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.


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