Ring of Fire News


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

Ring of Fire News – 23 Jan 12

  • More on Cliffs project cost estimates (including a judicious almost-no-comment from Northern Development Minister Rick Bartolucci, and a “no, we haven’t settled on smelter site yet” from the company)  Cliffs Natural Resources is looking to spend close to $3 billion to get its chromite project in Northern Ontario into production, with $1.8 billion of that going to build a ferrochrome processing plant, the company said this week. Cleveland-based Cliffs released its 2012 capital expenditure plan Thursday. The company said it will spend $150 million to develop the Black Thor mine site, one of three sites it controls in the Ring of Fire, and $800 million to construct a near-mine concentrating plant. Not included in those estimates is $600 million to build an all-weather road it says will benefit remote northern communities and other Ring of Fire mining projects. Because of that, Cliffs says it will be looking to private and “government entities” to share the cost of the road …. Cliffs spokeswoman Patricia Persico wouldn’t say if Cliffs is showing a preference for a location for the chromite processing plant. “Cliffs understands there are many interested stakeholders following this project,” said Persico in an e-mail Friday afternoon. “We have not made a decision about the location of the ferrochrome processing facility, nor do we have a target date to share,” she said. “Cliffs is still assessing and evaluating a number of alternative locations to select a preferred site to locate and develop the prospective ferrochrome production facility.” …. Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci was appointed Northern Development and Mines minister after last fall’s provincial election. Bartolucci said Friday he can’t speak for Cliffs, “nor can we speculate as to what the company might request in terms of support from various levels of government. “Cliffs is best positioned to speak to its own financial matters and business plans. It is premature to comment on what, if any, investment/ support might be negotiated between the province and the company. “Any discussion of this nature would occur directly with the company,” said Bartolucci ….”  Sourcemore (company news release & highlights) – moremoremore
  • Greenstone’s mayor getting antsy about where the smelter will be going?  “Greenstone Mayor Renald Beaulieu says the time for talk has past. Beaulieu, in Thunder Bay for a presentation on economic development success in Northern Quebec and how it might transfer to Ontario, on Wednesday said endless consultation has really gotten the province nowhere. Anxious to learn whether or not his community will see direct benefits from a planned ferrochrome processing facility tied to the lucrative Ring of Fire development, Beaulieu said it’s time for action now. “It’s real jobs that we want to see, so I think the province will have to step up to the plate on this development,” said Beaulieu, referring specifically to the (ferrochrome processing facility) FPF that seems destined for the Sudbury area, based on the company labeling the Nickel City as its base case scenario. “I think that missing link is there right now. I find we need more involvement from the province in our area, for example, with the electricity piece. That’s so important. Greenstone has put the Greenstone plan in place and we’ve got a lot of support behind it, but we’re not hearing much.” …. “I don’t want to lose (sight of) the fact that our First Nations deserve to get a lot of the services that are in the area. And that’s a missing link too,” he said, adding finding an energy solution for the remote communities has been talked about for decades. “I was mayor in Longlac from 1982 to 1994, and I call tell you being mayor of Greenstone, 25 to 30 years later, the electricity piece is still a problem. What are we waiting for? Let’s get something if we want to help Northwestern Ontario.” ….”  Source
  • Fednor Minister:  Hey, you’ll have to talk to Queen’s Park about forcing companies to process chromite in Ontario.  “As the federal minister for Northern Economic Development, Tony Clement says he would like to see processing of minerals from the Ring of Fire done in Northern Ontario. However, Clement says it is up to the provincial government to make that happen. Officials with Cliffs Natural Resources, a Cleveland-based company looking to develop a chromite mine within the James Bay lowlands, have publicly expressed interest in doing some of the processing in Asia. “We’d like to see more of the processing here but one of the major impediments are energy costs,” Clement said during a stopover in Timmins on Monday. “That’s Mr. (Dalton) McGuinty’s bailiwick. He’s got to do his job as premier of this province to get energy costs more in line.” ….”  Source
  • Noront Resources holds open houses in Neskantaga and Eabametoong (Fort Hope) last week, according to the company’s Twitter feed.  Sourcemore
  • More inter-company mining property wrangling (1)  UC Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that it received final approval on the sale of its interest in the McFaulds Lake area property from the TSX Venture Exchange on January 4, 2012 and closed the sale on January 6, 2012. In its letter to UC, the TSX Venture Exchange further advised that a bulletin will be issued upon notification from the Company of the closing of the transaction on January 6, 2012. On November 10, 2011, UC Resources announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement with Freewest Resources Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., for Freewest to acquire 100% of the UC owned 55% Joint Venture Interest in the McFaulds Lake area property, subject to and in accordance with the Joint Venture Agreement dated as of July 26, 2011 between KWG Resources Inc., Cliffs Chromite Far North Inc. (f/k/a Spider Resources Inc.), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cliffs, and UC Resources ….”  Source
  • More inter-company mining property wrangling (2)  “Murgor Resources Inc. announced today that it has acquired the remaining 50% interest in the Pusticamica Gold-Copper deposit in northwestern Quebec from Cliffs Chromite Ontario Inc. In an agreement signed on January 13, 2012, Murgor acquired the interest through a one-time cash payment of $50,000. Cliffs Chromite retains a 1% NSR royalty on the property of which Murgor can buy back a 0.5% NSR by paying $500,000 to Cliffs Chromite. The Pusticamica Deposit is located at the core of the Benoit property, approximately halfway between the Val D’Or and the Chibougamau mining districts, one kilometre SE of the town of Miquelon in northwestern Québec. Following this agreement, Murgor now owns a 100% interest in the Benoit Property and the Pusticamica Gold-Copper deposit. “The Benoit Property has been in Murgor’s portfolio since 1995 but the split ownership has long been an issue to advance the project,” said André Tessier, President and CEO of Murgor Resources …. ”  Source
  • Melkior Resources Inc. has complete assays for base metals from samples submitted from its 2011 drill program on its wholly owned McFaulds East Rim property in northern Ontario. Eight holes totalling 1768.8 metres were drilled to test a series of electromagnetic and magnetic anomalies, which were accessible during the summer months. The eight holes were widely spaced ranging from 3 km up to 12 km apart …. these eight holes provided important information on geology, especially on lithological units (which are hidden by at least ~ 30 metres of Paleozoic rocks) and geochemistry which could be used for future drill programs …. All drill core from the 2011 drill program at McFaulds was logged, split and sampled at Billiken McFaulds camp …. The East Rim property comprises 101 claims totalling 192 square kilometres, located in the Ring of Fire, McFaulds, James Bay Lowlands in northern Ontario. It covers a large gravity anomaly similar to the anomaly coincident with the nearby nickel and chromite deposits …. “  Source
  •   Calls for more resources (and more input into the process) for First Nations to do environmental assessments.  “Anishinabek Nation Southwest Regional Chief Chris Plain says that First Nations are being burdened by environmental assessments and communities are not able to participate in all consultations regarding aboriginal and Treaty rights with Ontario or the federal government. “The benefit of undertaking an environmental assessment is that environmental effects may be identified, minimized, mitigated or avoided,”” says Regional Chief Plain. “”Each federal and provincial governing body has its own requirement and process.”” But Chief Plain says that First Nations often do not have the resources or technical staff to comment on proposed projects’ environmental impacts. The consultation process is inadequate and fails to meaningfully consider many values of importance to First Nations. Effective consultation should mean more than how many First Nations are consulted by the Crown or project proponents. “First Nations in the present environmental assessment process are mere stakeholders,” says the Regional Chief. “They have no power or authority over the design of the process or the ultimate decision. First Nations should be directly involved as it is their traditional territory that is being impacted by the decision-making of others.” ….”  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-21 Jan 12 (PDF) here.  All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act.  We’re not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.


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