Ring of Fire News


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

Ring of Fire News – 27 Feb 12

  • “Many people at a mining information session Thursday night wanted to know how local communities will benefit from the roads planned for the Ring of Fire. More than 150 people came out to a Noront Resources open house in Thunder Bay. They had questions about jobs and the environmental impact of the Eagle’s Nest project, but many also wanted to know more about the proposed new road to get to the mine. Local Noront investor Don Paglaro said the road shouldn’t be just the company’s responsibility. “I think the government should not only put in some funding, but should maybe decide on a good route … one that benefits northwestern Ontario, which is Thunder Bay,” he said. Paglaro said he is excited about the Eagle’s Nest project, but he said he wants to make sure the road built to reach the mine also benefits isolated First Nations. “Not necessarily the closest or the cheapest way in, but one that is gonna perhaps connect to all the reserves and communities up there,” Paglaro said. Currently, Noront plans an east-west route between Pickle Lake and Webequie. Cliffs Natural Resources is planning a road extension north of Nakina for its Black Thor mining property. Yan Yan, who works for a First Nations organization, wondered if the two mining companies could join forces when it comes to building roads. “If we have the regional plan … I think that is more cost-effective,” she said. A regional infrastructure plan is exactly what Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer wants to see. The NDP MP said it’s up to government — not individual companies — to plan transportation. “In the past we have always allowed the forest companies to decide where our road network was gonna go,” he said. Hyer added the provincial government needs to step in and help co-ordinate Noront and Cliffs’ road proposals for the Ring of Fire.”  Source More
  • Speaking of roads…. “The Ring of Fire will be top of mind for local delegates heading to the Ontario Good Roads Association Conference in Toronto (this) week. “The projects that are up there are going to make this province rich,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. The economic impact on Sudbury for value-added services in the mining sector is $5 billion. In Thunder Bay, it’s around $450 million, which the mayor says is a good start, but is just that – a start. “There’s more businesses coming in all the time; more junior exploration companies are setting up shop in Thunder Bay. We have to make sure it happens on a large scale,” he said. Hobbs will be joined at the conference by Councillors Joe Virdiramo, Iain Angus, Brian McKinnon, Aldo Ruberto and Ken Boshcoff as well as city manager Tim Commisso and Fort William First Nation’s economic development officer Ed Collins. The committee will be presenting to seven different provincial ministers at the conference, but with a heavy focus on the Ring of Fire. The mayor said infrastructure and energy are two key pieces. They want to see the east-west corridor built from Webequie to Pickle Lake and a north-south road built from the Ring of Fire mine site to Nakina …. “  Source
  • Meanwhile, northeastern Ontario to start twisting arms a bit harder?  “Northeastern Ontario’s municipal leaders, our elected voices across the North, are worried that their voices are falling on deaf ears at the higher levels of government. The problem is so bad that Northern leaders are discussing whether to pool their money to hire professional lobbyists to speak out on behalf of the North at Queen’s Park. The issue was debated at length this past week when the Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association (NEOMA) held its Winter-Spring meeting at the McIntyre auditorium …. (NEOMA chair, and Timmins mayor, Tom Laughren) added that the North also to do more lobbying on the issue of hydro-electric energy rates, since it relates directly to the issue of whether the principals involved in the Ring of Fire mining development will be likely to build a ferro-chrome smelter in Ontario ….”  Source
  • Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli is leading a one-day sales mission to the Ring of Fire base camp March 9. “Last fall, I pledged to lead a group of regional mining firms to see the potential of this once-in-a-century opportunity. Today, I’m making good on that promise,” Fedeli said. The Ring of Fire is about 530 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay and is the site of a cluster of world class, multi-generational chromite deposits. Chromite is processed into ferrochrome which is used in the making of stainless steel. Ohio-based Cliffs Natural Resources is the leading mining player in the region with its flagship Black Thor deposit. The total cost of the trip will be divided among the tour’s private-sector participants. Fedeli’s decision to organize such a trip came after his own visit there last summer convinced him there were tremendous opportunities for the local mining supply industry, which boasts 70 companies. “When I flew over for the first time, I immediately recognized the blue and white-striped tents from Canadian Can-Tex, located in Rutherglen,” Fedeli said. “I also saw stacks of drill rods – the same types that are manufactured by firms in North Bay and in Powassan,” he said.. “I knew immediately there was potential here that Nipissing companies have to take advantage of.” “  Source more
  • “The federal Liberal critic for Aboriginal Affairs is cautioning that communities in northern Ontario could see environmental and health effects like those seen in Alberta’s oilsands region, if regional planning and environmental assessments for the Ring of Fire are not done properly. Dr. Carolyn Bennett was in Thunder Bay on Feb. 20 to meet with Matawa First Nations, in advance of April’s northern Ontario prospectors’ conference in Kirkland Lake. Following her meeting with Matawa, Bennett said the current approach of doing individual environmental assessments for each Ring of Fire project is flawed. “It could be done in a much more coherent way,” Bennett said. “We should not be making the mistake of the oilsands, where everything is done in a very piecemeal way.” …. “  Source
  • “CBC News has learned two federal agencies want a more thorough review of the environmental impacts of chromium mining in the Ring of Fire. Documents obtained by CBC News under access to information show the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) was seeking advice earlier this year from other government departments. It wanted to know how much scrutiny it should give the proposed Cliffs chromite project, 540 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. In a June 2011 letter, the Canadian Wildlife Service said the agency should “err on the side of caution due to the many uncertainties” associated with the project “and the potential for impacts to migratory birds, species at risk and wetlands.” Madeline Head, who is with the environmental stewardship branch of the Canadian Wildlife Service, recommended the CEAA put the Cliffs project to “a higher level of assessment and scrutiny ensuring rigorous assessment of the project effects …” …. An Ontario manager with Environment Canada raised several concerns about the Cliffs project in his letter to CEAA last fall. Rob Dobos said there isn’t enough baseline information about hexalent chromium (a potentially deadly by-product of chromium mining) to determine whether there will be adverse effects on water quality and wildlife. He also said, if Cliffs decides to build its smelter on or near First Nations lands “the lack of applicable federal regulatory controls for these emissions would also be a concern.” Dobos recommended a regional environmental assessment process “that considers the interconnectivity and the cumulative impact of currently proposed and anticipated future developments within and connecting to the Ring of Fire.” ….”  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-24 Feb 12 (PDF) here. All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act. The blog is not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.


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