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Ring of Fire News – November 28, 2013

  • Ontario:  WTF?  “Ontario says it was taken by surprise when it heard Prime Minister Stephen Harper dismiss the development in the Ring of Fire region as Ontario’s problem, given that repeated calls by the province for the federal government to play a role in the project have gone unanswered in recent weeks.  In a telephone interview with CBC News on Monday, Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle said Harper’s comments came “as a surprise.”   “To simply be somewhat dismissive and say it's a matter of provincial issue or provincial jurisdiction, certainly took me a little bit aback,” Gravelle said.  The prime minister was asked, during a news conference in Winnipeg on Friday, what role the federal government had in getting the development in the Ring of Fire back on track after a major U.S. mining company suspended its operations in the area a day earlier.  Harper said “this is a project that is primarily under provincial jurisdiction because ultimately resources belong to the provinces and resource development is a provincial responsibility.” ….”  Source
  • “Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle is rejecting the idea the province is primarily to blame for problems holding up the Ring of Fire chromite find in northwestern Ontario ….”  Source
  • Premier:  But we’re not blaming the feds, you know  “…. I’m not blaming the federal government. Let me be really clear about that: I’m not blaming the federal government. What I am saying, which is what we have said all along, is that there are many partners who are needed in order to be able to explore and exploit the resources and the possibility of the Ring of Fire. It is impossible for one company or one order of government to do this. It’s a huge project, and from the beginning we have said that we need the private sector, we need First Nations and we need the federal government and municipalities to work with us so that we can develop that resource. That is not inconsistent; in fact, it is consistent with what we have said from the beginning. And I will be calling on Prime Minister Harper, as I have already done, to work with us ….”  Source
  • Premier:  Still, we’ll keep pushing Ottawa  “Ontario will keep the heat on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to help get the northern Ring of Fire mineral belt into production following a setback last week, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday.  Her comments came after Harper seemed cool to federal support for the potential $60 billion project in a remote area 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay last week.  “The prime minister and his ministers have sung the praises of the opportunities in the Ring of Fire and I believe it’s incumbent upon them . . . to take part in the project and to be full partners,” Wynne told reporters …. “They have been full partners in other projects across the country,” she added, referring to energy projects in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador ….”  Source
  • Prime Minister’s Office:  We’ll get back to the Premier  “…. As of late Tuesday, an official in Wynne’s office says they still don’t know if a visit to Ottawa on Dec. 5 will include a discussion with Harper on the Ring of Fire. The PMO declined to comment.   “The Premier’s Office has requested a meeting and we will reply in due course through the proper channels, not media,” wrote Carl Vallee, Harper’s press secretary, in an email.”  Source
  • Letter from Ontario’s  mines minister to federal Ring of Fire minister:  how ’bout it?   “…. This is an investment not just in Ontario’s, but Canada’s future. It is about more than tomorrow, this is about the next 50 to 100 years. Now is the time to act and support resource development, jobs and growth in Northern Ontario. It is exactly the moment when Ontario’s invitation to a partnership through a development corporation should be accepted with enthusiasm. That would be in the interest of the people of Ontario that both our governments represent.  I would appreciate the opportunity to sit down with you as soon as possible to more formally discuss the important role of the federal government in this vital economic development project.”  Sourcemoremoremore
  • Political Talk (1)  “If Cliffs Resources and the provincial government are playing poker over the Ring of Fire development, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli says the mining giant has decided to fold.  “It’s a major blow and a major setback for Ontario,” said the Progressive Conservative member. “…(Cliffs) have closed their Thunder Bay and Toronto offices. This is not a ploy… They have no confidence in this provincial government. They have waited for five years and there is nothing.”   Fedeli’s comments come on the heels of the announcement last week from Cliffs Resources that it was halting all work towards their Ring of Fire plans to develop a chromite mine in what has been called the biggest mining discovery in Canada in a century ….”  Source
  • Political Talk (2)  “New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Liberal government to make public the agreements it made with Cliffs Natural Resources regarding the Ring of Fire ….”  SourceMore from what was said in the Ontario Legislature
  • Political Talk (3)  “New Democratic Leader Andrea Horwath called on Premier Wynne to release her government’s agreements with Cliffs Natural Resources so Ontarians can see whether the Liberals lived up to their end of the agreement ….”  Source
  • First Nation leader:  They’ll be back  “One of the main Aboriginal players in the Ring of Fire mining-belt saga says Cliffs Natural Resources may well come back to Northwestern Ontario, if only to try and recoup its losses.  “I don’t think they want to just throw $500 million (in pre-development costs) away,” Martin Falls First Nation Chief Eli Moonias said Tuesday.  “They will try and get it back.” ….”  Source (alternate link – PDF)
  • Bob Rae/Matawa  “Squabbling between the federal and provincial governments is getting in the way of companies trying to develop Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral deposit and causing problems for the area’s First Nations, says former premier Bob Rae, just days after a major mining company quit the area over delays.  Mr. Rae, who is representing the Matawa First Nations in negotiations with the province over the development of the region, delivered this warning Tuesday to a business crowd, including mining executives, at the Empire Club in Toronto …. “It is, to me, deeply troubling that the two governments still can’t agree on who’s responsible for what,” Mr. Rae said. “This is challenging for First Nations. It’s also challenging for companies that are trying to do business. We need to create some certainty.” ….”  Source
  • Cliffs’ decision:  Online survey says government has to get “more active”  Source
  • Editorial (1)   “While no one should minimize implications of the indefinite departure of Cliffs Natural Resources from the Ring of Fire mining belt, other players remain in place and with them, other possibilities …. Are there drawbacks in a private railroad over a public road? Potentially, it could be restricted by the owners on any number of fronts, though KWG has said it would be available to all.  There are benefits to both proposals, but neither KWG nor Cliffs has been willing to compromise on the essential route.  This presents the province and its Ring of Fire development corporation with yet another challenge to getting what should be the economic salvation of the North under way. But it must begin to do what the provincial government has so far avoided doing. It must get decisive and force issues into solutions and ultimately into opportunities for all concerned. The status quo is no longer an option.”  Chronicle-Journal (alternate link)
  • Editorial (2)  “The ongoing interest of a number of mining concerns in the vast Ring of Fire region is not what holds public attention today. Neither is it the creation of a development corporation to manage the project or negotiations between the province and First Nations. Rather, it is the sense of lost opportunities that comes with the indefinite departure of the mineral belt’s biggest player. There is a growing suspicion that something is wrong and that the province is not saying so …. Uncertainty has already crept into the Ring of Fire good-news story. With suspicion growing about timing and motives, and a suggestion Ottawa may be backing away, the province has the unenviable but important task of restoring full credibility to a project many feel has not been well managed.”  Chronicle-Journal
  • Editorial (3)  “When Cliffs Natural Resources announced a couple of years ago it was going to establish a ferrochrome production facility in Capreol in connection with a planned chromite mine in the Ring of Fire, there was naturally disappointment in Timmins.  Timmins was one of four communities in the running to have this facility.  However, following that decision, city officials were quickly pointing out Cliffs were not the only player within the James Bay lowlands.  Among those was Noront Resources, which has been looking at mining nickel, copper and platinum in that area, and is now at the stage of submitting an environmental assessment for a proposed mining operation.  In fact, there are close to 40 firms that have staked claims within the Ring of Fire – though not all of them are mining companies.  One should keep that in mind in the wake of Cliffs’ announcement last week that it is suspending its chromite project within the James Bay lowlands …. Should we be panicking after all the promising things that have been said about the Ring of Fire? Is this the end?  Absolutely not.  It might seem trite to confidently state the minerals are in the ground and that they’re not going anywhere.  But that is the truth ….”  Timmins Daily Press
  • Meanwhile, at least one First Nation’s interested in getting a piece of the (still-proposed) “rail to the Ring” action  “Wally Bannon wants his community to be involved in construction of the transportation route to the Ring of Fire mineral development area.  “I want to see Fort William and many of our other Robinson Superior members a part of developing the $800 million road or the $1.2 billion railroad from Nakina (located about halfway between Thunder Bay and North Bay on Hwy. 11) to the mine,” says the economic development director for Fort William First Nation. “I want to be a partner in that.”  Bannon says his community has already started up a road construction and aggregate company, which rebuilt 16.2 kilometres of community roads over the past summer. Up to 45 community members were employed at various stages during the $7 million project.  “We had no experienced people, we had a few pieces of equipment,” he recalls. “So we had to go out and find someone that could train, someone that knew how to develop the road to a point that it was on time and on budget and then train those individuals from our First Nation to be able to perform and develop with the building of the roads.”  Bannon says the project was successful and the community is now looking to secure road construction contracts in Thunder Bay and area.  “There is some interest in regards to MTO needing some crushing of rock,” Bannon says, noting the community purchased a mobile rock crusher which is now available for contract jobs. “We’re not looking to take on a $10 million or $15 million project; we’re looking at a project that we can do and make some money at.” ….”  Source
  • And finally, some news from one of the OTHER players in the Ring of Fire …. “KWG Resources Inc. is very encouraged with the results of ongoing metallurgical test work to determine the thermodynamics of metalizing the chromite from the Black Horse deposit by its reduction with natural gas.  “We have reported to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines some of the conclusions being derived from this work which may have profound and positive consequences for the Development Corporation that the Minister has announced,” said KWG President Frank Smeenk. “We were gratified to contribute to the discussion, at Minister Gravelle’s invitation, about the many considerations for the infrastructure expansion that the Development Corporation will undertake. As our own test work indicates, ‘getting it right’ may need a little more thinking-through and is very much worth taking the time for.”   KWG also announces that it has closed a third tranche of its previously announced flow-through private placement, the subscriptions to which now total $2.1 million. The company has received conditional listing approval to complete a final subscription of units for $300,000 on or before December 23, 2013. Each unit comprises one flow-through treasury share and one warrant which may be exercised to acquire a further flow-through share for $0.10 at any time within three years. The units may be acquired by qualified investors for a subscription of $0.05 each ….”  Company news release

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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PM on Cliffs’ decision: Talk to Ontario

  • Ottawa (1):  PM   “…. Asked by a reporter if he was going to do anything to get the Ring of Fire back on track following the decision by a major U.S. mining company on Thursday to suspend its operations in the area, Harper said it isn’t his problem.  “This is a project that is primarily under provincial jurisdiction because ultimately resources belong to the provinces and resource development is a provincial responsibility,” Harper said.  “Obviously we have been talking to Ontario over the past few years in terms of regulatory approval processes, in terms of infrastructure investments and in terms of making sure First Nations continue to benefit,” he told reporters.  “The jurisdiction here is primarily provincial, and ultimately it is private companies themselves that have to make commercial decisions on the viability of projects.” ….”  Source
  • Ottawa (2):  Ring of Fire minister  “The federal government says Ontario should have responded sooner to the needs of a big mining company before it pulled out of the Ring of Fire.  Greg Rickford, minister of state for FedNor, says uncertainty over whether an all-season road would be built was a factor, and the province needs to deal with it.  Rickford says big companies looking to develop the massive chromite deposit in northern Ontario can’t proceed until they know what direction they’re going to go.  Speaking in Timmins, Ont., Rickford said he has every indication that Ontario’s governing Liberals understand what the challenges are moving ahead.  But he says they should have collaborated more with him, First Nations and the companies before announcing a development corporation to move the project along.  Rickford says he’s disappointed that Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. has suspended its Ring of Fire operations indefinitely, but the company is “very satisfied” with the federal government’s involvement in the project ….”  Source
  • Ottawa (3)  Ring of Fire minister  “…. the federal minister responsible for northern Ontario sounded worried. In an telephone interview with CBC News on Thursday, Greg Rickford expressed concern over what he calls the “legacy project” for the remote area.  “We’re very disappointed by this and we take it very seriously,” he said. “Not only does this represent a legacy project for Ontario, but the world, including investors, have their eyes on us and we want to get this right.”  The Conservative government has made it a policy to make resource development a big part of its economic plan. The Ring of Fire is on the list of major projects frequently cited by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.  And it’s been called “Ontario’s oilsands” by provincial Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak.  Rickford points out his government has invested $4.4 million to help First Nations prepare business plans for the resource activity that may come their way.  But the federal Conservatives seem prepared to wait for the Ontario government to try to get the mining company to return ….”  Source
  • Ottawa (4)  Ring of Fire minister  “…. in some ways, it wasn’t that surprising, said the minister of state for FedNor, the economic development organization for northern Ontario.  “I think that the announcement Cliffs made reflects uncertainty in a broader business sense,” Rickford said in Timmins, Ont.  “The commodity market hasn’t been that great for them, and in this case, they’re waiting on some things the province ought to have responded to a little bit sooner.”  Ontario’s governing Liberals need to deal with the dispute over access to the site, because big companies looking to develop the massive chromite deposit can’t proceed until they know “what direction they’re going to go.”  “This challenge, I think, sits squarely in the premier’s office,” Rickford said. “The world is watching, this is a legacy resource project and we want to get it right for the multi-generations of northern Ontarians that can benefit from this.”  Ontario seems to understand the challenges that lie ahead and is willing to work more collaboratively, he added.  But the province should have collaborated more with the federal government, First Nations and the companies involved before announcing a development corporation to move the project along.  “We would have appreciated a little bit more collaboration and notice in that since what it considers is fairly large in scope, from what I can gather, although it’s not been shared with me at this point,” he said.  “And I think the First Nations and the private sector companies implicated feel the same way.”  ….”  Source
  • Rae/Matawa  “…. Former Liberal Leader Bob Rae, who is the lead negotiator for the Matawa Tribal Council Chiefs, is taking the long view.  “The minerals in the ground aren’t disappearing, they are still there, they won’t go stale,” said Rae in telephone interview with CBC.  “The interests of First Nations haven’t changed either. They’re very committed to working with the government and committed to working with the private sector and seeing what’s possible as we go forward.”  Source

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

Even MOAR Reaction to Cliffs’ Decision

  • Ontario/mines minister  “…. (Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael) Gravelle announced the province’s intention to create a development corporation that would bring together private and public parties involved in the project, such as First Nations, mining companies and both levels of government.  He plans on meeting with the federal government, specifically MP Greg Rickford, who has the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario within his Cabinet portfolio …. Gravelle also said he plans to sit down with Cliffs and Bill Boor, the company’s senior vice-president of global ferroalloys. He stressed a need to listen to Cliffs to understand the company’s position.”  Source
  • Canada/Ring of Fire minister  “During a stop in Timmins on Friday, the federal minister responsible for the Ring of Fire gave pointed answers as to who he thought was to blame for Cliffs Natural Resources pulling out of its proposed multi-billion dollar chromite mining project.  Greg Rickford (Conservative – Kenora), federal Minister of State for Science and Technology, and FedNor, said the management of an intra-company land ownership conflict between Cliffs and KWG Resources Inc. is at the top of the list of reasons why the project was put on hold.  Since Ontario’s mining and land commissioner ruled against Ohio-based Cliffs request for an easement to build an access road across KWG-owned land in September, Cliffs had threatened to indefinitely cancel the project.  Rickford expanded on why he believed the decision was ultimately announced by Cliffs late Wednesday night.  “The land commissioner’s decision is the real source of the uncertainty; you can’t talk about those large-scale infrastructure projects until you know in which direction they’re going to go,” said Rickford. “This really made it complicated for (Cliffs) to understand how their road – or what road, in what direction it would take – would get to their extraction site.”  …. Rickford said he wasn’t prepared to state that companies like Cliffs and Noront were frustrated with the province about the perceived lack of progress. He did add, however, that “if you ask them, Noront and Cliffs will say they are very satisfied with the level of engagement the federal government has demonstrated on this file.  We have taken care of the things we know we should be addressing as a federal government, and we’ve shown and expressed a willingness to work with all of our partners,” said Rickford. “That’s not going to change. Noront is still very much in play here, and we hope that with the province’s extra efforts focusing on the land commissioner’s decision … that Cliffs will come back to the table and we’ll get back to work.  We look forward to the province moving forward in a bit of a more collaborative way. They recently announced the development corporation; we would have appreciated a little more collaboration and notice in that, since what it considers is fairly large in scope, from what I can gather, although it’s not been shared with me at this point.  The good news is I have an effective working relationship with Minister Gravelle on a number of fronts, and this challenge, I think, sits squarely in the Premier’s office. The world is watching, this is a legacy resource project, and we want to get it right for the multi-generations of Northern Ontarians that can benefit from this.”  Rickford maintained he was remaining positive about the future aspects of the Ring of Fire’s development ….”  Source
  • First Nations  “…. Matawa’s CEO David Paul Achneepineskum said this week the setback will give First Nations more time to assess the environmental impacts of the development as well as prepare their people for the opportunities it may present.  The tribal council’s chief negotiator Bob Rae made it clear in a tweet that he’s hellbent on pursuing a fair deal “to end (a) cycle of poverty for First Nations,” even with the biggest player gone.  Still, with pressure from Cliffs removed as an impetus to reach a deal quickly, negotiations with the province risk losing focus and dragging on longer.   While no one denies that Cliffs’ move is a game changer, the looming question is whether it’s a game ender.  The First Nations, government and industry players I spoke with answer with a resounding “no.”  ….”  Source
  • Mining association/Noront  “…. The head of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada said he hopes Cliffs’ decision will spur action on developing infrastructure.  “It’s up to everyone to come together, and that includes the government, the industry, and First Nations to look at what are the challenges ahead,” Glenn Nolan said.  “But what are the opportunities for participating in this opportunity, and do we want to see delays?” ….  Nolan, who is also a vice president with Noront Resources, said Cliffs’ announcement wasn’t a complete surprise, based on statements Cliffs had made in the past …. “  Source
  • Mining Association (2)  “…. The head of the Ontario Prospectors Association said Cliffs’ decision is just the latest move in what he calls a “poker game” the company is playing with the province.  “I think Cliffs just played a card and now it’s up to the government to … respond to it,” Garry Clark said. “Most of the things have … been lining up, though not as quickly as … Cliffs wanted.”  Clark noted the suspension could do some damage to Ontario’s image, but said the province remains one of the better jurisdictions for mining in more accessible areas ….”  Source
  • Industry (1)  “…. Cliffs’ announcement was not what Barb Courte-Elinesky wanted to hear.  The owner of Northstar Drilling in Thunder Bay and director with the group Women in Mining said the largest player in the Ring of Fire freezing its project puts Ontario in a poor light.  “We need to show the world that we are open for business,” she said.  “When something like this happens, it’s not good for our economy, but also it sends out a message.” ….”  Source
  • Industry (2)  “…. industry-watcher and Native legal rights expert Bill Gallagher says their (industry, First Nation) stances are either spin or delusion. The Ring of Fire, he says, is in the “project death zone” and “the biggest missed opportunity on Ontario’s road to resources in a generation.” ….”  Source
  • Capreol Residents  “News that Cliffs has indefinitely suspended work on the Ring of Fire project – including plans to build a $1.8 billion refinery near Capreol – has some residents in the area skeptical the project will ever be revived.  “I’m upset about the whole thing,” said resident Dave Levesque. “It would have been great for the community and for jobs, but now we’ve lost it because of politicians farting around.” ….”  Source
  • Industry analyst  “…. Mining industry writer Stan Sudol said he thinks the interruption in development presents an opportunity.  “We’ve been given a gift of more time,” he said. “So let’s take a look at this project in a more thorough analysis on how to benefit the northwestern region. And so that’s a win.”  Sudol said the delay will give the province more time to build infrastructure and agreements with First Nations.  The odds of Cliffs coming back to the Ring of Fire “are probably less than great,” Sudol said — but it is also dependent on what happens in global metal markets.  The chromite deposit is so rich, “there will be a lot of major mining companies in the world who will look at this as a great opportunity to develop,” he said.  However Sudol pointed out the critical factor is the lack of infrastructure in the area. Until that issue is resolved, he said it will keep a lot of major mining companies away.  But once the infrastructure is in place, and revenue sharing agreements have been made with First Nations, then “I think this project could be brought back to life fairly rapidly,” Sudol said.  “Even though, right now, a lot of people are concerned or saddened that Cliffs has pulled out … the minerals are [still] in the ground, and they’re not going to rot.” “  Source
  • Editorial  “It would be easy to slip into despair over the interruption in Northern Ontario’s prosperous mining promise with the indefinite suspension of operations by leading player Cliffs Natural Resources.  It would be easy to start casting more blame on suspects including the provincial government for dithering and First Nations for holding up production with varying demands for consultation, among others.  There is plenty of blame to go around but money talks loudest in ventures of this size and a company this big is a hostage to its share price. That is dictated by the ebbs and flows of the market and commodity prices which are slumping.  Would Cliffs have shifted into neutral — it has not shut off the engine — if frustration over the pace of talks with government, First Nations and competitors had not been complicated by the lowered world price of the chromite that it seeks to extract from the remote north of Ontario and other minerals that it mines elsewhere? …. A determined political effort to enable a working environment among the main players can bring Cliffs back to at least the point of reconsideration. That effort is essential for more than this.  The worst enemy the Ontario economy can face is uncertainty. The Cliffs scenario sends all the wrong signals to any industrial or business player. If that isn’t fixed, nothing else matters.”  Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal (alternate link if previous link doesn’t work)
  • Commentary  “…. If Cliffs’ decision to stop development is the death of that high stakes mining discovery, it was anything but a sudden one.  This past summer, I was one of just two reporters covering a historic three-day meeting of the Matawa First Nations, a group that represents many of the communities that are affected by Ring of Fire development. As part of my reporting for (Huffington Post)’s Staking Claim series, I’ve spoken to the major players in the First Nations community, in government and from the mining companies involved.  They all saw this coming. And none are panicking that the Ring of Fire has been extinguished.  Any insider could see the signs: the many stalls, delays and conflicts between miners and First Nations; miners and government; and government and First Nations.  Just about the only thing the players have agreed upon is the need to “get it right.” The problem is no one has agreed on what that means …. For its part, the Ontario government, which stands to gain billions in royalties from the potential development, moved swiftly to assure would-be investors the province is still open for business and that the potential in the Ring of Fire is alive.   But it has been anything but swift when it comes to action. More than a decade after discovering riches in the frozen muskeg of the north, no one has been able to penetrate either the earth or ill-defined regulatory walls …. It is a wake-up call that should be answered not with dwelling on what went awry, but instead determining, once and for all, what it actually means to “get it right” in the Ring of Fire.”  Source

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

More Reaction to Cliffs’ “Outta Here” News

  • Guess how often mines minister Michael Gravelle was asked about this in Question Period (QP) in the Ontario Legislature yesterday?   Five times – questions and answers here, here, here, here and here.  You can also read the whole Ring of Fire back & forth from yesterday here or here.  Main message from the Minister?  “it’s an absolute commitment for us. It continues to be a huge opportunity for northern Ontario. It continues to have huge economic development potential for jobs. We’re going to continue to work to keep working on our action plan to move this project forward.”
  • From QP (1)  Ontario NDP boss Andrea Horwath  “Nobody likes the blame game. We don’t want a blame game. We want jobs in this province. That’s what the government should be focusing on, not the blame game.  A lot of people are counting on the jobs and prosperity that the natural resources of the Ring of Fire bring, but they worry that the development corporation announcement is once again about a desperate government scrambling to get ahead of bad news, instead of getting something done for the people who need jobs …. the Premier promised that “thousands of jobs” were coming—those were her words—but, once again, when people desperate for work look beyond the press releases, they see a government without any plans, any details or, frankly, any idea what they are doing. The only jobs the Liberals seem to rally about and seem to really care about are their own jobs.”
  • From QP (2)  NDP MPP Michael Mantha  “…. For over five years, the Liberal government has failed to develop a framework for northern development in the Ring of Fire, but this inaction hasn’t stopped the government from issuing press releases touting opportunities that they have done no work to develop.  Cliffs’—the biggest player in the Ring of Fire—pull-out announcement is not only a blow to job creation in the province but demonstrates most clearly that this government has no plan for northern job creation ….”
  • From QP (3) Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli  Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli  “…. You have absolutely bungled this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s obvious you have absolutely no plan for the north. Will you at least take and implement the PC plan for northern Ontario? …. I have to tell you how appalled I am at a standing ovation for losing a $10-billion job here in Ontario …. The northern minister says, “Don’t worry. The rock is in the ground. It’s not going anywhere. This is a multi-generational opportunity.” My question is, which generation did you have in mind to finally get around to doing something?”
  • From QP (4)  Conservative MPP Norm Miller  “…. What is truly unfortunate is the amount of unheeded warnings that your government received throughout the process …. it is clear that the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of your government …. What is so shameful is, your government has been bragging about developing the Ring of Fire for years now …. you sold hope to the people of northern Ontario and have failed to deliver. First Nation communities and cities like Thunder Bay and Sudbury are all waiting for the investment in jobs that this project would bring ….”
  • Ontario NDP boss Andrea Horwath (2)  ” “Their bungling has snuffed out an amazing opportunity for Northeners and Ontarians overall. And in terms of jobs and resource development, it’s shameful that end up here today with Cliffs pulling out of the province.” ”  Source
  • KWG Resources  “…. KWG Chief Executive Officer Frank Smeenk said the challenges faced by Cliffs may actually help spur resource development in the region because they’ve prompted the provincial government to establish a development corporation to solve a lack of transportation infrastructure.  “There are risk items here that companies have no control over,” Smeenk, whose company has a 30 percent stake in Cliffs’ Big Daddy project, said yesterday by phone ….”  Source
  • Industry  “With the announcement on Nov. 20 that Cliffs Natural Resources has suspended its work on the Ring of Fire, the project could take until 2020 to get underway, said Dick DeStefano, executive director of the Northern Ontario Mining Supply and Services Association.  “Chromite is not ready for the market because of logistics, negotiations with the Native communities and government investments in infrastructure,” DeStefano said ….”  Source
  • Editorial  “…. Federal and provincial governments have a responsibility to carefully review environmental concerns, and First Nations have a right to negotiate the best possible development deal for their lands. The process must be robust and non-partisan. On review, some proposals will be rejected or modified, and should be. But decisions – pro or con – must be made within a reasonable time frame. The Ring of Fire is in its earliest days, and its fate is far from sealed, but early signs are not encouraging for expeditious development.”  Globe & Mail
  • Commentary (1)  “So it seems the Ring of Fire (ROF) has fizzled — leaving only a burning sensation where it hurts …. After one of the major companies involved in its development pulled out Wednesday, the project now appears dead in the water.  Who’s to blame? Well, mostly a government that’s Toronto-centric, doesn’t get mining and doesn’t understand Northern Ontario ….”  Christina Blilzzard, Sun Media
  • Commentary (2)  “…. Cliffs has had an uncomfortable relationship with local First Nations, provincial authorities and other explorers working in the Ring of Fire. Readers may wonder if the company had any understanding of how to deal co-operatively with First Nations or if it thought it could overlook their participation. The Ontario government has been in hot water for years for ignoring its obligations to facilitate consultation between aboriginals and explorers …. There are many good reasons to mine in Canada and to entrench benefits for aboriginal communities. Cliffs could learn through the impact benefits accord process how to include local communities and give them lifelong skills. Cliffs could take the lead in negotiating with its neighbours, rather than decry the government for not stepping in and giving it what it wants. Cliffs could stop being penny wise and pound foolish about transportation ….”  Marilyn Scales, Canadian Mining Journal
  • More in the media here (via Google News)

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

Initial Reaction to Cliffs’ “I’m REALLY outta here!” announcement

  • Cliffs’ news release
  • Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines Micheal Gravelle’s statement
  • Ontario NDP (1)  In a news release, NDP mines critic Michael Mantha said, “years of Liberal mismanagement of Northern resources are to blame for tonight’s announcement that Cliffs Natural Resources will be indefinitely suspending operations in the Ring of Fire”
  • Ontario NDP (2)  “….. The opposition NDP were quick to jump on the Liberals, blaming government mismanagment for threatening to extinguish the Ring of Fire.  “The decision by Cliffs Resources to halt operations in Northern Ontario demonstrates how the provincial government has no plan to develop and grow the mining sector,” said MPP Michael Mantha, the party’s Northern Development and Mines critic.  “For years now all players from industry to First Nations to municipalities have spoken out on the need for a strategy on infrastructure, electricity prices, resource sharing and employment opportunities, yet the Liberals have dropped the ball.”  Mantha added the too-little-too-late effort of the governing Liberals could cost the province billions in potential economic development ….”  Source
  • Ontario NDP (3)  “…. New Democrat Michael Mantha said the Ontario Liberal government has been talking about the Ring of Fire, a massive chromite mining venture planned for Northern Ontario, for several years without taking the needed leadership role to make it happen.  Government needs to move on roads or rail infrastructure, address high energy costs and work with companies, municipalities and First Nation communities to resolve outstanding issues, he said.  “Their plan was to implement a plan to develop a plan and nothing has happened out of that plan,” Mantha said. “We had heard from Cliffs that they were quite concerned; everybody had heard from Cliffs that they were quite concerned.  “Others wanted to invest into Ontario and this is definitely sending the wrong signal,” he said ….”  Source
  • Ontario NDP (4)  “…. There were four major issues that needed to be settled, all involving the province, Nickel Belt NDP MPP France Gelinas said.  One was access to electricity, specifically an industrial hydro rate. Another was a resolution regarding the transportation corridor to move chromite ore out of the Ring of Fire.  Cliffs was looking for the province to sign off on its environmental assessment plan, Gelinas said, and agree to what it wanted Cliffs to submit. “The province hasn’t even given them that information,” she said ….”  Source
  • Ontario Conservatives (1)  “…. Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka and the PC critic for Northern Development and Mines, blamed the Liberals, while downplaying weak global markets.  “That’s pretty normal in the mining business – things go up and down – and that’s all the more reason why the government needed to act faster to make things happen,” he said. “They did a lot of talking, but haven’t made much progress on the ground. It’s unfortunate, when you know all the jobs that could come from that development.” ….”  Source
  • Ontario Conservatives (2)  “…. The Conservatives say the Liberals “sold hope” that the Ring of Fire would bring new jobs and industry to the hard-hit north and its aboriginal communities.  But they say the Liberals ignored the warning signs as development stalled due to conflict over access to the site ….” (no attribution of quote)  Source
  • Ontario Conservatives (3)  “…. PC MPP Vic Fedeli said the Liberal government has dropped the ball from the very beginning.  “They failed to grasp what was needed to kick-start this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Fedeli said ….”  Source
  • Bob Rae/Matawa  In a Twitter post, Matawa Ring of Fire negotiator Bob Rae said, “In #TBay this morning (21 Nov 13) for meeting with Matawa Chiefs – Cliffs’ decision won’t slow down efforts to end cycle of poverty for first nations”
  • Municipal:  Sudbury  “…. Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk said she was shocked by the announcement.  “It took me totally by surprise,” Matichuk said. “I understand it’s a business decision, but I’m very, very disappointed.”  Matichuk said the city has done everything it can to make the smelter a reality, but said Cliffs is clearly exasperated by the lack of progress and apparently didn’t want to keep spending money on a project with so much uncertainty.  “You can only bleed money from a company for so long,” she said …. Ward 7 Coun. Dave Kilgour, whose ward includes Capreol, said Wednesday’s bombshell took him by surprise.  “Complete shock and disbelief,” is how he describes his reaction. “All the recent conversations we’ve had with Cliffs, they gave no indication they were going in this direction.”  He said lack of consistent action from upper levels of government contributed to the problems, and “that has put the entire project at risk.  “So the next steps will have to be from the provincial and federal governments to get this back on track,” Kilgour said. “This project is critically important to all of Ontario and Canada.” ….”  Source
  • Municipal:  Thunder Bay (1)  “…. Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs said Cliffs’ decision could be good news for Thunder Bay.  “I’m not really concerned, other than we’ve lost an office and we’ve lost some staff, and that’s value added to our community. So that’s a loss,” he said.  “But I’m a ‘glass-half full’ person, and we’re going to make the most out of this.”  He pointed to the fact other mining companies may step in to the Ring of Fire with other proposals in mind ….”  Source
  • Municipal:  Thunder Bay (2)  “…. Mayor Keith Hobbs is taking a different line of thinking.  “As far as the Ring of Fire is concerned, I now feel that Thunder Bay is back,” states Hobbs.  “Back in the hunt for a processor and possibly a stainless steel mill”.  “Perhaps Exton and Thunder Bay could make a joint submission. KWG wants a road, Noront wants a road”.  Hobbs adds, “All roads lead to Thunder Bay! There are many more mining companies in the Northwest”.  “Cliffs is only one player,” concludes Hobbs ….”  Source
  • Municipal:  Thunder Bay (3)  “….  Ontario is still open for business, despite Cliffs Natural Resources indefinitely halting their chromite project in the Ring of Fire.  That’s the message the mining services project manager for Thunder Bay’s Community Economic Development Commission wants to send to potential investors.  “This creates a little bit of uncertainty from the investment standpoint around the globe,” said John Mason of Cliffs’ Wednesday announcement.  “This message went around the globe very quickly last night. It speaks to receptivity for risk capital to Ontario for exploration development and mining.” ….”  Source
  • Noront Resources (1)   Noront, the other company with a major development in the Ring of Fire, “reaffirmed plans for development of its Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum group metals mine in the Northern Ontario Ring of Fire. Although Cliffs Natural Resources announced the suspension of its chromite project.  Noront remains on track to deliver its Environmental Assessment (EA) by the end of 2013.”  Source
  • Noront Resources (2)  Speaking at a public open house in Thunder Bay Wednesday night, company officials are quoted saying the company “hopes will break ground by winter of 2015. With a draft environmental assessment ready by the end of the year, the company said its positioned to go ahead in the area whether other companies are ready or not.”  Source
  • KWG Resources (holding the mining claims on which Cliffs wants to build a road to its project from Nakina)  No company announcement at this point, but LOTS of sharing items highlighting Cliffs’ announcement via KWG’s Twitter account
  • Industry observer analysis  “…. “We must not panic and remember the Ring of Fire holds one of the richest chromite deposits in the world, as well as many other valuable minerals, $60 billion and counting,” said Stan Sudol, a Toronto-based mining analyst. “That high value will definitely attract larger companies who will see the enormous benefits of mining a strategic mineral like chromite, which is critical for industrial and military uses.”  Sudol said the mining sector is experiencing a global slowdown, which could have played a role in Cliffs’ decision.  “Many other companies are delaying or suspending very good projects, and even if there were no delays, Cliffs would have significant financial challenges in developing the project at the present time,” he argued ….”  Source
  • Financial sector analysis  “…. H. Fraser Phillips at RBC Capital Markets told clients that the international mining and natural resources company’s decision to pull out by the end of 2013 removes an uncertainty lurking over its shares.  “It has been our view that the project would take years to developed if it could ultimately be developed at all,” Mr. Phillips said.  He noted that Cliffs can now focus on allocating its capital and resources to its core iron ore assets such as the Bloom Lake mine in Quebec.  Based on estimates from the company’s July 2012 investor day, the project required ferrochrome prices $1.40 per pound to produce an internal rate of return between 14% and 17%.  But with prices closer to $1.00 today, Mr. Phillips believes the project economics were “questionable at best.” ….”  Source
  • Commentary  “…. This move by Cliffs is a loud and ringing alarm bell. It is not too late yet to start fixing the issues – and those issues will likely be fixed by bringing in new partners to the table …. Perhaps now is the time to really get the project right.  That should include a complete plan that ensures that jobs in the Ring of Fire project and monies in the Ring of Fire project are maximized in Northwestern Ontario. Very bluntly put, once the minerals are gone, there must be a large Alberta style Heritage Fund that First Nations, and Northwestern Ontario can fall back on …. Now is the time to put the pieces in place, like Minister Greg Rickford has been doing with efforts like the Ring of Fire Training Alliance (RoFATA) with the Matawa First Nations. In many cases, the Harper Government gets a lot of critical commentary on how the Aboriginal files is handled. However the federal government is putting millions of dollars into skills and job training is taking very needed steps that Ontario needs to follow ….”  Source
  • More from media outlets here (Google News search)

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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Cliffs REALLY Out of Chromite Project!

This, from Cliffs Natural Resources:

“Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) announced today that its affiliate, Cliffs Chromite Ontario Inc., will suspend indefinitely its Chromite Project in Northern Ontario by the end of the fourth quarter of 2013. The Company determined that it will not allocate additional capital for the project given the uncertain timeline and risks associated with the development of necessary infrastructure to bring this project online. In June of this year, Cliffs suspended the environmental assessment activities because of pending issues impeding the progress of the project.

“We continue to believe in the value of the mineral deposits and the potential of the Ring of Fire region for Northern Ontario.  As we’ve assessed the current challenges in the region and the costs to continue on the current path, we decided to suspend the Chromite Project indefinitely,” said Bill Boor, senior vice president, strategy & business development. “Unfortunately, we will reduce the project team staffing and close our Thunder Bay and Toronto offices as well as the exploration camp site. We understand this is a hardship for our employees and their families. During this transition, we will be working with this talented team of professionals to explore other opportunities at Cliffs.”

The Company stated that the technical project work including feasibility study, development and exploration activities are being halted and there is no restart date planned.  Cliffs will continue its work with the Government of Ontario, First Nation communities and other interested parties to explore potential solutions related to the critical issue of infrastructure for the Ring of Fire region. The EA acitivities will remain suspended. The Company is supportive of the Province’s intention to form a Development Corporation structure for the financing and development of infrastructure, and intends to participate in future discussions.”

This, from Ontario mines minister Michael Gravelle:

“Our government is committed to smart, sustainable, and collaborative development in the Ring of Fire and this development is about more than one company.

It is a multi-generational economic opportunity for this province with known mineral potential worth $60 billion and represents one of the largest known deposits in the world.

The Ring of Fire also presents an unprecedented opportunity for job creation with long-term benefits for communities in the North and the entire province.

While I am disappointed with Cliffs’ decision, and certainly appreciate the company’s continued interest in the project, our commitment is clear. The province is prepared to invest in vital infrastructure and create the right climate to support development in the region. We will work with key partners to realize these shared benefits.

There is no question this is a significant project that requires partners to come to the table. The private sector, First Nations, the federal government as well as the province all have a stake and a role to play.

Our role is clear. We will work in the best interest of Ontarians and that means we need to get it right.

We are bringing partners together through a development corporation to drive infrastructure forward. We are continuing our historic community driven process with Chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council to address regional considerations. We continue to make key investments to ensure full participation by all communities in the economic benefits.

This work is necessary to realize the full potential of this region and this work will continue to ensure the opportunity is realized for the benefit of all.”

More from media on this development here (via Google News search) – more on the weekly update before the weekend.

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Ring of Fire News – November 14, 2013

  • Opposition’s gotta oppose (1)  MPP Gilles Bisson (NDP – Timmins-James Bay) says mining companies are getting impatient with the province when it comes to getting approvals to proceed with mineral developments in the Ring of Fire …. Bisson also said there’s a need to identify and act on issues related to the Ring of Fire. But he said the province has been taking too long to act. He worries companies might start getting cold feet.  “It’s been seven years now that the government has announced in almost every budget and Throne speech that they’re going to do something with the Ring of Fire,” Bisson said on Friday. “Each and every time they do it, they have some kind of announcement like we’re seeing today, and we’re never any closer to the Ring of Fire getting off the ground.  “There’s been, frankly, an extreme lack of leadership, and extreme inaction on the part of the government. Here we are, seven years later, and these companies are completely frustrated.” ….”
  • Opposition’s gotta oppose (2)  “…. NDP critic (MPP) Michael Mantha says the announcement (of a development corporation to build a link to the Ring of Fire) was long-overdue and more needs to be done.  “Well, to be honest with you, it’s somewhat troubling for me that it took over seven years for this government to actually realize they needed to take more of an actual process and develop a plan for the Ring of Fire,” he said.  “You’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, where there was another company who filed a $110 million lawsuit against this government for their failure to take a leadership role in establishing a framework or engagement process with industry and government and First Nations,” he added.”
  • More reaction to Ontario’s development corporation idea  “The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission should play an integral role in providing access to the Ring of Fire, says the group representing its unionized workers.  “We are the transportation corporation for Northern Ontario. I don’t see why the government wouldn’t want the ONTC to be involved,” said Brian Kelly, spokesman for the ONTC’s General Chairperson’s Association.  His comments come on the heels of an announcement by the province Friday of plans to create a development corporation for the chromite deposit that will bring together private and public parties to address infrastructure needs ….”
  • Commentary on the development corporation announcement  “…. Given the immense cost of developing a region as remote as the Ring of Fire, participation by the federal government is not only reasonable, but necessary ….”
  • B.C. First Nation Leader:  It’s possible to reconcile development, environmental protection  A First Nations leader from B.C. says aboriginal communities in Ontario’s Ring of Fire could benefit from striking a balance between mining development and land preservation.  Annita McPhee is president of the northwestern B.C. First Nations Tahltan Central Committee and says a balanced approach is required in negotiating how the northern Ontario mineral deposit will be developed.  McPhee says while it is important to sustain the mineral-rich land in the James Bay First Nations territory, opening it up to external industries offers potential monetary and employment benefits.  In the Tahltan territory of B.C., mining development created tensions between First Nations and mining corporations from as early as 2005.  Led by McPhee, her group has negotiated $2 billion in resource development since 2011 in non-sacred pockets of Tahltan land, and another $11 billion is being considered. In return, the Tahltan have seen increased employment and funding for health care and cultural programs ….
  • Mining analyst:  why not use peat?  “One of the biggest issues with the Ring of Fire development and the surrounding Aboriginal communities is the lack of competitively priced electricity and the enormously high cost — about one billion dollars — of connecting the region to Ontario’s power grid.  Currently, isolated First Nations depend on very expensive diesel fuel that must be supplied by trucks on winter roads or flown in. The proposed mining operations are projected to need about 30 megawatts (MW) of power.  Amazingly, most of the swampy lowlands and many parts of the Canadian Shield throughout northern Ontario contain a source of energy that has been used for centuries in Europe — peat fuel ….” – a bit more back story on this idea from a couple of years back here, here and here
  • Word on Thunder Bay’s power plant coming tomorrow?  “Ontario needs to commit to converting the city’s power plant to natural gas.  That was one of the messages Ontario New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath delivered during her Thursday visit to Thunder Bay ….  Coincidentally the Liberals issued a statement Thursday afternoon that an announcement on the region’s energy supply will be made by MPPs Bill Mauro (Lib., Thunder Bay – Atikokan) and Michael Gravelle (Lib., Thunder Bay – Superior North) Friday morning, which has led to speculation from some regional leaders that it may be about the plant.  With mines looking to be developed or reopened Horwath said that plant needs to be a part of the region’s energy needs ….”
  • Northeastern First Nations showing how it’s done when it comes to dealing with mining companies  “People in First Nations around Timmins are happier, healthier and wealthier because of recent agreements with mining companies, says the head of Wabun Tribal Council.  Wabun is a council of six First Nations, all within about 200 kilometres of Timmins: Beaverhouse, Brunswick House, Chapleau Ojibwe, Flying Post, Matechewan, and Mattagami …. Wabun communities have also negotiated 30 mining exploration agreements over the same period, and Batise thinks that number could reach 50 within a year ….”

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 – November 8, 2013

  • Ontario to Canada:  We’re ready to get together with industry, others to figure out how to build a road/railway/whatever to the Ring of Fire – you in?  “…. The province will lead the creation of a development corporation that would bring together private and public partners, including First Nations, mining companies, as well as the federal and provincial governments. This continues Ontario’s smart, sustainable and collaborative approach to the Ring of Fire.  The corporation would develop, construct, finance, operate and maintain infrastructure supporting access to strategic resources in the Ring of Fire. The province will begin immediate work with partners, including the federal government, on the development corporation to determine its scope and a suitable governance model.  Premier Wynne has written Prime Minister Harper seeking a role for the federal government to partner with Ontario, through the development corporation, in order to develop vital infrastructure investments for the region ….”
  • How mines minister Micheal Gravelle put it  “…. Currently there are a variety of proposals for infrastructure development …. In recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear to me, that we need to determine exactly what those infrastructure needs are, and we need to do it now. What will serve development of the region best, what will serve the people of Ontario best.  That is why …. our government is announcing we will take action to ensure strategic infrastructure development for the region can and will move forward with the creation of a development corporation. The creation of a development corporation will bring First Nations, mining companies, and provincial and federal partners together to settle divergent interests and get back to making this development happen. They will determine infrastructure needs and financing to support infrastructure development. We will reach out to our partners immediately to ensure work starts today. This project is, simply put, too important ….  we really need the federal government to join us. This is a truly significant piece of infrastructure that will drive tremendous economic opportunity for the people of Northern Ontario and, indeed, the whole province. Various federal ministers of the Crown have been telling us they are committed to working with us, and that they will make the necessary investments to support Northern Ontario, and make this project a reality. Well, the time has come for the federal government to step up. They’ve done it in Alberta with the oil sands, in Newfoundland with a $6 billion dollar hydro-electric project and elsewhere like B.C. They need to place the same amount of significance in northern Ontario as the Wynne government does, as we all here do ….”
  • Gravelle’s headline version, via Twitter:  “Proud that our Ontario Liberal government is leading the way forward in Ring of Fire infrastructure development”
  • Railroaders wanting to save ONTC like the idea  “The General Chairperson’s Association (GCA) representing unionized employees at Ontario Northland is encouraged with the direction Premier Wynne’s Government is taking with today’s announcement that it will be creating a development corporation which will bring together both private and public parties to develop, construct, finance, operate and maintain a publically owned infrastructure to access the Ring of Fire.  “This proposal by Premier Wynne’s Government is a positive step for all Northerners and the GCA is ready and willing to be part of any discussion about this new corporation. The Minister of Northern Development and Mines Advisory Commission (MAC) should play an important role in these discussions”, said GCA spokesperson Brian Kelly.  “It is a natural fit for the ONTC which is a major provincial infrastructure holding in the north to be involved in accessing the Ring of Fire ….”
  • Municipal leaders in northwestern Ontario seem to like the plan, too  (at first blush, anyway“It is a good idea,” stated Iain Angus. Speaking on behalf of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) the Thunder Bay City Councillor expressed support for the announcement made this morning by the Ontario Government ….”   
  • Also, a Tweet from Thunder Bay mayor Keith Hobbs:  “@MichaelGravelle looking forward to progress in #Ring of Fire. Thank you for this announcement today.”
  • More on the new development corporation from tbnewswatch.com, cbc.ca, northernlife.ca, the Globe & Mail, The Canadian Press, the Toronto Star, and Northern Ontario Business.
  • Commenting before Ontario’s announcement, Canada’s Ring of Fire minister says recent protests have lessons to offer (highlights mine)  “The Canadian federal minister overseeing projects to develop C$50 billion ($48 billion) of mineral deposits said he’ll use lessons learned from aboriginal protests to temper resistance that has slowed other projects.  Increased job training, infrastructure and participation in environmental reviews are helping build trust with aboriginal communities adjacent to the so-called Ring of Fire deposits in northern Ontario, Greg Rickford said in an interview. The Idle No More protest movement that emerged last year showed anger with “politics at every level” and demonstrated that aboriginals want to share the benefits of resource development, he said.  The protests “give us important guidance on how to proceed, and we have been following that playbook,” Rickford, minister responsible for Ring of Fire and economic development in northern Ontario, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Ottawa newsroom …. Development of the Ring of Fire by companies like Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. and Noront Resources Ltd. of Toronto have also been slowed by disputes over road construction.  Rickford said it is up to Ontario to resolve those issues. “I have had very frequent, very serious and very frank discussions with both Cliffs and Noront,” he said. Disputes about roads “are squarely within the provincial jurisdiction,” he said ….”
  • In other company news, KWG Resources Inc. has completed a second tranche of a private placement of flow-through units, for gross proceeds of $1,328,000 …. The proceeds of the placement will fund a drilling program designed to extend the Black Horse inferred resource this winter ….”
  •  KWG’s also taking their message online “KWG Resources Inc. is pleased to announce an Online Marketing and Awareness Program through AGORACOM.  KWG will receive significant exposure through 5,000,000 content brand insertions on the AGORACOM network and extensive search engine marketing over the next 12 months. In addition, exclusive sponsorships of invaluable digital properties such as AGORACOM TV, the AGORACOM home page and the AGORACOM Twitter account will serve to significantly raise the brand awareness of KWG amongst online small cap investors.  Bruce Hodgman, Vice-President of KWG Resources commented, “We are delighted to commence this marketing program with AGORACOM. KWG Resources intends to take advantage of AGORACOM’s broad reach to attract new shareholders during this exciting time in our Company’s development.” ….”
  • Noront Resources Ltd. reports that the Company has closed the previously announced private placement with Alan Coutts, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Coutts purchased 335,000 common shares of the Company at a price of $0.30 per Purchased Share. The Purchased Shares are subject to a four month plus one day hold period which will expire on March 1, 2014 ….”

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