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Ring of Fire News – January 31, 2014

  • Not confirmed elsewhere, but interesting, nonetheless  “….Now it appears that Cliffs will do more than simply suspend operations. The company, according to sources, will completely pull out of the Ring of Fire. It is stated that Cliffs is offering up the company’s camps and other assets in the Ring of Fire for sale …. Cliffs Natural Resources Cliffs intends to announce unaudited 2013 fourth-quarter financial results after the U.S.-market close Thursday, Feb. 13 …. The Ring of Fire is likely to move forward with Noront Resources Inc. taking a bigger lead role on the project ….” –  Shareholder call co-ordinates 
  • The latest – company denial (of sorts) to Northern Ontario Business  “…. “Not true,” said company spokeswoman Pat Persico in an email. “There’s been some confusion around the camp site.” ….  “Cliffs is responsibly and properly shutting down its exploration camp,” said Persico. “We are properly securing our assets and protecting the environment.  “With the goal to establish a new camp at the start of this project, the camp was designated to be temporary with a goal to move it to a permanent location at some point, as it is located on Noront’s claim area.  Over the past few years, we have shared resources with Noront (Resources). If we start-up the chromite project in the future, we will assemble a camp on our property.”  Even though the project is on ice, Persico said Cliffs continues to have dialogue with area First Nations and the Ontario government ….”
  • The activist hedge fund Casablanca Capital disclosed on Tuesday that it had taken a 5.2 percent stake in the mining company Cliffs Natural Resources and urged it to spin off its international assets and make other changes. In a publicly disclosed letter, Casablanca urged the company’s management to combine its Bloom Lake property in Canada with its Asian holdings to create what it called Cliffs International, then spin off that entity to existing shareholders. The remaining Cliffs business should add its assets to a master limited partnership, a specialized corporate structure that pays no taxes and gives most of its profit to investors. In addition, the company should cut costs and sell nonessential assets. Should Cliffs take up those suggestions, Casablanca estimates that the company’s shares could rise to around $53 a share, more than double the miner’s current market value. “By taking these steps, we believe Cliffs can highlight and enhance the unique strengths of its businesses and unlock significant shareholder value,” Casablanca wrote. In its own statement, Cliffs said it “welcomes open communications with all of its shareholders” and added that it had already made some changes, including adding four new directors and a new chairman ….”moremoremore – more – Casablanca letter – Cliffs response – Cliffs President’s response –  Corporate filing confirming Casablanca’s 5.2%
  • “SNC-Lavalin, in partnership with Cementation Canada Inc., the Morris Group Limited, Flying Post First Nation, Lac Seul First Nation, Mattagami First Nation and Wahgoshig First Nation, …. announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the intent to capitalize the First Nations Mining Corporation (FNMC).  FNMC will form joint venture partnerships with local Aboriginal communities to promote, develop and carry out engineering, construction, environmental and other services for mining companies in Ontario throughout the project life cycle.  FNMC will also work to strengthen ties between Aboriginal communities and mining companies in order to facilitate the training and hiring of Aboriginals and the procurement of goods and services from Aboriginal suppliers ….” – more from the always-great In Support of Mining blog here
  • Bob Rae says progress is being made in negotiations between Matawa Tribal Council and the province over the Ring of Fire.  Rae, lead negotiator for Matawa, said he and the province’s lead Frank Iacobucci are in daily contact.  “I’m very happy with the progress we’re making,” he said before a speech to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Thursday evening.  There are still issues to address, which Rae says won’t be negotiated in public, and the conversation is still all about setting the framework for the discussions, but the focus remains how to develop the area in a way that’s sustainable for everyone involved.  Infrastructure, from roads to hydro to broadband access for the nine Matawa communities, will also be key.  Rae said the fact that Cliffs Natural Resources have pulled out of the area just as Noront resources ramps up its proposal hasn’t changed the discussion at all. Regardless of the project, the conversation is about improving conditions for First Nations communities in the North.  “These have been on the table now for quite awhile,” he said ….”
  • Some conflict resolution advice from Matawa negotiator Bob Rae  “My work as a mediator, arbitrator, and negotiator has taught me many important lessons. The first is that it’s all about “conflict resolution“, not conflict avoidance, or the pretense that the absence of conflict is necessarily a good thing. Some kind of conflict is inevitable in just about every situation, from finding your identity as a young person (or even an older person !), to growing up in a family, to the workplace, the broader community, and then of course the wider world. My own experiences have taken me to many corners of the globe, from Sri Lanka to Sudan to Kenya to Nepal and in many parts of Canada. I have learned a few lessons ….” 
  • New data shows a dramatic increase in the number of Canadians employed in the mining and related industries with more than 418,000 people in full-time-equivalent jobs working in various facets of the sector, according to the Mining Association of Canada’s latest Facts & Figures 2013 report. Drawing from a new data source, Natural Resources Canada released a more comprehensive estimate of mining sector employment. The source includes data for support activities of the mining sector that was not previously captured, including drilling and exploration. This grew the number of mining employees in Canada from 330,000 people in 2011 to 418,000 people in 2012, accounting for one in every 41 Canadian jobs. Year-over-year employment growth shows an increase of more than 11,000 jobs, or 2.8%, from 2011 to 2012 ….”

     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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