Ring of Fire News


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

Ring of Fire News, 11 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.

  • Ontario’s mines minister Michael Gravelle following a transportation corridor conference:  there’s only going to be one transportation corridor into the Ring of Fire.  “…. “It was a very positive, amicable session, but (the companies) do have some differences. What came out of that was they recognize they have to come together on this as well. Certainly they will be crucial on making that decision …. There clearly is an understanding by all three companies despite their different visions that there needs to be one vision for the transportation corridor, so I am optimistic that we will be coming to a decision on that as soon as we can …. We heard the companies this morning talk about potentially if all things move forward in a positive way to begin construction of some sort by 2013 …. that is their ambitious timeline.”  (Source: Wawatay News, 7 Jul 11)
  • Northeastern Ontario municipalities and the Ontario Mining Association say it’s time for Ontario to share mining tax revenues.  “Northern municipalities want an equitable share of the rich mining tax revenue currently collected by the provincial government. The Province has collected over half a billion dollars in Ontario Mining Tax revenue over the past 5 years.  Alan Spacek, President of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) stated, “Northern Ontario is a vast storehouse of mineral wealth. In recent years, Northern Ontario has returned record levels of revenue to the provincial government. Northern Ontario is once again a major economic contributor.” Tom Laughren, Vice President of FONOM and Mayor of Timmins noted, “Unfortunately for Northern municipalities, much of the wealth generated by mining leaves the region in the form of corporate profits, Federal and Provincial corporate income tax, and resource specific taxes or fees such as the Ontario Mining Tax. This has created significant hardship for all Northerners. We are
    facing increasing cost pressures related to the provision of vital local services and an additional source of revenue would be of great benefit to our people.” One glimmer of hope is in the form of a key recommendation contained in the Ontario Mining Association’s (OMA) March, 2011 report Action Plan for Ontario: Taking Advantage of a Critical Window on Opportunity. Chris Hodgson, President of the OMA stated “The OMA would also like to see local municipal and First Nation communities have a greater share in the benefits of mining through the existing levels of mining tax.” President Spacek agrees. “We support entering into respectful discussions between municipalities, First Nations and the Provincial Government, culminating in the sharing of Ontario Mining Tax revenues with municipalities and First Nations.” ….”
    (Source: FONOM news release, 5 Jul 11)
  • A branch of KWG’s now official a railway company.  “KWG Resources Inc. subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation received formal acknowledgement from the Registrar of Shortline Railways of receipt of its application for a licence to construct and operate a shortline railway under Ontario’s Shortline Railways Act, legislation which governs provincial railways in Ontario. “This is one small step in a long journey”, said Canada Chrome Vice-President Bruce Hodgman, “but it is a seminal one and we look forward to working with Ontario and its railway regulators on moving forward our proposed Ring of Fire Railroad”.” (Source: company news release, 7 Jul 11)
  • Another branch of KWG’s going over all the claims staked for a railway corridor to the Ring of Fire, looking for more mineral potential information.  “…. Debut to (joint venture) with KWG to analyze Canada Chrome till samples – KWG agreed to provide access to the valuable geotechnical database covering a 330 kilometer north-south transect through the base-metal-rich and diamond-bearing area from the Ring of Fire to Nakina.  The database was created as a result of a mechanized-auger soil sampling program conducted by Golder Associates that collected nearly 6000 soil samples from 811 borings on claims staked by KWG subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation. Debut will process the glacial till horizons at its cost under a reciprocal joint venture agreement, to recover heavy and indicator minerals. Diamond discoveries following from the analysis of these samples will be the property of Debut while metal discoveries resulting from the work will be the property of KWG.  The analysis is expected to be completed in the next number of months at a budget of $1 million ….” (Source:  company news release, 6 Jul 11)
  • More data for Noront’s plan for a more detailed mine plan.  “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to report initial metallurgical results for the Eagle’s Nest deposit, part of the Company’s McFaulds Lake Project in the James Bay Lowlands, Ontario. During the 2010 drill program, a series of holes were drilled into the Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper and PGM deposit in order to obtain samples for metallurgical testwork …. Mr. Paul Semple, P.Eng and Noront’s Chief Operating Officer noted “These positive results confirm the metallurgical assumptions made during the NI 43-101 Preliminary Assessment report and the metallurgical characteristics are similar to most other Canadian nickel copper deposits. Further testwork will focus on finalizing equipment sizes and the optimization of grade/recovery relationships based on further discussions with interested smelters.” “ (Source: company news release, 7 Jul 11)
  • Some highlights from a Noront “Corporate Presentation” publicly available online:  Out of total 2012 budget of $17.6 million, approximately 6% ($1,056,000) is earmarked for “First Nations Consultation.”  Current estimates show “site start up commissioning” for 2016.  Company aims to work with First Nations to “Work cooperatively with the local First Nation communities to develop a regional land use plan that benefits all stakeholders and recognizes the environmental sensitivity of the James Bay Lowlands.”  Latest estimated transport infrastructure costs: Pickle Lake to Webequie, 200 kms, $180 M; Webequie to site, 95 kms, $15M. (Noront Corporate Presentation dated 23 Jul 11 – 13.4MB PDF – downloadable here)
  • A consultant says its time for First Nations to develop and share their own “how to develop in our area” procedures.  “…. Michael Fox, president of Fox High Impact Consulting, called for a First Nations position paper from the Ring of Fire communities during his June 23 presentation at the conference. “The best thing I think is to actually have all the communities here affected by the Ring of Fire come up with their own community position paper and share their lands and resource policies or their consultation protocols so we can find that common denominator so we can actually do planning with the communities as required under the Far North Act,” Fox said …. Gravelle envisions the Ring of Fire mineral development area evolving on the same regional scale as some of Ontario’s other historic mineral deposits in Red Lake, Kirkland Lake, Timmins and Sudbury.” (Source: Wawatay News, 7 Jul 11)
  • An environmental group is helping some First Nations develop watershed plans, and is eying some watersheds in or around the Ring of Fire.  “…. Wildlands League will be collaborating with communities and tribal councils in the Far North of Ontario, who live on or near four (4) major rivers over the next two (2) years to advance watershed planning. The four major rivers, the Albany, Winisk, Attawapiskat and the Severn watersheds are four (4) of only 12 left in North America south of 55 degrees that remain undammed and unregulated (although there is a diversion on the Albany River near its headwaters upstream) thus making them ecologically significant. The Ekwan is another river community members have expressed concerns about too. This project will support tribal councils and indigenous communities, who are often most impacted by water quality and water quantity changes, “to develop culturally-appropriate, community-based approaches to watershed stewardship,” including “advancing mutually-supported river-system goals.” …. Exploration continues in places like the Ring of Fire, which is considered by some to hold one of the world’s largest chromite deposits in the lowlands of Hudson’s Bay. It is expected that the activities in the Ring of Fire will have a direct impact on at least three (3) of the major rivers including the streams, creeks, rivers and tributaries in the Ogoki, Kapiskau and the Ekwan watershed catchment areas. While a coalition of environmental organizations has called on the federal government to set up a joint-review panel to ensure that mining development is monitored closely and that these activities adhere to environmental standards, the silence has been deafening thus far…. ” (Source: blog post, 7 Jul 11)

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


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