Ring of Fire News

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

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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