Ring of Fire News


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

Ring of Fire News – 26 Sept 11

  • 23 Sept 11 Northern Ontario leaders’ debate:  Two leaders (Conservative, NDP), no Premier, lotsa talk about resources and infrastructure.  You can watch the hour-long debate here via netnewsledger.com, and read the Ring of Fire highlights here.
  • Some critiques of the NDP’s “mine it here?  refine it here, then” policy.  “…. Livio Di Matteo, an economics professor at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, said there’s a risk attached to such an amendment. Companies decide to “process or to add value to the extracted minerals” based on factors such as the price of processing and transportation costs, he said. “It’s the cost of energy that’s a major ingredient into the value-added processing. Given the cost of energy right now in Ontario, decreeing that firms must process within Ontario could saddle them with a lot higher costs,” unless certain incentives were given, Di Matteo said. Some companies might have preferred to send materials to other provinces or countries where energy costs are cheaper, so “you might end up with some firms simply deciding not to invest in further mining activity because of that. That’s a potential outcome,” Di Matteo said. “If a firm was going to invest in the mining sector already, then having such legislation might create a few more jobs than otherwise might have been the case, but it comes with the risk, of course, of killing off the industry also or aspects of it in terms of value-added processing. You can’t really predict up front which way it’s going to go.” Walid Hejazi, a professor of international competitiveness at the Rotman School of Management, said he agrees with a push for high-value processing in Ontario, “but the means to get there, I think the NDP got it all wrong.” Telling companies they can’t process materials in places that are more efficient and cost-effective would only make the province less attractive to investors, he said. “It would be counterproductive to mandate the companies do it here. If they want to create incentives for that, that’s fine,” Hejazi said. “If we were to somehow create an environment where the stuff can be processed here as efficiently as elsewhere, then we wouldn’t need that regulation or the change to the Mining Act because if it was most efficient to do it here, companies would do it anyway.” ….”  Source
  • Laurentian University prof:  business’ll build the road, so government should build the railway?  “…. Jean-Charles Cachon, a commerce and administration professor at Laurentian University, said …. one big infrastructure project the province could take on right now and make a big difference is a rail line linking the remote, yet-to-be developed Ring of Fire area in northwestern Ontario to an existing community. “The industry can pay for a road: it’s not the big problem,” said the professor. “But the expensive part will be the railway. There will be a significant need for one to move ore out as far as the Ring of Fire is concerned. It’s a necessity. It’s a question of how fast can it be done? The world demand for metals will be increasing, led by China, over the next 10 years. This is a long-term concern that needs to be addressed now.”….”  Source
  • Sudbury officials are twisting Cliffs Natural Resources arms in Cleveland tomorrow, trying to get a ferrochrome smelter built in northeastern Ontario.  “Council will focus on the city’s competitive advantages as a global mining centre when it meets with Cliffs Natural Resources Sept. 26. The meeting is meant to continue deliberations on why Greater Sudbury is the best place to locate the proposed ferrochrome production facility, according to a press release. The project is still in its preliminary stages. Cliffs is one of the most significant mining and natural resources companies in North America, according to the press release. In 2010, the company acquired the largest-known chromite deposit in North America, located in northern Ontario. Earlier this year, Cliffs evaluated numerous locations and announced the Sudbury location, Moose Mountain, north of Capreol, as the benchmark site. Over the past year, city officials have been meeting with decision-makers from all major companies involved in the Ring of Fire development, including the provincial government. A report has been drafted to show Cliffs the benefits in bringing this important project to the Greater Sudbury area. “Cliffs is looking at places to establish its smelting operation,” Mayor Marianne Matichuk said in a press release. “To me, there is only one place; here in Greater Sudbury. If Cliffs decides to build in Ontario, we want Greater Sudbury to be the only choice for them.” ….”  Source
  • Meanwhile, Sudbury’s Green candidate says “I’m not convinced a smelter’ll work here yet”.  Green Party Sudbury candidate Pat Rogerson does not want to see a chromite refining plant in Sudbury. Rogerson was at The (Sudbury) Star building Wednesday afternoon for an electronic town hall, where she fielded questions from readers …. “We’re talking about an open pit mine, which is extremely costly to the environment, and chromium mining and smelting both leave residue in the environment that would have to be cleaned,” she said. “The chromium market is already extremely volatile. In the past 10 years, the price of chromium has fluctuated by as much as 80%, and there are several places in he world already producing it, so it’s not scarce. “Unless these problems are addressed, and the risk assessment done, I would have to say that presently, with the information I have, financially it’s not a feasible project.” ….”  Source more
  • A few more details out on how to bring more electricity to Greenstone to clinch getting a ferrochrome smelter built there instead of Sudbury.  “…. Larry Doran, president and CEO of Imperium Energy, said it is feasible to supply Exton with the required energy, which would not only allow Greenstone to be home to the refinery, but benefit the entire region. “It’s both economically and sustainably positive and possible to provide the required power to build the refinery at Exton on the schedule that Cliff Natural Resources has requested,” Doran said. We’ve also found that it provides a base for a much better opening of the grid system in Northwestern Ontario for a variety of reasons.” Doran examined several options for supplying Exton with adequate electricity, including constructing a gas plant in Exton or Geraldton, connecting Nipigon to Exton through a transmission line, or what he is calling the Northwest Kick-Start. The Northwest Kick-Start option involves a V-shaped grid connecting Nipigon to Dryden or Ignace through Greenstone. Doran said it would create social and economic transformation in the region by providing service to a wide range of existing needs and the grid would be strengthened. “It is the best option, because it meets the timeline with certainty,” he said. “That certainty is very important to the business. “It also sets the stage for growth later,” said Doran ….”  Source (PDF of news release also available here) – more more more
  • Thunder Bay insurance, security, investment and accounting firms are joining forces to create a “one stop shop” for mining companies looking for all these services for the Ring of Fire.  “A new partnership aims to provide comprehensive business protection and risk management services to business clients across Northwestern Ontario, especially those involved with the Ring of Fire. Called LYNX, the group consists of Thunder Bay Insurance, Focused WealthCare, Buset & Partners and Safety Net Security .…”  Source (PDF of clipping, Chronicle-Journal, 21 Sept 11)

Summary of more open source information and sources cited (1-24 Sept 11) also available here (PDF).  All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act.  We’re not responsible for accuracy of original material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.


Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: