Ring of Fire News

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – October 30, 2014


 

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – October 24, 2014


 

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#RingOfFire (RoF) News – October 16, 2014


 

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Ring of Fire News – October 8, 2014

  • Tough crowd …. “Frank Smeenk was direct in his appraisal of Cliffs Natural Resources ending up on the wrong end of an acrimonious proxy fight with a New York hedge fund. “I thought they deserved everything that befell them,” said the president-CEO of KWG Resources. “They haven’t been easy to get along with at all.” There’s no love lost between the Toronto junior and the Ohio miner, but a change in leadership and corporate philosophy in Cleveland may signal the thawing of a frosty relationship ….”
  • Noront’s Glenn Nolan shares pix of the company’s Esker camp here and here, via Twitter.
  • Bob Rae touches on RoF in construction industry speech in Toronto  “…. Rae adds, that in order for development of the Ring of Fire to be successful, there needs to be a private sector company with the capacity to make a long-term investment, there needs to be participation from the First Nations, and issues around environmental impact and sustainability need to be addressed. “We have to make sure we don’t screw it up because it’s one of the last undeveloped frontiers in Canada.” he said.”
  • RoF catches the eye of the construction trades mulling their future  “Canadian think tank, Cardus, is launching its new Building Meaning Project, which aims to reshape the preconception of working in the construction trades …. The project will include a series of Canada-wide roundtable discussions involving key players in the industry, government and education system. The first meeting will be held on Oct. 27 in Calgary, followed by a meeting in Vancouver on Oct. 29, Toronto on Nov. 6 and Ottawa on Nov. 20 …. The location of each roundtable were decided based on the need for labour and the potential for large projects take shape. “The oil and gas sector is where the labour shortage is felt most acutely. So we wanted to bring those players there,” Dijkema added. “There’s lots of infrastructure work being done and if some of the projects that are said to come online (Ring of Fire), then Ontario will be in situation similar to Alberta.” “
  • A Northern Ontario NDP MP’s take on whazzup in the RoF  “…. The Ring of Fire development is no closer to getting off the ground today than it was when the Conservatives first came to power in 2005. It wasn’t long ago that Treasury Board Secretary and the Harper government’s point-man for Northern Ontario, Tony Clement, declared that the Ring of Fire would be “Canada’s next oil sands.” Indeed, the Ring of Fire could hold tens of billions of dollars’ worth of metals and minerals, but you can’t just click your heels and hope. Cliffs Resources wants out, and negotiations with First Nations have stalled. As for the federal government? Well, they’re missing in action with no dollars committed to the project. They’ve even refused to sit at the table while the difficult issues facing the project are dealt with by others ….”
  • Over at Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Ring of Fire Co-ordinator Christine Kaszycki appears to be wearing a new hat these days  “George Ross, Ontario’s former deputy minister with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, started his new job with the Government of Yukon as its new deputy minister of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources on Oct. 1. Christine Kaszycki, the Ring of Fire Coordinator, is the acting assistant deputy minister ….” Meanwhile, Ontario’s online listing of government employees lists her as Deputy Minister. Here’s the Yukon’s news release from August about Ross’ appointment.

 

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – October 2, 2014

  • “Premier Kathleen Wynne isn’t wasting time worrying about Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources looking to possibly sell key assets in the Ring of Fire. Cliffs will make its own business decisions and the Government of Ontario doesn’t have any control over that, said Wynne. “There are many companies that are interested in the development of the Ring of Fire and we are going to be working with all of those companies that are interested,” Wynne told reporters after a cabinet meeting Thursday at the Willet Green Miller Centre at Laurentian University. At one time, Cliff had plans to open a chromite mine in the Ring of Fire, and ship the ore to a plant in Capreol for processing. That would have created as many as 600 jobs in the Sudbury area. The premier and most members of her inner circle met at the session, at which ministers received mandate letters outlining the priorities for their ministries. High on the priority list for Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle (see Mandate Letter here) was developing the Ring of Fire, rich chromite deposits located 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. Gravelle was instructed to continue to collaborate directly with other ministers, First Nations and key stakeholders to develop the mineral-rich area. That includes establishing the Ring of Fire development corporation that was promised to be set up within 60 days of the Liberal government’s throne speech delivered in July …..”
  • Who else is tasked with working with RoF as a priority? Ontario’s Minister of Aboriginal Affairs – this priority, from his Mandate Letter:   “Collaborating on Ring of Fire Negotiations – Working with the Minister of Northern Development and Mines and with First Nation communities on the next phase of negotiations under the Ring of Fire Framework Agreement our government signed earlier this year. Your goal is to ensure benefits sharing and a regional approach that respects community-based planning ….”
  • …. not to mention the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry – from his Mandate Letter“….Working with the Minister of Northern Development and Mines and the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change to support robust and comprehensive environmental assessments and planning related to projects in the Ring of Fire region ….”
  • …. as well as the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (link to Mandate Letter):  “….Continuing to work on decisions relating to environmental assessments associated with projects in the Ring of Fire region. You will do so by working with the ministers of Northern Development and Mines, Aboriginal Affairs, and Natural Resources and Forestry. This will include ensuring that the regional and cumulative impacts of proposed development are considered ….”
  • Meanwhile, according to APTN, “In Toronto, nine chiefs from the Matawa Tribal Council held an emergency meeting with the province this week. This past March, the province and First Nation Ring of Fire chiefs signed an historic framework agreement with the province. But since then, things have gone sour.” (video)
  • “The Ontario Liberals may have won a majority in the June 12 election, but they don’t have a monopoly, says Andrea Horwath. Ontario Liberals have failed Northern Ontarians time and time again — especially in their slowness to develop the Ring of Fire — and the Ontario New Democrats can capitalize on that, said the NDP leader. Horwath spoke Sunday morning at NDP Northern Council 2014, a gathering of 60 or more MPPs, NDP candidates and party faithful …. Ontario saw the “sad result” of Liberal inaction recently when Cliffs Natural Resources indicated it was looking to sell its assets in the Ring of Fire, Horwath told delegates. “Instead of pulling out all the stops to build infrastructure, instead of getting revenue sharing agreements on track, instead of working with northerners, First Nations and industry partners to develop resources in the Ring of Fire, Premier Wynne’s government has taken a wait-and-see approach.” ….”
  • Part of mines minister Michael Gravelle’s response to Horvath:  “It is troubling to hear a leader of a major political party in Ontario speak with such a lack of understanding of the steps required in developing the Ring of Fire. What is specifically troubling, is that (NDP leader Andrea) Horwath does not seem to understand the complexity of this major economic opportunity for our province or respect the important work we have undertaken before ore extraction can actually begin. Our government is leading the way to drive development in the Ring of Fire. There is no question that over the past year, significant progress has been made. We have provided a $1-billion commitment to develop transportation infrastructure in the region; established a Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation within 60 days of forming our new government; and reached a historic agreement with the Chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council that lays the groundwork for future discussions. Our government is proud of the work that we have accomplished so far …. While Ms. Horwath may be looking to score quick political points, I respectfully ask her to do her homework on a very complex project that is currently being developed in a smart, sustainable, collaborative way and represents a historic opportunity to affect positive economic outcomes for the region, Ontario and indeed all of Canada.”
  • Noront shares a “whazzup?”  “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to provide an update on its work plans for the winter 2014-15 season. Noront has agreed to support Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) as the proponent of a winter road to access its Eagle’s Nest Mine in the Ring of Fire. MFFN has submitted a permit application to build a winter road from Marten Falls to Noront’s Esker camp where the Eagle’s Nest Mine will be located. This road will be used to transport bulk materials including fuel and heavy equipment, to be used for work on the existing airstrip and to help ensure that Noront is in position to initiate mining activities once the necessary approvals are in place. Work on the airstrip is planned for fall/winter 2014 and will be completed under an approved land use plan with Noront’s development partner Marten Falls Logistics (a 100%-owned entity of Marten Falls First Nation). As part of this project, the landing area will be cleared to its final dimensions for use as a winter air strip during the 2014/15 season rather than the previously used ice air strip constructed on Koper Lake. The airstrip will be upgraded for all-season use when waste rock aggregate is available from construction of the underground mine at Eagle’s Nest …. Noront is currently preparing an update to its 2012 Feasibility Study which is expected to be complete by the end of October. It is being prepared by Micon International based on detailed construction cost estimates provided by the companies contributing to Noront’s Eagle’s Nest project, a group of world class organizations ….”
  • Meanwhile, more analyst doom and gloom for Cliffs ….  “The vultures continue to circle around Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. looking to take advantage of a company desperate to raise enough cash to stay alive ….”
  • …. while Cliffs gets set to share more info later this month  “Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Announces Quarterly Conference Call for Third-Quarter Financial Results on October 28, 2014 ….”
  • “KWG Resources Inc. announces that by mutual agreement of the parties, KWG and Bold Ventures Inc. have extended by 30 days, to October 30, 2014, the deadline by which KWG must provide Binding Notice 2. Pursuant to the Option Agreement between KWG and Bold, Section 3.1 provides that KWG must provide Binding Notice 2 by September 30, 2014 that it intends to make the $700,000 option payment due February 7, 2015 under the KWG/Bold Option Agreement and expend an aggregate of $8,000,000 on the property by March 31, 2015. If the Binding Notice 2 is not delivered, the Option is terminated ….”
  • A good question from a Northern Ontario think tank:  “What would a federally supported stainless steel industry mean for the Ring of Fire?”  “….The North now has all the ingredients in their backyard to make stainless steel, a uniqueness not found anywhere else in the world. How incredulous would it be for Canada to be the only G8 country not to have a stainless steel industry when the chromite, nickel and iron are all in one place? Although the timeline for the eventual development of the Ring of Fire may be unknown, few would believe that $60-billion of known mineral wealth will stay in the ground for very long. One way to accelerate that extraction and to start generating wealth on three fronts, would be for our governments to invest in the development of a stainless steel industry. A stainless steel manufacturing plant would be a catalyst for accelerating investment in the Ring of Fire chromite development by providing a local market for the product. It would also ensure that the middle step of smelting chromite into ferrochrome would be done locally. An industrial hat-trick if you will ….”

 

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