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

Ring of Fire News – 14 May 12

  • Still interested in what’s been said over the past week on Cliffs saying their next step is beefing up their feasibility study with Sudbury as the firm base for their processing plant?  Here’s a summary of open source info out there (media, news releases, blogs, Twitter) from last week (6-12 May 12).
  • More funds for Noront to explore/work with  “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has completed its previously announced private placement with Resource Capital Fund V L.P. pursuant to which RCF V subscribed for 19,230,769 common shares in the capital of the Company (the “Common Shares”) at a purchase price of CAD$0.52 per Common Share, representing net proceeds to the Company of approximately CAD$10.0 million. The Company is also pleased to announce that pursuant to a previous option granted to Baosteel Resources International Co. Ltd. (“Baosteel”), Baosteel has exercised its right to maintain its 9.9% interest in the Company and participate in the Offering. The Company and Baosteel will enter into an agreement where Baosteel will acquire an additional 2,566,151 Common Shares at a purchase price of CAD$0.52, representing net proceeds to the Company of approximately CAD$1.33 million. The net proceeds received by the Company from the completion of both transactions will be used to advance the development of the Company’s flagship Eagle’s Nest nickel sulphide project in the Ring of Fire district in northwestern Ontario ….”  Company news release
  • Remember the City of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation looking for someone to develop a “Mining Readiness Strategy” (30 Apr 12 edition, third bullet)?  There’s been a deadline extension:  interested parties now have until June 12 to submit a proposal  Source (bid extension documents via Google Docs)
  • Meanwhile, mainstream media are catching up on Mining Readiness Strategy story (remember, you read it here first!)  “The city (of Thunder Bay) wants to be ready when an expected mining boom hits. That’s why it’s spending the next six months working with every conceivable partner from industry to First Nations groups to try and maximize every opportunity the boom could bring. Even without proposed projects in the Ring of Fire, there are at least a dozen other regional mines that could create 8,000 direct jobs. City manager Tim Commisso said the multi-faceted Mining Readiness Strategy will help Thunder Bay be ready when the time comes. “Thunder Bay is going to be a mining centre,” Commisso said. “This is coming at us. How do we plan? How do we make sure we’re in the best position to really accommodate it.” Workforce training, residential and industrial land as well as infrastructure are just a few of the areas the city needs to expand in order to prepare for an anticipated population from people and business. Mayor Keith Hobbs said they’re also going to keep in contact with senior levels of governments to make sure there’s a plan from them as well.”  Source
  • Good summary from the In Support of Mining blog:  “Serious head-butting has erupted over the future of natural resource development in this country – including Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral zone, where local interests seem keen to square off against the province, the feds and the project proponents …. As Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy pointed out last month, the federal government can change the rules as much as it wants, but it can’t bulldoze over the First Nations. “First Nations will exercise their inherent authority to provide free, prior and informed consent to any major project taking place in their territories after an environmental assessment takes place,” said Chief Beardy. Let’s hope it ends without sore heads all around. Otherwise we could find ourselves stumbling down the back streets, muttering how we coulda been a contender in the economic ring.”  Blog post
  • Some First Nation concerns about changes in environmental assessment and mining laws and regulations  “…. In early 2012, federal Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver stated that environmental and other “radical groups” were trying to undermine the Canadian economy by blocking trade saying the groups “threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda,” to delay or kill good projects. On April 17, 2012, the Harper government announced that they will recognize provincial reviews providing they meet the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act as environmental projects are moved to a “one project, one review” policy with “fixed timelines” for major economic projects. Minister Oliver says that both levels of government do not have the resources to do “separate reviews of the same project.” The First Peoples sees the federal streamlining of the environmental review process as the latest effort to undermine First Nations rights when it comes to industrial development on their traditional lands. Minister Oliver stated, “We need to tap into the tremendous appetite for resources in the world’s dynamic emerging economies – resources we have in abundance.” …. Upon introducing reforms to the Mining Act, Premier Dalton McGuinty made the following statement – “The Ontario Government believes exploration and mine development should only take place following early consultation and accommodation of Aboriginal communities.” Leadership in Northern Ontario is now warning that expediting environmental scrutiny on major developments and “fast-tracking projects,” like the Ring Of Fire without recognizing the rights and interests of the First Peoples can only result in “direct confrontation on the ground.” It appears that the stage has been set and the environment is ripe for accelerated industrial development with nothing more than a minimal or cursory glance at environmental processes that keep the lands and waters healthy for all ….”  Source
  • Some northwestern Ontario First Nation speakers expected at an upcoming conference on highlighting the effect of mineral exploration by Canadian mining companies  “In just under a month, the Council of Canadians will host a major event in Vancouver to challenge Canada’s mining industry. Shout Out Against Mining Injustice is a two-day international conference set for June 1st and 2nd, 2012, aimed at exposing the appalling environmental and human rights abuses of Canadian mining companies, and will take place in the city where many of these companies are headquartered. Shout Out will take place in the midst of major efforts by the federal government to support mining industry expansion and greenwashing in Canada and internationally. The conference will feature engaging sessions with leading activists and representatives from mining-impacted communities in Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador and Canada …. The conference starts on Friday, June 1st with a Public Forum featuring high profile speakers, community activists and musical acts. Saturday, June 2nd will offer delegates the chance to engage in discussion on vital issues ranging from the right to water, Indigenous rights and environmental justice within the context of mining ….”  Source Agenda List o’ Speakers

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-13 May 12 (via Google Docs) 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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