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

Ring of Fire News – 11 Oct 11

  • Newly-elected North Bay Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli says he to organize “a trade mission involving local mining firms to the ring of fire chromite deposit near James Bay”  Source
  • “…. Denis Shank, Executive Director of the Sudbury Construction Association and Harold Lindstrom manager of the Construction Association of Thunder Bay are each responsible for areas larger than Southern Ontario …. Both Shank and Lindstrom said it’s important that the smelter processing of ore chromite deposits in northwestern Ontario (also known as the Ring of Fire) stays in the province instead of going to Manitoba, Quebec or overseas. “The government has committed to give that the go-ahead, depending on the party who’s going to be in power, we’ll see whether that happens or not,” said Lindstrom. Thomas said there needs to be a strong economic policy that recognizes both job growth and deficit reduction. “Everybody has to step up. I think that it’s clear that not any single form of medicine any longer is the answer, it’s going to have to be a broad approach,” he said. “People have to be careful because we don’t want to choke off what we’ve already got in front of us, but certainly finding a way to maintain and continue economic steady growth is important and reduces some of the fluctuations.” “  Source
  • Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. today announced it intends to release unaudited 2011 third-quarter financial results after the U.S.-market close Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. The Company invites interested parties to listen to a live broadcast of a conference call with institutional analysts and investors to discuss the results ….”  Source
  • Mineral exploration company says it’ll defy Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) eviction order. “God’s Lake Resources intends to defy an eviction notice from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (KI) but the First Nation is not backing down. The company claims multiple requests to identify cultural sites have been unanswered by the First Nation, who declared 13,000 square kilometres in its community’s watershed off-limits to development by referendum until it completes its own assessment. Ontario has not acknowledged KI’s declaration and God’s Lake Resources intends to push on with its provincially-issued licence to explore. “Consultation protocols adopted in the referendum make outrageous demands of any mining company wishing to explore on their traditional homeland,” God’s Lake said in a release. “It can be interpreted as being a deterrent for any exploration or development and is a combination of religion, rhetoric, bureaucracy and some business and is not a workable document in today’s modern business world.” The company insisted it is operating under Ontario law and the First Nation is overstepping its legal boundaries. “The obligation to consult has been interpreted by many First Nation communities to mean ‘obtain their permission.’ Under the new Mining Act, claimholders in Ontario do not require permission from First Nations — rather they are required to consult with First Nations.” According to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, the company is “entitled to access those properties under Ontario’s Mining Act.” In a Sept. 28 letter the ministry addressed to KI Chief Donny Morris, it rejected KI’s claims the company may be disturbing the graves of ancestors, stating to its knowledge, God’s Lake Resources has not engaged in any activities “likely to disturb any spiritually or culturally significant sites.” ….” Source more more (company news release)
  • Meanwhile, the First Nation is “…. calling on Ontario to honour a promise made by the McGuinty government in 2008 and create a joint panel to resolve longstanding issues regarding mining exploration on their homelands. “In 2008, just before we were jailed, Ontario promised us a joint panel to resolve our outstanding issues with mining companies. We are still waiting for them to honour that promise” said KI Chief Donny Morris. Minister Michael Gravelle has been reported as saying that he has accepted an invitation to visit the community and discuss matters, but he has made no clear commitment to the promised joint panel, he may no longer be Minister following the election, and the Ontario government has yet to ensure that our sacred burials will not be further disturbed. “In 2008, the joint panel Ontario promised was never created, we went to jail, no discussions took place following our release by the Court of Appeal and now we find ourselves in the same situation with Gods Lake Resources threatening a sacred area and Ontario nowhere to be seen,” stated Chief Morris ….”  Source
  • From open letter from KI to Minister Gravelle dated January 2008, published on First Nation blog March 2008:  “…. Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug will suspend our occupation of the disputed area for the duration of this agreement. In return, Ontario will agree to a moratorium on exploration and mining in the disputed area …. During the moratorium a Joint Panel will investigate issues relating to mineral exploration and mining within our traditional territory. The panel will make recommendations to Ontario and KI concerning the future of the moratorium, the reform of Ontario’s Mining Act in order to prevent similar conflicts in the future, and other related issues.  The Joint Panel will be comprised of 5 members: one appointed by AAFN, one by KI, and two appointed by Ontario, one of whom would be appointed by yourself and the other appointed by the office of the Premier. A Chairperson would be the 5th member of the panel. The Chair would be chosen on the basis of his/her qualifications to address technical, environmental and socio-economic issues, as well as the rights, perspectives and concerns of First Nations ….”  Source
  • From an April 2008 First Nation statement:  “…. Both KI and Ardoch remain committed to the proposal which we made in January for a Joint Panel to examine the causes of these disputes and make recommendations for preventing similar disputes in the future. Although Mr. Bryant has not yet responded to the proposal, both communities have told him that we are still prepared to work with Ontario to set up the Joint Panel, as soon as all of the prisoners are released from jail and a moratorium on mining and exploration in the disputed territories is implemented ….”  Source
  • Another version of events, from June 2008 article:  “…. A possible way forward was spelled out a few months ago in a joint proposal from the KI and Ardoch Algonquin First Nations that called for a moratorium on mining exploration pending the recommendations of a joint panel to be set up with representatives from the government and the two communities. That would lead to negotiation of an interim measures agreement that would provide for land withdrawals and joint decision-making on resource extraction. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant agreed to a joint panel with KI, but refused to include the Ardoch Algonquins in the deal – which meant that KI refused to be part of it. Michael Gravelle, minister of Northern Development and Mines, has refused to heed calls for a moratorium while new rules are worked out ….”  Source (archived article also downloadable as PDF here) – more

Summary of more open source information and sources cited over the past six months (1 – 11 Oct 11) also downloadable here (5 page 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.

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