Ring of Fire News

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

Update – February 14, 2014

A few new tidbits following yesterday’s update …. 

  • We have a facilitator of sorts to bring together the Ring of Fire Development Corporation!  Minister Michael Gravelle speaking in Thunder Bay has announced that the firm Deloitte LLP has been tasked with the responsibility for helping to establish the Ring of Fire Development Corporation.  Deloitte LLP will act as an independent, neutral third party resource for key partners.  Minister Gravelle stated, “I asked you to come here today to update you on the progress of the Ring of Fire Plans” …. One of the main issues has been creating all season access to the Ring of Fire. Gravelle said the issue is very complicated and that getting it right is critical”.  Strategic infrastructure is key. Discussions with First Nations, and the federal government is ongoing and positive …. Gravelle is encouraging and inviting the Federal Government to step up. Gravelle commented that he is disappointed that the Ring of Fire was not mentioned in the recent Federal Budget.”more from other media
  • More from the MNDM Info-machine on how Deloitte will be helping out  “…. Deloitte LLP will work with Ring of Fire partners to set clear paths and timelines for decision-making, create guiding principles for the development corporation, and seek consensus on the corporation’s next steps.  Work is also underway to help partners build a common understanding of infrastructure needs in the region. A third-party research report will examine existing infrastructure proposals and establish a common technical basis to inform decisions to maximize the economic and social potential of the Ring of Fire region ….”
  • On that bit about the feds “stepping up”, could this be a potential option???  “Prime Minister Stephen Harper …. released important details on the New Building Canada Plan, including support that will ensure small communities have stable, long-term and unprecedented access to funding for vital infrastructure projects. He was accompanied by Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and Paul Calandra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs.  Details released today relate to key elements of the New Building Canada Fund, including dedicated funding for small communities, Provincial-Territorial allocations, project categories eligible for support, cost-sharing thresholds, and public-private partnership (P3) screening requirements.   The new Plan details announced today will provide municipalities, provinces and territories with the information they need to plan public infrastructure projects in their jurisdictions ….”BackgrounderMore info from Infrastructure Canada
  • How the province is taking an interest (but not taking sides) in that Mining Commissioner decision appeal  “The Ontario government said it’s not taking sides in asking to participate in a court appeal launched by Cliffs Natural Resources over access issues to the Ring of Fire.  A statement released through the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) said the province seeks to intervene solely on “questions of law and takes no position” between the appellant and respondent.  Cliffs seeks to overturn a September ruling by the Ontario’s Mining and Lands Commissioner that denied the Ohio mining company overland access to its Big Thor chromite deposit in the James Bay lowlands.  Cliffs wants access to a string of mining claims staked by KWG Resources, a Toronto-based junior miner, to run a road north, 320 kilometres, to its deposit.  KWG, through a subsidiary company, has set aside those claims for a future railroad to its Big Daddy chromite deposit ….”
  • Cliffs Update (1)  Some of the latest financials …. “Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. …. reported fourth-quarter and full-year results for the period ended Dec. 31, 2013. Full-year revenues of $5.7 billion decreased $181 million, or 3%, from the previous year. The lower revenues were primarily driven by slightly lower global iron ore sales volumes and significantly lower market pricing for metallurgical coal products. This was partially offset by a 12% increase in coal sales volumes. Cost of goods sold decreased by 3% to $4.5 billion driven by lower cost rates for Cliffs’ North American Coal business and favorable foreign exchange rates. For the full year, Cliffs recorded net income attributable to Cliffs’ shareholders of $414 million, or $2.37 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $899 million, or $6.32 per diluted share, in 2012. The full-year results for both 2013 and 2012 include special item charges related to certain asset and goodwill impairments and noncontrolling interest adjustments. Excluding these special items, which are detailed in the attached “Non-GAAP Reconciliation”, full-year 2013 adjusted net income attributed to Cliffs’ shareholders was $672 million, or $3.85 per diluted share, higher than full-year 2012’s adjusted net income of $493 million, or $3.46 per diluted share ….” – latest annual report filed here
  • Cliffs Update (2)  …. as well as who the new CEO is, officially ….   “Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.  announced …. that its Board of Directors has appointed Gary B. Halverson, 55, formerly president and chief operating officer, to president and chief executive officer, effective immediately.  He also serves as a director on Cliffs’ Board.  James Kirsch, Cliffs’ chairman of the Board, said, “We are confident that Gary is the right candidate to lead Cliffs given his proven experience with international and long-term mining operations and understanding of the global commodities industry.  Since joining Cliffs, Gary has executed a number of key strategic initiatives to strengthen the Company and enhance value for all Cliffs’ shareholders.” ….” 
  • Cliffs Update (3)  …. as well as an open letter to shareholders saying the company’s good to go  “….We are confident that our plan will improve long-term financial and operating performance to create value for all shareholders.  To the extent that Casablanca offers additional ideas that would enhance shareholder value, we stand ready and willing to continue to engage with them on a private basis ….”
  • Cliffs Update (4)  One glass-is-half-empty take  “Cliffs Natural Resources is facing a shareholder insurrection as it makes moves to reel in spending.  The Ring of Fire explorer and Ohio-based iron ore miner is cutting its capital expenditures in half with a proposed 2014 budget of between US $375 million and US $425 compared to the US $862 million spent in 2013.  An expansion at its Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec is being stopped, its Wabush iron mine in Labrador is being shuttered, and late last fall, Cliffs halted all exploration activity and technical work at its Black Thor chromite project in the Ring of Fire, placing it on indefinite suspension.  The Ohio miner is also fighting a backwater action against New York-based investment firm, Casablanca Capital, which wants Cliffs to spin off its international assets from its American operations ….”more media coverage

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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