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Ring of Fire News – October 20, 2012

  • Minister of Natural Resources:  Premier Resigns & Prorogues Legislature?  No Problem for the Ring of Fire  “Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle moved to reassure residents …. After the premier’s resignation and the prorogation of the legislature Monday, Gravelle emphasized the province’s business will continue.  “Certainly, the government continues. The premier is still the premier, and ministers are still in place. We are clearly going through a very, very challenging time, in terms of our fiscal circumstances. Our work on the Ring of Fire will continue. With our minister, we are embarking on a three-year transformation plan. Some tough decisions have already been made, and there will be more that need to be made,” he said ….”  Source
  • Game Changer for Route to Ring of Fire, or Last Ditch Try by Railway Workers?  “A shocker of an announcement late this morning promises to shake up plans for Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral zone and galvanize the push to develop infrastructure needed to tap into its rich economic potential.  The General Chairperson’s Association (GCA), which represents unionized employees at the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC), has ripped the wraps off a proposal that would create a Ring of Fire rail line to “ship thousands of tons per day of chromite, nickel and other minerals and finished products to markets around the world.”  In an announcement in North Bay, the Association said its plan would revitalize the provincially owned transportation commission while creating significant new job and economic opportunities in the North.  “This is a new deal for Northern Ontario,” said GCA representative Brian Stevens. “Not only will we save transportation services and hundreds of existing jobs in the North, but our plan will also create thousands more jobs by providing access to the Ring of Fire.”  The GCA plan responds to the Ontario government’s spring decision to divest itself of the century-old ONTC; and it comes on the heels of the September 28 shutdown of ONTC’s Northlander passenger train service.  Under the proposal, ONTC rail and other assets would be transferred to a new ports authority, called The James Bay & Lowlands Ports Trustee Corporation, which would be operated under the Canada Marine Act.  This new Ports corporation would leverage the “significant investments” of ONTC employees in pensions, benefits and collective agreements to strengthen and ensure the economic sustainability of transferred operations. The Ports group would also invite assistance from provincial ministers “in accomplishing our plan while reminding them of their obligations and policy commitments.”  The group says its initiative has strong support from a wide array of key stakeholders, including First Nations, northern municipalities and unions. It said it is in advanced discussion with several of those stakeholders, including Canada Chrome Corporation ….”  Source (In Support of Mining blog) – General Chairperson’s Association news releasemore – more
  • KWG’s initial take on the proposal  “KWG Resources Inc. (“KWG” or “the Company”) (TSX VENTURE:KWG) advises that trading in its shares was halted for an announcement this morning by the General Chairperson’s Association (GCA), representing unionized employees at Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC).  The GCA has announced a revitalization plan for ONTC that includes the proposed construction of a rail link to the Ring of Fire mineral deposits in the James Bay Lowlands, where KWG has extensive claims.  The new railway will form part of the Ring of Fire mining infrastructure and will be located within mining claims held by Canada Chrome Corporation, a wholly owned sub of KWG Resources. The GCA’s proposal calls for the railroad and other assets of the provincially-held ONTC, along with the new Ring of Fire railway, to be transferred to a new ports authority to be operated under the Canada Marine Act.  Canada Chrome has made a significant investment to study and secure mining claims.  KWG intends to continue discussions with the GCA and other stakeholders to advance this initiative, with the goal of creating the transportation links necessary for mining to proceed in the Ring of Fire, and thereby deliver new economic and job opportunities in Northern Ontario. Other stakeholders involved in the discussions include First Nations communities and Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Jay Aspin ….”  Company news release
  • Some Other Things to Look For along the Route  “The place where a road to the Ring of Fire would cross the Attawapiskat River is full of cultural heritage for the people of Neskantaga First Nation, according to a Lakehead University professor.  Last month, Scott Hamilton, from the university’s department of anthropology, travelled to the site with elders from Neskantaga as part of an ongoing effort to document traditional knowledge.  “It’s a really important place on the cultural landscape.”  …. Hamilton said it appears the site was used regularly as a ‘village’ up until approximately the 1970s. But he said he also found what appears to be a section of a musket barrel, which would point to people using the area at least as long ago as the fur-trade era.  Hamilton said the elders from Neskantaga have “an enormous amount of information [about the site] that is very vulnerable to loss.”  “It is extremely important for large-scale environmental assessment both in terms of heritage values on the landscape but also ecologically sensitive areas,” Hamilton said.  “Where are the important fish-spawning places? Are they vulnerable to disturbance and damage from industrial development? What’s the baseline data of current ecological conditions before any transformation begins to occur? We haven’t any of that kind of information yet.”  Hamilton said no formal archaeology was done during his visit. He said he’s currently writing up a report for Neskantaga based on his field observations and conversations with elders.”  Source
  • President/CEO of the Leafs, Raptors Newest Noront Resources Director  “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Tom Anselmi to the Board of Directors of Noront subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.  Mr. Anselmi is a professional engineer and is currently President and C.O.O. of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (“MLSE”). A Toronto native, Mr. Anselmi graduated from Ryerson Polytechnic University prior to receiving a degree in civil engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 1985.  Mr. Anselmi joined MLSE in 1996 as Vice President and Project Director for the overall development of Air Canada Centre. In 2004, he was appointed Executive Vice- President and Chief Operating Officer responsible for the business operations of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and the Toronto Marlies, and in 2012 he was appointed President and C.O.O. Mr. Anselmi has been instrumental in establishing MLSE as one of the most successful sports and entertainment companies in the world.  Mr. Anselmi is a recognized community leader and focused on MLSE’s Team Up Foundation. The MLSE Team Up Foundation strives to improve the lives of kids byfunding the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sports and recreation.  Wes Hanson, CEO of Noront states: Iam very pleased Tom has agreed to join our Board. Tom understands what it takes to build a world-class business enterprise from the ground up. He realizes the importance of planning and teamwork and the importance of giving back to the communities where you operate” ….”  Company news release
  • More on the Group Keeping an Eye on the Proposed Chromite Plant near Sudbury  “There’s strength in numbers. That’s one of the ideas underpinning a newly-formed citizens’ group examining all aspects of the chromite smelting facility Cliffs Natural Resources wants to build near Capreol.  “People together are stronger than individuals,” Capreol resident Bob Johnson said. “The public have come here and said ‘Yes, these are the concerns that we have.’ They can’t be ignored, but individuals can be ignored.’”  bout 50 people gathered at the Capreol Millenium Centre Oct. 15 to learn about the new committee.  In the end, the group unanimously passed a mission statement to focus on ensuring the Cliffs plant, if it materializes, is safe and healthy and provides a net benefit for its workers, the surrounding communities and the environment.  Former Sudbury East NDP MPP and Capreol resident Elie Martel was elected chair of the committee, with Johnson as secretary and Black Cat owner and former Laurentian University professor John Rutherford as treasurer.  Martel said the idea for the committee started after he did a media interview where he talked about his concerns about the project’s potential environmental impact.  He immediately started receiving phone calls from concerned citizens. Then he realized that the environmental assessment process for the project is already underway.  “The more people we can get with skills and background, the better it will be, to make sure that when it’s built, if it’s built, it’s safe,” Martel said.  “We want it to be safe for the workers, safe for the community and beneficial to the community. That’s what it’s all about.”  He said his next step is to write a letter to Cliffs and to the Ministry of the Environment, telling them the committee has been formed, and asking them to keep the group informed.  They group also plans to be a presence at an upcoming Cliffs open house, which will take place Oct. 25 from 4-8 p.m. at the Capreol Community Centre ….”  Sourcemore
  • Thunder Bay-Fort William First Nation Ring o’ Fire Strategy Wins Award  “The Ring of Fire and NWO Mineral Deposits wins the Strategic Project of the Year and the Job Creation Project of the Year Awards at the 4th Annual North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum in Denver, Colorado on October 16, 2012. The Forum is being held on October 15 to 17, 2012, with over 500 executives from the public and private sector in attendance. The Forum is a 2 ½ day conference, focused on infrastructure development in North America, designed to create business opportunities and promote projects across the region, as well as showcase the cities, states and provinces with the most innovative infrastructure plans. This annual event draws international investors, engineers and developers.  The Strategic Project of the Year award is the most prestigious prize awarded. The award is for projects which will generate a giant stride in a country or region’s productivity and/or competitiveness.  The Job/Opportunity Creation Project of the Year is for projects that will create the greatest number of jobs and/or businesses over the lifetime of the project. This award tabulates direct, indirect and induces job creation, over the 20 to 30 year life of the project.  Winners were announced yesterday afternoon at the Forum. Top projects are chosen by a jury of forum sponsors, with a wide representation across geographies and sectors …. “  Sourcemore
  • Update on Proposed New Institute to Bring First Nations, Mining Experts Together  “…. Geology professor Peter Hollings …. said Lakehead has no intentions of duplicating what Sudbury’s Laurentian University offers in mineral excavation expertise.  The institutional model that’s emerged so far involves three streams of overlapping research in mineral exploration, the environmental side (both assessment and remediation) and First Nations studies.  Hollings said Lakehead is well-positioned to make this happen with a number of faculty in geography, natural resources management, chemistry, biology, anthropology, education and engineering.  There will even be a role to play for Lakehead’s new law school, starting in September 2013, which will produce graduates specializing in natural resources and First Nations law.  The institute’s concept must still pass muster with the university senate, but Lakehead president Brian Stevenson and academic vice-president Rod Hanley are its biggest champions.  “There’s a huge push to have this happen,” said Hollings. “One of Brian’s passions is First Nations engagement and there’s a recognition that bringing these two parties together and resolving some of the challenges is a huge way to advance things in Northern Ontario.”  Stevenson worked on a similar initiative at the University of Alberta supporting that province’s energy industry that created a dozen research chairs.  Hollings said there is enough activity in the northwest to create chairs in mineral exploration – specializing in gold and nickel-chromite and on First Nations community engagement that will help flow research dollars.  Hollings hopes to make a formal announcement that the institute is a go by Christmas or possibly make a splash at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s conference in Toronto next March.”  Source
  • Interesting List o’ Participants in 30 Oct 12 Toronto Conference on Mining & Aboriginal Consultation  “On October 30, 2012, (lawyer) Neal Smitheman will co-present on the topic titled “Critical Update – The Evolution of Consultation in Action: the Ring of Fire, Northern Gateway Pipeline, and Miners United”.”  Source – Others listed as taking part in the workshop in question include Chief Cornelius Wabasse, Webequie First Nation; Melanie Paradis, Manager Natural Resources & Aboriginal Affairs, NATIONAL Public Relations; Jody Whitney, Manager, Aboriginal Consultation and Regulatory Compliance, Enbridge Pipelines (more in agenda here).

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 7 Sept-19 Oct 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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2 Responses

  1. wsparker says:

    Good stuff this week, Ring O’ Fire News. Keep up the good work!

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