, never ending consultation and a dragging of feet by government.  Land use planning environmental assessments have all been delayed and still remain outstanding. According to the government, the delays are due to the time it has taken to consult with Aboriginal communities … As our resource-based economy continues to flounder, it’s unconscionable the world’s largest chromite deposit sits stalled …”
  • More on the Chinese helping (at least) look at a railway headed north  A Canadian mining company and Chinese railway builder have taken another step toward development of a north-south rail link to the Ring of Fire mining camp.  KWG Resources Inc. and China Railway First Survey and Design Institute Group Co., Ltd. (FSDI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (19 Jan 2016)  setting out the terms for mutually proceeding with a feasibility study for the design and financing of a railroad into the James Bay lowland …”moremoremoremoremoremore


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