Ring of Fire News


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

Ring of Fire News – November 3, 2012

  • Cliffs Delay Coming?  “Volatile commodity prices and cost pressures have Cliffs Natural Resources pushing back the start of chromite production at its Black Thor project in the James Bay lowlands Ring of Fire camp to 2017, or even beyond.  In the Cleveland miner’s Oct. 25 third-quarter conference call, Cliffs chairman and CEO Joseph Carrabba said the company is curbing capital spending and is holding off on early site construction at the remote location in the James Bay lowlands until a feasibility study is finished next summer.  It’s the second time in recent months that Cliffs has pushed back the start date at Black Thor by an additional year after steadfastly maintaining it was sticking to its original project startup date of 2015.  While Black Thor has great long-term potential, Carrabba said the sharp decline in prices of iron ore — Cliffs’ bread and butter commodity — has the company taking a serious re-evaluation of the massive $3.3-billion mine and processing development project ….”  Sourcemoremore
  • Cliffs Environmental Assessment:  Neskantaga  Cliffs Natural Resources is looking to include Neskantaga’s concerns about an important gathering place on the Attawapiskat River in the environmental assessment process for its Ring of Fire chromite mine.  “In terms of Neskantaga’s interest in the river, that is one of many aspects that has to be incorporated into the environmental assessment,” said Jason Aagenes, director of environmental affairs at Cliffs, during an Oct. 24 media briefing prior to a Cliffs open house in Thunder Bay. “We’re looking for feedback and input, not just from Neskantaga but all of the area First Nation communities, into the environmental assessment. The purpose of the environmental assessment is to take into account areas of cultural or archeological sensitivities and make sure that the project will not adversely impact those areas.”  A Lakehead University professor recently confirmed Neskantaga’s concerns about the gathering place after conducting a surface examination at the location where Ring of Fire companies are planning to build a bridge across the Attawapiskat River ….”  Source 
  • Major Aboriginal Players Meeting in Neskantaga to Talk Prescription Drug Abuse, Ring of Fire  “National Chief Shawn Atleo, Assembly of First Nations (AFN), has confirmed his attendance at the Matawa First Nations Management (MFNM) “Back to Our Roots Gathering III”, hosted by Neskantaga First Nation November 6-8 2012. The National Chief will address the Gathering on Tuesday November 6 and will also meet with the Matawa Chiefs to discuss and address Prescription Drug Abuse/Misuse (PDAM) and Ring of Fire Issues. The Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy, Chiefs of Ontario (COO), and Grand Chief Harvey Yesno, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) will also be attending the Gathering ….”  Source
  • Ontario:  No $ for a Rail Line to the Ring o’ Fire  “The province doesn’t have the money to build a rail link connecting the Ontario Northland line to the Ring of Fire region, says a spokeswoman for Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci. Laura Blondeau said Friday neither she nor Bartolucci have seen anything from the General Chairperson’s Association about its proposal for a “new deal” to revitalize the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission which was announced last week. “We have asked to see the proposal, and they have sent us the press release they issued and communications products, but we don’t really know the plan or how it will be implemented,” Blondeau said. She said her office is looking to meet with them next week to discuss the proposal that would keep the ONTC alive, but stressed the province does not have the money to extend the track to the Ring of Fire, a remote area without rail lines, all-season roads, electricity or communications networks west of Moosonee. The proposal was put forward by the GCA, which represents employees of the ONTC, which called for ownership of the Crown corporation to be transferred to a new ports authority which would be operated under the Canada Marine Act. The new line, which would run from Nakina to Koper Lake, would be used to ship chromite, nickel and other minerals from the Ring of Fire, which is home to a major mineral exploration project. Blondeau said, though, that it is up to the companies involved in the multi billion-dollar project to determine their transportation needs, and those plans would be subject to provincial approval. A north-south transportation corridor from Nakina north to the Ring of Fire, she said, is what has been proposed by Cliffs Natural Resources, the major player in the project. The province, Blondeau said, will evaluate that plan when it is presented ….”  Source
  • Bold Ventures Teams up with Marten Falls First Nation  “Bold Ventures Inc. and Marten Falls First Nation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that clears the way for exploration activities on the company’s Koper Lake chromite project in Ontario’s far northern Ring of Fire zone.  In a Wednesday release, the company said the agreement outlines an understanding between the parties to compensate the First Nation “for any impacts created by the project work within MFFN traditional territory.”  The MOU also covers local job creation, respectful stewardship of the land and environment, and promotion of business partnerships, the release said.  The Koper Lake property, which Bold Ventures optioned from Fancamp Exploration, contains the Black Horse chromite occurrence. It is located in the James Bay Lowlands near the Noront Resources Blackbird chromite deposit and the KWG/Cliffs Resources Big Daddy deposit.”  Source (In Support of Mining blog) – more (company news release)
  • Conversion of Thunder Bay Coal Generating Station on Hold:  What’s it Mean for the Ring of Fire?  “Energy Minister Chris Bentley says the plan to suspend the conversion of Thunder Bay’s coal-fired generating station is a temporary pause.  Bentley on Thursday said the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has told him they are looking at other ways to provide the region’s power needs and think they can do it and save hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.  Bentley said he wants proof before cancelling the conversion project altogether …. Asked about potential power need increases as the Ring of Fire and other mining interests develop in the region, possibly bringing processing plants or other high-energy industry to the city, Bentley said the power will be there.  “I think the No. 1 priority is there will be enough power. The east-west tie, which will improve power flow from the north down south and from the south up north, will be completed in the future. The question is getting from here to there. As I said, the prority for me is the Northwest gets the power it needs, and not just for today’s needs, but for its economic development opportunities in the future. The planning authority, the Ontario Power Authority, is essentially saying that they believe it can be done for a very significant savings.”  …. “  Sourcemore (OPA news release) – more
  • Familiar Faces (1)  Former Associate Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Now Working the Ring of Fire  “…. This past May, the Province announced a new model for Ontario and First Nations to work together to plan for proposed resource development in the region. Ontario will work with First Nations to engage the federal government in discussions around socio-economic, community development and regional infrastructure supports, as well as long-term monitoring of the environmental impacts to the Ring of Fire area. Ontario also committed to advancing the dialogue with First Nations around resource revenue sharing.  In order to move forward with this commitment, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines secured the expertise of Deborah Richardson, who will work with First Nations in relation to Ring of Fire developments. A member of Pabineau First Nation, Richardson joined the Ring of Fire Secretariat in August 2012, and has many years of experience working for, and with, First Nations, government and industry. Her primary focus will be honouring Ontario’s commitments to ensure proposed development is approached in a responsible and inclusive manner that brings long‑term prosperity to First Nations.”  Sourcemore (Richardson’s bio at bottom of page)
  • Familiar Faces (2)  Aboriginal Business Consultant Working with Webequie First Nation Wins Award  “The 2012 Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund businessman of the year has been instrumental in working with communities as they move into the resource sector.  “It excites me to see communities start talking project and finances and regulatory stuff that allows them to be an active participant in an exciting sector,” said Michael Fox, owner of Fox High Impact Consulting and a Weenusk First Nation band member.  While Fox has a vision for Aboriginal communities to become effective partners and proponents in the resource-based sector, he said there is no “real one stream of thought” to get into his sector.  “All you need is a bit of organization, a little bit of discipline and a little bit of motivation to learn about project development and project financing,” Fox said. “I think any community that wants to get involved in that can learn this too.”  Fox encouraged youth to prepare for future careers in the resource sector.  “There is such a roster of occupations for the youth in the future around mining and energy that they can either go for a career in a certain discipline or they can actually go on their own and bite off some of these contracts that will be available for both First Nations and the individual entrepreneur,” Fox said ….”  Sourcemore (29 Aug 12 news release announcing position as Webequie’s Ring of Fire Senior Director)

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 12 Oct-2 Nov 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 materil, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.


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