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

Ring of Fire News – October 4, 2013

  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Money for First Nations to take part in Noront’s Eagle’s Nest environmental assessment  “The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has allocated a total of $19,233 to one Aboriginal applicant to support their participation in consultation activities related to the environmental assessment of the proposed Eagle’s Nest Project, located in Ontario.  This funding was made available to Aboriginal groups through the Participant Funding Program administered by the Agency, and will enable participation in upcoming steps of the environmental assessment, such as consultation related to the Environmental Impact Statement and the review of the Comprehensive Study Report ….” – more on the project here, and on the funding program here
  • New member of the board for Cliffs  “Stephen M. Johnson, 62, chairman, president and chief executive officer of McDermott International, Inc., has been elected to Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.’s board of directors.  The appointment is effective Oct. 1. He will be a member of the board’s Audit Committee and the Governance and Nominating Committee. With the addition of Johnson, Cliffs’ board will be comprised of a total of 11 directors ….” – more here and here
  • Cliffs draws at least one investment analyst’s eye  “….it is dangerous to pay too much attention to political and economic forecasts. While I believe this to be true, I also believe that it is wise to be on the lookout for large market bubbles, which can be discovered by analyzing raw data and comparing it to common sense conclusions. By maintaining this duel mind-set, the Foolish investor can remain focused on investing in companies that are fundamentally sound and undervalued, while avoiding value traps that could hinder their performance. It was with this logical thought process that I stumbled upon Cliffs Natural Resources, a large iron ore and metallurgical coal mining company located in Cleveland, Ohio ….”
  • EditorialKWG-Cliffs ruling – No appeasement on the easement …. The precedent-setting ruling by the province’s Mining and Lands Commissioner (MLC) was a win for the “little guy,” in that it strongly affirmed the rights of existing mining-claim holders in the face of an aggressive major company with a competing development plan for the area ….”
  • More (pessimistic) commentary on the KWG-Cliffs ruling:  “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 ….”
  • Letter to the editor  “Where are our government MPPs? …. How come they have not shown outrage over the refusal of Cliffs request to build the needed road into the Ring of Fire? Is it that the extra 1,200 jobs is not important to them? ….”
  • More commentary  “…. The economic feasibility is in doubt right now. Declines in commodity prices, including refined chromite (ferrochrome) make this project questionable.  From my perspective, money will be the least of their worries.  It will take a lot more than money to deal with the overwhelming social, cultural and environmental costs.  The 24,000 First Nations people living in 34 remote communities are caught in the middle of this clash of cultures.  The earth, the air and the water they value will be devastated by decades of open pit mining. Their ancestral homeland and traditional values will be sold for profit.  Stockholders are excited by this prospect.  Meanwhile, the rest of us dream of big chromite money, as we wait for the Hobbs/Gravelle/Clement vision to unfold and make us rich.  Let the good times roll.”
  • Part of Ring of Fire series, this one focussing on Webequie First Nation  “For First Nations, Disruption Is Certain, Profits Less So”
  • Municipal leaders press federal, provincial ministers on the Ring of Fire  “Frustration over the speed of the Ring of Fire was evident at the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association meetings in Thunder Bay on Friday. Delegates at the meeting expressed their concerns that officials at the municipal level were not being let into the room.  Minister Gravelle had faced a bear-pit style series of questions on Thursday. The market conditions are impacting mining, and the Minister of Northern Development and Mines along with Premier Kathleen Wynne have expressed that getting the Ring of Fire right is critical ….”
  • As James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, prepares for a visit to Canada next week, he raises an interesting question in a commentary:  “Is natural resource development a blessing, a ‘quick-fix,’ or a curse?
  • Matawa calls out to First Nation members to sign up for mining-related training (PDF)
  • The City of Thunder Bay has been busy sharing its Mining Readiness Strategy (created in partnership with the Fort William First Nation).  According to these minutes of the City’s Intergovernmental Affairs Committee (page 11), copies have been sent out to former Ring of Fire minister Tony Clement, Ontario’s Mines Minister Michael Gravelle, provincial negotiator Frank Iacobucci, Matawa negotiator Bob Rae and “Members of the Northern Ontario Cabinet”.
  • (Not Ring of Fire, but worth watching)  “Another Treaty 3 First Nation will have its day at the Supreme Court to argue its case against allowing the province making decisions regarding resource extraction in the First Nations traditional territory. The high court has granted an appeal to Wabauskang First Nation, which has been fighting mining projects inside its territory since it took Rubicon Minerals to court in December 2012 …. Wabauskang will essentially be arguing that the province of Ontario does not have the right to approve mining plans, such as Rubicon’s Phoenix Gold Mining Project, without involvement from the federal government. Treaty 3 does give the provincial government the power to “take up” land for resource development ….” – more 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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