Some highlights since the last update …
- #RingOfFire mentions in federal budget 2017? More on that …
- “NDP say Ring of Fire not in federal budget”
- “(Nipissing Conservative MPP) Fedeli worried that federal budget silent on Ring of Fire”
- “Mineral explorers like fed budget despite no Ring of Fire money — PDAC pleased about tax credit, flow-through renewals …”
- “(Algoma Manitoulin NDP MPP Mike) Mantha (and others) goes on the attack over Ring of Fire project”
- Mo’ from Mantha “A Northern Ontario New Democrat says the Wynne Liberals continue to drop the ball with the Ring of Fire. Mike Mantha of Algoma Manitoulin levelled the accusation during Question Period (in March). Mantha says the government claims it’s committed to the chromite project but he says it’s always all talk with no action. He says the Liberals have copied and pasted their $1-billion commitment to the Ring of Fire for the past three budgets yet nothing has happened …” (mynorthbaynow.com)
- Let’s see how many mentions #RoF gets in the upcoming Ontario budget, scheduled for 27 April, then …
- One of the federal Conservative leadership hopefuls – Erin O’Toole – mentions #RingOfFire during Thunder Bay visit “… From Kenora to Thunder Bay to Timmins, northerners know the needs of their communities and the tremendous potential of projects like the Ring of Fire. As an Ontario MP, I also recognize that the development of resources in our north not only creates jobs in this area of the province, but will benefit all Canadians through resource royalties and the addition of secondary processing jobs. Northerners know all about the great potential of the Ring of Fire. Its known deposits are significant enough to sustain a century of mineral development. Yet, after more than a decade of mineral exploration activity and findings of rich resources, no infrastructure has been developed. Infrastructure that is critically needed to build mines, move people and goods, and grow the economy of Thunder Bay, Geraldton, Nipigon and beyond. The Wynne Liberals requested $1 billion in infrastructure funding from the government of Canada in 2014, but never provided the necessary plan to flow the funding. Trudeau’s cabinet is largely made up of activists with no private sector experience and a history of opposing the resource industries and the jobs that flow from them. They certainly cannot be relied upon to build the Ring of Fire. …” (Chronicle-Journal)
- Ontario’s Minister: We haven’t forgotten “Despite a report from the Fraser Institute listing Saskatchewan and Manitoba as No. 1 and No. 2 in mining in Canada, Ontario continues to be the driving force of the Canadian mining industry according to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Minister of Northern Development and Mines Bill Mauro, of Thunder Bay, opened the Ontario Mining Pavilion on Monday and spoke about the importance of the mining industry for Ontario, including future potential of the Ring of Fire. “We are bringing $1 billion to the table to help prepare the infrastructure that will make the Ring of Fire a reality,” Mauro said. “We are committed to the project and we are looking to put shovels in the ground.” …” (timminstoday.com)
In corporate news, meanwhile …
- “Noront signs exploration agreement with Marten Falls First Nation” (CBC) – Reuters – ca – company news release
- Noront adds some Aboriginal, Chinese and political players to its board “Noront Resources Ltd. … announced The Honourable Greg Rickford, former Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, Jean Paul (JP) Gladu, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and Bo Liu, Senior Manager, Global Resource Development, Baosteel Resources International will join the company’s Board of Directors …” (company news release) – ca – ckdr.net – Chronicle-Journal – Northern Ontario Business
- KWG cuting a deal with Marten Falls, too (and prepares to visit China) “The Marten Falls First Nation has undertaken with KWG Resources Inc. to work towards establishing the principal terms of an equal partnership for the mining of chromite in the Ring of Fire. The parties envisage large-volume underground mining operations for the delivery of chromite raw materials by railroad, for further processing. The parties will travel to China in mid-May to establish interest in long-term offtake and financing arrangements there. They will also meet with China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group (‘FSDI’) to discuss details of the feasibility study prepared for KWG last year by FSDI. The proposed railroad traverses the traditional territories of the Marten Falls, Webequie and Aroland First Nations. The capital cost of creating the mining operation and its railroad is estimated to be $4 billion. The parties have requested that Ontario’s Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation indicate its willingness to provide a $1 billion guarantee as consideration for project financing terms from Chinese lenders …” (company news release)
- KWG continues to pull in money for its work … “KWG Resources Inc. is pleased to announce closing … of its previously announced private placement of units at a price of $0.021 per Unit (see the Company’s news release dated March 3, 2017). The Company issued a total of 48,495,720 Units for aggregate gross proceeds of $1,018,410.13, in respect of which 23,847,605 Units were issued for cash proceeds of $500,799.71 and 24,648,115 Units were issued to insiders of the Company in settlement of debt in the aggregate of $517,610.42 …” (company news release)
- … while carrying on with its shareholders “KWG Resources Inc. announces that on Friday, April 21, 2017 the Company held a special shareholders’ meeting, the shareholders voting in favour of two of the items tabled at the meeting, namely approval of the amendment to the stock option plan and setting the number of directors (between the minimum and maximum prescribed by the Company’s articles) at six (6). Given the extensive distribution of shares and the tight timing of mailing of meeting materials, the shareholders adjourned the meeting to allow additional votes to be received with respect to the third item tabled at meeting, namely a special resolution intended to create a new class of shares. The special meeting of shareholders of KWG will, therefore, reconvene at 11:00 p.m. (Toronto time) on May 12, 2017 at 199 Bay Street, Suite 2200, Toronto, Ontario …” (company news release)
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- Here’s hoping 2017 is a good one for you & yours! It’s been a while, so here’s some highlights from the past month or so.
- She says … “Ottawa has been throwing cold water on the Ring of Fire, a mineral deposit in Northern Ontario that was once thought to be worth more than $60-billion. Since the federal Liberal Party came to power last year, the government has stonewalled requests to pay for infrastructure, lowered expectations for development and slashed its valuation for the deposit, according to internal Department of Natural Resources documents obtained by The Globe and Mail …”
- … he (KWG) says ” The article by Rachelle Younglai in yesterday’s Globe & Mail overlooks the real news occurring a few days ago, by instead republishing an oft-reported miscalculation and profound understatement of the value of the minerals discovered thus far in the Ring of Fire area of Northern Ontario’s James Bay Lowlands …“
- More on that “Despite some gloomy forecasts earlier this fall, prices for a main mineral in Ontario’s stalled Ring of Fire mining belt are slated to rise, says one of the region’s main proponents. Toronto-based KWG said last week that updated market forecasts suggest prices for chromium will rise to $1.65 per pound — a 50-per-cent increase — by early next year. “Until a few days ago, chromium was priced at $1.10 per pound,” said a KWG news release. Chromium, a key ingredient in stainless-steel production, is derived from chromite — a main mineral under exploration in the Ring of Fire zone about 500 kilometres north-east of Thunder Bay. The rosier forecast for chromium prices follows a resolution of delivery issues between China and the world’s major chromium exporter, South Africa, said a KWG news release. As a result, KWG says, the potential value of Ring of Fire chromite is much higher, contrary to earlier media reports …”
- A bit more pessimism “… development of the 5,000-square-kilometre area of the James Bay Lowlands is still stuck in neutral. The Ring of Fire is a deposit of minerals — including nickel, copper, gold, zinc and the extremely rare chromite — some 540 kilometres north of Thunder Bay that is said to be worth up to $60 billion. Dubbed “Canada’s next oilsands,” it could be the biggest resource development Ontario has seen in more than a century. But the provincial government, miners and indigenous communities are locked in debate about the best way to physically connect the isolated swampy muskeg, as well as the four closest fly-in reserves, to the rest of Canada for the first time …”
- An update from Noront … “… Noront continues to work in concert with the Province of Ontario, the federal government and First Nations to advance Ring of Fire development and establish a joint infrastructure plan for the region. Although progress is being made, this process intersects with discussions between the province and the Matawa Tribal Council at the Regional Framework Table that are taking longer than anticipated and that have the potential to delay the provincial government’s stated goal of having shovels in the ground by 2018 …”
- … and the media’s take on the update “Despite reporting progress with discussions between stakeholders, the largest landholder in the emerging Ring of Fire (RoF) mining camp of Northern Ontario, Noront Resources, said Tuesday that it expected further delays to the development of its cornerstone Eagle’s Nest mine …”
- “Noront Resources Ltd. continues to work with the provincial and federal governments and First Nations to advance development in the Ring of Fire mining camp and establish a joint infrastructure plan for the region. Although progress is being made, the company said this week that discussions between the province and the Matawa Tribal Council at the Regional Framework Table are taking longer than anticipated and have the potential to delay the provincial government’s stated goal of having shovels in the ground by 2018 …”
- “Ring of Fire developer Noront Resources said it’s starting discussions with Neskantaga First Nation this month in an attempt to find a “mutually agreeable path” to drive an all-weather road into the Far North mineral camp and connect the remote communities. Time is becoming a factor for the Toronto-based exploration camp and its timetable to start development of its Eagle’s Nest nickel mine in the remote James Bay region by 2018 …”
- Still, Noront remains optimistic this week … “When it comes to the Ring of Fire, Noront Resources Ltd. is in it for the long haul, president and CEO Alan Coutts said Thursday. Speaking at Bryston’s on the Park in Copper Cliff as part of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce President’s Luncheon Series, Coutts talked about the wealth pulled from the ground in the Sudbury area and how he sees similar potential in the Ring, a crescent rich in chromite and other minerals such as nickel and copper, located in the James Bay Lowlands, about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, and dotted with five small Oji-Cree First Nations communities. “We all know in this room the last 150 years has generated an incredible amount of wealth and prosperity from the Sudbury Basin,” Coutts said. “The Ring of Fire is almost identical in size, about 100 kilometres from tip to tail, and you can see there are already more than 20 deposits that have been discovered in that region, of various qualities and sizes.” …”
- … and yet … “Noront Resources boss Alan Coutts said his company is as committed as ever to the Ring of Fire. But if things don’t get moving soon, their financiers and investors are going to lose patience. “We’re trying,” said the Noront president-CEO at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Jan. 26. “My focus has always been on the Ring of Fire. “We don’t want to abandon it. But if there’s no money, there’s no money,” said Coutts. “[Our investors] have been patient, but they’re running out of patience.” …”
Filed under: Uncategorized
- Some analyst takes on Noront stock … “Noront Resources Ltd’s Trend Up, Especially After (28 Oct)’s Strong Session” – “Penny stock shareholders are becoming inquisitive about NORONT RESOURCES LTD, following the fact that the share price has moved $0.023, reaching the $0.211 price level in a recent trade. A big benefit of investing in small-cap shares is that there is a prospect to outpace the institutional investors. In addition, mutual funds have limits controlling their power to purchase large lots of any one firm’s outstanding shares …”
- … while the company continues to raise money “Noront Resources Ltd. (1 Nov) announces the closing of a private placement of 9,299,666 flow-through shares at a price of $0.30 per flow-through share for gross proceeds of $2,789,900. The Company intends to use the proceeds for its exploration program in the Ring of Fire …”
- Still we wait … “Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle dropped few hints as to when the province expects to roll out plans for a Ring of Fire road access corridor, saying only it will happen “soon.” After opening a government-hosted Mining Innovation Summit in Sudbury on Nov. 1, Gravelle said in a media scrum that the province remains “keen to see the project move forward” as discussions continue with four James Bay-area First Nations over a completed community service corridor study that will provide the basis for a decision on the road’s routing. “It’s difficult to put timelines on decision-making other than to say that we are committed to carrying on that work. The conversations are at a very high level with the Matawa First Nations and we look forward to having something to report to you soon.” …”
- … while Ontario continues with the positive waves “The Wynne government is as keen to advance development of the Ring of Fire as any company or individual, says Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle. The Ontario government is working with its partners, including Noront Resources Inc. and neighbouring First Nations, to “bring the Ring of Fire project forward,” Gravelle told reporters (1 Nov 2016) at a conference in Sudbury … Gravelle told reporters his government wants to move the Ring of Fire forward and is determined to “elevate conversations” with first nations “so we can have some decisions moving forward.” The province continues to work with four first nations near the Ring on a community corridor study to see if it can get a decision on road recommendations, said Gravelle. The minister said he keeps in close touch with Noront Resources president and chief executive officer Alan Coutts because “we appreciate this is a significant project.” …”
- More from Ontario from the same session: “… (Ontario mines minister Michael) Gravelle noted that “significant progress” had been made regarding the development of what had been termed a “generational opportunity” by the federal government – the emerging nickel and chromite mining camp known as the Ring of Fire (RoF), in the James Bay lowlands of Northern Ontario. He pointed to the historic Regional Framework Agreement guiding the Ministry’s work with the nine Matawa-member First Nations communities. Ontario has committed C$1-billion towards the development of strategic infrastructure in the RoF, which was reiterated in the 2016 Budget. Further, government has approved, with amendments, the terms of reference for an environmental assessment for regional first-mover Noront Resources’ Eagle’s Nest project. Critically, Gravelle noted that transportation to the remote region was necessary to move the project forward. For that reason, in addition to its C$1-billion commitment, the provincial government has established the RoF Infrastructure Development Corporation (ROFIDC). “The development of the RoF, including a transportation corridor, is a complex undertaking and we are taking the time to get it right. The ROFIDC is undertaking a technical review of industrial infrastructure options. This review will help inform key investment decisions regarding transportation infrastructure in the RoF,” Gravelle stated to Mining Weekly Online …”
- KWG’s Frank Smeenk talks high-end rail solutions to the Ring of Fire “A variation of high-speed train technology being used in urban parts of Asia, like China and Japan, could one day quickly transport both chromite ore and people out of the Ring of Fire without harming the environment, says one of the region’s main mining proponents. In an address last week to a Natural Resources parliamentary committee, KWG Resources president Frank Smeenk said a Hyperloop train, as the technology is known, is a practical transportation option for the remote chromite deposit near the James Bay area. “We would propose that a most elegant, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly use of hyperloop technology is to build a hyperlink (rail corridor) from the Ring of Fire to Nakina,” Smeenk told the committee. Smeenk compared the idea to the proposed high-speed train link between Toronto and Montreal …” – here’s who else was speaking at the 27 October 2016 session of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources.
- Just before this hearing, meanwhile, lead Ring of Fire negotiator for Matawa – Bob Rae – spoke to the federal Liberal caucus “… Marc Serré, MP for Nickel Belt, welcomed The Honourable Bob Rae to Northern Ontario Caucus, of which Mr. Serré serves as Caucus Chair, to share his advice and expertise gained from his experience as lead negotiator of the Matawa Chiefs Council with regard to the proposed development of the Northern Ontario Ring of Fire. “I was delighted that Mr. Rae agreed to attend the Caucus and share his expertise with us today. We are fortunate to have seven strong MPs fighting for Northern Ontario in this caucus, including Minister Patty Hajdu, and I’m confident that Mr. Rae’s advice will inform our work moving forward” said Serré. Rae provided a frank and engaging presentation on the opportunities and challenges related to developing the Ring of Fire, and particularly on the role that my Caucus colleagues and I can play in strengthening our government’s relationship with the Indigenous communities that call the region home.” Serré continued …”
- A Ring of Fire update from Fancamp Exploration: “The Company is pleased to report progress on a number of projects … KWG/Bold have now earned their 50% interest in the Black Horse Chromite deposit in the Ring of Fire and the Chinese are currently working on a rail feasibility study on the Koper Lake/Nakina corridor to the CN main line, due for completion in early 2017. The possibilities for the eventual development of a world class ferrochrome industry could be significant …”
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- Some blunt-ish talk from KWG’s VP “KWG Resources vice-president Moe Lavigne warned a gathering of Indigenous community leaders and mining industry members that until there is money behind them, the proposed mines that make up the Ring of Fire development will only ever exist on paper. “Until this proposed development is funded, it’s not a project; it’s just a study of an opportunity. There are plenty of people out there that think this is an actual project — it’s not — it’s an opportunity,” said Lavigne. The KWG executive was speaking at the sixth-annual Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund Mining Summit held in Timmins (last) week. He continued to say the federal and provincial governments are being prevented from fully backing the projects by their voter bases which “want this part of Canada to be a park, or museum, and don’t want to see anything happening here.” With neither government willing to go against the political pressure he believes is holding them back, Lavigne argued the only realistic way to get the Ring of Fire mines off the ground is through China. “The people who understand this opportunity the best is China. They get the whole picture, they want to get their hands on some of our chromium, and they are willing to put their money on the table to make it happen,” he argued …”
- Speaking of China, a mention/reminder here: “… KWG Resources has appointed Canarail to provide specialised professional services and data for the Ring of Fire railway feasibility study to be undertaken by China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group …”
- A bit of optimism for Noront stock on Thursday “The stock of Noront Resources Ltd is a huge mover today! The stock last traded at $0.26 per share. It is down 6.00% since September 27, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 0.92% the S&P500. The move comes after 8 months negative chart setup for the $80.29M company. It was reported on Oct, 27 by Barchart.com. We have $0.23 PT which if reached, will make CVE:NOT worth $8.03M less …”
- I don’t know if a couple of questions and a bit of back & forth rates being called “centre stage”, but #RoF WAS mentioned in the Legislature this week. “The Ring of Fire took centre stage at Queen’s Park Wednesday. In what became a heated debate at the provincial legislature, the opposition leader demanded answers about the Wynne Government’s seeming lack of progress on the Ring of Fire project. This accusation of a lack of progress comes despite the billion-dollar pledge made by the governing Liberals in its 2015 and 2016 budgets …” – you can read the transcript of the exchange via the Ontario Legislature page here, or in PDF (2 pages) format here.
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- “Ring of Fire on agenda at NADF mining summit” in Timmins earlier this week – more on the Summit here
- Another overview piece based on an interview with Noront’s President/CEO in The Northern Miner here “The greenstone belt that hosts the nickel-copper-platinum group metal (PGM) and chromite deposits in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire camp, 540 km northeast of Thunder Bay, is unique compared to other regions in Canada, says Noront Resources’ (TSXV: NOT) President and CEO Alan Coutts. “In our case we have a typical, greenstone belt, but we also have this very large, layered ultramafic intrusion complex and iron formations abutting it. So it had all the right things going on to create the diversity of deposits we see there today,” he tells The Northern Miner during a phone interview …”
- More from CBC Radio’s Jeff Walters’ recent visit to the Ring “The one company in the Ring of Fire still doing active exploration said it has already made a positive impact on neighbouring Indigenous communities. Noront Resources has set a target of having over half of its staff comprised of Indigenous employees. So far, the company has met the target. “Even at an early stage, where we are today in terms of exploration, we want the communities to realize some of those benefits through jobs, through training,” said Ryan Weston, the VP of Exploration with Noront Resources. “So that in a longer term scenario, they will ultimately be believers in the benefits, the positive benefits that a mine would create here in the Ring of Fire.” Although the camp itself has few staff at the moment, half of the workforce is comprised of Indigenous workers …”
- TD economist Dina Ignjatovic‘s take on the Ring of Fire from a Toronto conference earlier this month: “… When asked about mining in Ontario and the Ring of Fire, Ignjatovic said it could be beneficial to the economy in the future. The Ring of Fire, located 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont. has a mineral potential said to be worth $60 billion and includes the largest deposit of chromite ever discovered in North America. “I think we’re a long way out from having mass production right now but in the future, if it does get developed, it could be a boost to the Ontario economy and for Canada. Right now I think it’s too much in the early stages.” …”
- A quick hit on one of those OTHER Ring of Fire companies … “Recently stock market broker analysts have updated their ratings and price targets on shares of Anglo Pacific Group. The latest broker reports which are currently outstanding on Friday 21st of October note 4 analysts have a rating of “strong buy”, 0 analysts “buy”, 0 analysts “neutral”, 0 analysts “sell” and 0 analysts “strong sell” … Anglo Pacific Group PLC is a United Kingdom-based company, which focuses on royalties connected with the mining of natural resources … The Company’s early-stage royalties include Pilbara, Ring of Fire and Dugbe 1 …”
- Not specifically Ring of Fire, but worth knowing about politically “A government bill introduced at Queen’s Park this week proposes a number of changes to Ontario’s electoral rules, and at least one aspect of it has the support of the New Democrat MPP for the Kenora, Ont. area. One part of the Election Statute Law Amendment Act proposes a commission to advise on the creation of up to two additional ridings in the province’s far north in order to improve representation for First Nations. “There are 70 communities in Kenora-Rainy River and one member to meet with all of those mayors-in-council and chiefs-in-council,” said Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell, adding that having at least one other voice in the legislature would help. “We certainly look forward to some changes that would improve communities’ access to the political process.” Currently, the geographically large Kenora-Rainy River and Timmins-James Bay ridings encompass the entire far north, as well as a number of urban areas across northwestern and northeastern Ontario. The proposed Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission could recommend changing one or both of those ridings …” – a bit more from Ontario’s information machine here (news release) and here (backgrounder – including information on the make up of the team considering the riding boundary changes – any bets that the “current or former judge of an Ontario court” for chair might be this guy?).
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- Optimism from Noront … “Noront Resources is encouraged that the Ring of Fire camp in northern Ontario, where the junior has its remote Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper and platinum group metal (PGM) deposit, has been designated a priority in Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s 23 mandate letter to re-appointed Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle…”
- … especially while showing a CBC reporter around its mining camp “… “We’re committed to it. We’re continuing to consolidate in the Ring of Fire, where as other companies haven’t had the ability to stick around,” said Ryan Weston, Noront’s Vice-President of Exploration …”
- In other corporate news, “Fancamp Exploration Ltd. has confirmed that KWG Resources Inc. and Bold Ventures Inc. have met all of the conditions of the various agreements between the parties to now establish a joint venture for the Koper Lake Project under the terms of the option agreement with Fancamp. The parties have agreed that the project will be renamed the Black Horse Project. Once the joint venture is established, KWG and Bold intend to continue to earn the further interests provided for in the agreements. Bold is carried through the exploration stage for a 20% interest in KWG’s interest in respect of chromite …” – a bit of back story from 2015 here.
- A bit of an overview update via Timmins media … “The Ring of Fire, the large tract of land in Northern Ontario, south of James Bay, west of Timmins and north of Thunder Bay, constitutes a 5,000 square kilometres swath of muskeg, that remains a potential for vast mining activity, but has been agonizingly slow getting to the operational stage …”
- … a (less-than-optimistic) mention in a Thunder Bay media editorial … “… the Ring of Fire mining camp is an excellent example of over-thinking development by government. Despite its enormous promise, it remains in a bureaucratic limbo with no government willing to break through …”
- … and some interesting historical/geological/political discussion (starts around 7:08) on a podcast from The Northern Miner “Matt and Lesley are back with a Ring of Fire edition of the Geology Corner! We talk Noront Resources’ regional consolidation and dig into the underlying science behind chromite and iron. Bikinis are also briefly mentioned …”
Filed under: Uncategorized
- “Martin Falls, Aroland First Nations insist on consent for Ring of Fire transportation route — The Marten Falls and Aroland First Nations have reaffirmed their authority over the land that may become a transportation corridor for mineral development in the Ring of Fire. In (an October 5th) release … they specifically said the government of Ontario, Noront Resources and KWG Resources cannot make plans without the consent of local communities …”
- Meanwhile, “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to provide an update on its development in the Ring of Fire, its exploration program and the closing of a recent private placement …”
- “An environmental review into a long-awaited access road into the Ring of Fire mineral belt needs to start early next year if the province is serious about meeting its own timelines for getting the road constructed, says one of the region’s mining proponents. Noront Resources, which is proposing to build the first nickel mine in the RoF about 550 kilometre northeast of Thunder Bay, said that it wants to start building its proposed $700 million mine in 2018. That’s the same year the province has said it will start building an access road into the RoF by “upgrading existing roads and infrastructure in the region that would connect with future Ring of Fire infrastructure.” …”
- “Five Ontario cities, including four in Northern Ontario, have expressed interest in hosting a ferrochrome smelter for Ring of Fire developer Noront Resources … “We haven’t excluded any sites yet, but it would be a brownfield site somewhere in Ontario,” said company president-CEO Al Coutts. “That’s our preference.” Coutts said they’ve been approached by “a number of parties” from Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Sudbury and Hamilton …”
- Time’s up! “KWG Resources Inc. and Bold Ventures Inc. have agreed to extend the expiry of the time for KWG to complete its Koper Lake Option earn-in expenditures to midnight Friday October 7th, 2016. For more information regarding the project please refer to the October 29, 2015 press release: http://kwgresources.com/kwg-bold-fancamp-extend-koper-lake-option/ …”
In Ontario mines ministry news … “Ray Mantha has been named as the interim assistant deputy minister of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry’s mines and minerals division, effective Oct. 25. Mantha currently serves as executive director of the Ministry of Transportation’s provincial highways management division. He takes over the spot formerly held by Christine Kaszycki, who vacated the role for a spot as the province’s Ring of Fire coordinator …” (Sorry, folks – an old story the old search alogrithm caught, but I didn’t. Thanks, MM!).
Filed under: Uncategorized, Alan Coutts, Aroland First Nation, Christine Kaszycki, KWG, Marten Falls, Martin Falls First Nation, Noront, Ray Mantha, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Timmins
28 September 2016 • 16:19
- Remember all those mining claims between Nakina & the Ring of Fire? “The Mining and Lands Commission of Ontario has made a final order, paving the way for an application to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, which was made by Cliffs Natural Resources in early 2012, for the grant of an easement over the claims of KWG subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation (CCC), to proceed. The court ordered the “pending proceedings” notation be removed from the abstracts of the mining claims of CCC, that the time during which they were the subject of pending proceedings be excluded and that a new anniversary date for the filing of prescribed assessment work be established …” – more in a KWG company statement here.
- “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that further to its press release of September 19, 2016 it has closed its short form prospectus offering and has raised gross proceeds of $7,857,780 through the issuance of the units and flow-through units. Noront raised $6,327,792 from the sale of 19,774,350 Units at a price of $0.32 per Unit, with each such Unit consisting of one common share and one common share purchase warrant, each whole warrant entitling the holder to purchase one common share at a price of $0.40 per share on or before September 23, 2019 …”
- KWG & Noront make it into a quick overview of nine small-cap companies busy around Ontario.
- Ontario’s Speech from the Throne on September 12 mentioned the Ring of Fire – if only for a bit: “… Your government will continue to work with First Nations and other partners to move forward with greater access to the Ring of Fire and remote First Nation communities …”
- The Ring of Fire DID appear in more detail in the latest ministerial Mandate Letters released late last week by Ontario, though: #1 listed priority for mines minister Michael Gravelle, #6 listed priority for environment minister Glen Murray, with supporting roles expected from natural resources minister Kathryn Mcgarry, Indigenous affairs minister David Zimmer and, last but not least, intergovernmental affairs minister/Premier Kathleen Wynne.
- Federally, Timmins-James Bay New Democrat Charlie Angus brings up the Ring of Fire during a recent visit to Thunder Bay: “… “We’re seeing the huge disconnect between promises on Northern development, infrastructure, First Nations that the language and the spin and the press releases are not matching what we’re seeing on the ground,” Angus said. One specific example is with the Ring of Fire. Angus slammed the Trudeau government, saying he has heard no mention of the Ring of Fire. He also took aim at the province, saying they have yet to hold Ottawa accountable like they did the former government. “I think what’s really shocking about the lack of action on the Ring of Fire is the Wynne government blamed Stephen Harper and said, ‘well, we’ll move when the federal Conservatives move,’” Angus said. “Well now you have federal Liberals and provincial Liberals. They should be one big, happy family and we should be moving on that. But you’re seeing no attempt by the Wynne government to hold Justin Trudeau to come to the table and you’re seeing no effort by Justin Trudeau to come to the table.” …”
- Members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce appear to be backing the Ring of Fire (in principle, anyway) as well. “The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce has received majority support for a resolution it submitted asking the federal government make the development of the Ring of Fire a national priority. The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce submitted the resolution, called “Make the Ring of Fire a Priority of National Significance” (PDF), at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting and Convention, held Sept. 17 to 19 in Regina. The resolution received support from 94.9 per cent of the convention’s more than 400 delegates, and has now become the official policy of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce …” – more here and here.
- Meanwhile, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is also pressing Ottawa to get better – and more consistent – at working with companies consulting with First Nations. “The Canadian Chamber of Commerce asks the federal government to bring more clarity to the roles of all parties involved in the constitutional duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples in a new report (57 page PDF) … “Governments must consult Indigenous peoples and accommodate them when proposed projects would affect their constitutionally-protected rights. They may delegate the procedural aspects of this duty to business, usually by mandating project proponents to consult during the regulatory process. This is usually a positive way for industry and the Indigenous communities to work together, but the lack of a clear framework on how to do this can undermine everyone’s interests,” explained the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce …”
- Political science doctoral candidate at York University Matthew Corbeil says taxpayers shouldn’t spend $1B on the Ring of Fire: “… the prospects for meaningful community development – or “prosperity” – for the 20,000 people of Ontario’s Far North seem remote indeed. Only sustained political action on the part of the communities themselves can ensure the transfer of any of the material benefits from industry, which will be only too happy to unload so many of the burdens. Environmentalists and social justice activists in the south must do their part to hold the government and industry accountable if mining development goes forward. The risks are far too real to ignore.”
- A bit of an editorial warning as DeBeers works through a proposed expansion of its Victor diamond mine in northeastern Ontario: “… The problem is while Canadian courts have established a responsibility for mining firms to consult with First Nations on projects within their claimed territories, there is a lack of clarity of how much consultation is required to satisfy that obligation. In this case, De Beers is dealing primarily with one First Nation. Without government or courts addressing this lack of clarity, we can only imagine the challenge in store for developers within the Ring of Fire where numerous groups have laid claims.”
Filed under: Uncategorized, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Charlie Angus, Cliffs Natural Resources, David Zimmer, Glen Murray, Kathleen Wynne, Kathryn Mcgarry, KWG, Mandate Letter, Matthew Corbeil, Mining and Lands Commission, Nakina, Noront Resources, Sudbury
- Let’s see how much play the Ring of Fire gets in Monday’s Speech from the Throne kicking off the Ontario Legislature’s work once again, starting around noon, shall we?
- “Ring of Fire could benefit from Laurentian University’s new Metal Earth project — The mineral exploration community is welcoming news of a major mining research project. This week, Laurentian University announced it’s starting a seven-year initiative called Metal Earth. The goal is to figure out more precisely where ore deposits are, making exploration less costly for companies. The president of the Sudbury Prospectors and Developers Association, Joshua Bailey, says it’s great to see more than $100-million being spent on mining research. Bailey, who is also the vice-president of exploration with Wallbridge Mining and the head of the Ontario Prospectors Association, says there hasn’t been a lot of innovation in mineral exploration. “A lot of the geophysics that we use was technology initially developed during World War 2, you know, looking for submarines and that sort of thing,” says Bailey. The funding for the Metal Earth project is coming from the federal government, and other partners from academia and industry. Ryan Weston, the vice-president of exploration at NorOnt expects the new Metal Earth project at Laurentian University to help move the Ring of Fire project forward. (NorOnt) Noront Resources is one of the mining companies backing the project …” – more from Laurentian here, sudbury.com here, Northern Ontario Business here and the Sudbury Star here
- More from that announcement “Franco-Nevada Corp. chief executive officer and president David Harquail is “absolutely convinced” a mine will be built in the Ring of Fire, but realistic enough to believe it may be a future CEO who benefits from it. Franco-Nevada loaned Noront Resources Ltd. US$22.5 million last year, at 7 per cent interest for five years. That was in return for a 3 per cent royalty on the Black Thor chromite deposit and a 2 per cent royalty of all Noront’s property in the region with the exception of Eagle’s Nest. Noront purchased shares of Cliffs Chromite Ontario Inc. and Cliffs Chromite Far North Inc., independently owned subsidiaries of Cliffs Natural Resources, which held mining claims in the Ring of Fire, for US$20 million. The remaining US$2.5 million provided Noront with operating capital. Harquail attended an event Tuesday at Laurentian University where it was announced his family foundation, the Midas Touch Foundation, was giving $10 million to the university’s earth sciences department …”
- Back to fighting for a processing facility “Five Ontario cities, including four in Northern Ontario, have expressed interest in hosting a ferrochrome smelter for Ring of Fire developer Noront Resources. “We haven’t excluded any sites yet, but it would be a brownfield site somewhere in Ontario,” said company president-CEO Al Coutts. “That’s our preference.” outts said they’ve been approached by “a number of parties” from Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, Sudbury and Hamilton. Factoring into the site selection process, he said, would be the availability of a skilled local workforce, having the electrical infrastructure already in place, and getting the power at the right price. “I like the concept of having something in Northern Ontario,” said Coutts. “Ultimately it’s going to depend too on what kind of power price agreement we can negotiate with the province.” …”
- Noront: Ontario SHOULD be good to go soon on RoF infrastructure “The Ontario government has most of the data it needs to inform a decision on the infrastructure it would be prepared to build and finance in the Ring of Fire, says the head of Noront Resources Inc. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines has the results of several studies — those commissioned by Deloitte and Hatch Mott MacDonald Inc., environmental and engineering studies done by Noront and a $785,000 joint federal-provincial community transportation corridor study conducted. It was conducted by Webequie, Eabametoong, Neskantaga and Nibinamik First Nations. Alan Coutts, president and chief executive officer of Noront, said it’s up to the province to take those studies, look at what it would take to meet community and industry needs, and fine-tune them into a plan. First Nations completed the joint study at the end of June, but its results haven’t been made public. Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said his ministry is still in discussion with those communities “as to where we go next.” …”
- Speaking of that infrastructure study & First Nations … “Navigating the Ring of Fire road Map: We will lead the regional planning — Eabametoong First Nation Chief Shares Community Viewpoint … It seems as though each Northern Ontario news service has obtained and shared slightly differing views on, or excerpts from, our recent All Season Community Road Study. This set of news stories emerged last week while KWG was also promoting their work towards a rail corridor study (no bikinis this time). The reality is that our Community Road Study has always been for the purpose of gathering existing engineering and land use data for enabling informed dialogue among the 4 First Nation communities regarding options and priorities for road connection. It was explicitly intended to consider options for connecting communities together, and to Provincial highways; not industrial use of future corridors …”
- Meanwhile, Noront continues to raise funds … “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has filed a preliminary short form prospectus (29 page PDF), dated and filed on September 7, 2016, in the Provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia 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 $10,000,000 and $3,000,000 if the minimum offering is achieved …”
- … and KWG grows its board of directors “The Board of Directors of KWG Resources Inc. has resolved to increase its number from five to six and to appoint Bruce Reid to the new position. The Company also announces that Cynthia Thomas has resigned as a member of the Board and that Jennifer Boyle has been appointed to fill the vacancy. Bruce Reid (macroaxis micro bio – Google Search “Bruce Reid carlisle”) was previously a director of the Company and is the former Executive Chairman and, before that, Chief Executive Officer of Carlisle Goldfields Limited, a Canadian-based gold exploration and development company that was recently acquired by Alamos Gold Inc. He was previously the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Silver Corp., the largest pure silver producer in the United States and, prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of Mining Corporate Finance at Mackie Research Capital Corporation, a Canadian investment firm. His experience in corporate finance and in the mining and mineral exploration industry extends over more than 35 years following graduation with a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Toronto and a finance degree from the University of Windsor. Jennifer Boyle (links to LinkedIn profile) is currently the Head of Global Corporate Finance and General Counsel for a broker-dealer and institutional forex firm, and was a director of Carlisle Goldfields Limited until its acquisition by Alamos Gold Inc. She was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of St. Eugene Mining Corporation prior to its acquisition by Claude Resources Inc. and then became the President and Chief Executive Officer of Satori Resources Inc., a spin-out company created from the acquisition of St. Eugene. Previously, she was a co-founding Director and Executive VP of Canadian Royalties Inc. Ms. Boyle practiced securities law prior to building a career on the mining issuer side of the business …”
- One analyst’s quick take from last week: “Noront Resources Ltd Declines A lot (30 August), Is Now One of The Worst Performer”
Filed under: Uncategorized
- #RingOfFire makes it onto The Canadian Press Baloney Meter! “Has the federal government dropped the ball on Ring of Fire development?” CP’s assessment? “the statement is partly accurate but important details are missing.” The reporter seems to miss some federal and provincial stuff, so click here (Ring of Fire mentions on ontario.ca pages) or here (Ring of Fire mentions on gc.ca pages) for more details on what the governments have done so far – for better or worse.
- Remember this $785K from Ontario, Canada last year for a road study? Someone got some results … “A road connecting remote First Nations in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire region to the south would cost $264-million to $559-million, according to a government-funded study that reviewed a range of options. The All-Season Community Road Study has not yet been made public, but The Globe and Mail has obtained a copy of the 147-page document, which is described as final and is dated June 30, 2016. The $785,000 study was paid for by the federal and provincial governments. Ottawa and Ontario are considering options to address the needs of remote First Nations while also responding to the potential for major mining development in Ontario’s far north if the region is made accessible through a new road or rail line …”
- … with this conclusion (according to the media’s read of the report, anyway): “Plans to provide road access to remote Northern Ontario First Nations and spur development of the Ring of Fire mineral deposits are in limbo after a government-funded consultation failed to produce a clear consensus on how to proceed. A community study that cost $785,000 in combined provincial and federal funds has concluded that Ottawa and Ontario have not provided enough information for First Nations to make a clear decision on how to proceed …” – more from CBC.ca here and from resourceclips.com here.
- Can the public see the study yet? “The results of a much-vaunted study, said to be a starting point in plans to develop infrastructure for the Ring of Fire, will not be released unless and until the First Nations which completed it make it public …”
- Meanwhile, KWG digs up some three-year-old cards to play the “where’s the road/railway going into #RoF going?” game … “KWG Tables Study of East-West Road to Ring of Fire Networking Eabametoong, Neskantaga, Webequie and Marten Falls With Nibinamik, Kingfisher, and Wunnumin Lake Connections Also Feasible — KWG Resources Inc. has posted on its website an all-weather road study that was previously prepared for it by Green Forest Management Inc. The report estimated that an all-weather gravel road starting in the west at the Northern Ontario Resource Trail Road northeast of Pickle Lake, projecting eastward to the Ring of Fire area over a distance of approximately 305 kilometres, would cost between $83.6 million to $99.9 million. Trunk roads from it to connect the First Nations communities of Eabametoong, Neskantaga, Webequie and Marten Falls would cost between $36.1 million and $73.1 million depending on the route alignments selected. The study notes that additional trunk roads to connect Nibinamik, Kingfisher, and Wunnumin Lake are also feasible but required further research for construction budgeting purposes …” – more here (Northern Ontario Business) and here (baytoday.ca).
- … while continuing to have a Chinese company study the proposed railway up to the #RoF – more details on exactly what the rail line study will look at in a KWG company news issued last week here.
Filed under: Uncategorized