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Ring of Fire News – 30 Apr 12

  • Northwestern Ontario municipal leaders endorse building a smelter/chomite plant in northwestern Ontario  “Municipal leaders in the Northwest are joining forces to push for the Ring of Fire ferrochrome plant to be located in the Greenstone area. At the annual meeting of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association Thursday in Kenora, delegates voted to support a resolution supporting its development. U.S.-based Cliffs Natural Resources has indicated it is looking at placing the facility near Sudbury. Also passed by delegates on Thursday was a resolution to press the province to reverse a decision to close travel information centres in Fort Frances, Rainy River and Kenora.” Source Resolution (PDF) – More from the In Support of Mining blog
  • Thunder Bay City Council endorses building a smelter/chromite plant in northwestern Ontario  “With respect to the development of the mineral deposits known as the Ring of Fire, and recognizing the primacy of First Nations communities to take steps to have their communities directly benefit from the development of the Ring of Fire, we recommend that City Council support the fundamental intent of the resolutions arising from the joint meeting of the Lake Nipigon First Nations, the Matawa North-South Alliance and the Municipalities of Thunder Bay, Greenstone and Nipigon at the meeting of April 14, 2012; AND THAT copies of this resolution be distributed to the member municipalities of NOMA, area Members of Provincial Parliament, the Minister of Northern Development & Mines, and the Provincial Ring of Fire Coordinator, area Members of Parliament and the federal Minister of Natural Resources.” Resolution textReport to City Council on resolution
  • Wanted:  someone to develop a “Mining Readiness Strategy:  An Integrated Regional Economic Development Plan (2012-2015)” for the City of Thunder Bay, its economic development corporation and Fort William First Nation – submission deadline:  4pm May 29, 2012  Proposal call postingTender package documents (24 page PDF)
  • Northwestern Ontario municipal leaders press Ontario ministers on Ring of Fire  “Delegates grilled three Ontario cabinet ministers and a parliamentary assistant on progress with the Ring of Fire, the closure of regional Tourist Information Centres, education and training initiaitvies and infrastructure funding at the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) annual meeting in Kenora, Friday, April 27. NOMA president Ron Nelson served as moderator for the minister’s forum comprised of Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Glen Murray and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines Bill Mauro. The ministers responded to ‘Bear Pit’ questions posed by municipal delegates regarding the apparent lack of progress on the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario with assurances that discussions are ongoing on a multi-ministerial level in consultation with mining companies and area First Nations. However, details of these discussions remain confidential, according to the ministers. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Wynne said she is working directly with other ministries to resolve issues, address concerns and reach agreements to move the project forward to meet the interests of all involved. “Negotiations are ongoing that aren’t public and can’t be talked about,” she said. During Thursday’s session, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines regional resident geologist Andreas Lichtblau noted investment by exploration companies has topped $230 million since the discovery of copper, nickel and chromite deposits in the 200 kilometre semi-circular Ring of Fire mineralization zone. Parliamentary assistant Mauro referred to media criticisms following the release of the 2012 provincial budget for its lack of information regarding the Ring of Fire. “The budget is not the place where you’re going to see detailed plans for work in the far north,” he said. “Work is going on and many ministries are involved, negotiations are ongoing and there’s a lot of things I’d like to say but can’t.” Mauro acknowledged the government’s “silence is intimidating and creating anxiety” as three ministerial groups continue to meet with northern communities. Beyond the Ring of Fire, Mauro referred to active exploration projects, predicting “eight to ten” new mines will open over the next decade in the northwest. In response to a question by Marathon Mayor Rick Dumas, MNR Minister Gravelle confirmed the appointment of a mining secretary to coordinate exploration activities in the north. “Christine Kaszycki is incredibly busy on the file,” Gravelle said. Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Murray noted his ministry is involved in developing programs as mining exploration and development will provide significant employment opportunities for northern First Nations residents. He also referred to 17 major strategies and policies that will bring training and investment opportunities to Thunder Bay and other regional communities. The minister encouraged municipalities to continue to be involved in that process ….”  Source
  • Northeastern Ontario municipal leaders press Ontario on the Ontario Northland railway sell-off/closure  “Northern leaders are refusing to give up the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission without a fight. Northern Ontario municipal, business and labour leaders met via teleconference this week to discuss strategy for saving Ontario Northland. On Tuesday, the provincial Liberal budget was passed, even though opposition could have vetoed it in the current minority government situation. The plan to privatize the ONTC was left in the budget. The group is making its second request for a meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty to discuss the issue. In addition, they are requesting meetings with leaders of the opposition. “Although the opposition parties are suggesting we are going into Round 2 in the fight, not being made aware of the process or even the rules of engagement, we are feeling that we have been knocked to the canvas and once again abandoned in the North,” said Iroquois Falls Mayor Gilles Forget. Leaders feel Northern Ontario has been left in the dark when it comes to key pieces of legislation impacting the region — such as the plan to privatize the ONTC. “With 90% of the geographic area north of Hwy. 17, but with only 7% of the population, it appears the North is insignificant to all political parties,” said Cochrane Mayor Peter Politis. “We seem to be the private backyards for the South, providing resources and entertainment on an as required basis. “We cannot accept this and we need to be involved in decisions impacting our communities.” ….”  Sourcemore more from the In Support of Mining blog
  • Northeastern Ontario Tory MPP calling for more action on the Ring of Fire  “In advance of a trip to the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association’s Annual General Meeting with Tim Hudak, Northern Development and Mines Critic Norm Miller demanded that the Minister explain his government’s lack of progress in the region during Question Period on Tuesday. “We have at our fingertips one of the most lucrative resource finds in our province’s history,” Miller explained. “The government is eager to talk about the Ring of Fire and boast about the Ring of Fire, but won’t take any action beyond expanding an already bloated and uncoordinated bureaucracy.” In his question to the Minister, Miller also asked about the lack of progress on the proposed road to the mining sites. “This is such a basic requirement,” Miller argued. “If we can’t access it, we can’t mine it. Communities,miners, and First Nations groups are waiting. They’re getting impatient, and rightfully so. The government has been spinning its wheels for far too long.” Minister Bartolucci’s response skirted the issue, celebrating a figurative and hypothetical “road to jobs” at some unknown point in the distant future, but not addressing the very real, and very current, lack of infrastructure development. “The Minister can pat himself on the back all he likes, but the simple truth is that the Ring of Fire is an opportunity that we cannot afford to waste. The lack of progress is inexcusable.” ….”  News releaseQuestion Period question, Hansard, 24 Apr 12
  • Cliffs:  Drop in profit for latest quarter, looking to invest another $75M into its Ring of Fire work  “Iron-ore and coal producer Cliffs Natural Resources on Wednesday reported an 11.1% drop in profit for the first quarter to $376-million, or $2.63 a share. This was the result of increased mining and transportation costs, which spiked by 85% to $274.8-million. The US-based company added that it had increased its year-on-year quarterly revenue by 7% to a record $1.3-billion, mainly on the back of increased sales volumes in all its operating divisions. However, this was partially offset by lower pricing during the quarter for Cliffs’ commodities. CEO Joseph Carrabba said the miner was shifting its focus from large-scale acquisitions to managing its existing project pipeline, reiterating comments he made earlier this year. Meanwhile, Cliffs expected the drivers of global steel demand to remain intact. In China, the company expected gross domestic product growth targets to support yearly crude steel production of about 730-million tons, maintaining demand for its eastern Canadian iron-ore and Asia Pacific iron-ore businesses. China is the world’s top producer and consumer of steel, aluminium, lead and zinc and the largest consumer of copper …. We are also maintaining our cash outflows expectation of approximately $165 million to support future growth. This is comprised of approximately $90 million related to exploration and drilling programs and approximately $75 million related to our Chromite Project in Ontario, Canada ….” Source Transcript of conference call with company official Cliffs financial report
  • Noront (1):  Another First Nation on side with the company  “Nibinamik First Nation is the fourth First Nation to sign a training agreement with Noront Resources that intends to help band members get mining jobs if the Ring of Fire goes ahead as planned. Nibinamik chief Johnny Yellowhead signed the agreement with Noront during the community’s mining week, held from April 10-13. “If mining is done with inclusion and respect for people on the land, everyone will win,” Yellowhead said during the signing ceremony. “That’s our main purpose with the 4-nation partnership is to try to work together and try to understand each other.” Nibinamik, Webequie, Neskantaga and Eabametoong First Nations signed the 4-nations partnership during the Prospectors and Developers Association conference in Toronto in March. The bands’ initial move was to throw their support behind the East-West transportation corridor that would connect each of the communities to the southern road and power line network. Now each of the four Matawa First Nations have agreed to work with Noront on pushing the federal government for skills and education training to prepare band members for jobs at the mine …. “  Source
  • Noront (2):  We want to show how it’s done when it comes to dealing with First Nations  “Noront Resources, one of the big players in Ontario’s Ring of Fire, says it wants to set a new world-class standard for how mining companies work with First Nations communities around developments. Noront’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Paul Semple made the claim during the company’s visit to Nibinamik First Nation on April 12. “We believe there is an opportunity right now for industry and First Nations (in Ontario) to develop a world-class model of how we can work together,” Semple said. “Our goal is to set the standard, to supersede the current industry standard in how we work with Aboriginal people.” Noront’s Eagles’ Nest mine is currently undergoing environmental assessment. The company hopes to start construction on the underground mine in 2013, with production expected to begin in 2015. Semple said the company’s first step in setting a new standard for industry-First Nation relations was establishing a First Nations Advisory Board of former chiefs and First Nations leaders from the region, to help Noront understand the issues and work to address them. Now the company is working on establishing partnerships with area First Nations on a range of initiatives related to employment training, infrastructure needs and mine supply. Semple later told Wawatay News that in his opinion, companies in British Columbia and Saskatchewan are leading the way when it comes to Aboriginal partnerships with industry …..”  Source
  • Noront (3):  Looking for another $10 million  “Mining junior Noront Resources on Tuesday said it had entered into a C$10-million private placement with Resource Capital Fund V to advance development of its flagship Eagle’s Nest nickel/copper/platinum/palladium project in north-western Ontario’s ‘Ring of Fire’ district. RCF V agreed to subscribe for 19.23-million common shares of the company at a price of $0.52 apiece and the offering was expected to close on May 8, subject to regulatory approvals, including that of the TSX-V. Prior to the deal, Noront had a total of 204-million shares in issue. Noront was also focused on the exploration and development of the Blackbird chromite discovery and regional exploration for additional mineral deposits within its large land position in the Ring of Fire area, an emerging multimetals camp located in the James Bay lowlands of Ontario. Noront is not the only company looking to develop ferrochrome production in the area. US-based diversified miner Cliffs Natural Resources in March said it planned on building a 600 000 t/y ferrochrome production facility in Ontario, with first output slated for 2015. RCF V previously also provided start-up capital for US-based rare-earth miner Molycorp, as well as injecting money into TSX-listed Talison Lithium.”  Source
  • Exploration company signs deal with Ring of Fire First Nation  “MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. is very pleased to announce the signing of an Exploration Agreement with the Kasabonika Lake First Nation (“KLFN”). In accordance with the Government mandate to advise and consult, MacDonald Mines continues its history of reaching accords with First Nation Communities. The company firmly believes that strong and fair working relationships between the mining exploration sector and First Nation’s traditional beliefs and objectives is the cornerstone of a harmonious interface between both parties. Kirk McKinnon, President & CEO, commenting “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chief Eno H. Anderson and the Kasabonika Council for their time and desire to reach a fair and responsible agreement with MacDonald Mines. During this negotiating process, we at MacDonald Mines saw and understood the important relationship that the Kasabonika Lake First Nation has and enjoys with their traditional lands. It is this appreciation of the relationship to their traditional lands that gave MacDonald Mines the necessary understanding to work to find a fair resolution to our negotiations. I am especially gratified at the role the elders, Mr. Geordie Semple and Mr. Harry Semple, played in reaching this agreement in cooperation with Chief & Council. Their comments and passion relating to their traditional lands provided great insight and understanding for MacDonald through this process.” MacDonald Mines would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Mitchell Diabo and Mr. Doug Parker who act as advisors to the community …. The exploration agreement signed on February 4, 2011 covers a 3-year period, which allows MacDonald Mines unrestricted access to explore any of its registered mineral properties located within the traditional territory of KLFN ….”  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-28 April 12 (37 page 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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  1. […] the City of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation looking for someone to develop a “Mining Re… (30 Apr 12 edition, third bullet)?  There’s been a deadline extension:  interested parties […]

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