Ring of Fire News


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

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

  • “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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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – October 17, 2016


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – October 9, 2016


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – September 28, 2016


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – September 9, 2016

  • 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 bioGoogle 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”


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – August 28, 2016


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” ‘Cease and desist,’ Neskantaga First Nation tells Ring of Fire mining company”

This, from CBC.ca:

“The chief of a northern Ontario First Nation says he was offended and troubled earlier this month by a notice that a mining company was set to begin drilling on the community’s traditional lands.

Neskantaga Chief Wayne Moonias responded to the the notice from Noront Resources with a letter telling the company it must “cease and desist” because it does not have consent from the First Nation to drill.

The drilling program is planned to begin by the end of August in an area known as the Ring of Fire in Ontario’s James Bay Lowlands.

“It’s offensive on our end to receive a notice that’s basically telling us ‘by the way we’re going to be drilling,'” Moonias said. “They haven’t asked us for our consent, they haven’t engaged with us in a way we expect, so it is very troubling.”

Noront is “reaching out” to Neskantaga, according to president Al Coutts, but there is no plan to delay the drilling.

Geophysical work done earlier this year revealed “interesting responses,” Coutts said and the company wants to conduct diamond drilling to confirm what could be a promising nickel-copper-platinum discovery.

“Not all of the [First Nations] communities [in the area] are aligned and see eye-to-eye on things,” Coutts said. “What we’ve done is work closely with Marten Falls and Webequie and we recently had a group of elders from both of those communities visit the site and get comfortable with what we’re doing.” …”

More, from netnewsledger.com:

“… On September 7, 2012, Marten Falls entered into a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Canada and the Province of Ontario (MNDM, MNR) outlining the collaborative development of the ‘Ring of Fire.

According to Section 1.e. of this MOU:  Assessment of community needs with respect to social, community and economic development supports, education and skills training, and health supports, including treatment for prescription drug abuse

In an attempt to be proactive and work within this MOU, Marten Falls began the construction of a Training Centre to offer skills and training for future employment in the Ring of Fire, and employment of community members to construct four homes designed to showcase as a solution to the current housing crisis that overshadows most First Nation Communities.

These projects remain incomplete or near completion, two years later as a result of various delays from the government and is questionable to the intent of the MOU …”

A bit of commentary at the Agoracom Noront forums here.


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – August 17, 2016


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – August 9, 2016

  • Hope continues to spring eternal … Noront expects Ring of Fire road funding announcement soon — With a funding announcement for a permanent Ring of Fire road expected shortly, Toronto-based Noront Resources is enlarging its land package in the James Bay camp and is devising a multiple mine development plan … “
  • … as Ontario’s Premier fans out across the north “Premier Kathleen Wynne will visit schools, hospitals, businesses, Indigenous communities and other groups across Northern Ontario from August 6 to 12 to listen to local ideas and highlight how the government is supporting economic growth and job creation in the North …”
  • More on the Noront front “Noront buys ‘small, but strategic’ Ring of Fire claim — Mining company Noront has made what it’s calling a small, but strategic, acquisition in the Ring of Fire.  Noront bought out the majority of MacDonald Mines properties in the James Bay Lowlands mineral deposit.  The company says it now controls 75 per cent of the staked claims in the region.  The government is studying a plan for a road to the proposed mine and First Nations in the area …”Canadian Mining JournalNoront company statementMacDonald Mines company statement
  • One analyst’s take from last week … “What’s Noront Resources Ltd Downside After Today’s (3 Aug) Huge Decline?”
  • … and today  “The stock of Noront Resources Ltd gapped up by $0.03 today and has $1.25 target or 191.00% above today’s $0.43 share price …”
  • Meanwhile, KWG draws the eye a bit – on YouTube, anyway “You know how sometimes you see something and it leaves you scratching your head, so you go back (in the case of a video you found on the Internet, let’s say) and watch it again, just to make sure you weren’t hallucinating?  com came across just that sort of thing …  Junior miner KWG Resources is selling the Ring of Fire deposit in northwestern Ontario, of which it has several claims in the still-undeveloped chromite hotspot, using girls in bikinis. Yes, girls in bikinis selling a mining development …”here’s the video in question from KWG’s YouTube channel, as well as more from Resource Clips , Canadian Mining Journal and some discussion over at an Agoracom online forum
  • In other, less controversial KWG news … KWG Files Notice of Sale From Control of Debut Diamonds –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 …”
  • Not strictly #RoF, but of note, some analysis from TVO’s Steve Paikin about his read of the mood in bits of northern Ontario: “… one does wonder whether northern Ontario is going through its own version of America’s Tea Party, or Trumpism, or the United Kingdom’s Brexit. Too many people have lost faith in the established institutions and simply want something else. Premier Wynne will be heading to Kenora soon, where she’ll find some of her citizens who want to join Manitoba. They already live and play in Manitoba’s time zone, are so much closer to Winnipeg than Toronto, and feel ever so distant from Ontario’s decision-makers. And others in the north want to separate from the rest of Ontario altogether, creating their own province. Ironically, with the price of what’s in the ground fetching not nearly the high prices they once did, many observers would say this is a particularly foolish time, economically speaking, for the north to separate. But as we saw with the Brexit debate and are seeing with Donald Trump’s ascendancy, these decisions are often not made for logical reasons. They’re emotional. They’re experienced at a gut level …”


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

  • Mo’ movement on the big rail study “KWG Resources has signed on CANARAIL Consultants to conduct a rail feasibility study for the Ring of Fire and for its development partners, China Railway First Survey & Design Institute.  Quebec-based CANARAIL provides consulting and engineering services for mining and freight railways, and has worked on projects on every major continent.  According to KWG, it worked on a feasibility study for a mining railway in northern Quebec under Plan Nord, and has refurbished rail cars in the Rocky Mountaineer fleet …” – more in a company news release here
  • Meanwhile, some governance adventures for KWG … “The shareholders of KWG Resources Inc. have held their Annual and Special General Meeting voting resoundingly in favour of the re-election of the Company’s incumbent Board of Directors but then, very ambiguously, not supporting that same management’s principle initiative …”
  • … with a rescheduled meeting … “KWG announces that the Annual and Special General Meeting of its shareholders which was adjourned last Thursday, July 21st, 2016, will reconvene at the same venue: Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Suite 3800, Royal Bank Plaza, South Tower, 200 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2Z4 at 11:00 o’clock Thursday morning, August 18th, 2016 …”
  • … and a rebuttal to something shared elsewhere online (from the same release linked above): “…Claims published by the blogger ‘Goodheart-r’ (Ed: surely not this???) to the effect that KWG is in possession of material information that has not been timely disclosed, have no basis in fact.  To facilitate a comprehensive reconnaissance due diligence visit by eight professional railroad engineers employed by China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group Company, Ltd. in late April, KWG engaged the services of five individual professional translators who each were retained to accompany the group separately in various parts of the trip. One of these was able to provide translation services for us for meetings in Toronto, North Bay and Montreal because her spouse was available to drive her to these locations so as to be able to connect with the group upon their arrival. While she has maintained the confidentiality of these engagements, he has not and it appears his motives were in fact to try to obtain inside information with which to enhance his stature and currency in his social media circles. However, the suggestions he has published about what KWG and FSDI have agreed to are untrue and a source of regret and embarrassment for KWG and its management …” – you can read Goodheart-r’s response to KWG’s statement here
  • More from this “Goodheart-r” on Chinese involvement in the #RingOfFire  – (based on the above, of course, caveat lector) … “The Chinese want the chromite, they also want the kwg reduction patent ( they have already tweaked it to even greater savings). They want this so much they are willing to pay for and build a railroad of 2 billion dollars and take a very generous payback time of around 75 years. The Chinese ambassador to Canada told the fsdi representatives to be very careful until one: The indian native problem is solved and two: an off-take agreement is secured. These have to happen before the Chinese guarantee the funding for the rail. The Chinese said they would be ready to announce funding by end of November. This means the Native Canadians, the two Canadian governments and any mining companies MUST come to an accord before the end of November, or after, only as long as the Chinese are willing to wait. Cliffs tried it their way and waited only so long as all parties found out. The Chinese patience is finite also …” – more here
  • Speaking of the Chinese, remember Noront’s partnership with China’s Baosteel from 2011 (last bullet)?  One wonders how long Baosteel’ll have the resources to keep playing in the #RingOfFire as it faces a possible shotgun wedding with a big money loser. “It may be the Chinese government’s idea of creative destruction. Beijing appears to be on the brink of forcing the most modern and competitive Chinese steelmaker, which is itself struggling amid a global steel glut, to rescue a loss making and heavily indebted rival in what some securities and credit analysts see as potentially a marriage made in hell.  Listed units of Baosteel Group, the second-largest Chinese steelmaker, and Wuhan Iron and Steel Group, the sixth largest, said in separate stock exchange announcements on June 26 that they are planning on restructuring together …”
  • In other Noront news, management seems to be trading shares for salary“Noront Resources Ltd. announces the Company’s Board of Directors has granted the option to acquire an aggregate of 416,253 common shares to senior management as compensation for voluntary pay reductions. The options are exercisable into common shares at an exercise price of $0.31 per common share, the closing market price on the date of grant (July 5, 2016) for a period of five years …”
  • … as it continues to pay off loans  “Noront Resources Ltd. announces that payment of interest in the amount of $388,050 for the second quarter of 2016 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 1,307,308 common shares of the Company at an effective price of $0.2968 per Interest Share …”
  • A northern Ontario Conservative MPP continues to press for Ontario Northland #RoF involvement (and lower hydro prices)  “Nipissing MPP, Vic Fedeli sees the Ontario Northland Railway as having a huge role to play in the Ring of Fire, the massive planned chromite mining and smelting development project in the mineral-rich James Bay Lowlands. He says he hasn’t given up on the Ring of Fire and still believes it is an untaped wealth and the key to Ontario’s future success …”


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