Ring of Fire News


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

Ring of Fire News – 23 Jun 12

NOTE:  I’m out of town and off the interwebs for training for a bit.
I’ll be back with the latest from the Ring of Fire after July 7.
In the meantime, be sure to check out some of the sites on the Blog Roll
for some of the latest.

  • Eviction Notices Coming?  “Six Northern Ontario First Nations who will be impacted by the proposed mines and infrastructure development in the Ring of Fire are in the final stages of issuing a 30-day eviction notice to all mining companies with exploration and development camps in the region. The forthcoming eviction notice for a moratorium on all Ring of Fire mining activity will come from the First Nation communities of Aroland, Constance Lake, Ginoogaming, Longlake #58, Neskantaga, and Nibinamik. Other First Nations in the area will also have the opportunity to sign on before it is distributed.  Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation said, “Cliffs, Noront and all the other mining companies active in the Ring of Fire will have thirty days from the time the eviction notice is served to pack up their bags and leave our lands” …. ”  Source
  • Survey says:  Sure, we think First Nations should benefit, be consulted – what’s this Ring of Fire thing again?  “Ontario-wide polling indicates that while there is a low level of awareness of the massive Ring of Fire mineral find, Ontarians believe that area First Nations have an important role in shaping the area’s future. The poll was undertaken in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Municipality of Greenstone and Aroland First Nation (a member of the Matawa Tribal Council). The telephone poll of 1,000 randomly selected Ontarians was conducted June 8 –13, 2012 by OraclePoll Research …”  Source (news release from company who did poll for Greenstone)  – Alternate download site for news release
  • Ontario on Road to the Ring o’ Fire: Cliffs is steering, Noront (politely) asking WTF?  “Mining minister Rick Bartolucci says Cliffs Natural Resources will take the lead on figuring how the road to the Ring of Fire is built and financed. “Through discussions with Cliffs, [the company] determined that the north-south corridor was the corridor of choice for them and so that discussion took place and the determination was made,” Bartolucci said during a visit to Thunder Bay this week. And Bartolucci said the American company is driving the discussion as plans for the road move forward. “Once the agreement is finalized, then obviously the parametres of the agreement will be made public,” Bartolucci said. That leaves other mining companies working in the area waiting to have their questions answered. “What standard would [the road] be built to,” asked Wes Hanson, president of Noront Resources. “How much [is it] going to cost?” ‘Profound impact for opportunities for other companies’ Noront is planning a nickel mine in the Ring of Fire. It originally proposed an east-west transportation route to move its ore, but has changed direction now that the province is backing Cliffs preferred north-south route. Hanson didn’t attend Bartolucci’s speech in Thunder Bay on Tuesday. But Glenn Nolan, Noront Resources’ aboriginal liaison officer, did. He said Cliffs is also getting most of the attention from the province when it comes to engaging First Nations. “It really has a profound impact for the opportunities for the other companies working in the area, not just the one that is always mentioned,” Nolan said, referring to Cliffs. The planned Noront mine would employ 450 people — the same as Cliffs ….”  Source
  • KWG/Canada Chrome Railway to the Ring o’ Fire: Neskantaga objects x 2  “Neskantanga First Nation is stepping up efforts to block Cliffs’ proposed transportation corridor to the Ring of Fire. The Matawa First Nation has launched a two-pronged attack on the 340-kilometer, all-weather access road that Cliffs wants to run south from the Ring of Fire to Nakina. With its first move, Neskantaga applied to an obscure Ontario mining court to decide whether the First Nation has rights to the land over which the corridor would be built. Then on June 13 lawyers for Neskantaga issued a letter to Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Chan, demanding that Ontario refrain from authorizing Cliffs to do archeological work on land the transportation corridor would be built on. “The current road proposal encompasses areas used traditionally by Neskantaga members and ancestors, and in particular sites at which Neskantaga members are buried,” wrote Gregory McDade of Ratcliff and Company LLP in the letter to Chan. “If approved, the Cliffs Chromite Project and access road will irreversibly compromise Neskantaga territory and seriously and irreparably harm Neskantaga rights, title and interests.” ….”  Source
  • Confused about the line o’ claims leading from Nakina that may end up being the railway/road/monorail/whatever to the Ring of Fire?  Check out this map and this selected bibliograpy for a bit more detail.
  • Nestantaga’s Plan B for the Ring of Fire  “…. This is our homeland and we should determine what happens here. Ontario and Canada must engage with First Nations – meaningfully – before proceeding with their current process. First Nations, Ontario and Canada need to sit down and negotiate a government-to-government agreement, a “New Deal” for First Nations and the North. I believe that the “New Deal” will have three essential elements:  1) Deciding what happens on our lands, a government-to-government agreement for First Nation jurisdiction and decision making …. 2) Speaking for ourselves, a negotiated environmental assessment …. 3) Our fair share, a framework for revenue sharing …. ”  Source (First Nation news release) Moremore
  • First Nations: Slow down!  “Development of the Ring of Fire is moving far too fast for First Nations to adequately prepare, say the chiefs of two northern First Nations whose traditional lands overlap the proposed mining area. Both Chief Eli Moonias of Marten Falls First Nation and Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation say they are not against development, and they both want to ensure that First Nations benefit from any mining projects that do go ahead in their area. But both agree that current pace of planning for the Ring of Fire, and the proposed schedule laid out by Cliffs Natural Resources for the first project in the region, does not give their communities time to prepare for the major changes facing them. “I’d like to have time before everything starts so that we’re satisfied that we’re taking the right direction, so we’re not jumping to conclusions here,” Moonias said …. “  Source
  • Ontario’s Mine Minister on Revenue Sharing  “Ontario is committed to discussing resource revenue sharing with First Nation communities. “As you know, Ontario has committed to our First Nations community to have that discussion in regards to resource revenue sharing,” said Rick Bartolucci, minister of Northern Development and Mines during the 2nd Annual Ontario Mining Forum, held June 19 at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay. “Ontario is also calling on the federal government for financial commitments to help share the costs associated with regional infrastructure and social economic supports for First Nation communities,” Bartolucci said. Resource revenue sharing and social, economic and community supports were among the key issues addressed in the June 12 signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between Ontario and Webequie ….”  Source
  • Legal Beagles on Changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act  “…. CEAA continues to promote communication and cooperation with Aboriginal peoples as one of the enumerated purposes of environmental assessments. However, this purpose is given new force by an expanded list of environmental effects on Aboriginal peoples that must be taken into account. The current CEAA requires the consideration of the impact of any change on “the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by Aboriginal Peoples.”¹ The proposed amendments to CEAA maintain this obligation but s. 5.1 also requires the consideration any effect in Canada on Aboriginal peoples’:  health and socio-economic conditions;   physical and cultural heritage; and structures of historical, archaeological, paleontological or architectural significance …. a bigger question is how these requirements will interact with the new Ontario Aboriginal consultation regime. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines is in the process of finalizing new regulations under the Mining Act that would require Aboriginal consultation for mining exploration and prospecting. The Far North Act also prohibits mining development in Ontario’s far north until community-based land use plans are developed. The content of many of these land use plans and whether they would satisfy some or all of the environmental assessment and Aboriginal consultation requirements under the new CEAA remains an open question. Coordination between the federal and provincial governments is essential for the development of Mining in Ontario. At a minimum, this coordination (or harmonization) should include: the sharing and acceptance of information between federal and provincial authorities; allowing federal and provincial regulatory processes to run concurrently; and timely review by governments at both levels …. “  Source


More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-22 Jun 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.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ring of Fire News – 16 Jun 12

  • Ontario gives power break to companies creating jobs….  “McGuinty Government’s New Industrial Electricity Incentive Program To Help Attract Investment – The Ontario government is introducing the Industrial Electricity Incentive program to create new jobs in the industrial sector. The program would allow new and expanding industrial companies to benefit from the province’s strong energy supply. By January 2013, eligible companies could qualify for a reduced electricity rate if they create new jobs and bring new investment to Ontario. The program would encourage existing, large industrial companies to make significant expansions to their operations and create jobs. It would also help attract new companies to locate in the province. While Ontario’s economy continues to improve despite global economic uncertainty, electricity demands remain below pre-recession levels. The Industrial Electricity Incentive program would allow industrial companies to access electricity that would otherwise be exported to neighbouring jurisdictions. The program would not affect electricity rates for consumers. Helping industrial companies grow and compete in the global marketplace is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to attract new investment, strengthen the economy and support jobs for Ontario families ….”  Source (Government of Ontario news release) more (Backgrounder) more
  • …. which municipal leaders like….  “The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association welcomes the Government of Ontario announcement that it is creating an Industrial Electricity Incentive Program. Such a program has been one of the key pillars of the NOMA energy policy for a number of years. “We have consistently called for an Ontario-wide industrial electrical energy price in order to maintain and attract industry to this province and, in particular, to Northwestern Ontario …. NOMA will continue to monitor the development of the Industrial Electricity Incentive Program and will develop a position paper on how it should be implemented to present to the Ministry of Energy when it meets with Ontario Cabinet Ministers at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Ottawa in August.”  Source (NOMA news release)

    …. and Ontario’s Tories don’t 
    “In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything. In late May, it was reported that Dalton McGuinty had approached Prime Minister Stephen Harper regarding federal support for development in the Ring of Fire, and I couldn’t help but question the Premier’s sense of timing. Why did it take three years of pressure from the PC Caucus, miners, and northern communities to finally take some initiative and approach the federal government for funding? Why were these advances made only after a high-profile, flashy announcement by the Minister of Northern Development and Mines about a potential new chromite processing facility in Sudbury. Shouldn’t you acquire the funding before you pat yourself on the back with an indulgent press conference? More than anything, however, the story highlighted just how much time may still pass before development in the Ring of Fire is a reality. The government is only now approaching federal officials for funding and regulatory cooperation, with their level of commitment remaining unclear. Once the federal government is on board, McGuinty and Cliff’s Natural Resources can start to consider environmental assessments, and can begin to consult First Nations groups that are already angry at being shut out of negotiations thus far …. “  Source

    Ontario, Webequie sign a deal during a visit by Ontario mines minister Rick Bartolucci ….  “Ontario has signed an updated Memorandum of Co-operation with Webequie First Nation to work together to realize the many benefits from mineral development in the Ring of Fire. The Memorandum of Co-operation, signed during a visit to Webequie by Minister Bartolucci, commits the province to work with Webequie to advance discussions with the federal government to ensure communities are prepared to fully participate in Ring of Fire developments. Ontario is also committed to providing Webequie with social, community and economic development supports and resource revenue sharing associated with Ring of Fire developments. Ontario and Webequie First Nation will also work together on regional environmental monitoring and regional infrastructure planning. The Memorandum of Co-operation the need to develop a strong working relationship between the First Nations and the Ontario government on the potential impact of proposed development on their traditional territories. It also builds on a previous Memorandum of Co-operation signed in 2004 committing to help strengthen community foundations and bring prosperity to Ontario’s Far North ….”  Source (Ontario news release) More  –  more (In Support of Mining blog) more

    …. while Environment Minister Peter Kent visits Webequie (and doesn’t tell anyone)  “Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent paid a quick visit to Webequie First Nation last week to discuss the Ring of Fire. Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse said Kent stopped in to “see the community and the people of Webequie.” “He was concerned about potential impacts from the (Ring of Fire) mines,” Wabasse said. “He made comments saying he is committed to working with First Nations, not just Webequie.” Wabasse said the community was given short notice of Kent’s visit. Environment Canada did not issue a media advisory or a news release about the trip. Wabasse said he asked Elders in the community if it would be appropriate for the minister to visit, and was told to go ahead. “The Elders say we should invite ministers to our community anytime, just so the government can see how we’re living and what the living conditions are like in Webequie,” Wabasse said. “Hopefully when they see first hand what its like, they’ll consider that in how they work with us.” ”  Source

  • Webequie calls recent comments about Noront Resources delaying its project study a “misunderstanding”  “The chief of Webequie First Nation says the situation with junior mining company Noront Resources Ltd was all a misunderstanding. Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse voiced his disappointment when Noront announced they would be delaying their feasibility study following Cliffs Natural Resources decision to move its ferrochrome plant to the Sudbury area. Noront had been working on a feasibility study for its deposit containing copper and nickel. The company was proposing an east-to-west, all-season road that would run from Pickle Lake to the Ring of Fire area. But the company believes the province might be making an eventual commitment to the north-south road proposed by Cliffs. That decision is a major factor in the delay. While the series of events may have led to some friction between the First Nation community and Noront, Wabasse said they will remain open to development and continue to work with the company. “We like to be open about misunderstandings and we would like to work with the industry and the government and hope to resolve any issues that we have to resolve,” Wabasse told reporters on Friday. “For one thing, we have to go to the media and let the public know that we are working with the industry but sometimes there are some misunderstandings. What’s being misunderstood is how we work together and how we work together. Our concerns aren’t being addressed.” He said all parties are responsible when moving forward on development projects ….”  Source

    Marten Falls Chief wants to check out other chromite operations before passing judgment  “Having lost the ferrochrome smelter, Eli Moonias says he wants to visit other chromite mines around the world before he gives the go ahead to the Ring of Fire. The chief of Marten Falls First Nation fought hard to try to bring the Cliffs Natural Resources ferrochrome smelter to Northern Ontario. He said having the smelter in Greenstone would mean an electrical grid could have been established for the region giving not only his community but also everyone in the region a reason to switch from expensive diesel fuel. Ultimately, Cliffs chose to have the smelter build in a town near Sudbury. With it being years before Marten Falls could see any benefits from the Ring of Fire development, Moonias said he wants a firsthand look at chromite mining projects that are happening around the world to see the benefits of the mine. “I told the government that I wanted to see the land in Finland or South Africa or in Turkey or Kazakhstan,” Moonias said. “That’s where the existing chromite mines are. I want to see them firsthand. I want to see people, meet them, ask what their experiences are before I say go right ahead here in our area.” “I don’t know if I`ll be able to do that and if they will finance me to go there to see those sites.” ….”  Source more more

  • Treasury Board Tony Clement, speaking in Thunder Bay, comments on streamlining environmental assessments ….  “It’s a pleasure to be back here in Thunder Bay with you today. I want to thank Coastal Steel officials for their warm welcome and the other stakeholders here today who support the objectives of our Government’s Plan for Responsible Resource Development …. The development of the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario holds the potential for billions in mineral wealth. Private sector estimates indicate that the chromite resources there could be worth as much as $50 billion. There are estimates for deposits of base metals and platinum-group metals worth as much as $10 billion. And there may also be deposits of gold, iron and other minerals in the region. Global investors are convinced of this region’s potential. The Cliffs Chromite Project is proposing to invest up to $3.4 billion to build a 30-year open pit underground chromite mine with ore processing capabilities. Noront’s Eagle’s Nest Project is proposing to invest $734 million to construct an 11-year nickel-copper and platinum-group metals mine, also with on-site processing ….”  Source

    …. and First Nation reaction  “The federal government’s minister of FedNor has ignited a backlash from First Nations leaders around the Ring of Fire by saying that delaying development is ‘inexcusable.’ Conservative MP Tony Clement told reporters in Thunder Bay on June 11 that while the government takes its obligation to consult with First Nations seriously, it will not give First Nations communities a veto over development. Clement was answering questions about comments made by Neskantaga First Nation Chief Peter Moonias that he would die before allowing a Ring of Fire road to cross the Attawapiskat River. “There’s going to be headlines here or there when somebody walks away from the table and then marches back to the table,” Clement told TB Newswatch. “But at the end of the day we find ways where the private sector can work with First Nations, can work with governments to ensure these projects can go ahead in a sensible manner.” Chiefs from four First Nation communities surrounding the Ring of Fire responded angrily to Clement’s comments, including Moonias. “Minister Clement chooses to minimize what I have said,” Moonias said in a statement. “I am not threatening to walk away from the table as he suggests, I am planning to prevent a road from being built over the Attawapiskat River unless we get the proper, negotiated Joint Review Panel EA process.” “The minister underestimates our connection to our land and he underestimates our determination,” Moonias added ….”  Source

  • First Nations unhappy with changes to Ontario’s Mining Act, too  “…. In a six-page letter to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM), Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) pointed out a range of flaws with phase two regulations, including concerns over the lack of compliance monitoring and enforcement. “First Nations should not be asked to trust that companies will do the right thing,” NAN’s letter states. “There must be ongoing monitoring of all project sites, to ensure companies are properly motivated to comply with permit terms.” According to NAN’s letter, the government has said it will identify the “bad apples” among exploration companies over time. “The only way this would happen is by letting them spoil the land, perhaps even more than once, and then stop it from happening in the future,” NAN wrote. “This reactionary approach is not acceptable.” …. “(Ontario has) to regulate…and require industry to consult in advance of submitting workplans and permits. Failure to do so will mean continued First Nation-industry conflict, and will violate your legal duty to ensure meaningful consulation.” ….”  Source

    KWG smelter test update  “KWG Resources Inc. and Cliffs Natural Resources have now had an opportunity to consider the results of the smelting test conducted with part of the bulk sample recovered during last winter’s drilling program at the Big Daddy deposit. The test confirmed that the sample can produce a marketable charge chrome grade of ferrochrome product with relatively low energy consumption. However, the test experienced less than ideal conditions in the newly installed pilot plant at the Xstrata Process Support Services facility at Falconbridge, Ontario. A large portion of the bulk sample, crushed to size, remains available for further testing. Options for such further testing will be discussed when the parties meet this month to evaluate plans for further programs for the Big Daddy partnership. About KWG: KWG has a 30% interest in the Big Daddy deposit. KWG also owns 100% of Canada Chrome Corporation which has staked claims and conducted a $15 million surveying and soil testing program for the engineering and construction of a railroad to the Ring of Fire from Exton, Ontario where the Trans Canada line of the Canadian National Railway can be connected. KWG Shareholders’ Annual Meeting: KWG will convene its annual meeting of shareholders on Wednesday June 27, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in Toronto, at the offices of Norton Rose Canada LLP, Suite 2300, TD Waterhouse Tower, 79 Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario ….”  Source (company news release)

    Renforth ROF update  “Renforth Resources Inc. wishes to update its shareholders on operations over the past two months. Nicole Brewster, President, CEO and Director of Renforth states: “Dear Renforth Shareholder: I am writing this note after two months as your new President and Chief Executive Officer, in order to provide an update on the recent changes and developments regarding our Company …. The Company raised a small amount of operating capital by the sale of 3 claims in the Ring of Fire. These were massive sulphide target claims, upon which initial exploration did not find any technically compelling reason to continue with exploration and were deemed non-material to the Company. The sale of these claims, which Renforth would not be advancing, generated enough capital to discharge existing debts such as legal and accounting, associated with the operation of the Company. The residual amount will be used for working capital ….”  Source (company news release)

    Timmins takes the high ground on where the Cliffs processor is slated to go …..  “The mayor of Timmins is congratulating Greater Sudbury on getting the billion-dollar ferrochrome smelter planned for Capreol. In a letter read by Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk at the June 12 meeting of city council, Tom Laughren praised Sudbury’s efforts to secure the facility, which is being built by Cliffs Natural Resources to process chromite mined from its Ring of Fire property in northwestern Ontario. Laughren wrote that the entire region stands to benefit from the project, and pledged to work with Sudbury in any way possible to ensure the project’s success. He praised the city’s efforts to win the smelter, saying Sudbury worked as hard as Timmins to try and win over Cliffs. “Throughout the process, all parties showed respect for each other,” he wrote. “This project is welcome news for the North and will have a positive impact for many businesses and people in northern Ontario. “If there’s anything we can do to help along the way, don’t hesitate to contact … us.” Matichuk praised Laughren and agreed that not only Sudbury stands to benefit. “I think it’s a really important message that they have sent,” she said. “There will be great opportunities for the entire north, not just Sudbury ….”  Source more (In Support of Mining blog)

  • …. while Kenora supports work in the Northwest  “…. The resolution going before a vote by council Monday states ‘The City of Kenora hereby supports the fundamental intent of the resolutions arising from the joint meeting of the Lake Nipigon First Nations, the Matawa North-South Alliance as well as the municipalities of Thunder Bay, Greenstone and Nipigon’. Mayor Canfield regards regional solidarity on Ring of Fire development as essential for northern residents and communities. He referred to the recent decision to build a $1.8 billion ferrochrome processing plant in Capreol, near Sudbury despite the regional campaign to have the facility located in Greenstone. The mayor suggested the decision was political as the government failed to provide any justification in locating the processing site at Sudbury rather than Greenstone despite the Northwestern Ontario municipality’s closer proximity to the source of the ore.”  Source

More information (excerpts from open sources monitored 1-15 Jun 12 – 21 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.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ring of Fire News – 9 Jun 12

  • Cliffs looking for hundreds of jobs for their proposed mine site, their smelter and the transportation route connecting the two  “Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk said she is pleased Cliffs Natural Resources is already accepting resumes for anyone interested in working in the company’s chromite smelter, which is slated to open in 2015. “As mayor of the City of Greater Sudbury, I am extremely pleased with this announcement, and welcome this news as another positive step towards the development of the project and booming economy in Greater Sudbury,” Matichuk said in a statement released June 6. “I would encourage students and anyone interested to consider the skilled trades and mining sector jobs as a career path.” The company began accepting resumes June 1 via its website, where a list of positions has been posted. Administration, clerical, human resources and accounting duties are amongst the jobs listed, but Cliffs is also accepting submissions for technical positions in engineering, metallurgy, trades, IT and general labour. In a note to job seekers, the company indicates the website will act as a repository for resumes “until an expected timeframe for recruiting in the specific job categories begins.” Job seekers are encouraged to submit their resumes “for future consideration.” …. “  Source Mine site jobs call:  400-500 jobs (also here if previous link doesn’t work) – Rail line jobs call:  250-300 jobs (also here if previous link doesn’t work) – Processing plant jobs call:  350-450 jobs (also here if previous link doesn’t work) – more (media) – more more more
  • KWG files its “running a rail line on its line o’ claims into the Ring of Fire” paperwork with Ontario’s Mining Commissioner  “KWG Resources Inc. delivered last Thursday its materials to comply with the Mining and Lands Commissioner’s Order to File. The Order to File was issued on March 15, 2012 in consequence of the Minister of Northern Development and Mines referring to the Commissioner an application made to the Minister of Natural Resources (“MNR”) under the Public Lands Act by a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (“Cliffs”), for an easement over mining claims staked and assessed by KWG subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation. The Order required Cliffs to file materials in support of its application by April 30th and the respondents KWG and MNR to file responding materials by May 30th and June 30th, respectively. Cliffs has recently confirmed that KWG has earned its 30% interest in the Big Daddy property under the program completed by Cliffs as Operator ….”  Source (KWG news release)
  • First Nations Underwhelmed:  Marten Falls  “Marten Falls First Nation Chief Eli Moonias says his northern Ontario community will need to see the benefits of a multibillion-dollar mining project before it gives its approval, something he says Canada as a whole must also consider. “We will agree only if our community will improve,” says the chief. The proposed Cliffs Natural Resources chromite mine site is in an area known as the Ring of Fire, about 540 kilometres north of Thunder Bay in the James Bay Lowlands. The American company plans to remove up to 12,000 tonnes of ore every day for 30 years. “It’s not just us that are small, you’re small too,” Moonias told reporters visiting Marten Falls on Thursday, suggesting Canada’s best interests don’t necessarily harmonize with global trading priorities. The proposed project in northern Ontario includes a smelter near Sudbury, Ont. Moonias said Cliffs intends to export 40 per cent of the chromite it plans to mine near his community to China. “It is done for the many at the expense of the few,” he said. “The language is nearly the same in the way Cliffs talks, in the way the government talks [about the proposed mine]. “Now they want to ship that ore — our ore, your ore — to China,” he added. “Now there’s lots of people over there and we’re not included in their formula. So don’t call us tiny anymore, because you’re tiny too.” …. Moonias said Marten Falls is used to seeing development over the years that benefits industry in southern Ontario, while leaving First Nations mired in poverty ….”  Source
  • First Nations Underwhelmed:  Webequie  “The Webequie First Nation is expressing frustration with one of the major players in the Ring of Fire. Community leaders say they are disappointed with Noront Resources and the slow progress being made on reaching agreements. Webequie’s senior director for the Ring of Fire senior, Michael Fox said the community is looking for a memorandum of understanding. Fox said the MOU would guide negotiations for the Impact Benefits Agreement, which has to be approved by community leadership. An exploration agreement was previously in place for Noront’s Eagles Nest project, but has since expired. Fox added that Noront’s community-based liaison was promoted and appears not to have been replaced. Last week Noront officials announced they were delaying the release of their feasibility study. The company said it wanted to evaluate recent announcements by Cliffs Natural Resources and the provincial government regarding access roads into the Ring of Fire. Noront officials were contacted, but could not immediately provide comment to Thunder Bay Television News.”  Source First Nation news release
  • Latest clarification in RFP for Thunder Bay/Fort William First Nation Mining Readiness Strategy:  who’s the consultant work for exactly?  Bid document amendment (here, via Google Docs) also includes a map and background information of the power system in the northwest.
  • Greenstone getting ready to benefit long term from mining expansion  “Members of the Greenstone community met with economic developers, landscape architects and design professionals to come up with creative ideas and solutions to address the predicted growth associated with increased mining activity in the region. Members of the community engaged in a three-day Charrette planning process to map out future development in Greenstone and build consensus at the community level for our shared growth plan. The event provided an opportunity for community representatives and other key stakeholders to develop a preliminary vision, goals and priorities which will provide direction in the community Economic Development Strategic Plan. This process was a unique approach to strategic planning, and involved collaboration between residents from all wards, community leaders, government and First Nation representatives, as well as the private sector, resulting in a collective voice for the region ….”  Source
  • Ring of Fire mentioned in latest federal cabinet road show on new environmental assessment rules  “….the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and Harper Government Ministers throughout Canada are putting the spotlight on the benefits of the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development to communities across the country, specifically the job creation, growth and long-term prosperity that all Canadians can share in …. Natural resources will continue to play an important role in Ontario’s economy. For example, the development of the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario holds the potential for billions in mineral wealth. This vast reserve of minerals and metals will generate jobs and economic growth in Ontario for decades to come. “That’s why it’s so important to ensure that Canada has the right conditions in place to attract global investment in our provinces and territories,” said the Minister. “The time is now for Canada’s immense resources. Canada must compete with other resource-rich countries around the world for these job-creating investment dollars. And this is why we need to ensure timely, efficient and effective project reviews.” Responsible Resource Development is founded on four main pillars: to make project reviews more predictable and timely while still maintaining thoroughness; to reduce duplication of project reviews; to strengthen environmental protection; and to enhance Aboriginal consultations ….”  Source (news release)more
  • “The Sudbury-based Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation is partnering with Ontario Centres for Excellence and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to help the mining industry solve some of the daunting problems it faces in developing mega-projects in remote areas like Ontario’s Ring of Fire. While the opportunities offered by this promising new mineral zone are tremendous, so are the challenges of building environmentally, socially and financially sound mining operations in an undeveloped area that is devoid of the requisite infrastructure. Finding innovative ways to manage water, waste, mining by-products, energy consumption and extraction could accelerate the rate of mineral development, as well as related productivity and profitability, in the far northern Ring of Fire zone. In response, the three partners have established a $2.3-million program to fund research on advanced manufacturing projects that will have the potential for immediate upstream or downstream benefit to the mineral industry. The program will focus on transformative R&D in productivity, energy, water and waste relating to Ontario’s mining industry and its value chain ….”  Source (In Support of Mining blog)More
  • Stay tuned to CBQ-FM Thunder Bay for more Ring of Fire stories coming soon  “Jody Porter ‏@cbcreporter – Excited to be heading off to Marten Falls, Moose Cree, Webequie and Keewaywin First Nations this week. Watch for stories on #ROF #FN soon” Source (Twitter post, re-tweeted by NorontResources)

More information (excerpts from open sources monitored 25 May-8 Jun 12 – 16 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.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ring of Fire News – 4 Jun 12

  • Noront confirms another look at its plans in light of Ontario (sorta) supporting a road into the Ring of Fire   “Noront Resources Ltd. advises that in response to recent announcements by the Government of Ontario and Cliffs Natural Resources (“Cliffs”) regarding the proposed location of a ferrochrome smelting facility in Sudbury and road access to the Ring of Fire, the Company has decided to evaluate the impact of these announcements prior to issuing the Feasibility Study for it’s Eagle’s Nest Project.  President and CEO Wes Hanson states: “ The Company views the announcements by Cliffs and the Government of Ontario on May 9, 2012 as a very positive development in unlocking the vast mineral wealth identified in the Ring of Fire district of Ontario. In order to evaluate the potential benefits to our shareholders, the Company has decided to delay issuing the Feasibility Study for our flagship Eagle’s Nest nickel sulphide deposit. The commitment, by both parties, to a north south access route and the timing highlighted in the announcements, warrant a thorough review to evaluate the potential impact to our planned development of the Eagle’s Nest deposit.” ….”  Source (company news release)  – More (from the In Support of Mining blog, which broke the story)moremoremore
  • Another company paying off its slice of the Ring of Fire pie  “Bold Ventures Inc. (“Bold Ventures” or the “Company”) …. The Company also wishes to advise that it has settled $38,122.14 relating to a finders’ fee through the issuance of 544,602 warrants to purchase common shares at $0.14 per share until May 23, 2014. The warrants (and any common shares issue on the exercise of the warrants) are subject to a re-sale restriction until September 29, 2012. The finders’ fee was paid to IBK Capital Corp. and Dundee Securities Ltd. as a result of the expenditure by 2282726 Ontario Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dundee Corporation, in the aggregate amount of $1,906,107 on the Company’s properties in the Ring of Fire. Please refer to …. a press release issued by Rencore Resources Ltd. on May 31, 2011 for further particulars ….”  Source
  • Aroland, two other First Nations hold May 30 community meeting  “We are having a follow up meeting regarding the “Ring of Fire” and our community impacts to the project.  We will have 2 outside communities joining us to hear what our community concerns are so come out and share.  We would like any elders or Land Users (Trappers/ Hunter/ Fisherman) who have some knowledge of the areas that will be impacted to come out as well and assist the community with the testing of our Documentation of the affected areas …. We will be serving supper at 6:00 pm so be there to eat and share knowledge/concerns – It is very important to get as many community members out as possible so we can both get ready for this development and show the other communities what we are concerned about ….”  Source
  • Editorial:  Time for everyone to work together on the Ring of Fire  “There is an amazing opportunity to embrace nation-building and put aside political differences. The Ring of Fire is waiting for us …. Since its earliest days of discovery it should have been more than clear to everybody that every level of government needs to come to the table. First Nations spokespeople are already complaining that they were not properly consulted.  After so many ridiculous standoffs, after so many ruined projects, can it truly be said we have not consulted our aboriginal neighbours before we go tramping through land they believe is their ancestral territory? What might be said is that consultation did take place which led to disagreement. It is hard to imagine that there was no consultation.  Do we want a brighter economic future? Do First Nations chiefs want a better way of life for their communities? Do we all understand that it accomplishes nothing to focus on past wrongs and put roadblocks to the future?  Let’s all put the posturing aside. Get on with this project as partners. There are enough riches and victories in this for all. A lot of people are waiting for someone to stand up and be a leader here. The future of the North depends on it. The future of Northern First Nations communities depends on it.  This is not just a mine. This is an opportunity to build a stronger nation.”  Source
  • National Post column:  training dollars only part of the answer  “…. Ontario has an unemployment rate of 7.8%, but 22.6% of natives on reserve are on income assistance. Dalton McGuinty, the Ontario Premier, called last week for more federal help to upgrade skill levels for First Nations to kick-start the development of the Ring of Fire area in northern Ontario.  Yet it’s not as if training is not already available. The Human Resources and Skills Development website has an alphabet spaghetti of training programs – the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership, the Skills and Partnership Fund and so on. In addition, companies keen to hire aboriginal workers often pay for their own training. When De Beers established the $1-billion Victor diamond mine in northern Ontario, it set aside $10-million for skills training for natives from the nearby Attawapiskat reserve, only to find the numbers involved were far fewer than anticipated.  Perhaps those programs are badly tailored to their target market. But there may be a more elementary reason why take-up is low.  As with the overly generous Employment Insurance regime, the federal government provides a range of welfare programs for natives on reserve, with little enforcement when it comes to accepting work that is often available in more accessible reserves. There are 1,200 aboriginal communities within 200km of producing mines or exploratory properties and, while the numbers of native workers is increasing, there are still jobs unfilled.  This is not to suggest natives on reserve are any more lazy than any other sector of society – just that they have more opportunity to smack the government piñata and watch the money fall out ….”  Source
  • New federal NDP mining critic named  “Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle has been tasked with the responsibilities of the NDP’s mining critic, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has announced.  “I am honoured with Tom’s appointment and know it fits perfectly with my own priorities, and, more importantly, those of our northern Ontario communities,” Gravelle said in a press release.  In the last Parliament, Gravelle worked on a national mining strategy that addressed jobs, foreign takeovers, miner safety and environmental concerns.  “Since that work, we now have many new MPs and that strategy needs to be updated, especially with the anticipated mining boom across the country and right here in northern Ontario.”  …. Mulcair has asked Gravelle to work closely with Natural Resources and Energy critic Peter Julian, according to the news release.  Gravelle is a member of Parliament’s Natural Resources committee. During the party leadership race, he was interim natural resources critic. Before his election in 2008, Gravelle worked 34 years for Inco Mines as a machinist.”  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 17-30 May 12 (30 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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