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Ring of Fire News – May 24, 2013

  • I’m back
  • Bob Rae’s In!  “Former federal Liberal leader Bob Rae will be the chief negotiator for First Nations in talks with the Ontario government about development of the Ring of Fire …. Rae will tour all nine Matawa communities in the coming months to meet with community members ….”  Sourcemore (Matawa news release) – more (Chronicle-Journal editorial)
  • Worries about Cliffs project ….  “A year after it was announced that a chromite smelter and hundreds of jobs were coming to Sudbury, there is still no deal in place. And the mining company behind the project, Cliffs Natural Resources, now says the delays could put the whole thing in jeopardy. The province and the mining company have yet to sign an agreement that lays out the specifics of the mine access road, how much of the ore will be processed in Sudbury and how much Cliffs will pay for electricity. After being in daily contact last year, the two sides haven’t met since January. But the new mines minister, Michael Gravelle, said there’s no reason to worry. “It’s not a question of apportioning blame at all, I think this is just a complex project,” he said. Cliffs’ vice-president Bill Boor said he remains optimistic, however long delays could mean no mine and no smelter. “The project does have risk when it’s stopped like this,” he noted. “And that causes me concern.” ….”  Source
  • …. even from a potential investor  “…. “They have an infrastructure, logistical problem,” said Robert Yuksel Yildirim, president of Turkish industrial conglomerate and ferrochrome producer Yildirim Group, who considered investing in Black Thor. Yildirim has met with Cliffs several times, but does not plan to buy in. He is concerned about excess supply in the chrome ore market, where China is the primary buyer: “At the market price, I don’t think they will be competitive,” he said. Cliffs has been battered by weak iron ore prices, and a key growth project, Bloom Lake iron ore in Quebec, faces higher-than-expected costs. The stock has plunged more than 70% over the last 12 months, as soft Chinese demand weighed on companies that supply steelmakers, hitting relatively high-cost iron ore producers like Cliffs. “For Cliffs, this constitutes an existential threat,” said Morningstar analyst Daniel Rohr. “If we head down the road I think we’re heading down, there’s not going to be a lot of capital in Cliffs’ piggy bank to fund something on the scale of this Ring of Fire project.”  ….”  Sourcemoremore
  • What’s Ontario’s Premier got to say about working with Cliffs?  “…. (speaking during a visit to Thunder Bay, Premier Kathleen) Wynne also addressed stalled talks with Cliffs Natural Resources, who have said they are at least a year behind schedule starting a planned chromite mine at the much-anticipated Ring of Fire.  She said there are a number components to the project, and while the province is committed to moving it ahead, it’s not going to happen overnight.  “We need to make sure that the business interest, that that relations whip is intact and productive, but we also need to make sure that we have done the work with the First Nations communities, to make sure that the community supports, the health supports, the training supports, are in place,” Wynne said. “Those are parallel processes and the minister is very much engaged.  “We are as committed to the Ring of Fire as we have been all along. But it does take time to make sure all of the pieces are in place.” “  Source
  • Not ALL bad news for Cliffs, though  ” …. Not every stock is surging to record highs. In fact, one particular large-cap miner offers a risky, but compelling, opportunity for investors still looking to get a piece of the action on Wall Street. Contrarian investors should add Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) to their watchlist because this former S&P 500 sweetheart is resting on major historical support, thereby offering a great entry point for those with a bullish outlook for the steel industry and the global economic recovery as a whole ….” Source
  • Meanwhile, Noront continues to be good to go …. “Noront Resources says an amended agreement with Eagle Hill Exploration will allow the company“to maximize the value of its interests” by giving Eagle Hill more time to advance the Windfall Lake project near Chibougamau, Quebec. “Noront is committed to advancing its Eagle’s Nest project (in Ontario’s far northern Ring of Fire mineral zone) and any proceeds from a possible sale of its interest in the (Windfall) project will be used to further develop Eagle’s Nest,” said interim Noront president and CEO Paul Parisotto in a release ….”  Source (In Support of Mining blog) – more (Noront news release)
  • …. while issuing shares ….  “Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:NOT) announces that pursuant to a loan agreement entered into between Noront and Resource Capital Funds V L.P. (“RCF”) dated February 26, 2013 (the “Loan Agreement”) that it has satisfied the payment of interest for the first quarter of 2013 by delivery of 474,941 common shares of the Company (the “Interest Shares”) at an effective price of $0.2942 per Interest Share to RCF. The Interest Shares are subject to a four month hold period, expiring on August 22, 2013. The calculation of the number of Interest Shares issued was based on the volume weighted average trading price of the common shares of the Company during the 20 trading days prior to March 28, 2013 ….”  Source
  • …. and preparing for a special shareholders’ meeting  ” Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:NOT) today announces that the Company’s shareholders approved the Convertible Loan including the creation of a new “Control Person” and By-Law No. 2 which allows the board of directors to borrow on behalf of the Company at the Special Meeting of Shareholders held on April 30, 2013. As more particularly described in the Company’s press release dated February 26, 2013, Noront entered into a loan facility with Resource Capital Fund V L.P. in the aggregate principal amount of US$15.0 million (the “Facility”). The Facility is a one year bridge loan (the “Bridge Loan”) which matures on February 25, 2014 and automatically rolls into a convertible loan (the “Convertible Loan”) with a maturity date of December 31, 2015, if the Facility is not repaid prior to the Bridge Loan maturity date ….”  Source
  • KWG moves forward with its project, too ….  “KWG Resources and Bold Ventures report that they have received an exploration permit for their Black Horse / Koper Lake joint venture drill program in Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral zone. Drilling has resumed at the project, they said, and provisions have been made to complete the 6,000-metre diamond drilling program before spring break-up. “We are very pleased that the parties have come together to create this development, said Bold Ventures CEO Richard Nemis in a Tuesday release. “Marten Falls First Nation has been working over the last number of years to construct a facility that will eventually create a sustainable economic development that provides jobs and revenue for the Marten Falls Community. Indeed, this development will be beneficial for all northern communities.” ….”  Source (In Support of Mining blog) – more (KWG news release)
  • …. while buying up shares  “KWG Resources Inc.advises that its Board of Directors has granted to its directors, officers and consultants options to purchase a total of 6,836,000 shares at a price of $0.10 each in the ensuing five years, under the provisions of the Company’s Incentive Stock Option Plan ….”  Source
  • …. and preparing for its AGM  “KWG Resources Inc. will host its Annual and General Meeting of Shareholders on June 5, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. (local time) at Suite 2300, TD Waterhouse Tower, 79 Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario (the “Meeting”). The purposes of the Meeting are described in the Notice of Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders mailed to shareholders May 15, 2013 and available on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com. The Notice of Meeting sets out a number of matters that shareholders are being asked to vote on, including two proposed changes to KWG’s Articles of Incorporation ….”  Source
  • Oopsie…. “Bold Ventures and KWG Resources reported yesterday that one of their Ring of Fire joint venture drill holes appears to have drifted off their Koper Lake property and onto an adjacent claim held by Noront Resources. As a result, the mineralization reported in a May 2 Bold-KWG release “appears to occur on the Noront claim” rather than the optioned Fancamp property being explored by the two partners ….”  Source (In Support of Mining blog) – more (company news release)
  • No Ring of Fire mention in Ontario’s latest budget  “The Ring of Fire was missing from this year’s provincial budget when it was presented to Queen’s Park, but Ontario’s mining minister says it hasn’t been forgotten. The minority-led Liberal government revealed its $127-billion budget in Toronto Thursday. It’s the first budget to be tabled under the leadership of premier Kathleen Wynne. Having six main themes, Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the government sought to create a fair and prosperous Ontario. But Sousa never mentioned the massive chromite deposit in the lower James Bay area, which is expected to bring further prosperity to the province’s North. MPP Michael Gravelle (Lib. Thunder Bay – Superior North) said the Ring of Fire is in the budget. “We’re providing $5 million in enhanced funding to those First Nation communities closest to the Ring of Fire,” he said. “There’s no question that our commitment to the Ring of Fire is very strong. I’m pleased to see that there will be significant investments going towards related to the Ring of Fire. For many people, the future of the province’s economy will benefit with the North succeeding.” ….”  SourcemoreOntario Budget 2013 page
  • More of the same from Canada’s Ring of Fire Minister  “A collaborative approach and an emphasis on early dialogue with First Nations are key factors in the development of Ontario’s far northern Ring of Fire mineral zone, according to Tony Clement, minister for FedNor and the man in charge of the federal government’s Ring of Fire file. In discussions with members of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) in Toronto this week, Clement reiterated the “generational opportunity” represented by the Ring of Fire ….”  Source (In Support of Mining blog) – more (Government of Canada Info-machine news release) – more
  • Editorial:  “…. The degree of seriousness that Clement brings to the table are being hampered however by the Conservative government’s overall approach to dealing with Aboriginal groups. The treatment of Attawapiskat where a housing crisis led to the imposition of a third party manager, followed by what is widely seen as a lack of understanding by the Harper Government in dealing with First Nations is hindering the process. Consultation and engagement with First Nations communities has been seen as one sided by many First Nations communities. There is another potential speed bump for the Ring of Fire. The stock price for Cliffs Natural Resources is a third of what it was a year ago.”  Source
  • One analyst’s view  “…. The Ring of Fire build isn’t a done deal to be sure. In fact, jostling among the partners here may slow things down — as the fight over road or rail goes on, KWG has stealthily acquired much of the land in the transport corridor26 needed to move ore south by either method. Cliffs has cried foul over this move to control the development process. The major has asked regulators to grant an easement over the land, potentially alleviating the need for a deal with, or a complete takeover of, KWG. But the Ring of Fire has lot of push behind it: tight global chromite supply, rich deposits and proximity to hungry US consumers. All of which make the project look like one that needs to be built. If they do build it, buyers will come to the junior stocks involved. That will bring in a lot of money for those who own them now.”  Source
  • Municipality of Greenstone, Matawa move forward in partnership  Source
  • Continued Ontario Tory promises from Tim Hudak  “…. The Tory leader repeated his party’s support to moving ahead development of the Ring of Fire chromite deposits in northwestern Ontario, starting with the premier championing the area. “If we had this kind of (Liberal) government when the Sudbury Basin was being developed, we wouldn’t be here today,” said Hudak. “It would be wilderness or some museum in time.” Residents in southern Ontario probably think the Ring of Fire is a Johnny Cash song, but (the Ring of Fire) can be so much more than that.” He has pledged to assign a senior cabinet minister to head development of the Ring of Fire if the Tories are elected. When asked if Conservatives would require companies such as Cliffs Natural Resources to process all of the chromite ore mined in the Ring of Fire in Ontario, Hudak said they would. “How do you do that? Well, you’ve got to make sure your energy rates are affordable so it makes business sense, so you don’t have all kinds of new rules and regulations like the College of Trades to drive up costs. Make sure that taxes are low enough to encourage that investment.” “  Sourcemore
  • A bit more hope for not selling off the Ontario Northland rail line?  “The fate of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission hasn’t been sealed just yet. At the second of what is expected to be a string of many advisory committee meetings on the ONTC, MPP Michael Gravelle (Liberal-Thunder Bay–Superior North) reiterated his stance that the province is opening itself up to options other than divestment. Kapuskasing Mayor Al Spacek, who is president of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, said the outcome of last week’s meeting in Toronto was “very positive.” “It’s important to note that his statement was – and he clarified that again – that divestment wasn’t the only option,” said Spacek about Gravelle’s comments. “It doesn’t mean divestment is off the table. “But certainly, the previous position of the government was, ‘It’s divestment, period.’ Now, since they’ve adopted this other view, we found that as a very positive sign. Based on our meeting … we’re going to start to make some good progress.” ….”  Source
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