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Ring of Fire News – August 31, 2012

A bit of an early info-shot before Labour Day – enjoy the long weekend!

  • The Mining and Lands Commissioner’s decision on a First Nation getting standing in a mining claim corridor issue is out ….  “….  the tribunal finds that it is charged with determining whether an application for disposition under the Public Lands Act should be accepted by the Minister of Natural Resources in the face of a refusal of consent from a mining claims holder. This is the “multiple use principle” at work. For the reasons given above, the tribunal cannot agree that the Neskantaga should be granted party status or that the Neskantaga qualify as an “interested person” for the purposes of this section 51 hearing. Due to the important nature of the issues raised by the Neskantaga’s application, no costs will be payable by any party.”  Source (decision) – PDF version of decision
  • …. with the First Nation saying they’re not stopping their fight ….  “….  This decision has only strengthened our resolve to continue the fight to protect our land,” said Chief (Peter) Moonias.  Although Neskantaga was not successful in this application, the Commission decided not to order costs against Neskantaga, “..due to the important nature of the issues raised by the Neskantaga application.”  The community’s lawyers are reviewing the decision, as there may be grounds for an appeal.  In the meantime, Neskantaga vows to prevent any construction of a road through traditional territories and over the Attawapiskat River until there is proper consultation with the community and until a Joint Review Panel Environmental Assessment takes place ….”  Source (full screen capture of news release also available here) – more    
  • …. and KWG takes the next steps to get gravel for the corridor (as well as start the ball rolling on a “port” in one of the Ring of Fire lakes)  “The KWG Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:KWG) (“KWG”) subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation has filed applications with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) for thirty-two aggregate permits at sites that are located within the mineral claims covering the company’s 308 kilometre-long railroad right-of-way. The sites were identified and investigated by Golder Associates during initial assessment work conducted for engineering feasibility studies as previously reported. The sites are located along the proposed route for KWG’s railway to the Ring of Fire region, and may provide material for the construction of the planned railbed. An environmental assessment and consultation with affected parties have not yet been concluded.  “In our meetings with Matawa First Nations Management Inc. officers and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to review our draft Project Description, we have indicated our preference that the consultation requirements and protocols be developed in their entirety by the affected First Nations, to ensure the adequacy of the process,” said KWG President Frank Smeenk ….  Canada Chrome Corporation has also made application to MNR under the provisions of the Public Lands Act, for the grant of title to the lands it has tentatively designated as the “Port of Koper Lake” at the northern terminus of its right-of-way. The application covers two 16-unit claim blocks which include the western shore of Koper Lake where temporary float-plane docking facilities are now in use. As included in the draft Project Description, preliminary plans envisage the development of a permanent amphibious aerodrome at that location together with an adjacent and permanent East-West all-weather runway and heliport terminal as an adjunct to a railroad terminal, fuel storage compound, communications hub, accommodation services, and repair and maintenance facilities ….”  Source  – more from the In Support of Mining blog    
  • LOADS o’ analysis of Cliffs’ stock performance, much of it not so good  “Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and deteriorating net income ….”  Source – more  – more  – more  – moremoremore
  • Question to Ontario’s mines minister in the Legislature:  are you talking to Cliffs about exporting ore to be processed outside Canada.  Answer from the mines minister:  “We are very, very excited about the Ring of Fire. There are several aspects that the government is speaking to Cliffs about, which will be no surprise to the member from Timmins–James Bay, because we were very, very excited. I think members on both sides of the House were very, very excited when Cliffs decided that they were going to build their processing plant in Ontario.  So we look forward to the potential that the Ring of Fire will bring to I think everyone in Ontario, in particular northern Ontarians …. Well, you know what? Maybe the member from Timmins–James Bay isn’t excited about the Ring of Fire, but I can tell you that everybody else in northern Ontario is very, very excited. In fact, the mayor of Timmins is very, very excited. He’s looking for the opportunity that this very exciting project will bring to the people of northern Ontario.  We look at the job creation opportunity. We look at the spinoff benefits of the supply and services sector with regard to the Ring of Fire. We look at the investment, the infrastructure investment, that’s naturally going to take place from the Ring of Fire. We look at the additional mines that will come on board. We look at the opportunity for our First Nations.  To say that he isn’t excited about the Ring of Fire certainly isn’t reflective of what the people of northern Ontario—”  Source (Hansard)
  • More from the new Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief:  We won’t protest, we’ll “protect” our lands, and we want to talk to decision makers, not bureaucrats  “Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s new grand chief wasted little time in wading into the controversy over resource development on First Nations lands.  During a media meet and greet in Thunder Bay on Aug. 22, Harvey Yesno used his opening speech to declare that First Nations in NAN territory are willing to protect their lands by “whatever means possible.”  “One thing for sure, on the lands, its going to be all about protection,” Yesno said. “We’re not going to protest over our own lands. Nobody protests over their own property. But people will protect their property. And we’ll protect it by whatever means possible.”   …. Yesno said changes are planned for the way NAN operates internally, as well as in the way NAN deals with governments and industry.  Part of those changes is the shift from protesting to protecting lands, the grand chief said. But Yesno also noted that NAN expects both federal and provincial governments to treat NAN as a nation, with elected officials meeting to make decisions on issues affecting northern Ontario First Nations.   “We are definitely going to make some change, and the engagement with the government is certainly going to be first and foremost,” Yesno said. “I’m not interested in meeting with bureaucrats. I want to meet with counterparts that will be making decisions.” ….”  Source
  • Ontario launches new university-based “Northern Policy Institute” to “boost the northern economy and help provide a stronger voice to Northern Ontario”  “…. The institute, an independent, not-for-profit organization, will monitor the implementation of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario and make provincial policy recommendations for the region. It will work with northern municipalities, post-secondary institutions, research groups, Aboriginal organizations, francophone groups and industry to set priorities and directions for northern development.  The Northern Policy Institute is proceeding under the direction of two advisors — Dr. Brian Stevenson, president of Lakehead University, and Dominic Giroux, president of Laurentian University. They will provide guidance to the institute, which will be based out of their respective universities in Thunder Bay and Sudbury …. A search is underway for the founding Chief Executive Officer, who will oversee the institute’s preparation of a five-year business plan.  In April 2011 a questionnaire was sent to over 1,400 individuals and organizations seeking input on the mandate of the institute ….”  News ReleaseBackgroundermoremore

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-31 Aug 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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Ring of Fire News – August 25, 2012

  • Municipal Leaders:  We Told Ontario We Need Help with Ring of Fire  “The city (of Thunder Bay) has taken another step toward being Ring of Fire ready.  The massive chromite in Northern Ontario is expected to bring an economic boom to the area. In an effort to be ready for that boom, the city has prepared a Mining Readiness Strategy. But the strategy is meaningless if it doesn’t have provincial support.  Getting that provincial support was one of the city’s main goals as local delegates swarmed Ottawa this week for the Association of Municipalities Ontario conference. City councillors Joe Virdiramo, Ken Boshcoff, Brian McKinnon, Mayor Keith Hobbs and City Manager Tim Commisso attended the four-day conference, which started Sunday, to advocate for the city to provincial ministers.  Boshcoff is now calling the trip a success as it appears the city now has commitment from ministers that should help move the city’s mining strategy forward. Specifically, ministers were appointing administrators to oversee the development of the mining strategy.  “One of our goals was finding out who the point person for the minister of the mine readiness study was,” Boshcoff said.  “Each department assigns a senior public servant so we get answers quicker and they expedite what’s happening. The fact that so many departments made their commitments right away and others will be appointing someone in the near future is a great check list that we have that done.”  The strategy developed by the city focuses on specific areas such as creating a workforce, ensuring a mine has enough power and that Thunder Bay can handle the potential thousands of new residents ….  “  Sourcemoremore
  • New Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief:   First Nations want their voices heard, their fair share of revenue  “The newly-elected grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation will continue to work at creating more engagement with government when it comes to resource development.  During a press conference on Wednesday, Harvey Yesno said that chiefs in the NAN territory want a different approach to communicating with the government.  “Today things have changed,” Yesno said told the media. “The issue on the table is resource development that is happening in the communities but there is no meaningful engagement that is happening. We would like to see the governments walk and talk, and we want to participate in that.”  Yesno also spoke about creating a balance for all First Nations when it comes to revenue sharing.  On issues relating to land, Yesno emphasized that there needs to be consent and First Nations shouldn’t have to protest to protect their lands.  “We aren’t going to protest and just let things happen,” he said. “We have to protect it. Protest sometimes raises a voice, but most times things just go on. I think that’s the difference.”  Yesno was elected as NAN grand chief last week, defeating former deputy grand chief Terry Waboose by one vote, 22-21 in the secret-ballot vote. Yesno replaces Stan Beardy, who was recently elected as the Ontario Regional Chief ….”  Source
  • Another Company Flogging Good News from the Area  “MacDonald Mines Exploration Inc. (BMK.V) reported encouraging drilling results from its Butler volcanogenic massive sulphide property, located just 36 kilometres from the Big Daddy chromite deposit, in the “ring of fire” in the James Bay Lowlands area on northern Ontario.  Quentin Yarie, BMK’s Senior VP Exploration stated: “The drilling results and the follow-up borehole pulse electromagnetic surveys at Butler support our interpretation that this is a highly mineralized area. The mineralization is especially encouraging as it is typical for past and present producing Canadian districts.”  Some drilling results were released on the company’s website.  Shares in the company closed up 9% at 12 cents on Wednesday.”  Source
  • Analyst:  Time to Get Onto the Cliffs Bandwagon   “Time To Buy Cliffs Natural Resources: An Undervalued Dividend Stock – Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) is a coal and iron ore mining company with mines in Alabama, Michigan, Minnesota, West Virginia, and parts of Canada. It also has mines located in Asia and Australia. In North America, CLF is by far the largest producer of iron ores. What’s most exciting for growth is CLF’s 30% stake in an iron ore project in Brazil and its increasing investment in renewable energy through acquisitions.  This company is extremely undervalued because of a recent bear rally starting in mid-April. At a price-to-book ratio of 1.02, it’s a steal. Investors get the chance to pay $1.02 for every $1 in assets that CLF holds. This essentially means they would be paying $0.02 for its business value. Compare this with the mining industry average price-to-book of 6.10, which means investors pay $6.10 for every dollar of assets a company owns …. “  Source
  • More on the Young Mining Film Makers  “Noront Resources, DAREarts, Engage Learn, and the Ontario Mining Association have partnered together to create a unique youth camp focused on combining geology, rocks and mining, with visual arts and film.   The Mining Movie Making Summer Camp (MMMYC) is a fun, hands-on, community based program that ignites aboriginal youth to share their stories of the rocks, minerals, environment and traditional territories with the rest of the world. After three days of hands on workshops led by a world class team of teachers from Noront, DAREarts and Engage Learn, the local youth work to collaborate and create their own aboriginal community video to submit as part of the So You Think You Know Mining competition (“SYTYKM”) hosted by The Ontario Mining Association (“OMA”) …. Over forty of Simon Jacob Memorial Education Centre’s youth participated in the MMMYC Webequie First Nation Camp. The children were highly engaged by the subject matter and the medium where they were able to visually express their personal stories through film. Jayda Sofea age 11 said, “I would want Mining Movie camp to happen again because it was fun to be on camera!!”   The participants’ video can be viewed at the following link: http://www.mikawaa.com/mikawaa-tv/viewvideo/183  ….” Sourcemore
  • (Not exactly Ring of Fire, but)  Calls for Mines Minister to Resign/Retire/Get Out  “At least two groups in northeastern Ontario are calling on the province’s northern development and mines minister, Rick Bartolucci, to resign or retire.  The North Bay Chamber of Commerce and the union representing Ontario Northland Transportation Commission workers have made the requests.  There are several reasons for the request to resign, including the sale of the ONTC, said John Strang, the president of the North Bay Chamber of Commerce.  “We believe that this issue is bigger than just the Northlander and the ONTC,” he said.  “We believe that it’s a hit at our way of life in northern Ontario. One of the frustrating points for us is that our tax dollars, northern Ontario’s tax dollars, continue to subsidize transportation in southern Ontario. You know, those numbers don’t come out and they’re not being brought out.”  Strang said the chamber plans to take its fight to the premier as well, saying the Liberal government has failed northern Ontario.  In response to commentary on CBC Sudbury’s Morning North program, Bartolucci’s spokesperson Laura Blondeau recently remarked on Twitter the Ontario Liberals have “opened Hwy 11, invested in [the] North Bay airport, built [a] North Bay [and] Mattawa Hospital [and] will continue to invest in [the] North.  Blondeau also tweeted the “ONTC train and bus compete against each other [and the] train runs below 50 per cent capacity. [The province’s] $400 subsidy per passenger [is] unsustainable.” ….”  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-24 Aug 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.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ring of Fire News – August 18, 2012

  • From Ring of Fire Co-ordinator Office Official to to Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief  “Harvey Yesno has been elected new Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN).  Yesno won by one vote over Terry Waboose on the third ballot. Yesno received 22 votes to Waboose’s 21 votes.  In his victory speech, Yesno stressed the importance of unity amongst communities and chiefs.  “We need to be united,” Yesno said. “There’s no way to do it otherwise. We need all of you to stand together, so that our children will have something to look forward to in the future.”  Yesno replaces former grand chief Stan Beardy, who stepped down in June after being elected Regional Chief of Ontario.   Prior to being elected, Yesno served as the Ontario government’s director for Aboriginal and Community relations for the Ring of Fire.  He has previously been the executive director of the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund, served as chief of Eabametoong First Nation for five terms. He was also involved with Grand Council Treaty No. 9, which later became Nishnawbe Aski Nation, in the late 1970s and early 1980s ….”  SourceMore (Nishnawbe Aski Nation news release)  – more (from the In Support of Mining blog) – more (AFN news release) – moremoremoremore (pre-election editorial)
  • Mining Conference Sharing Ring of Fire Info  “If you’re looking for opportunity in Ontario’s Ring of Fire, you’ll want to check out the 2012 Mining Ready Summit scheduled for October in Thunder Bay.  Hosted by Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund, this second annual conference is expected to draw more than 300 industry leaders, contractors, mining related service providers, First Nation communities and Aboriginal business owners for discussions and presentations around the theme “Preparing Aboriginal Communities for Mining Related Business Opportunities.”  According to organizers, the 2012 program has been designed “to ensure a fulfilling experience for participants interested in bringing new knowledge, evidence, lessons learned and best practice into the mining sequence and associated business opportunities for Aboriginal communities and industry.”  One agenda item of particular interest for potential suppliers is a presentation on Bidding on Mining Contracts from Joe Gaboury, Director First Nations Relations for Cliffs Natural Resources.  Although his presentation is yet to be confirmed, Gaboury promises to reveal:  What First Nation companies must know when bidding for mineral exploration or mining related contracts, and  What non First Nation companies must know when bidding for mineral exploration or mining related contracts that are associated by Impact and Benefit Agreements and other agreements with First Nations ….”  Source (In Support of Mining blog) – More (2012 Mining Ready Summit “Preparing Aboriginal Communities for Mining Related Business Opportunities”  October 23 & 24, 2012 Valhalla Inn, Thunder Bay, ON conference page) – conference agenda (alternate download site)
  • Detailed Two-part Feature in the Sudbury Star on Cliffs’ Black Thor Project, Associated Issues   Part 1 (11 Aug 12)   – Part 2 (13 Aug 12)
  • “Friends of Neskantaga” Has a Web Page Again (more on their last attempt here)    “We will fight in the courts, we will fight on the Attawapiskat River, we shall defend our land and waters, whatever the cost may be. We will never surrender.  1. Deciding What Happens On Our Lands – We have the right to decide what happens on our lands.  2. Speaking for Ourselves – We have the right to know what changes the Cliffs, and other projects in the Ring of Fire, will bring to the land, waters and our way of life.  A Negotiated Environmental Assessment – We need to clearly understand the changes that the development of the Ring of Fire region will bring to the environment, our culture and way of life. The current Environmental Assessment process is a generic public process with no distinct or government-to-government engagement with the First Nations that will be affected by the proposed projects. We need a negotiated First Nations/Ontario/Canada environmental review process that is fair to our communities and ensures that potential impacts are fully and thoroughly considered before any project decisions are made. All who have something to say should be given an opportunity to speak and have their say in our own language, in our own communities.  3. Our Fair Share – We have the right to benefit, if after a full and thorough environmental assessment, we decide that the project is compatible with the Neskantaga goals and aspirations for our land.  A Framework for Benefits Revenue Sharing – Ontario has already agreed in principle that First Nations must to share fairly in the benefits of natural resource development in the Ring of Fire. In order for our communities to support the Ring of Fire, Canada and Ontario must make a serious financial commitment to address the social and economic disparities of our communities, and not just offer to train workers ….”  Source (web page) – more (screen capture of page on 14 Aug 12)
  • Municipal Officials to Press Provincial Reps on Ring of Fire  “Mining and energy will be at the top of the agenda when “Northwestern Ontario municipal representatives meet with various provincial ministers at a conference in Ottawa next week.  Several representatives of Thunder Bay and the region will be in Ottawa for the annual Association of Ontario Municipalities conference, which runs from Sunday to Wednesday. While there, participants will have a chance to meet with several Ontario government representatives — including Premier Dalton McGuinty, opposition leader Tim Hudak, NDP leader Andrea Horwath, and provincial ministers — to discuss various issues.  leven Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) board members are making the trip, including Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs, city manager Tim Commisso and Coun. Joe Virdiramo. Also on hand will be NOMA president Ron Nelson, representatives of Fort William First Nation, and Red Lake Mayor Phil Vinet.  We’ve . . . got a broad range from all the districts,” said NOMA executive director Charla Robinson. “We’re meeting with ministers Tuesday morning, and we’re meeting with the opposition parties on Monday.  Our big issue . . . is mining, and all of the development the province needs to do to make sure that this opportunity can go forward,” she said. “The province needs to get the transportation infrastructure sorted out, they need to get moving on that. The province needs to be aware of the significant energy requirements — not just in the Ring of Fire but across the whole region — to power all the mining growth that we’ve got happening.  “If a mine doesn’t have enough power, or doesn’t have a road to get there, it’s kinda hard to do anything.”  Those things fall under provincial jurisdiction, as do the training programs required to staff the mining industry as it grows, Robinson said ….”  Source
  • More Eyes on Cliffs  “Research analysts at Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources in a report released on Thursday. The firm set an “equal weight” rating on the stock.  Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources opened at 41.61 on Thursday. Cliffs Natural Resources has a 52 week low of $36.06 and a 52 week high of $85.64. The company has a market cap of $5.929 billion and a P/E ratio of 4.20.  Cliffs Natural Resources last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.81 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $1.81. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 10.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Cliffs Natural Resources will post $6.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year ….”  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-17 Aug 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.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ring of Fire News – August 11, 2012

  • Ontario’s Ring of Fire Co-ordinator:  Infrastructure discussions coming The coordinator of Ontario’s Ring of Fire Secretariat insists the province is committed to working with First Nations on establishing how the north will develop alongside the massive mining projects proposed for the Ring of Fire. In an interview with Wawatay News, Christine Kaszycki emphasized that the provincial government is thinking of long-term infrastructure needs as it analyzes how best to develop the Ring of Fire. Kaszycki said discussions between the province and First Nations on regional infrastructure planning will begin sometime in the next few months. “There are a number of initiatives Ontario has put on the table, including regional infrastructure planning and regional environmental monitoring, where the discussions need to include groups of communities,” Kaszycki said ….”  Source
  • Ontario’s Green Party on the Ring of Fire  “The Green Party of Ontario supports making First Nations “full partners” in the process of developing the Ring of Fire chromite deposit in northwestern Ontario, even though those leaders oppose building the facility’s chromite smelter in Sudbury.  Speaking in front of the Miner’s Heritage Memorial at Bell Park on Aug. 8, party leader Mike Schreiner said he’s aware that First Nations chiefs in the area – about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay – have made building the billion-dollar smelter in their area their primary condition for supporting the development.   Since Ohio-based Cliffs Natural Resources announced in May that Capreol will be the site for its smelter, tribal chiefs in the Ring of Fire area have said they will start issuing eviction notices to the mining company as part of a campaign to force Cliffs to change its mind.  However, Schreiner insists the fault lies with the Liberal government for not ensuring that all Ontarians – and First Nations in particular – will benefit from the Ring of Fire.  “We have one chance to do this right,” Schreiner said. “It’s essential that First Nations have the full economic benefit of this resource.” ….”  Sourcemore
  • Stock alert for Cliffs  “…. Cliffs Natural Resources has been selected by InvestorsObserver analysts as a stock that is an ideal candidate for a new covered call today. Buying the stock for $44.97 while simultaneously selling the October $44.00 call will result in a new position with a target return of 5.6 %. Based on recent prices, this position will cost about $41.67, which is also the trade’s breakeven point. At that level, this covered call has 7.3 % downside protection, while still providing a 5.6 % return in 71 days as long as CLF is above $44.00 on 10/20/2012. For comparison purposes only, this Cliffs Natural Resources covered call aims for an annualized return rate of 25.6 % ….”  Source
  • Budding film makers in Webequie First Nation  “@NorontResources 3h Mining Movie Making Camp in Webequie FN @engagelearn @dare_arts @OntMiningAssoc pic.twitter.com/n4chQ5iJ  Twitter postPoster
  • Ontario Conservative Party natural resources critic bashes lack o’ provincial work on the Ring of Fire  “…. MPP Laurie Scott (PC, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock) visited Thunder Bay this week to get a better sense of the city. She said her riding faces some of the same challenges as those in Northern Ontario and wanted to learn more about the organizations and businesses in this area. Scott had sharp criticism for how the minority Liberal-led provincial government has handled development in the North and said the area has been an anchor for Ontario because of projects like the Ring of Fire. She added that Ontario hasn’t been giving those types of projects enough support. “There’s a great deal of frustration to say we got so much potential here that we can grow on,” Scott said. “We’ve had rough times but we’re ready to rebound. Enough talk from the Liberal government. Now let’s get some action.” …. the criticism seems ironic as Gravelle believes the PC’s own relationship with First Nations community has historically needed improvements. The Minister and local MPP said when the Progressive Conservative Party governed Ontario under the leadership of Mike Harris the relationship with First Nations was at an all-time low. He added that his own Liberal party has worked hard to build good relationships with First Nation communities. “We have worked closely with many organizations and certainly with First Nations,” Gravelle said ….”  Source
  • New cargo airline taking advantage of the Ring of Fire  “A new aviation entity with heavy-lift cargo capability is taking to the skies of Northern Ontario this fall. And the man behind the stick is a familiar face. Canadian aviation pioneer Frank Kelner of Thunder Bay has formed Cargo North, an investment group, that is poised to be on the front lines of mineral exploration and development in the Far North. The outfit has bought a Basler Turbo 67 (BT-67) and expects to have the aircraft in service for cargo and fuel hauls by early November …. With mineral development advancing in the Ring of Fire, Kelner said the opportunity to dive in was too good to pass up. “I’ve been watching up north for the last six, seven years and nobody’s got any heart and soul into keeping the customers happy, from what I can see. And my phone kept ringing all the time. In the old days, we always kept people happy, and we’ve done very well for ourselves.”  Kelner confirms he has some ventures cooked up with mining companies this winter that will leave any competitors behind in the dust. His group has also formed an operational alliance with Nakina Air Service and North Star Air which gives Cargo North access to key staging bases to be closer to their northerly clients ….”  Source
  • (Not in the Ring of Fire, but)  Quebec Cree ban uranium mining in Quebec’s north (after they agree to a new way to run things in the area)  “The James Bay Cree Nation (in Quebec) has declared a Permanent Moratorium on uranium exploration, uranium mining and uranium waste emplacement in Eeyou Istchee, the James Bay Cree territory. The permanent moratorium was enacted unanimously by the Annual Cree Nation General Assembly in Waskaganish. “The risks inherent in uranium exploration, mining, milling, refining and transport, and in radioactive and toxic uranium mining waste, are incompatible with our stewardship responsibilities in Eeyou Istchee,” the Resolution declares. “The Cree Nation is determined to protect our economies and way of life against the unique and grave threat posed by uranium mining and uranium waste, today and for thousands of years to come,” said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come. “We are not opposed to sustainable and equitable mining and other industrial and resource development activities in Eeyou Istchee – but the toxic and radiation risks created by uranium mining and uranium waste are unique in scale and duration.” ….”  SourceText of declaration (PDF)  (P.S. – There’s also an election on in Quebec.)

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-10 Aug 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.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ring of Fire News – 4 Aug 12

  • New Study Coming on What Jobs’ll be Needed in Northeastern Ontario (similar to one already done for the northwest)  “A $200,000 study will take a look at the labour needs of the mining industry in Sudbury and across Northern Ontario during the next 10 years.  Workforce Planning for Sudbury & Manitoulin, and the Mining Industry Human Resources Council, are working together to forecast the labour market needs in the mining sector.  “It is no secret that the mining industry is booming across Northern Ontario and especially in Greater Sudbury and the surrounding district,” Jonathan Laderoute, co-chair of the Workforce Planning for Sudbury & Manitoulin board of directors, said in a release.  “This research is critical so that we can have a better understanding of the current and future labour market needs of the industry and to address them with as much homegrown talent as possible.”  The looming retirement of the baby boom generation, the difficulty attracting and engaging younger workers, and an under-representation of diverse groups such as aboriginal people, women and new Canadians in highly skilled professions and the skilled trades, all contribute to significant human resources challenges for the growing mining and mining-re lated industries in the Greater Sudbury area, the groups say.  To address these challenges and ensure competitiveness, there is a need to fully under-s tand current and future needs of the industry, the groups said. Detailed mining-specific data is not available at a district level, but this research project will fill the gap by developing a customized regional mining labour market forecast for 66 mining and mining-related occupations.  “The Sudbury area is a centre for hard rock mining,” said Glen Murray, minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. ” Employment Ontario is helping ensure that the education and training programs that will help the industry grow in Sudbury and Manitoulin are available locally for people interested in a career in mining.”  Once complete, the report will summarize two-, five-, and 10-year forecasts for Sudbury’s mining industry. Other workforce planning boards across Northern Ontario will produce similar reports.  The research will be modeled on a project completed by the North Superior Workforce Planning Board earlier this year. The executive sum-mar y of this project can be found at www.nswpb.ca.  The initiative is part of a $200,775 project to review the training needs and hiring requirements of the mining industry throughout the North. The Ontario government is contributing $85,375 to the project.  In Sudbury, other funding partners include the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation, Cambrian College, College Boreal and Workforce Planning for Sudbury & Manitoulin. Other community partners across the region have expressed support for the project and are providing in-kind contributions.  A final report will be released by the end of this year.”  Sourcemore (for the Thunder Bay angle) – moremore
  • Still confirming the latest documents, but I wonder if someone will be discussing, say, all-weather road access into Ontario’s Far North, where the Ring of Fire is?  “The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has launched a study to examine the transportation needs for northern Ontario.  CPCS Transcom of Ottawa has been hired for a study looking at the long-term requirements to further economic development in this region.  Companies, organizations and other stakeholders engaged in mining, tourism, manufacturing, forestry and agriculture will be contacted and asked for input.  The MTO is also asking for feedback this summer on a proposed multimodal goods movement strategy for the province.  The ministry’s policy branch issued a consultation document on July 10 to map out a strategy for the next 20 years.  The study will identify future trends, challenges and issues that affect industry.  Input can be made through the Environmental Registry and Regulatory Registry. The ministry expects to release a final strategy before the end of this year along with a three-year action plan.”  Source – From a previous EBR posting“…. The Ministry of Transportation will develop a Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy, a key deliverable of the Northern Ontario Growth Plan, 2011. When completed this Strategy will identify directions on transportation needs for the movement of people and goods, considering the various roles of all modes in the transportation system (air, rail, marine, and road), over the next 25 years. This strategy will be developed through studies and consultation ….”
  • One Aboriginal media writer agrees with Ontario Tory leader Tim Hudak about the Ring of Fire being Ontario’s Oil Sands (with some lessons that can be learned)  “….  I lived for three years in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. The community was built on the Slave River, which originates from the Athabasca River. The Athabasca River runs past Fort McMurray, through the heart of the oilsands, then on to Fort Chipewyan and north to the NWT border.  During those years I spent a lot of time in Fort Chipewyan. It is a lovely little community, half Dene, half Cree, on the shores of Lake Athabasca and just kilometres from the Peace Athabasca Delta, the largest freshwater delta on the continent.  Fort Chipewyan is a bountiful place, where there have always been abundant animals, fish and plants for harvesting.  In the 1990s, however, some of that bounty started to change. Elders described the old days when the skies would be dark with waterfowl during the migration seasons. All of a sudden the community was lucky to see a hundred ducks a year.  It wasn’t just the birds. According to Elders the fish started to taste differently.  Abnormalities started showing up in their catches. And eventually even the water of the big lake was no longer drinkable.  Over the past few years, scientists have begun to verify the concerns that Elders have been expressing for decades. A number of studies have found pollutants in the water, fish and animals that appear to come from the oilsands.  The response from the federal and Alberta governments has been to establish new environmental monitoring regimes. Alberta calls its new system “world class.” But no matter how good a monitoring system is set up, oilsands development is 40 years in. There is no environmental baseline to compare today’s data to. Scientists are starting from scratch, and communities have no choice but to deal with the changes the best they can.  Chief Eli Moonias of Marten Falls First Nation told reporters during a recent media tour that he does not want to see the Albany River polluted like the Athabasca River was. Members in communities along the James Bay coast have expressed similar concerns. First Nations, like Hudak, are seeing the similarity between the Ring of Fire and the oilsands. But for many First Nations people, the comparison does not have the appeal it does for Hudak. For many people living in the North, the thought of northern Ontario in 40 years is downright scary.  If Ontario really wants to learn from Alberta’s example, as Hudak rightly suggested, there are a few things the western province failed to do that serve as good lessons. The first, and perhaps most important, is establishing a solid environmental baseline study before development starts and setting up a ‘world class’ monitoring system right away …. Not only would the province benefit from the local knowledge that the communities hold, but involving First Nations at that level would go a long way in getting Aboriginal partners instead of Aboriginal opponents in the Ring of Fire.”  Source
  • More critiques of Cliffs’ performance on the market  “A number of firms have modified their ratings and price targets on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) recently …. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc opened at 40.89 on Wednesday. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc has a 52-week low of $36.06 and a 52-week high of $86.73. The company has a market cap of $5.822 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 4.13 ….” Source –  moremore
  • Part of this week’s release of Cliffs Natural Resources annual sustainability report  “…. The Sustainability Report is a comprehensive look at Cliffs’ business and describes the Company’s progress and outcomes in key areas of its sustainability strategy.  Cliffs developed this Sustainability Report in conformance with Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) comprehensive Sustainability Reporting Framework. Widely used around the world, GRI’s framework enables greater organizational transparency by establishing principles and indicators that global organizations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental, and social performance. The Company’s Sustainability Report received a third-party assurance and earned a B+ rating for the third consecutive year …. Cliffs’ 2011 Sustainability Report features sustainability accomplishments, such as …. Cliffs voluntarily subjected components of its chromite project in Northern Ontario to an individual Environmental Assessment (EA), the most stringent type of provincial EA process. In addition, Cliffs worked with federal and provincial regulators to develop a coordinated EA review process that integrates requirements of the provincial individual EA and federal comprehensive EA. This will help ensure a consistent EA review process for stakeholders and multiple opportunities for public participation throughout the EA process ….”  Source (company news release) – “Cliffs Sustainability Reporting” (at company web page)

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1 Jul-3 Aug 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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