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 – August 30, 2013

  • Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne travelling through Sudbury, Kenora, Thunder Bay and Fort Severn ….
  • …. and you KNOW the Ring o’ Fire’s going to come up in her travels  – in Sudbury, for example:  “…. She was asked what the province is doing to move forward the Cliffs Natural Resources chromite project in the Ring of Fire region of Northern Ontario.  The company put its environmental assessment on hold in June, citing a lack of progress at the provincial level regarding not only environmental issues, but a deal with regards to a transportation corridor and energy prices.  Wynne said she’s placing her trust in former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Ioacobucci, who was appointed by the province back in July to lead discussions with the Chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council on the Ring of Fire.  More specifically, he’ll address environmental protection and monitoring, regional infrastructure planning and development, resource revenue sharing and social and economic supports.  “If we don’t get those protections and processes right at the beginning stages, we will pay for that at the end,” Wynne said. “There will be time constraints and there will be costs at the other end if we don’t do that work up front.” ….” – more from the Sudbury stop here
  • Federal Ring o’ Fire Minister Greg Rickford:  we’ll get ‘er all sorted out  “Kenora MP Greg Rickford says the Ring of Fire mining project is for Northern Ontario, what the oil sands are for Alberta, and isn’t worried by disputes on how the project’s environmental impact should be assessed.  “There has been some dispute over whether there should be an environmental assessment or a joint review panel, those issues will be resolved by the parties themselves or the courts,” said Rickford ….”
  • U of Toronto anthropology expert on NWT & training“…. Lindsay Bell, a university of Toronto researcher, looked at mine training programs in the Northwest Territories. She says after being trained, few aboriginal people found jobs in the mines …. Bell said …. the (federal) money (announced earlier this month) geared to training could be better spent somewhere else.  “[The federal government should] put a larger emphasis on infrastructure development and other educational opportunities so that First Nations people can really have the choice of how they want to live in the future,” she said.”
  • Mining analyst commentary  “The recent announcement by American-based Cliffs Natural Resources to temporarily halt its chromite mining project in Ontario’s Ring of Fire camp was met with flying accusations of fault by many politicians, affected stakeholders, environmental non-government agencies and First Nations communities.  There certainly is plenty of blame to go around, including on the company itself — stubborn opposition to a more thorough environmental assessment demanded by First Nations, Cliffs’ inability to finance the project at the present time and, most importantly, a currently depressed metals market.  However, this might be a great opportunity to scrutinize the entire development and decide if Ontario has leveraged as many economic and value-added benefits as possible during the current commodity super-cycle and why a tiny country like Finland has been able to do much more with a significantly smaller and lower quality chromite deposit of its own ….”
  • Remember the court case where First Nations wanted to block the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA) because of a lack of consultation by Canada?  Federal Court of Canada says….  full speed ahead, FIPPA (decision, PDF) This from the Assembly of First Nations on the decision, and this from the Green Party of Canada.

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 – August 23, 2013

  • Note to APTN:  Kenora MP & Minister Greg Rickford is the lead federal Minister for the Ring of Fire (RoF), not the federal negotiator.  In this video, Rickford says the consultation piece must be “right out front” and that First Nations have to be partners in the development.
  • Sudbury Star Letter to the Editor  “…. If the Conservative government is serious about moving forward with the Ring of Fire in a non-partisan and consultative way, they could back up their words with real actions, and require a more thorough and consultative environmental assessment process.”
  • The mayors of the five biggest cities in Northern Ontario hope speaking with one voice will convince the province to act on some of the longstanding issues they say has held the region back for decades.  And with the Ring of Fire representing the biggest single economic development opportunity in the province, the government is listening, says Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk.  Matichuk, Al MacDonald of North Bay, Debbie Amoroso of Sault Ste. Marie, Tom Laughren of Timmins and Joe Virdiramo, acting mayor of Thunder Bay, unveiled their Northern Priorities document Tuesday at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario meeting in Ottawa.  The annual event offers Ontario’s 444 municipalities access to provincial cabinet ministers, opposition leaders – and even representatives from the federal government. Local politicians normally schedule one-on-one meetings with ministers and make a pitch for their city’s priorities.  But in an unprecedented move, the leaders of the North’s five biggest cities made a collective pitch, calling on the province to focus on six areas they say are key to economic development. And while the priorities aren’t new – such as calls for more infrastructure funding and sharing of revenue from natural resources – Matichuk said the Ring of Fire added considerable weight to their arguments ….”
  • What Do Northern Mayors Want from Ontario?   “…. Act immediately to secure funding for key regional infrastructure needs, including Ring of Fire transportation assets in Northern Ontario, a restructured Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, an expanded regional harbour in Sault Ste. Marie and necessary investments insupport of the Advantage Northwest Mining Readiness Strategy. In order to do so, theProvince should advance the timing for completion of the multi-modal transportation study outlined in the Growth Plan. Strategic infrastructure investments are a critical component tofuture industrial growth as outlined in the recently completed Advantage Northwest Mining Readiness Strategy and business case for a regional harbour in Sault Ste. Marie ….”
  • Premier Wynne’s tiny mention of RoF in her speech to municipal leaders in Ottawa  “…. To address the needs of communities around the Ring of Fire, we’re going to make sure that natural resource extraction comes with the critical programs and infrastructure necessary to support growth and create positive opportunities for the people who call that region home ….”
  • New RoF Player Listing on Vancouver Exchange  “Leo Resources Inc. lists on the on the Canadian National Stock Exchange. Leo is focusing on developing its exploration property in the highly prospective Ring of Fire, an evolving base metal camp in the James Bay lowlands of northern Ontario.  InvestmentPitch.com has produced a “video news alert” which provides a brief overview of Leo Resources. If this link is not enabled, please visit http://www.InvestmentPitch.com and enter “Leo” in the search box.  Leo Resources 100% of the Riverbank Nickel-Copper-Platinum project, which consists of 8 unpatented mining claims covering an area of approximately 1,392 hectares. The Riverbank properties are adjacent to Noront’s Eagle One and Eagle Two nickel projects and to Cliff Resources Black Thor deposit, which is the largest Chromite deposit in North America. For more information about the Riverbank project, please refer to the NI 43-101 Technical Report on Leo’s website (8MB PDF) or on Sedar.com.  Leo Resources created by way of a spin off to shareholders of Zara Resources ….”
  • KWG Raising More Money  “KWG Resources Inc. has been granted an extension of the conditional listing approval to complete the previously announced private placement of units of flow-through shares and share purchase warrants. The TSX Venture exchange has given the company until September 5th, 2013 to complete the balance of the placement of units. A first tranche of $300,000 has closed ….”
  • Regulatory filing:  Staff changes at Cliffs (including what one of the outgoing higher-ups is getting)
  • A glass-is-half-empty overview via Postmedia News  “…. Development is caught in an enormous bureaucracy. The permitting process cannot even start until a court decides what environmental assessment process will be used. First Nations groups continue to express concerns. And the companies that want to develop the region (Noront and Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.) are in such poor financial condition that the very concept of them spending billions of dollars to build mines is laughable.  Meanwhile, the Ring of Fire remains the same desolate, mosquitoinfested swamp that it was six years ago, a reminder of how much needs to be done to kick-start development ….”
  • Eagle Hill Exploration Corp. raised $12 million by way of private placement with which to buy out Noront Resources, its 25% partner at the Windfall Lake project 100 km east of Lebel-Sur-Quevillon, QC, and launch a drilling program on the property. The agreed on price was $5 million plus 25 million Eagle Hill common shares ….” – more in the Noront Resources news release here
  • More work to save Ontario Northland’s rail lines  “The Northern and Eastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) held a media launch …. in North Bay, Ontario to outline its goals and rail advocacy strategies.  The NEORN is a network composed of rail advocacy groups and stakeholders from across Northern and Eastern Ontario dedicated to the promotion of passenger and freight rail service throughout the region, and consistent with The Growth Plan for Northern Ontario.  Created in 2013, NEORN is a partnership of stakeholders and potential supporters including, but not limited to: First Nations, municipalities, chambers of commerce, boards of trade, local railways, businesses, industries, industry associations, unions, local coalitions or action groups, environmental groups, and student groups …. Among other goals, the NEORN is advocating for the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) to continue its role as transportation and communication provider for Northeastern Ontario in a properly governed and supported public agency under MTO similar to Metrolinx ….” (shared via Twitter by KWG Resources)
  • (Not in the RoF, but worth noting)  Here’s One Way to Bring First Nations in as Partners  “Northern Gold reports that it has issued 200,000 common shares and 200,000 share purchase warrants to Wahgoshig First Nation.  In a Wednesday release, the company said the shares and warrants were issued under a previously announced agreement that “will allow Wahgoshig to directly participate in any potential successes of Northern Gold.”  Earlier this month, the two parties announced that they had reached an exploration agreement concerning the company’s northeastern Ontario Golden Bear project, which is located in Wahgoshig traditional territory. The agreement outlines a framework for an ongoing relationship that would provide the First Nation with an opportunity to benefit through training, ongoing communications and business development ….”
  • Speaking of Aboriginal-private sector partnerships, here’s an online map at the Natural Resources Canada web page showing First Nations across Canada which have reached some sort of mining agreement with companies.

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

Federal RoF Minister Shares the Message (Further)

Remember the messaging Federal RoF Minister Greg Rickford shared with his Thunder Bay audience earlier this week?

He shared a bit more of the same in Sudbury yesterday – some excerpts:

“…. “I fully expect that we will begin a process of thorough consultation and most importantly … what I’m calling the politics of collaboration – pushing partisan politics aside and making sure we’re focusing on FedNor and the Ring of Fire. (These are) the things that make a difference in people’s lives and improve our fortunes here in Northern Ontario,” Rickford, the MP for Kenora, said Friday morning, shortly before announcing funding for jobs for recent graduates ….”

More ….

“New FedNor Minister Greg Rickford came to Sudbury on Friday to bring “a positive narrative” on the future of the Ring of Fire, the massive chromite find in northwestern Ontario that has huge economic potential for all of the North …. “I think it’s that kind of politics of collaboration at the municipal, provincial, federal and with First Nations governments that needs to take place.” ….”

 

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Ring of Fire News – August 15, 2013

  • Federal Ring of Fire Lead Minister Greg Rickford, speaking in Thunder Bay this week, talked about “putting aside political partisanship” and aiming for the “politics of collaboration” when it comes to developing the Ring of Fire.  He also highlighted his new political advisor on the North, Mark Wright (more here on LinkedIn), as someone from the North advising him about the North and the Ring of Fire.  This and more on video of the full speech here via netnewsledger.com – worth watching to read the tea leaves.  You can read a bit more on the speech (via a CBC reporter’s Twitter feed) here
  • Meanwhile, while Rickford was speaking inside…. “…. Outside of the centre around a dozen people stood with placards denouncing the Conservative government’s decision and questioning Cliffs’ environmental record in other places. Alex Boulet said a comprehensive review is the wrong way to go given the size of the proposed mining project.  “One of the main issues is there’s a lot less community consultation and also ironically it’s not as comprehensive of an environmental assessment,” Boulet said.  Mining is important to the region but with so much at stake, Boulet said there’s a right way to develop the project.  “It’s a really great opportunity and we just want to make sure that it’s done right and in order to do it right I think that the Ring of Fire needs to have the highest level of environmental assessment possible,” he said.  Cliffs environmental affairs director Jason Aagenes said the company is committed to a thorough environmental review ….”
  • Before he spoke to Chamber of Commerce folks, though ….  “The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology, and FedNor, and Minister Responsible for the Ring of Fire, today announced a Harper Government investment to help the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund create jobs, enhance entrepreneurial and business planning skills, and promote business development and growth in Northwestern Ontario …. With a FedNor investment of $4,427,212 over three years, Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) will offer a variety of business development services, including marketing and communications, strategic planning, and project management. Resources will be available to First Nation communities serviced by NADF, with a strong focus on the nine Matawa communities, to help them successfully develop business opportunities and derive long-term economic benefit from mining-related developments ….” – more on this funding here, here, here and here
  • Rickford also spent some time talking to Ontario’s Mines Minister Michael Gravelle while in the neighbourhood ….  “Ontario’s minister responsible for northern development, Michael Gravelle, emphasizes decisions around the foreign worker program are made by the federal government. However, he recognizes the importance of gaps related to mining developments planned in the northwest.  This is particularly true, after he joined with Kenora MP Greg Rickford last week, as they talked about training programs for the Ring of Fire, as one of many mining opportunities in the region.  “One of the realities is that there’s a lack of skilled workers for the mining sector, and there will be for years to come,” said the minister, before referring to programs by the province ….”
  • …. as well as speaking to Chiefs at the Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s annual Keewaywin Conference at Kasabonika Lake First Nation – follow some highlights from NAN Deputy Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler’s Twitter feed here, here, here, here and here 
  • Mines Minister Gravelle also spoke at the NAN annual conference – catch Deputy Grand Chief Fiddler’s Twitter highlights here, here, here, here and here (with a reminder from Grand Chief Havey Yesno that NAN still thinks the Far North Act sucks – more on why here
  • Column calls for Ontario to get moving on consultation, revenue sharing ….  “…. Successive governments in Ontario simply “have not” got it. They have not been able to connect the dots to realize that the future of resource development in this province must be based not only on sound and constructive consultation policies and practises, but also on a commitment to share in the revenues that those developments will create ….”
  • …. as well as an all-weather road  “…. The construction and operation of an all-weather road will certainly improve the economics of most mine projects (and will fatten the provincial royalty wallet when the mines are producing). An all-weather road will also improve the conditions, and reduce the costs of services to the now-isolated First Nation communities.  Is it time to think about building an all-weather road, a road system that would start in Greenstone and head north? A road system is often the precursor to the provision of hydropower and broadband. Those with a business mind will see an opportunity where an all-weather road could be constructed using some variation of a public-private partnership. Those people will also see an opportunity to include the First Nations as part of the ownership of the road during construction and as part of the long-term operations of the road ….”
  • Latest on talking, and waiting  “Talks are continuing around the future of the Ring of Fire chromite project.  Frank Iacobucci and Bob Rae have been representing the province and First Nations in on-going discussions.  Mining company Cliffs Natural Resources said it’s happy with the progress that’s been made, but still can’t say when it may resume its environmental assessment.  “I think it’s encouraging to have those kinds of discussions and certainly those kind of people involved in that,” Bill Boor, Cliffs vice president said.  “So certainly, it gives me some optimism that we will be able to find a good path forward and get things started like we talked about.”  The company temporarily put its environmental assessment process on hold in June, citing unfinished agreements with the province as one of the reasons for the delay.  Speaking on the CBC television program Power and Politics earlier this month, Bob Rae said he had very specific goals for the ongoing negotiations.  “We’re trying to get to a place where all of the environmental issues can be addressed, that we can actually be certain that whatever developments take place are going to be sustainable,” he said. “That’s a very critical issue.”  But, Boor said until terms of reference with the province are finalized, the future of the ferrochrome smelter north of Capreol in Greater Sudbury also remains up in the air ….”
  • Matawa negotiator Bob Rae on balancing the need for meaningful input with the need for moving forward  “…. We’d like to get the framework done sooner rather than later. My view is that we have to operate in real time. There are a number of companies that are engaging with the province, and if we’re going to be successful, we need to be taken seriously right away. At the same time, there’s no desire on anybody’s part to simply throw a monkey wrench into the proceedings, but we do want to be heard. And I think that’s the challenge: to create the opportunity to be heard ….”
  • Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett also calling for better work with First Nations  “…. the government seems to have opted for a confrontational approach with Aboriginal communities regarding resource development. Last summer, Treasury Board President Tony Clement was said to have alienated First Nations in Northern Ontario by dismissing their calls for a Joint Review Panel of the Ring of Fire resource developments; his critics suggested he had characterized their concerns as bringing up “irrelevant issues.” Government documents have also labelled Indigenous people as “adversaries” who impede resource and energy development. This is both untrue and insulting ….”
  • KWG Resources Inc. announce(d) that a continuous pilot smelting campaign on Black Horse chromite drill core has been successfully completed with excellent results. A bulk sample comprised of 1186 kilograms of drill core collected from two holes drilled in 2010 was used for the test …. The test demonstrated that Black Horse massive chromite can be efficiently smelted in a DC furnace using moderate flux and reductant additions and manageable operating temperatures. Moe Lavigne, KWG VP of Exploration & Development stated, “These are the highest grade ferrochrome results we’ve seen from Ring of Fire chromites.” ….”
  • A Noront executive raises an interesting point via Twitter  “Funny what media miss. No mention by CBC radio news on Noront’s Eagles Nest project moving along ….”
  • This also from Noront via Twitter  “Mining Movie Making Youth Camp coming to Matawa communities ….”

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 – August 9, 2013


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 – August 2, 2013

  • A Bit More Cliffs Bad News “Six weeks after it hit the pause button on its environmental assessment for its Ring of Fire project, Cliffs Natural Resources announced that its development budget for the proposed chromite mine has been trimmed by US $10 million.  The Cleveland-based company this spring earmarked $60 million for the work to take place this year, including a feasibility study.  A financial report on the company’s second quarter performance released on Thursday shows the figure has been reduced to $50 million.  Regional Cliffs spokeswoman Jennifer Mihalcin confirmed Friday that the reduction is a reflection of the earlier decision to temporarily put the brakes on work on its environmental assessment for the Ring of Fire project.  An additional $25 million set aside for overall exploration remains the same ….”  (article also available here if previous link doesn’t work)
  • Signs of Hope (1)  “Work on an environmental assessment regarding the first chromite mine in the Ring of Fire could resume before year’s end if talks with affected First Nations continue on a positive note, says the Cliffs Natural Resources executive overseeing the project.  “We’ve had some good meetings and I think we’re on a good path,” Cliffs’ global ferroalloys vice-president Bill Boor said Wednesday in an interview from the company’s Cleveland headquarters ….”
  • Signs of Hope (2)  “Despite the recent pull-back of Cliffs Natural Resources from its Ring of Fire environmental assessment activities, a second project in Ontario’s far northern mineral zone continues to progress through the review process.  The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency reports that it has allocated more than $48,000 to two Aboriginal applicants to support their participation in consultation activities related to the environmental assessment of Noront Resources’ proposed Eagle’s Nest mine in the James Bay Lowlands area.  In a release, the agency said the funds will help the two First Nations participate in upcoming steps of the assessment, such as consultation related to the Environmental Impact Statement (with addendum) and the review of the Comprehensive Study Report.  Attawapiskat First Nation has been allocated $26,682 from the Aboriginal envelope of the agency’s Participant Funding Program, while Aroland First Nation has received an allocation of $22,050.  In March 2012, the agency allocated a total of $21,175 to Environment North, MiningWatch Canada and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Wildlands League through the program’s regular funding envelope ….”  More from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency here
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief drops by Longlac to meet with Matawa First Nation Chiefs, negotiators  “In Long Lac (31 Jul 13) for the Matawa Chiefs Assembly. Ring of Fire discussions this afternoon with Frank Iacobucci and Bob Rae.”
  • Column:  “Can dousing the Ring of Fire with politicians rekindle the spark? All sides are betting it can …. The courts and the province will have a say in resolving that dispute. And since all sides are counting on career politicians with the aid of the courts, count on this being a long, slow process.”
  • How Idle No More proposes helping First Nations “….  there are the Ontario First Nations with their ‘great white hope’ Bob Rae, a strong supporter of Israel whose wife was a VP of the CJC. Rae left the NDP in 2002 for refusing to embrace globalization and open markets, and is now the Natives’ negotiator with the mining interests in the James Bay ‘ring of fire’. However nice elder statesman Rae may be, his common interests—economic and political—with Farber remain, and there can be no doubt that at best the Natives will get lots of millions of dollars, but you can be sure that the option of “No to chromite mining!” is not on the table.  Clearly, the Natives need a new deal with corporate Canada. That is what Idle No More is all about. But the option of “No!” must be on the table, not just “How much money will we get to let the corporations destroy our land?” ….”
  • North Bay Looks at Expanding Airport  “Another local business with plans to expand has purchased land at the city’s Airport Industrial Business Park.  Council approved the sale Monday of three acres of airside property within the industrial business park to Comsatec, an energy management firm with offices in Callander and Toronto, for $225,000.  The deal is dependent on construction of a 17,000-square-foot hangar getting underway within 12 months and gives the company first right of refusal for an additional 1.3 acres of abutting land to accommodate future expansion …. (Comsatec’s Paul Waque Sr.) said North Bay has the ability to compete with active transport centres such as Thunder Bay, noting the distance between North Bay and Attawapiskat of 767 kilometres is only 67 km greater than that of Thunder Bay and Attawapiskat.  “Yet, North Bay has the absolute advantage to be within easy reach to Toronto’s GTA supply area,” said Waque. “We are all aware that there will be many areas of development in the coming years, including Ring of Fire activity.” ….”
  • Enjoy the long weekend (if you get it)!

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

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