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

Ring of Fire News, Week ending 5 Jul 11

The Ring of Fire News blog shares public information in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act, and is not responsible for the accuracy of the original material.  Inclusion of material or sources here should not imply endorsement or otherwise by the Ring of Fire News blog.


  • Remember when KWG’s VP Moe Lavigne became a member of the board of Greenstone’s economic development corporation?  Now, KWG Resources & Greenstone are seeking big federal money for a railroad.  “KWG Resources Inc. is pleased to announce that its subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation, together with Greenstone Economic Development Corporation, have today filed an application with PPP Canada for consideration of funding support of up to $496 million for the construction of a railroad to the Ring of Fire mining discoveries in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario.  On May 4, 2011 PPP Canada launched Round Three call for proposals of the P3 Canada Fund, encouraging provinces, territories, First Nations and municipalities to consider the P3 model for their public infrastructure needs. The P3 Canada Fund is a merit-based program designed to generate an increase in P3 public infrastructure. Eligible projects can receive up to 25% of the direct cost of construction for a P3 project.  Canada Chrome Corporation has undertaken preliminary engineering and construction cost estimates to build a railroad from a junction with the Trans-Canada line of the Canadian National Railway at Exton, Ontario. The project is presently estimated to cost $1.984 billion.  The co-applicants made the submission for themselves and a joint venture anticipated to be formed with the Municipality of Greenstone and a First Nations Regional Economic Development Corporation to be created by the Matawa and Mushkegowuk First Nations ….”  (Source:  company news release, 24 Jun 11)
  • “…. Lakehead University business dean Bahram Dadgostar said there are plenty of countries, including China and India, that are looking to Ontario for its resources, but without the labour pool or proper resources to get it from point A to point B, they’ll go elsewhere.  That goes ditto for companies looking to invest from within the North American market, especially in places like the Ring of Fire and other mining opportunities.  We don’t have a connection to the North, we don’t have those things,” Dadgostar said. “We have to look at what infrastructure is required to attract industry. People around the world are looking for opportunities, but they go where (they can make the most money).”  In other words, companies won’t build railways and roads, he said ….”  (Source:  Tbnewswatch.com, 29 Jun 11)
  • Noront Update (1): Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to report final assay results from the 2010 /11 winter exploration program at the Company’s McFaulds Lake Project in the James Bay lowlands, Ontario …. Noront’s President and CEO, Wes Hanson, states: “The exciting discovery of pervasive nickel mineralization and establishing the geometry of the AT-12 ultramafic dike are very significant events. Preliminary estimates suggest that AT-12 averages 0.30 to 0.35% nickel, comparable to many nickel projects currently being evaluated for economic exploitation. The Company believes AT-12 may be amenable to bulk mining methods, which would significantly increase the life of our Eagle’s Nest advanced development project and could potentially increase that projects throughput rate ….”  (Source:  company news release, 28 Jun 11)
  • Noront Update (2):  “…. On June 17, 2011, the Company staked six mineral claims comprising 32 units on open ground that lies directly to the north of Noront claims 4226694 and 4226662 (and directly south of Fancamp Exploration Limited’s claims 3012257 and 3012258). These two 16-unit claims were formerly claims 4221148 and 4221149 of MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. Another exploration company active in the Ring of Fire has announced that they have staked these claims.  The Company has filed notice with the Mining Recorders Office contesting the validity of the staking by the other company.  Noront also staked another 16-unit mineral claim, further to east. This claim lies directly to the north of Noront’s claim 4226616 and lies on the west shore of McFaulds Lake, and was formerly claim 4212366 of MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd ….”  (Source:  company news release, 28 Jun 11)
  • What Cliffs Natural Resources is telling investors about its Ring of Fire work“…. Cliffs’ Chromite project represents the start of Ferroalloys, a new business for Cliffs – Upon completion, Cliffs will be the only North American chromite mining and processing operation …. Ferrochrome Production Facility: Site location studies on-going anticipated need for 1-2 km site (brownfield preferred) – Power cost and grid stability are key drivers for selection – Canada relies on hydroelectric power which offers clean electric energy with long-term price stability – Power constraints elsewhere are driving up cost curve …. Feasibility study will be completed in 2012, leaving the environmental assessment (EA) and permitting process as the determinants of start-up timing – Investigations of environmental baseline conditions underway – Submitted a “Project Description” in May – First step in EA process – Permits needed for construction and operation may be issued by governmental agencies only after the EA is successfully completed …. Cliffs chromite mine will be world class, positioned in a AAA country and with very low mining costs – Cliffs is working to develop an efficient transportation network and build a state-of-the-art furnace operation to supply world markets with both chromite ore and ferrochrome – Ferrochrome processing is critical to access North American and European markets that don’t have processing capacity – Significant value and access to growth markets will be generated from the chromite ore delivered to Asian customers – With a very large potential resource, Cliffs has the ability to expand its position in the market through time ….” (Source:  Cliffs 2011 Analyst and Investor Day Presentation; full report here, , Ring of Fire development section (PDF) here)
  • Industry Canada’s latest summary of Ontario’s economy includes this on the Ring of Fire“…. Future investment is expected as large chromite deposits are mined in the Ring of Fire area located in the James Bay Lowlands. The Ring of Fire is the only chromite deposit in North America and could be the largest in the world.  Cliffs Natural Resources is currently in the planning process of a project to extract the resource. Capreol, Timmins, Thunder Bay, and Greenstone are potential sites for a smelter related to the chromite project, which would create 500 jobs during construction and 500 jobs during operation ….”  (Source:  Industry Canada’s  Ontario Economic Overview:  June 2011 Update, full report available (PDF) here)
  • A Thunder Bay-area peat business is seeking a piece of the Ring of Fire action.  “Peat Resources Limited has renewed its permits on 19,000 hectares of peatlands in the Upsala area of northwestern Ontario and has received a Letter of Authority from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to carry out surveys and resource evaluations of peatlands in the McFaulds Lake (Ring of Fire) region …. The McFaulds Lake peatlands are of special interest because of their proximity to Ring of Fire mineral exploration activity. Proposals for development of these base metal deposits point to the need for over 50 MW of power at the remote mine sites and up to 300 MW at a ferrochrome processing facility at a location to be determined in northern Ontario. Peat Resources Limited is in discussion with the mining companies, provincial government authorities including the Ring of Fire Secretariat and First Nations of the region. The company is urging consideration of the use of peat fuel to supplement the energy needs of these mining and ore processing developments as well as the introduction of peat-fuelled combined-heat-and-power systems in remote (off-grid) First Nations communities ….”  (Source:  company news release, 5 Jul 11)

Summary of more open source information and sources cited also available here (PDF).

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