Ring of Fire News


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

#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – October 2, 2015

  • Not new, but still worth keeping in mind “Aboriginal communities and their role in the future of the Ring of Fire was the focus of a presentation to business leaders in Timmins Thursday. Glen Nolan, a former chief of the Missanabie Cree First Nation and vice-president of aboriginal affairs for Noront Resources, was the guest speaker of a luncheon hosted by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce …. With the First Nations in the area holding a great deal of power over the future of the project, Nolan said it is vital that companies like Noront go about handling their relationship with these communities properly. “It’s not as simple as going into these territories and expecting the communities to open their doors. There has been many years of promises made by governments and by resource companies that have not been fulfilled,” said said Nolan to the chamber members. “Communities are, naturally, not sure that they can trust us. So we have to build that trust,” ….”
  • Some digs at the NDP’s plan for northern Ontario “…. (Paul Lefebvre, Liberal candidate for Sudbury said) the Ring of Fire announcement amounts to a paltry $50 million a year over 20 years. That’s a long time to wait for progress on such an important project. In the meantime, the provincial Liberal government has committed $1 billion immediately and federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has already made clear his government will also be a key funding partner.” ….” From another Liberal candidate: “…. A Liberal government would …. match the provincial funding for the infrastructure needed to make the Ring of Fire development a reality ….” – does that mean matching ALL provincial funds, or just the $1B? All at once?
  • More RoF debate crosstalk in Sudbury “Before a raucous and vocal audience that nearly packed the room, (Nickel Belt) incumbent Claude Gravelle of the NDP took on Conservative Aino Laamanen, Green candidate Stuart McCall and Marc Serre of the Liberal party at Club 50. They discussed a range of topics, including climate change, the economy, party integrity, rail safety and the government’s relationship with First Nations communities. Talk quickly turned to mining and the stalled Ring of Fire development in northwestern Ontario. While Serre and Gravelle both agreed the project needs a jump-start, their opinions diverged on the how. “When you talk about the First Nations and the Ring of Fire, we have to move forward. We have to sit down (with First Nations communities), but that discussion has not happened,” Serre said, accusing northern MPs and MPPs, many of whom are New Democrats, of long-standing inaction. Gravelle contended an NDP government would develop the chromite deposits by injecting $1 billion into the project ….”
  • Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing Tory candidate André Robichaud points to what’s already been done: “…. I will also ensure that we continue to make strategic and targeted investments in Northern Ontario. Some of our investments include: $1.5 million for the operations of Waubetek Business Development Corporation; $1.5 million to expand the small business centre in Wikwemikong First Nation; $500,000 to support the engineering and project management costs to develop a community-owned on-reserve wind farm in M’Chigeeng First Nation; $393,814 for the East-West Transportation Corridor Study in the Ring of Fire; $232,200 to undertake a regional economic development in fisheries, aquaculture, mining and tourism; and $71,051 for a Northeastern Ontario Aboriginal Mining Strategy ….” (P.S. – don’t forget this almost $8M also invested so far)


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NDP’s Northern Ontario Platform Document is Here!

The NDP’s Info-machine was good enough to share an electronic copy of the Northern Ontario platform document.

Here it is.

Thanks, NDP Central – looking forward to seeing it on the NDP web page sometime soon, too :)


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – September 29, 2015


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OOpsie ….

Sorry about that Ukrainian war post – that’s for my OTHER blog ….

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – September 16, 2015

  • Not so much #RoF news out there, hence the break – more, as it unfolds ….
  • “Noront CEO outlines big plans in the Ring of Fire — Noront Resources has emerged as a leader across the Ring of Fire region in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario, and it has a long-term plan in the works it hopes will establish a world-class nickel sulphide and chromite camp in the region ….”
  • “Noront Resources Appoints Sybil Veenman to Board of Directors”
  • “Noront Resources Announces Addition to the Board of Directors and Proposed Private Placement”
  • Ring of Fire documentary every Thursday night at APTN“… The Ring of Fire is a six part documentary series that follow the lives of several community members from Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations as they try to deal with the complex issues surrounding a very large mining project — called The Ring of Fire — proposed to be built on their traditional territory and in close proximity to their reserves. It’s a story of the Oji-Cree people who have lived in the Far North of Ontario for millennia who see The Ring of Fire mining project as a potential opportunity to achieve long term economic security and higher standards of living for their people — but who also have serious concerns as to whether they’ll recieve these benefits on terms and conditions that will protect their people, communities, traditional way of life, and the land, watersheds and wildlife that has sustained them for centuries ….”
  • From the comments below “Resource benefit sharing to address poverty in First Nations – just not enough …. Think of the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario where companies that did not properly consult with First Nations have been banished forever in an area that contains $80 billion in minerals. In fact, companies who do real, fulsome consultation with First Nations are finding that the First Nation often provides new opportunities in revenue creation ….”
  • Now, from the federal election campaign ….
  • It’s not often that mining makes headlines as an election issue in Canada, but there it was last week, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a scheduled campaign stop in the battleground riding of Nipissing–Timiskaming in Northern Ontario. Harper, whose incumbent Conservative Party finds itself in a tight three-way race with the Liberal Party and the NDP, told a group of supporters in North Bay that the 15 percent mineral exploration tax credit, in place since 2006, would be extended at least another three years if the government is re-elected. Projects that face steep overhead costs due to remote locations, such as the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario and the Plan Nord in Quebec, would qualify for a 25 percent tax credit ….”
  • More on the PM’s mining commitments to date, with four weeks or so left in the campaign:   “Tax credit ridiculed by opponents — A pledge by campaigning Prime Minister Stephen Harper to extend the federal mining tax credit is being met with scorn from Kenora NDP candidate Howard Hampton. Harper told a partisan crowd in North Bay …. that a re-elected Conservative government would extend the 15 per cent tax credit for at least another three years in order to encourage mineral exploration, particularly in Northern communities. Remote mining locations like the Ring of Fire with steep overhead development costs would qualify for an enhanced tax credit of 25 per cent, Harper said …. In Kenora, Northern Ontario NDP Candidates Howard Hampton (Kenora) and Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt) said the prime minister has consistently failed to support mining jobs in the region. “It’s pretty rich for Mr. Harper to come to Northern Ontario and pretend he supports mining jobs after he has so badly mishandled the Ring of Fire,” said Hampton ….”moremore
  • From one of the PM’s campaign stops, in Windsor   “…. (Ontario Chamber of Commerce President Allan) O’Dette also asked Harper about his cool approach to the northern mining play known as the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario, where infrastructure is minimal, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has demanded greater federal help. O’Dette countered to Harper that more infrastructure development would also help to develop other clean energy resources in the north. Harper pointed only to his campaign promise to enhance the northern mining exploration tax credit ….”more
  • From Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing Liberal candidate Heather Wilson:  “….Wilson said she would advocate for “good jobs here in the north.” “We’re positioned to contribute to the economy in a lot of ways,” she said, referring to forestry and mining projects such as the Ring of Fire ….”
  • Some promises from some Timmins riding candidates   “….An NDP government would also reduce the uncertainty First Nations feel about resource projects such as the Ring of Fire by committing money to the job training and infrastructure needed for them to take advantage of the developments economically, he said. They would also make sure that all projects meet communities’ environmental requirements …. A Liberal government would also match the provincial funding for the infrastructure needed to make the Ring of Fire development a reality ….”


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – August 22, 2015


  • “Junior project developer KWG Resources has clinched a deal to acquire five strategic claims straddling Ontario’s nascent Ring of Fire (RoF) mining district. The company planned to issue seller MacDonald Mines Exploration with about $100 000 in scrip to acquire the Hornby property, located in an area dominated by Noront Resources. Noront had earlier this year scooped-up a majority land position in the district when Cliffs Natural Resources agreed to bow out of the prospective region by selling its claims for $20-million. The deal included a 100% interest in Cliffs’ prized Black Thor chromite deposit and a 100% interest in the Black Label chromite deposit. The Hornby claims comprised an extensive holding next to the southerly boundary of the Big Daddy joint venture (70% Noront, 30% KWG) property immediately to the north and would effectively double the surface area available for possible future mining operations at the Big Daddy deposit and the adjoining Black Thor deposit ….”KWG news release
  • “Noront Files NI 43-101 Technical Report for Recently Acquired Black Thor, Black Label and Big Daddy Deposits and Restates 2014 Annual MD&A to Reflect Related Reclassification of Black Thor Estimate From Historical to Current — Noront Resources Ltd. has obtained and filed a National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) compliant Mineral Resource Estimation Technical Report on the Black Thor, Black Label and Big Daddy chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire, which it acquired in April 2015 from Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.  Noront has also filed a related restatement of its 2014 annual MD&A …. Black Thor and Black Label are 100% owned by Noront while Big Daddy is a joint venture between Noront (70%) and Canada Chrome Mining Corporation (30%) ….”
  • Commentary on one Liberal election promise made in Sudbury on the federal campaign trail  “…. The one known is a pledge to invest $200 million “more” annually to support, with private, provincial and research institute collaboration, “clean technologies in the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy and agricultural sectors.”  Now we’re getting closer to a Northern angle. But then the statement wanders off into more about Harper who “does not understand that clean technologies, like those in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie (no specifics), create good, middle-class jobs . . .” and so on.  CBC in Sudbury got a bit more from the Liberal leader who said “a lot (of the $200 million) is going to be working with research institutes like Laurentian University, working with the provinces on issues like the Ring of Fire ….” – more  from that Sudbury campaign stop here, and from Trudeau’s info-machine here and here
  • New Chief seems to like RoF  “Ginoogaming First Nation near Longlac, Ontario held their Chief and Council elections on August 19th as First Nation members gathered in the community hall to cheer on their leaders and witness the results.  As the votes were being counted it became evident that Celia Echum would secure a 5th term as Chief with a considerable win defeating rival Kelly Fortier with a vote count of 185 to 107.  Chief Echum says she is “really thankful’’ to the community for their overwhelming support. Her priority as Chief is to work towards progressive community economic development and investing into youth initiatives and capacity building. Her vision is to create a vibrant, self-reliant First Nation by maximizing business opportunities with natural resource development with a focus on Premier Gold and the Ring of Fire ….”
  • Commentary on cheaper, easier power sources & RoF  “It was recently reported that Ontario is looking to buy power from Newfoundland and Labrador. This is the wrong direction. Ontario should be looking westward to Manitoba, which is more accessible …. It makes more sense to develop the unharnessed 3,000 MW now and to share at least half that with Ontario. The entire block of power could be transmitted by direct-current transmission to a converter station near Dryden, Ont. At this location, the power could be converted to conventional alternating current, with 500,000-volt transmission lines connecting eastward to Timmins, Ont., and westward to Winnipeg …. The transmission line route from Dryden to Timmins would provide a convenient power supply for Ontario’s Ring of Fire chromite mining development. Power is always an integral part of any industrial development and this supply would improve the viability of this slow-developing project ….”



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“New (James Bay) Grand Chief stepping back from Ring of Fire”

This, from the Timmins Daily Press:

The Grand Chief-elect of the Mushkegowuk Council, Jonathan Solomon, is vowing to consult with the people and chiefs of the council’s member communities more than his predecessor did.

That is likely to please those who thought Grand Chief Lawrence Martin made too many promises and announcements on important issues without seeking enough input from the communities. It is not likely to please proponents of the already stalled Ring of Fire development.

Back in February, Martin stated his support for a proposed energy and railway corridor running across Mushkegowuk territory from Moosonee to the chromite mining development located 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins.

According to Solomon, that announcement “blindsided” many people within the Mushkegowuk Council, and that under his leadership, they would be stepping back from that commitment.

“I need to step back and review everything,” said Solomon. “I was involved as a facilitator during (the consultation) process and from that report, the overwhelming concern is the environment. Business opportunities were never the priority of the people we talked to. The questions were always: ‘What is this going to do to our water? What it this going to do to our land? What is this going to the animals?’

“People were totally against how the Grand Chief (Martin) — for whatever reason — announced that we are going to build the Ring of Fire, build a railroad and bring in transmission lines.”

Mushkegowuk cannot consider supporting a project like the energy/railway corridor until all the questions about the Ring of Fire’s environmental impact are answered, said Solomon ….

More on Mushkegowuk’s previous support for a rail line here, here, here and here – with an early hint of some opposition here.


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – August 10, 2015

  • First Nations calling for more First Nation RoF involvement “Matawa First Nations CEO David Paul Achneepineskum called for First Nations involvement in Ring of Fire mining developments during the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce’s APEX Aboriginal Partnership Exchange. “Our population is about 10,000 and a large percentage are young people,” Achneepineskum says, estimating youth up to 30 years old make up about two-thirds of the population. “So that makes for a large population that will be coming out or is already out there looking for jobs. otentially, there are a lot of opportunities for our First Nations mainly in the economic development area.” ….” 
  • One NDP candidate promises RoF stuff “…. “The NDP will also continue to pursue responsible, collaborative and environmentally- and culturally- conscious development in the Ring of Fire, which would create good jobs and boost the economy of not only Northwestern Ontario, but all of Canada,” concluded (Thunder Bay-Superior North candidate Andrew) Foulds ….” 
  • “Wildlands League asks for environmental review process for exploration — An environmental organization based in Toronto says it worries about the environmental restoration in the Ring of Fire after exploration work concludes in the James Bay region ….” 
  • In case you think the environmentalists are all doom and gloom, though “A miner, a forester, and three environmentalists walk into a room… …. today’s meeting was strictly about threatened caribou. A representative from a mining company and a representative from a forestry company were going to explore opportunities to restore caribou habitat with us. They had never met before. Wildlands League brought them together. What a day for me! Everyone was friendly and efficient. Nobody questioned the importance of restoring habitat. We brainstormed on a new method for prioritizing which roads should be decommissioned to restore the largest parcels of forest closest to where caribou had recently been sighted. Everyone spoke freely and the companies agreed to share data and consultants’ reports with each other. I was amazed. Was I dreaming this after my early flight? I learned that everyone wants to make a difference and we are happy to help ….” 
  • Not strictly RoF, but related …. “We need effective mechanisms for sharing the benefits of natural resources to redress the extreme poverty of Canada’s aboriginals …. Benefit sharing is not about year-round moose hunting and pickerel fishing. It’s about creating mechanisms that permit to support the poorest of the poor among us.”


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – July 27, 2015

  • KWG more optimistic about Koper Lake potential  KWG Resources of Toronto has filed an updated 43-101 report for its Koper Lake chromite project in the Ring of Fire. Inferred resources now stand at an estimated 85.9 million tonnes grading 34.5% Cr2O3 (20% cut-off). The tonnage represents an increase of 11% from the May 2014 estimate of 77.2 million tonnes at 34.1 Cr2O3. The increase is possible because the company now has a more complete delineation of a major structure named Frank’s Fault, a regional scale deformation zone that transects the chromite and is responsible for the up-plunge termination of the Black Horse chromite deposit. The fault has been traced in a northeast direction past the Big Daddy deposit where it is interpreted to undercut the deposit at depths that have not yet been drill tested ….”company news releaseNational Instrument 43-101 Technical Report (98 pg PDF)
  • NDP Promises (1) “NDP Leader, Tom Mulcair wouldn’t commit to matching Ontario’s billion-dollar promise for the Ring of Fire, nor would he state a position for or against the Energy East Pipeline. It’s the democratic and environmental processes, he argued, that need repair ….” 
  • NDP Promises (2)  “…. “Stephen Harper’s plan just isn’t working. A nation-to-nation approach with Indigenous communities, as well as cooperation with the province and municipalities, is needed so we can move forward with projects like the Ring of Fire and Shoal Lake Road.” If successful, the Ring of Fire would create thousands of high-quality middle-class jobs, the release said. “The NDP is committed to building relationships across Northern Ontario to responsibly develop the Ring of Fire.” ….”
  • NDP Promises (3)  “…. Mulcair explained there needs to be a respectful nation-to-nation approach when dealing with First Nations. Mulcair criticized the Conservative government on handling big projects like the Ring of Fire development because they don’t know how to get along with First Nation communities and how to consult with local communities. He said First Nation titles, treaties and the nation-to-nation approach have to be respected ….”
  • Soft nickel prices and uncertainty surrounding Ring of Fire development will limit Greater Sudbury’s economic growth in 2015, according to a report by a major Canadian economic think tank. A Conference Board of Canada report entitled Metropolitan Outlook: Summer 2015, released this week, forecasts the city’s GDP growth at a modest 0.7% for the current year ….”
  • Buried in this glass-is-half-empty assessment …. Northern Ontario mineral exploration slows to a crawl …. The Ontario Prospectors and Developers Association’s Garry Clark says Deloitte will be a solid, independent group that put together a well-balanced Ring of Fire Development Corporation ….”
  •  More on Ontario’s (continued) call for RoF infrastructure funds  “Ontario is formally asking the federal government to match its $1-billion transportation infrastructure investment in the Ring of Fire. The province nominated the mineral rich region as one of its “priority transit projects” for Build Canada funding. Ontario’s Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said the province needs federal money to achieve its long-term development goals in the area ….”
  • Not STRICTLY RoF, but worth keeping an eye on  “First Nations across Canada are frustrated with a lack of land use planning and consideration for the cumulative environmental effects of development on their lands. This recent decision from the Federal Court of Appeal exemplifies their concerns and illustrates how difficult it is to get the courts to address them ….” – Yellowknives Dene First Nation v. Canada, 2015 FCA 148more legal analysis


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – July 17, 2015

  • Remember the “mining claims all the way up to the RoF” court case? “KWG Updates Appeals Status — With respect to the appeal of the decision of the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released July 30, 2014, counsel for the parties have agreed with the Registrar of the Court of Appeal for Ontario to conduct the hearing previously scheduled for October 20th, 2015 on November 25th, 2015 instead ….”
  • “Noront Resources Announces Issuance of Interest Shares and Establishment Fee Shares — Noront Resources Ltd. announces that payment of interest in the amount of $372,090, for the second quarter of 2015 pursuant to a loan agreement entered into between Noront and Resource Capital Funds V L.P. dated February 26, 2013, has been satisfied by delivery of 811,007 common shares of the Company at an effective price of $0.4588 per Interest Share. The Interest Shares were delivered on July 10, 2015 subject to a four month hold period, expiring on November 11, 2015 ….”
  • ”Roads, the best way to find new deposits — One of the first priorities is road transportation. Last March at the PDAC mining convention, the federal and provincial governments jointly announced roughly $800,000 in funding for four of the five isolated First Nations – Webequie, Nibinamik, Neskantaga and Eabametoong – to begin consultations on an east-west road that will connect their communities and the Ring of Fire camp to the provincial highway system. A small baby step of progress ….”
  • Speaking of roads and funding for them, here’s what the province says this …. “Ontario Takes Action to Secure Infrastructure Funding …. Ontario also nominated the Ring of Fire under the National Infrastructure Component and continues to call on the federal government to match the province’s commitment to invest up to $1 billion in the region. This project represents an unprecedented opportunity to unlock the economic development potential of northern Ontario and realize tremendous public benefits for Aboriginal communities, Ontario and Canada as a whole ….”
  • …. while Canada says this “The federal government has approved the vast majority of Ontario’s initial infrastructure requests as it fires back over provincial complaints that the Conservatives are playing politics with the billions set aside for projects like roads, sewers and transit. Federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel is revealing for the first time how many Ontario projects have been approved. In a statement to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Lebel says that 77 of the 106 projects the province initially submitted for funding under the New Building Canada Fund have either been announced or approved by the government …. The 106 projects are on an initial list previously submitted by Ontario. The province sent a second list to Ottawa on Thursday that seeks funding for major projects including infrastructure to encourage mining in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, as well as GO Transit improvements in Toronto and the surrounding region ….”
  • “Minister Rickford Highlights Importance of Mining at Greenstone Mineral Exploration Forum — The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, (Tuesday) delivered keynote remarks at the Greenstone Mineral Exploration Forum. The Minister highlighted the Government of Canada’s commitment to the mining industry, as well as the need for engagement and partnerships in the development of mining projects in and around the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario ….”
  • Meanwhile, one of the other candidates in Rickford’s riding mentions the RoF as well ”Hampton wants better relationship between feds and First Nations hoping for change — The Harper Conservatives are failing to work with Treaty 3 and Nishnawbe Aski Nation First Nations, causing an economic delay in creating good jobs and a better economy in Northwestern Ontario, according to Howard Hampton, federal NDP candidate in the Kenora riding.  “The Harper Conservatives’ refusal to cooperate with First Nations is delaying vital development projects for the Northwest,” said Hampton. “The Ring of Fire, four-laning the Trans-Canada from Manitoba to Kenora, and building a hydro transmission line to the Far North could all be a reality if the Conservatives would stop ignoring the First Nations in the region.” …. “The Ring of Fire holds billions of dollars in mineral deposits, would create thousands of good jobs and a better economy for everyone in the region,” said Hampton. “The Conservatives refusal to work in partnership with First Nations like Neskantaga is unbelievable.” ….”


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