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Ring of Fire News – September 19, 2013

  • Ontario’s Tories released their platform the the North, “Paths to Prosperity:  A Champion for Northern Jobs and Resources”outstanding analysis from the In Support of Mining blog here, and more from media here
  • What one Aboriginal media outlet picked up from the Tory platform  “Ontario Progressive Conservatives say a share of the mining tax royalties should go to First Nations and other communities that build and support new mines.  Tim Hudak, the PC leader, introduced a policy “white paper” outlining his party’s position on the North during a visit to Thunder Bay on Sept. 17.  “The Ring of Fire is the greatest mining discovery of a lifetime but the project has gone nowhere,” Hudak stated in the introduction to the policy paper, titled Paths to Prosperity: A Champion for Northern Jobs and Resources.  To ensure mining development moves ahead, “As a first step, we need to work with business and Aboriginal communities to expedite the construction of an all-season transportation link to the Ring of Fire deposits,” the paper suggests …. The Conservatives propose that First Nations and other communities that support new mines benefit directly. “We would allow a portion of mining tax revenue from new mines to stay in local communities and First Nations.” ….”
  • While the Tories promise to speed up development of the Ring of Fire, some environmentalists seem underwhelmed at the idea – this from Anna Baggio of the Wildlands league, via Twitter:  “Speeding up Ring of fire is risky. Cliffs already tried it. Look where it got them: in fed court, in front of mining lands commish …. Where they lost. Company not ready for EA, has no social license to operate, but by all means let’s speed things up! ….”
  • While First Nations stop legal action in hopes of negotiations working out, environmentalists call for stricter environmental assessments around the Ring of Fire  “…. To plan for a sustainable future and to avoid irreversible consequences, an Environmental Assessment (EA) at the highest level of scrutiny is in order.  Review panels are established when the potential for significant impacts is high and/or when serious public concerns are being raised. Although serious concerns are continually being raised regarding the adequacy of the current Comprehensive EA Study to address the magnitude of issues in the Ring of Fire, government has yet to bump up the process to the scrutiny of a Joint Review ….”  The letter to the editor is also available here if the previous link doesn’t work.
  • Speaking of Ring of Fire, First Nations and Environmental Assessments….  “This week over twenty delegates from Matawa member First Nations have gathered in Constance Lake to participate in Keewaytinoak (Northland) Watch Environmental Assessment Training and Organizing. The workshop was organized by Chiefs of Ontario (COO) and Matawa’s Environment Services Group, Four Rivers. This training, which builds upon COO’s Environmental Assessment (EA) Toolkit, offers First Nation technical staff the opportunity to connect with leading industry professionals.  Participants are provided with an in-depth review of the EA process, including recent changes to the Federal level EAs, as well as opportunities for participants to collaborate with one another in addressing the challenges and needs faced by their communities.  “We wanted to bring people together to network with each other and to find answers to their questions about EAs,” explained Kathleen Padulo, Environment Coordinator with COO.  Padulo adds, “We brought together a diverse group of trainers who have collaborated to tailor our training to the specific needs of the Matawa communities.” ….”
  • With Cliffs’ road idea nixed right now along KWG’s right-of-way into the Ring of Fire (more here, here, here and here), we’re hearing more about the railroad idea  “The General Chairperson’s Association (GCA), representing unionised employees at government-controlled transportation and telecommunications agency Ontario Northland, this week weighed in on the Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner’s dismissal of US iron-ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources’ application for an easement over mining claims that TSX-V-listed junior KWG Resources staked from Exton, in the Ring of Fire, saying that, like KWG, it also supports the construction of a railway ….”  You can read KWG’s take on the latest here and here, more on what the group representing railroaders has to say here & here, a media overview with loads o’ reader commentary here, how In Support of Mining connects the railway dots here, and Ontario’s mines minister Micheal Gravelle saying, “what railway business plan?” here.
  • A “glass is half empty” assessment of the KWG right-of-way decision in this commentary  “The opening sentence of the latest legal ruling emanating from the James Bay lowlands says it all: “The north is not a quiet place”. That’s because throughout this 43-page ruling it’s the lawyers who are profiled in full court press in what is a tour de force of no-holds-barred resource sector litigating. They’re the sole reason the north is not a quiet place; because when the dust settles, this ruling will make the Ring of Fire quieter than a subarctic winter’s night for years to come ….”
  • Ontario’s Chamber of Commerce is interested in what the Ring of Fire will mean for business  “Much of Ontario’s future prosperity depends upon the success of developing the Ring of Fire, but many people in the province don’t know it.  The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is conducting a study to measure the economic benefit of mining the ring’s rich chromite deposits and to raise awareness outside the North about their tremendous potential …. To get people talking about the Ring of Fire, the Ontario chamber, in conjunction with the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, will hold a by-invitation-only round table in the city Oct. 9 …. A similar round table held in Thunder Bay this week drew 22 people, all of those invited to participate in the forum.  The Ontario Chamber of Commerce presented its initial findings to the Thunder Bay group — including its take on the economic benefits and barriers standing in the way of development — and sought answers to a number of questions.  The group asked community leaders about the economic benefits of the Ring of Fire, apart from the mining sector, and what they see as barriers to development …. The Ring of Fire will be on the agenda at an Ontario summit, the 10th annual, the OCC will hold in Niagara-on-the-Lake from Nov. 6-8. In all, 250 people – including the premier, opposition leaders and cabinet – will attend …. A similar roundtable will be held in Timmins on Oct. 10, hosted by that city’s chamber of commerce.”
  • Elsewhere in the Ring of Fire, an elephant hunt?  “Bold Ventures Inc. is pleased to announce the commencement of a helicopter borne VTEM electromagnetic and magnetic geophysical survey in the Ring of Fire area of Northern Ontario. The survey is being carried out to detail previously surveyed blocks as well as to investigate new areas that have not been surveyed. This ongoing hunt for “elephant sized” mineral deposits is being carried out as part of a systematic ongoing (since 2010) reconnaissance of under explored areas that have not been subject to the current technology of Vertical Loop Time Domain Electro Magnetic survey systems in the past. The Company is taking the opportunity to fly the survey at this time in order to manage the timing of this activity with local First Nation activities.  The “elephant hunt” is being financed through an option Agreement between Bold and a subsidiary of Dundee Corporation ….”
  • Editorial:  Ring of Fire’ll need lawyers!  “The opening of Lakehead’s new law school last week marked an historic occasion in Northern Ontario.  For the first time yet, aspiring lawyers from the North will be able to get their training in their own backyards.  The school, by no means a given when LU officials first asked, took plenty of convincing before former premier Dalton McGuinty gave the go-ahead.  The decision, much like the medical school last decade, was the right one. Northern Ontario is a complex collection of communities and cultures. With the Ring of Fire and its accompanying legal battles looming large, it only makes sense to cater a legal learning program to the needs of those it will most affect ….”
  • Speaking of lawyers, eleven tips on consultation and accommodation from a legal beagle, including things like “Aboriginal title has an economic component—consultation is about more than accommodating traditional harvesting practices ….”
  • Still with legal beagles, lookit who’s working for a law firm these days?  “Fasken Martineau, a leading international business law and litigation firm, today announced that former Ontario Premier Mike Harris will be joining the firm as a Senior Business Advisor ….”
  • “Thunder Bay business park ready to host miners, light industry …. Thunder Bay has aspirations to grow into a major service hub and there’s renewed hope that promoting the 71-acre industrial park to suppliers and professional firms will ease future development pressures ….”

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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