Ring of Fire News


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

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

  • Still MORE on those aerial photos taken by enviornmentalists “New Photos Reveal Damage Done by Ring of Fire Mineral Exploration — Exploration is a necessary part of the mining cycle but it is not benign. Lots of people talk about the potential for mining the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario but how many people have an idea of the environmental footprint of ongoing exploration today? ….”
  • Some editorial commentary on environmentalists driving mining decisions “We’ll manage mining, thanks — Southern Ontario environmental groups should lobby more extensively in their own backyard before briefly flying over and criticizing development in ours ….”
  • “Northern mayors lobby for infrastructure funds — The mayor’s of Northern Ontario’s largest cities want a portion of the province’s planned infrastructure investment outside of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area to be used to help pay for projects in their communities …. North Bay was not included in the list of communities where the province plans to hold round-table discussions about how to allocate the $11.5 billion in funding. But McDonald said he will be attending a consultation in Sudbury July 15 …. About $3.5 billion of the dollars intended for projects outside the GTHA has already been earmarked for items like connecting link funding, the Ring of Fire, creating natural gas lines and highway investments ….”
  • “Green Party Leader Elizabeth May confident seat count will grow — Normally on the first weekend of July, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May would be front-and-centre at the opening of the Calgary Stampede. This year she decided to put it off a week and instead stopped by the Thunder Bay Blues Festival on Friday night …. Forestry, minining – the Ring of Fire in particular – First Nations, business and tourism are areas the Green Party plan to focus on going forward, she promised ….”
  • “The shifting sands of federal-provincial relations — It is interesting to follow the shifting social and economic growth patterns across Canada and attempt to deduce from the changes the pattern of causes and effects …. Kathleen Wynne of Ontario and Rachel Notley of Alberta. Both have acted in a bold manner in bringing aboard capable financial and administrative advisors. Ordinarily this would not be unusual were it not for the calibre of the people selected. Wynn has brought in Ed Clark, recently retired CEO of the Toronto Dominion Bank …. Premier Wynn is facing major issues in Ontario from infrastructure rebuilding to re-energizing automobile manufacturing and resource development with North Ontario’s planned ‘Ring of Fire’ project. The advice and experience of Ed Clark will come in handy. ….”
  • Not #RoF, but worth considering “Aboriginal Peoples and Natural Resource Extraction in Canada: A New Paradigm? …. The negotiation of Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) with Aboriginal communities has today become a privileged tool for mining companies seeking greater certainty for what are cost intensive projects. IBAs are private contractual agreements between project proponents and communities. In exchange for their support for a project, Aboriginal peoples are generally offered financial compensations, a say in the design of the project to limit its adverse impacts and, in some cases, shares in the resulting benefits of the project, notably through guaranteed jobs or royalties. IBAs are essentially a form of negotiated consent between Aboriginal peoples and developers, usually in parallel with formal environmental assessment and government consultation processes. These agreements, however, are not without controversy. For some, IBAs are a more or less subtle way to buyout communities and to circumvent (or privatize) the formal approval process associated with the duty to consult ….”

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – July 3, 2015


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


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Update: #RingOfFire (#RoF) News – June 19, 2015

  • A few late adds following yesterday’s post – enjoy!
  • “A major company involved in the Ring of Fire has passed the first step towards moving forward. The Ministry of the Environment confirmed on Friday they had accepted an amended environmental assessment terms of reference submitted by Noront Resources for their proposed Eagle’s Nest mine. The terms of reference is the first step in the environmental assessment process. It serves as a work plan that outlines the studies and consultations the company most conduct to determine whether the mine will have proper protection for environmental and human health. Noront first submitted their terms of reference document to the province in April 2012 for a proposed nickel, platinum and palladium mine within the Ring of Fire. It took more than three years before the province accepted an amended version of the terms of reference ….”moremoreOntario’s Noront Eagle’s Nest Multi-metal Mine EA information page
  • A new face at Noront   Noront Resources Ltd. announced today that Stephen (Steve) Flewelling P.Eng., has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Mining & Projects. Steve is a senior mining executive with more than 30 years of experience in exploration, feasibility planning, project development, construction and operations. He has worked domestically and abroad in a variety of roles and across multiple commodities. “We are extremely pleased to have Steve join our team,” said Alan Coutts, President and CEO Noront Resources. “His depth of knowledge and breadth of experience in project development will be a tremendous asset as we move forward with our Eagle’s Nest Mine and other projects in the Ring of Fire.” ….” – LinkedIn profile


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – June 19, 2015

  • Provinces the key to resource-revenue sharing with First Nations – The Globe and MailSpecific revenue sharing has been shown to generate new wealth while creating business opportunities
  • Sound familiar?  “Ont. premier defends slow progress in Ring of Fire — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is defending the slow progress in developing the Ring of Fire by saying it takes time to get things right ….” – “Ring of Fire development takes time, says Wynne” – “Ring of Fire moving forward, Premier suggests”
  • RoF still ONE provincial infrastructure priority:  “Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Brad Duguid have released the following joint statement …. The priority projects that Ontario has put forward to the federal government, including six highway expansion projects, two GO transit projects, the Maley Drive extension in Sudbury, a number of nominated Small Community Fund projects, and a call for the federal government to match Ontario’s $1 Billion commitment to the Ring of Fire, have not received any response ….”
  • “NAN committed to Ring of Fire , says Grand Chief Yesno — Officials with Nishnawbe Ask Nation says mining and other developments in the Ontario’s far North won’t take place unless First Nations are the decision-makers at the forefront of that development.  “The days are long gone when industry or government can exploit our land and the resources it contains,” NAN Grand Chief Harvey Yesno declared in an address to the Ontario Mining Forum held in Thunder Bay on Wednesday.  As proof that NAN is determined to lead in the Ring of Fire development in the lower James Bay area, Yesno said the identification of key transportation corridors will be based on First Nation knowledge of local topography, sacred sites, cultural heritage and environment and resource development activities ….”
  • More from NAN (PDF)  “NAN is currently developing a strategic and innovative strategy that will position our 49 First Nations as active partners in delivering and financing comprehensive regional transportation infrastructure across our territory in Ontario’s remote north,” said Grand Chief Harvey Yesno during his keynote address to the 5th Annual Ontario Mining Forum in Thunder Bay …. NAN is moving forward with the identification of corridor options based on First Nation knowledge of local topography, sacred sites, cultural heritage, and environment and resource development activities. This new approach will provide certainty for First Nations and the business community.  NAN is also developing a strategy to lead the planning, development, procurement and implementation of a regional transportation infrastructure plan to maximize the social and economic benefits across NAN territory.  NAN is investigating the possibilities of ‘bundling’ for public-private partnership (PPP) financing of multiple transportation development projects to increase funding and financing options from the public and private sector sources. A ‘bundling’ strategy will combine many public infrastructure projects on shared Treaty territories together to maximize potential funding solutions by combining and coordinating several public infrastructure projects together to access new and more significant sources of financing ….”
  • Federal Liberals:  Easier for China to buy companies = better for RoF?  “The Liberal Party would open more of Canada’s economy to Chinese investment and ease restrictions on the sale of oil companies if it wins the fall election.  Developing Canada’s natural resources will require massive foreign investment and the federal government should do everything it can to foster ties with potential international partners, Liberal members of Parliament Scott Brison and Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday at Bloomberg’s Ottawa office …. Poor global ties have hurt TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline as well as domestic projects including Quebec’s Plan Nord and Ontario’s Ring of Fire, Brison said.  “I honestly believe Mulroney would have been able to get Keystone XL approved with Reagan or Bush, and Chretien would have got it done with Clinton,” Brison said, referring to past Canadian and U.S. leaders ….” – more Chinese-RoF links from late last year here
  • “MacDonald Mines Sells Its Hornby Property — MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. announces that effective June 5, 2015, it entered into a Mineral Property Acquisition Agreement with KWG Resources Inc (“KWG”) to sell the mineral claims known as the Hornby Property, located 80 kilometres southeast of Webequie Ontario. The Hornby Property is comprised of five claims totaling about 15.7 square kilometres and is adjacent to the Big Daddy Chromite Discovery ….”


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