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

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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