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Ring of Fire News – September 28, 2012

  • New Report out of Lakehead University:  Governments Need to Work on Infrastructure, “Aboriginal Involvement” to Get Mining Going Better  “Northwestern Ontario stands to reap huge financial rewards when the region’s developing mining sector matures, but a great deal of time and money must be invested to ensure the region is ready, a new study states.  “Mining in Northwestern Ontario: Opportunities and Challenges” examined several in-development mining projects, and found that when up and running, thy have the potential to create more than 13,000 jobs in the region alone, and the yet-to-be mined minerals and metals found here have a value of around $136 billion.  In addition, more than $16 billion in tax revenue is expected to be collected by the provincial, federal and relevant municipal governments during the average 17.5-year lifetime of the mines.  “There are a few objectives we had for this report,” Bahram Dadgostar, dean of Lakehead University’s faculty of business and one of the study’s authors, said Thursday after the release of the report.  “One is to make sure that communities are aware of the wealth that we have underground here, and the opportunities that we can have when we explore that.  “And second is (to) make government aware of the wealth here and the profit that they can get out of it if they . . . effectively contribute to the process.” ….”   Source – “Mining in Northwestern Ontario: Opportunities and Challenges” (106 page PDF)
  • Editorial:  Gov’t Better Do What Needs to be Done  “The Ring of Fire is on many minds these days. As miners prepare to dig into the James Bay lowlands, Northern Ontario communities jockey to provide services and employees. But the North’s new mining boom extends well beyond the Ring. A new analysis, commissioned by Ambassadors Northwest, showcases stunning opportunities that will transform the region. Billions of dollars are at stake. Communities will share handsomely if governments do what they must do to make it happen …. Political will is what will turn issues of aboriginal involvement, labour market dynamics and infrastructure deficiencies around …. This study puts all stakeholders — “especially the federal and provincial governments” — on notice that what can be realized is extensive. It can transform the Northwest and has been said to provide the province with security on the scale of oil-rich Alberta. We look forward to the determination of all players to get it right.”  Source
  • Risk Management Expert:  May Be Good Not to Rush Things  “The assets from the Ring of Fire mining development will make Thunder Bay and the region competitive on the global market.  That’s the message Keith McCullough, CEO of Hedgeye Risk Management, gave at the third Prosperity Northwest conference held at the Valhalla Inn on Wednesday. McCullough, who was the keynote speaker at the conference, focused his speech on the cycle the mining industry goes through as well as the risks and benefits for Thunder Bay …. with a development such as this there’s always risks involved.  McCullough said the biggest risks will be environmental and political risks. Those risks are the reasons why mining development has to be done right and not rushed, he said.  “One of these things goes wrong politically then the region looks really, really badly,” he said.  “When you look at a three to 10 year mine, timing is everything. Lots of people map the costs out of these mines relative to what the price of gold, platinum or whatever people are doing and that’s really the big risk. Prices go up and down, there is a cycle within the super cycle and you don’t want to be caught with high costs.” ….”  Source
  • Commentary Questions Whether First Nations Should Back an “Industry-Only” All Season Toll Road to the Ring of Fire  “With the Ontario government now acknowledging that the north-south access road into the Ring of Fire is solely going to be for industrial users – “for developers to go in and get ore and minerals back out”, as a government spokesperson said – it is time to look at whether a road is actually in the best interests of the north ….  Now that any last hopes of using the Ring of Fire road to connect First Nations to the highway system seem to be gone, the very idea of building a road should be put up to consideration ….  Ontario has refused to consider transportation options that would have connected First Nations to the grid, and is now planning to limit who can use the road it is planning to help build, all in the name of helping a multi-billion dollar company get its project off the ground. The minimum that the decision makers can do now is mitigate the environmental effects of the transportation corridor. If local people cannot use the infrastructure being built, at least the local environment should not have to needlessly suffer too.”  Source
  • Environmental Types Raise the Usual Questions (Again)  “…. While Ontario might dream of the dollars developing the Ring of Fire will bring, what about the costs we will all bear?  Scientists have long warned that poorly-placed infrastructure in the Far North will cause irreversible harm to aquatic systems and wildlife. In the meantime, the first major Ring of Fire mining proposal is barrelling ahead ….  The decision by the government to support and invest in this road for Cliffs, made behind closed doors and before the completion of a proper environmental assessment, raises extremely troubling questions for all Ontario taxpayers. What will it cost citizens to subsidize Cliffs Natural Resources’ plans to exploit the Ring of Fire? What are we going to get in return for investing public funds in this road? What is our reward for giving Cliffs a break on electricity rates for its smelter?  And those are just questions about money. Where is the comprehensive regional land use plan for this highly coveted area? Without a plan that incorporates conservation science and traditional knowledge, how can we ensure protection of its fresh, free-flowing rivers and wildlife such as Boreal woodland caribou and fish? ….  We’re at a crossroads. Ontario can either continue to let individual companies launch projects that will shape the future of the region — with the help of our tax dollars — or it can bring all interested parties together to build a long term plan that takes everyone’s needs and concerns into account, based on the best available science. We hope they pick the latter. It’s not too late. The first thing the government needs to do is shed some light on whatever plans exist now. The next thing it needs to do is to begin long-term planning for the Ring of Fire.”  Source
  • A Reminder of a Court Decision Coming re:  Whether Ontario can Download the Duty to Consult to Companies (and what proposed changes to Ontario’s Mining Act mean in this respect)  “As a legal decision, the Sept. 4 finding that Solid Gold Resources will be allowed to appeal its case against Wahgoshig First Nation over mineral exploration on Wahgoshig’s traditional land was hardly remarkable. It was simply a matter of a company asking for and receiving approval to take its appeal to a higher, precedent-setting court.  The finding of the judge, however, has the potential to have far-reaching consequences on whether mining companies have the duty to consult First Nations before conducting exploration on traditional lands.  Justice H.P. Wilton-Siegel’s ruling to give Solid Gold Resources leave to appeal took aim at the duty to consult – specifically, whether Ontario can pass its duty to consult with First Nations to a mining company …. ”  Source
  • (Not Just Ring of Fire, but….)  Canadian Legal Beagle Group Calls for All New Laywers to Know Aboriginal Rights to be Accredited  “The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is recommending in its first-ever set of national standards for admission to the bar that all new Canadian lawyers possess knowledge of aboriginal rights.  Approved over the weekend in Vancouver, the move by the federation — the coordinating body for Canada’s 14 provincial and territorial law societies — is part of a push to ensure Canada’s lawyers are knowledgeable in aboriginal law, an area that some legal experts say is becoming more important and plays into everything from natural resources development to drafting or changing government policies.  Aboriginal law is the law relating to the content and application of the constitutional protection of aboriginal and treaty rights that was affirmed in the 1982 Constitution Act.  “It’s something that can arise in a whole number of areas of the law and lawyers, as the protectors of rights, need to be aware of the rights that exist so they can identify areas where they’re being infringed,” said Tom Molloy, a Saskatoon lawyer with Miller Thomson LLP and a leading expert in aboriginal law.  “It affects every department and agency of government if the changes that they’re making have an impact on aboriginal rights and title, and they have an obligation to consult with the First Nation.” …. “  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-28 Sept 12 (57 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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Ring of Fire News – September 22, 2012

  • Thunder Bay, Fort William First Nation hold open houses on proposed Mining Readiness Strategy ….  “The development at the Ring of Fire has some residents worried that the city isn’t prepared for the expected boom. The city has hosted a number of public meetings on the Mining Readiness Strategy in order to get feedback from residents. The main topic was how the city will handle the expected economic boom created by the mining development in the Ring of Fire area. The city held a meeting Monday night at Fort William First Nation where 56 people attended. Another meeting was held Tuesday at the Italian Cultural Centre …. John Mason, project manager for mining service with Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, said the meetings are to both give information to the public but also get feedback on what they should be looking at. He said they were anticipating 150 to 200 people attend the event with the majority of people coming to the presentations …. ”  Source
  • …. as City, Consulting Reps try to make the case in a newspaper column  “…. What does all of this mean for the Thunder Bay region? To develop successfully, the mining industry will require infrastructure such as all-season roads, rail, and air transportation systems to access the resources; a reliable supply of power, requiring generation facilities and transmission lines to power the extraction and processing of the minerals; educational facilities at all levels to ensure there is a pool of job-ready skilled/trained workers; strong banking capabilities to provide the financing necessary to capitalize the facilities that are required; serviced industrial lands and a competitive tax structure to provide the economic incentives needed to attract processing and even post-production manufacturing facilities to the area; an efficient modern port to facilitate the cost-effective delivery of products to the international marketplace; and a host of related businesses, all working together to provide the economic foundation needed to support the growth of the mining sector in Northwestern Ontario ….”  SourceAlternate source
  • Calls for Ontario to Reconsider the North-South Connect to the Ring o’ Fire ….  “The Township of Pickle Lake wants the province to reconsider its support for a proposed north-south road corridor to Nakina from the Ring of Fire mining camp. “The businesses in our community stand to lose 30 to 40 per cent of their business due to the north-south route decision,” Mayor Roy Hoffman said Wednesday. “The impact of this could potentially put these businesses ‘out of business’ and put extreme pressure on a community that is already struggling to survive.” Hoffman explained that a north-south route would impact a supply chain developed over decades through Pickle Lake, which acts as a distribution point for building supplies, fuel, groceries, mail and medical supplies. “To fundamentally change the flow of traffic to (remote) First Nation communities will have a negative economic impact on the community,” he said, noting that the community prefers that a north-south rail line be constructed to get minerals to market from the Ring of Fire, south to Nakina and the CN Railway main line. And, that an all-weather east-west road corridor from Pickle Lake to the mining camp be constructed so that the community would continue its role as a distribution point for goods moving north. “The transportation of goods to the far north First Nations communities is one of the only private sector industries we have left,” Hoffman added ….”  Sourcealternate site for article
  • …. While Ontario Hydro Considers N-S Power Line  “The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is examining a plan to run an electrical transmission line from Nipigon to Nakina and then into the Ring of Fire along the proposed north-south transportation corridor. Tim Butters, an OPA communications advisor, said that given the recent announcement of the all-season road between Nakina and the proposed Ring of Fire mines, the OPA is looking at the Nipigon to Ring of Fire transmission line “in more detail.” While Butters noted that no decisions on the transmission corridor have yet been made, he said the plan could involve connecting a number of remote First Nations to the southern electricity grid. “(The Nipigon to Ring of Fire corridor) may be able to connect up to five remote First Nation communities to the Ontario grid, including Marten Falls First Nation, Eabametoong First Nation, Neskantaga First Nation, Webequie First Nation and Nibinamik First Nation,” Butters wrote in an email to Wawatay News. Matawa First Nations have long argued that their communities should be connected to southern electricity grids as part of any development in the Ring of Fire ….”  Source
  • Chinese Interest in the Area Continues  “Chinese diplomats are intent on building trust with northern Ontario First Nations to further their mining interests, according to a Chinese-Canadian business man. Peng You, a Thunder Bay resident with ties to China, helped facilitate a recent visit by China’s Consulate-General to Webequie First Nation. He said the arrival of one of China’s top diplomats in Canada is significant. “I think that part is very important. It’s not just for one company. In future, more companies [will] invest in northwest Ontario, especially in [the] mining industry.” Webequie is one of the First Nations closest to a promising chromite deposit in the James Bay lowlands. For months, US-company Cliffs Natural Resources has been the focus of discussions about development in the Ring of Fire. But the Chinese company Sinocan is expected to start drilling near Webequie next month. Peng You said soon chiefs and elders from northwestern Ontario could be on their way to China to talk about the Ring of Fire as part of a diplomatic exchange. “They have to have some knowledge about China … because to deal with Chinese business people [it’s important to learn] a bit of culture about them,” Peng You said. Ontario’s Ring of Fire secretariat oversees development in the mineral development area. A spokesperson said the secretariat had “no knowledge” of the Chinese visit.”  Sourcealternate site for articlesome history/background (via Google) of Sinocan’s other dealings with First Nations
  • Ooopsie….  “The environmental assessment (EA) for Noront Resources’ Eagle’s Nest Ring of Fire project is nearing completion of its Terms of Reference. In a Wawatay News article (Ring of Fire judicial review hits more delays, Sept. 13) it was reported that Noront’s EA has been put on hold. That is incorrect. In fact, the company is close to completing its Terms of Reference for the EA. Noront President and CEO Wes Hanson submitted the following statement to Wawatay News following publication of the article: “The Environmental Assessment for it’s flagship Eagle’s Nest project is in fact underway and NOT delayed due to the change in the road route proposed by Cliffs and the Ontario Government. The Company is currently completing the final copy of the Terms of Reference, which outlines the work that needs to be done in order to complete the Environmental Assessment. This work is currently in process. The Company’s next step is to complete the studies that have been underway since 2009 and complete the final draft of the Environmental Assessment, which will then be submitted to the Ministry of Environment, for review, public comment and following finalization, Ministerial Approval.” Wawatay News apologizes for the mistake.”  Source
  • Cliffs’ Stock Continues to Draw the Eyes of Various Analysts ….  Sourcemorem0re – m0re – m0rem0rem0rem0rem0rem0re – m0rem0re
  • …. As Does Noront This Week, Too  “Here’s a look at three stocks — one energy and two mining — that had some of last week’s highest trading volumes (or the most shares exchanged between buyers and sellers) …. Trading volume of shares of Noront Resources surged to more than 1.6 million shares on September 17, after the base and precious metals explorer announced positive results for a feasibility study at its nickel, copper and platinum Eagle’s Nest project in the Ring of Fire region of Northern Ontario. Shares of the company have risen from 36.5 cents at the close on September 14 to 38.5 cents on September 17 ….”   Source
  • Whazzup With Proposed Changes to the Mining Act (And Why Isn’t It on the Web Page Anymore)?  “We last reported on proposed regulatory changes under Ontario’s Mining Act in a July 2012 legal update. What is the status of these regulations? What has occurred since then and when will the regulations be issued? The short answer is that the regulations and guidance documents are still under development and the earliest the regulations may be out is November.1 Although the public consultation period on the six regulatory proposals posted on the Environmental Registry (Registry) in March 2012 is closed, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) is continuing to consult with First Nations on phase 2 of the Mining Act regulations, which deals extensively with relations between First Nations and the mining industry …. Some First Nations have pointed out what they see as flaws in the regulations and are concerned with how the government will monitor and enforce mining industry regulations and also how First Nations will be compensated for their consultation expenses. Some are also concerned with the attitudes, public statements and actions by some junior exploration companies who have grouped themselves in an ad hoc manner under the name “Miners United” and who appear to be taking a hard line stance on consultations with and compensation for First Nations by companies exploring for minerals on Crown lands …. Meanwhile, the MNDM is hoping to produce regulations that will balance the interests of First Nations and the industry. The regulations will have to be approved by cabinet committee and may not be posted on the Registry before then, although a notice of the government’s decision will be. Necessary guidance documents and operational policies are currently being prepared, some of which will progressively be posted on the MNDM website and/or Registry. Of note is that the MNDM website was changed over the summer with negative results for anyone trying to keep abreast of developments. In an apparent government move to streamline and standardize websites, almost all of the information about modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act has disappeared ….. “   Source
  • (Not Exactly Ring o’ Fire, But) First Nation Pulls Outta Far North Act Process  “Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) has pulled out of the Ontario land use planning process under the Far North Act. “At the end of the day, when everything is completed and done it is the minister who has the last say,” said KI Chief Donny Morris. “We want control and to have the minister have the last say, that is not what we want. So that is why we pulled out.” Morris sent the Aug. 31 letter to Dianne Corbett, director of Far North Branch, Ministry of Natural Resources, announcing the decision. Posted on the kitchenuhmaykoosib.com website, the letter stated that KI entered the land use planning process in a good faith attempt to work with Ontario to reduce land use conflicts in the KI homeland. “When we do the land use planning, it is for our own community membership to determine the future of our resources, our lands and water, not the minister,” Morris said. Morris said it has become clear to the community over time that land use planning under the Far North Act would change the jurisdiction and authority of KI on its homeland. “It is our view that the Far North Act acts to deny or limit the Aboriginal rights, Aboriginal title or treaty rights of KI and limits or defines the consultation and accommodation obligations between KI and Ontario,” Morris said in the letter. “In short, we cannot work within the limitations of the current legislation.” ….”  SourceAugust 31, 2012 letter 

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-21 Sept 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 – September 14, 2012

  • Cliffs’ New Estimate for Starting Production at Black Thor  “Cliffs Natural Resources is pushing back the start of production at its Ring of Fire chromite deposit in the James Bay lowlands by one year.  In its latest investor presentation, the Ohio miner said Black Thor will begin production in 2016.  “The final decision on the furnace location (in Sudbury) took Cliffs longer than originally planned,” said spokeswoman Pat Persico by email. “This was due to the necessary discussions held with the province of Ontario regarding power and road. As these are very important decisions driving the long-term project, Cliffs is focused on making the best choices and adjusting schedules accordingly.”  First Nations concerns about the project’s impact on the environment and the lack of consultation were not a factor in adjusting the development timeline, she said.  Black Thor is considered by Cliffs as a “tier one asset” with a proposed production rate of 600,000 tons of ferrochrome and one million tons of concentrate.”   Source   – moreCliffs investor presentation deck (PDF created 10 Sept 12) (alternat link for deck here )
  • Changes in the Cliffs’ Executive Team  “…. Joseph Carrabba, Cliffs’ chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “I believe these changes reposition our senior team toward our most critical current and future business requirements. As we transition Cliffs’ strategic focus from M&A activities to executing organic growth projects, these executive changes will drive excellence in project execution, ensure operational stability and provide for a more disciplined approach to capital allocation and cost management.”   Reporting directly to Mr. Carrabba, Cliffs’ management appointments to its executive leadership team include these individuals, with the following responsibilities:   Laurie Brlas is named Executive Vice President & President — Global Operations. Ms. Brlas, formerly Cliffs’ executive vice president, finance and administration & chief financial officer, has operating responsibility for all minerals and other products that Cliffs produces. Ms. Brlas replaces Duncan P. Price, who will be retiring from the Company effective Oct. 1, 2012.  Ms. Brlas will build on her strength of disciplined large-scale project management and allow for prudent capital allocation and cost management particularly essential in the global economy. She will provide leadership for safety, capital projects, cost management, continuous improvement and information technology. Her new role will be accountable for all mining operations in the Company’s global portfolio of controlled iron ore and coal interests as well as leading emerging operating assets including development projects in iron ore and ferrochrome ….”  Source (company news release) – Copmpany SEC filing
  • “ Toll Road” Enters the Ring of Fire Lexicon  “The Ontario government has confirmed it is planning to help build and operate a pay-per-use road to connect the Ring of Fire mining development to the existing highway grid.  A government spokesperson told Wawatay News that the province is “committed to sharing the cost” of building an all-season road to the Ring of Fire, and that discussions continue over how Ontario plans to recoup its investment in the road.  “It could be a toll, it could be a monthly invoice,” Ministry of Northern Development and Mines spokesperson Andrew Morrison said of the pay-per-use plan for the access road. “It’s difficult to characterize how a payment system would work at this point.”  According to a Noront Resources press release on Sept. 4, Ontario has assured the mining industry that all industrial users would be permitted to use the access road, which was proposed as part of Cliffs’ Ring of Fire chromite project.  Noront also noted that the road plan involved some sort of toll for companies to pay-per-use.  “Our discussions with the province have confirmed that the all-season road will be accessible to all industrial users, including Cliffs, and that the costs to use the road will be based on proportional usage, a critical consideration for Noront as our concentrate shipments represent less than seven per cent of the currently identified ore haulage along the corridor,” Noront CEO Wes Hanson said in the release.  Following Noront’s release, Morrison noted that the proposed road would be solely for industrial users, for “developers to go in and get ore and minerals back out”. It would not connect to any First Nation communities, and residents of the region would not have access to the road.  Morrison said negotiations over revenue sharing for First Nations in regards to the road are ongoing.  The province has also requested that the federal government get involved in the Ring of Fire in some form, Morrison said.  A number of First Nations in the region have adamantly opposed construction of the road, including Aroland, Constance Lake and Neskantaga First Nations ….”  Source  – more  – more  – more
  • Ontario, Marten Falls First Nation Sign a Ring of Fire Deal  “Ontario and Marten Falls First Nation have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to realize the benefits of responsible mineral development in the Ring of Fire.  The memorandum of understanding, signed by Marten Falls First Nation Chief Eli Moonias, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci and Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle in Marten Falls, represents a significant step toward a cooperative approach to mineral and resource development and related economic opportunities. Under the terms of the memorandum Marten Falls First Nation and the province will work together to address employment, economic development and environmental impacts.  Strengthening First Nations ‘communities while supporting a thriving mining sector is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to create jobs for Ontarians, create opportunities for First Nations’ communities and strengthen the economy ….”  Source (Ontario news release)Moremore from insupportofmining.wordpress.com
  • Noront Holds Marten Falls Open House in Thunder Bay (according to a Twitter post from on the company account):  “Noront Resources  ‏@NorontResources 18h Join us tonight at the Victoria Inn in TBAY for Marten Falls #FirstNation off reserve Open House 5-9pm #ringoffire 3:43 PM – 13 Sep 12″  Source
  • The Latest on Matawa’s Litigation  “It has been 10 months since Matawa First Nations filed a judicial review of the Ring of Fire Environmental Assessment process, but the review continues to be delayed by legal procedures.  Judith Rae, Matawa’s legal representative on the case, told Wawatay News that recent legal motions by both Cliffs Resources and the government of Canada have delayed the pre-hearing process in the case.  The latest delays come after Canada took longer than usual to provide information at the beginning of the legal action, said the lawyer with Olthius Kleer Townshed law firm.   In November 2011 Rae had estimated that the case would come before the courts in eight to 18 months, a timeline that seems overly optimistic at this point.   “Our initial timeline has been derailed by the motions by Cliffs and Canada, but the judicial review is still ongoing,” Rae said ….”  Source
  • Greenstone Flogging Itself as “Gateway” to the Ring of Fire  ” “More and more it is becoming clear that the Municipality of Greenstone is emerging as the gateway to the Ring of Fire.” These words were used by Greenstone Mayor, Renald Beaulieu, while briefing Councillors on recent developments concerning the Municipality.  The first development is the Noront Resources (NR) announcement that their “base case” is predicated on transporting Ring of Fire ore using the proposed North-South Corridor (with a southern terminus in Greenstone’s Nakina ward. The second is that the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is now considering an East of Lake Nipigon transmission corridor.   When commenting on NR’s decision to transport ore on the planned north-south road, the Mayor said, “For decades, Nakina was viewed as the end of the road, but increasingly it seems that Nakina, a proud part of Greenstone, will soon be seen as the start of the road.”   Adding greatly to the Mayor’s enthusiasm was the low key, yet pivotal, news that the Northwest Ontario First Nations Transmission Planning Committee (NOFNTPC) has been informed by the OPA that the OPA is now studying an East side of Lake Nipigon transmission line.  The proposed transmission line would supply the Ring of Fire and bring grid-connected electricity to First Nations such as Marten Falls. Mayor Beaulieu observed, “Transmission lines are like ribbons of prosperity.”  The East of Lake Nipigon route was a key feature of Greenstone’s “Kick Start for the Northwest” released in 2011 ….”  Source (alternate link here)
  • Editorial:  WAY More Trades Needed!  “Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario are perched on their most important opportunity of the modern era.   The mining boom surrounding the so-called Ring of Fire will ignite economic development of perhaps unprecedented proportions. Existing mines are already producing and exploration and development activities extend well beyond the Ring’s rich deposits in the James Bay lowlands.  Estimates of the worth of all this activity are only now being made and they will almost certainly be in the billions, both in terms of earnings and of tax revenue accruing to municipalities and the province — which desperately needs it.  All of this has caused communities across the North to think about how to share the wealth.  Sudbury won the initial prize — the smelter for chromite ore to be mined by Cliffs Natural Resources. But servicing all the rest that goes with a new batch of big mines means many opportunities for nearby First Nations, towns along the necessary transportation corridors and the City of Thunder Bay which already is a major service centre for mining and forestry. Cliffs has an office here for good reason.  The city has wasted no time in preparing for what’s coming. Its economic development office has established a Mining Readiness Strategy to prepare an integrated regional plan that it wants to explain at two public sessions next week — Monday at the Fort William First Nation and Tuesday at the Italian Cultural Centre.  An involved public is essential to this strategy. That has to include a working public prepared to take the thousands of jobs that will come with mining, moving and processing all that ore after building the mine sites and the road, rail and energy infrastructure that comes with a development of this size.  Are there enough skilled people in Thunder Bay and across the Northwest to do this work? Not a chance. But we could come a lot closer to filling these positions with a surge of new education ….”  Source 
  • (Not EXACTLY Ring of Fire, but) Ontario’s Superior Court Agrees to Consider Appeal in Case Highlighting Who Should Consult with First Nations on Mining Projects  “On September 4, 2012, the Ontario Superior Court granted leave to appeal an interim injunction obtained by a First Nation against an exploration company in Ontario, Solid Gold Resources Corp. (Solid Gold). In granting leave, the Court found that there was conflicting case law and good reason to doubt the correctness of the injunction motion decision.  Among other things, the Court was clearly of the view that neither Solid Gold, nor any other junior mining company, has a duty to consult with First Nations before commencing its exploration on traditional territory. Indeed, the Court seriously questioned whether even the Crown has a duty to consult in such situation given the free entry system provided under the current mining regime in Ontario.  Mr. Justice Wilton-Siegel found that the case raises important matters concerning the relationship among Aboriginal communities, industry and government that should be addressed on appeal. The Court’s decision has significant implications for the resource industry, First Nation communities and government.  Indeed, this decision clearly undermines the Province’s current approach to exploration in Ontario.  Absent a duty to consult, it would be extremely difficult for a First Nation to obtain injunctive relief against a proponent conducting exploration on traditional territory ….”   Source – September 4, 2012 decision

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-14 Sept 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 – September 7, 2012

  • Noront shares “positive” feasibility study on Eagle’s Nest    “Noront Resources has released a positive feasibility study for its proposed Eagle’s Nest mine in Ontario’s far northern Ring of Fire mineral zone.  In a Tuesday release, Noront said the updated study confirms the “robust economics” offered by its nickel-copper-platinum group element project in the James Bay Lowlands.  The feasibility study had been slated for release earlier this year, but was delayed when the Ontario government and Cliffs Natural Resources announced an agreement on a proposed chromite mine/mill development near Noront’s Ring of Fire properties.  The Cliffs proposal contemplated an all-season road running north-south from the Ring of Fire zone to the main CN rail line near Nakina. Noront, which had been looking at an east-west corridor via Pickle Lake, reworked its proposal to take advantage of savings offered by the north-south option.  “The decision of the Province of Ontario to financially support the north-south road corridor pending certain approvals is a very positive development in unlocking the mineral wealth of the Ring of Fire,” said Noront CEO Wes Hanson.  He said his company had confirmed that the north-south road would be accessible to all industrial users and that the cost to use it would be based on proportional usage, “a critical consideration for Noront as our concentrate shipments represent less than seven per cent of the currently identified ore haulage along the corridor.” ….”  Source (In Support of Mining blog) – Noront news releasealternate news release link
  • MORE bashing of Cliffs stock  “Coal and iron ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) on Wednesday caught some bearish commentary from analysts at Credit Suisse.  The firm downgraded CLF from “Neutral” to “Underperform” and slashed its price target to $30. That new target suggests an 11% downside to the stock’s Tuesday closing price of $33.68.  Credit Suisse said it made the downgrade based on the company’s exposure to the dramatic fall in iron ore prices.   Cliffs Natural Resources shares fell $1.20, or -3.6%, in premarket trading Wednesday.  The Bottom Line – Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) have a 7.42% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $33.68. The stock has technical support in the $30-$31 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $39-$41 price levels.  Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars ….”  Sourcemoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremore
  • More worries about Cliffs exporting raw ore for processing in China   “Concerns that Ontario is planning to give a special ministerial exemption to Cliffs Natural Resources so that the American company can export raw ore from the Ring of Fire out of Canada were raised in the provincial legislature Aug. 28.  The MPP for Timmins-James Bay who brought up the issue was left scratching his head over Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci’s response.  On Aug. 28 NDP MPP Gilles Bisson asked Bartolucci whether the government is “in any way in discussions with Cliffs resources to sign a ministerial permit allowing ore to be shipped out of Canada?”  Instead of answering the question, Bartolucci explained the government’s position on the mining development.  “We are very, very excited about the Ring of Fire,” Bartolucci said in his response. “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.”  Answering a follow up question from Bisson, Bartolucci reiterated his excitement.   “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,” Bartolucci said. “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.”  In an interview after the exchange, Bisson said the minister’s response has left him even more concerned that the government is planning to let Cliffs ship raw ore out of Canada for processing …. “  SourceHansard exchange, 18 Aug 12
  • Thunder Bay, Fort William First Nation want to hear from you on the proposed Mining Readiness Strategy  “Information Sessions are scheduled for Monday, September 17 and Tuesday, September 18 to gather public input into a Mining Readiness Strategy for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.  The City of Thunder Bay, together with Fort William First Nation (FWFN) and the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) are undertaking the Mining Readiness Strategy to address and strategically plan for economic growth in Thunder Bay and the region. SNC-Lavalin Inc. working with Ed Hoshizaki Development Consulting has been hired to engage communities and stakeholders to determine what will be required to develop mining opportunities.  Research shows that the discovery and development of mineral resources in the “Ring of Fire” and beyond will open up mining opportunities that will have a hand in shaping the region’s economic outlook. Currently Thunder Bay hosts 29 exploration company offices, and over 130 service and supply companies in exploration/mining. Growth in mining will place unique pressures on Thunder Bay and communities in Northwestern Ontario.  The Mining Strategy will address issues related to: transportation and infrastructure needs; industrial energy; workforce training and development; business development; housing and community services; research and development; capital investment and financing; intergovernmental relations; and communications.  The Strategy is in its early stages, and is scheduled to be completed by January 2013. Implementation of the Strategy is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2015.  Two (2) Information Sessions will be held: 1) on Monday, September 17, 2012 from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at Fort William First Nation (FWFN) Community Hall with a presentation at 7 pm to introduce the project, followed by a question and answer period; and 2) on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 from 4:00 to 9:00 pm at the Italian Cultural Centre in Thunder Bay with a presentation at 7 pm, followed by a question and answer period with an expert panel.  For more information, visit http://www.thunderbay.ca/cedcmining.”  SourceInformation session poster (PDF) – About the strategy (City of Thunder Bay economic development arm) 
  • Industry groups agree to make it easier for you to see how much money companies pay out to governments  “….  PWYP-Canada, along with the Revenue Watch, Mining Association of Canada, and Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, announced the launch of the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group.  The group aims to develop a framework for the disclosure of payments to governments for Canadian oil and mining companies operating domestically and internationally by June 2013. Once complete, the working group will make policy recommendations to federal government policymakers and/or provincial security regulators for the Canadian adoption of mandatory disclosure requirements based on the framework.  The working group has been formalized by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which clarifies the objectives and procedural elements of the group. To view the MoU, click here.  The working group will regularly post updates regarding its progress, along with summaries of its discussions. The first meeting of the working group will be held on September 14th, 2012 ….”    SourceMemorandum of UnderstandingQuestions & Answers

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 17 Aug-7 Sept 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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