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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – November 6, 2014

  • Some interesting tidbits came up after we put yesterday’s version to bed, so here you go ….
  • Tick, tick, tick …. “KWG Resources Inc. announces that by mutual agreement of the parties, KWG and Bold Ventures Inc. have extended to December 30, 2014, the deadline by which KWG must provide 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. KWG has to date incurred $5.8 million of the $8.0 million required expenditure and is proceeding with a prospectus offering of securities to fund the additional work. If the notice is not delivered within the extended time, the Option will be terminated. “Recent events have dramatically altered the current value of opportunities in the Ring of Fire,” said KWG President Frank Smeenk. “That has exacerbated a difficult exploration and development financing environment for those of us working there. We need some time to discuss these circumstances with all the participants affected by this new reality.” ….”
  • “The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is at work on a report, grading the Government of Ontario on its performance on 13 steps it recommended in February the province take to develop the Ring of Fire. The goal of the first report, Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Potential of Ontario’s Ring of Fire, was to raise awareness about the impact mining the Ring of Fire would have on the economies of Ontario and Canada.  Josh Hjartarson, vice-president of policy and government relations for the Ontario chamber, said governments’ priorities are determined by the pressure people put on them, so his group is trying to “generate some virtuous pressure on all levels of government.”  Hjartarson compares the Ontario chamber’s public awareness campaign to what Canadian petroleum producers did to promote the Alberta oil sands. Many observers have compared the importance of the Ring of Fire on a national scale to the oil sands and Churchill Falls generating station ….”
  • “There’s a lot of misconceptions in the public about the Ring of Fire and First Nations and Neskantaga Chief Peter Moonias said he’s tired of it. The First Nation community leader says people believe First Nations in Matawa communities are being handed things and that everything is rosy in the Far North. Those, the chief says, are lies.  “We’re not getting anything,” Moonias said as Matawa Tribal Council and Noront met at the Victoria Inn Wednesday. “We’re not getting anything in the way of being consulted.”  Moonias said he and other Matawa chiefs have been repeating themselves for years that meaningful development from industry and government needs to occur if the development is going to take off.  While both parties have said that’s happening, Moonias said consultation needs to happen at the community level in a language that all members can understand. Many people in his community don’t have the education needed to be able to decipher reports or hear from lawyers.  “Speaking to the First Nations people is not consultation or going for coffee with the First Nations people is not consultation. Consultation happens in the community in that language that my people understand,” he said.  While the province championed a regional framework agreement with Matawa, Moonias said it’s been a long time since any discussion has taken place.  “We haven’t really heard from them since they won the majority government and I don’t know what’s happening,” he said.  Noront CEO Alan Coutts said Matawa’s concerns show that even if there are political and legal definitions for consultation, industry and communities need to come to their own agreement about what the process is ….”
  • More “who does what during consultation?” litigation coming next summer  “A Sudbury junior miner has nailed down a date to take the Ontario government to court for failing in its legal duty to carry out consultation with First Nations.  Northern Superior Resources announced that a Superior Court judge overseeing the company’s litigation has set June 1, 2015 for the trial date.  Four weeks have been set aside for the proceedings.  The company is suing the Ontario government for $110 million for failing to consult with First Nations after a series of disputes with the Sachigo Lake First Nation led to the company abandoning work on its mining claims in northwestern Ontario in 2011. The company was evicted from the area by the First Nation.  The company wants compensation for the $15 million invested in exploration since 2005 and the estimated value of its three gold properties located near the Manitoba border.  The government contends it’s not liable for any damages incurred by the company and any decision to stop exploration was theirs alone. The Crown further said it’s not responsible for any demands made on the company by Sachigo, or the company’s decision to reject them ….”company news release
  • Matawa’s negotiator Bob Rae on treaties and resources  “…. (at a recent speech) Rae suggested the concrete steps needed to move forward to renew the treaties. These include more revenue sharing and jurisdiction for Aboriginal people as resource extraction in Canada continues to march through traditional Aboriginal territory.  “The resource frontier of the country is moving north and west, where there is traditional territory of Aboriginal people. We cannot ignore this issue. And if I was a smart guy in oil or gas or mining or forestry, I would need to get my head around this question,” Rae said.  Rae criticized provincial Premiers for their unwillingness to share revenue with First Nations. In Ontario, Rae continues to negotiate on behalf of nine First Nations with respect to proposed developments in the “Ring of Fire,” where resource revenue sharing is a key component of discussions about the massive mining project.  “Canada tried assimilation, marginalization, dependency and powerlessness,” Rae said. “None of them worked… Now it is time for more self-government, and the transfer of land, money, and jurisdiction to First Nations peoples.” “ – speech text here, video of speech here

 

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