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#RingOfFire (RoF) News – March 23, 2015

 

  • Now they’re REALLY outta here!  “Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. plans to exit Ontario’s Ring of Fire after agreeing to sell its chromite assets in the mineral-rich region to Noront Resources Ltd. for $20 million.  Moelis & Co. was Cliffs’ financial adviser on the deal, the Cleveland-based mining company said Monday in a statement.  Cliffs is selling less profitable assets in order to focus on its core business of producing iron ore for the North American steel industry ….”  – moreQuick FactsCliffs news release
  • Noront’s take on buying Cliffs’ assets  Noront Resources Ltd. has entered into an agreement to acquire, among other things, the shares of Cliffs Chromite Ontario Inc. and Cliffs Chromite Far North Inc., both indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. , which hold mining claims in the Ring of Fire mining district, for an acquisition price of US$20 million.  The Transaction includes the acquisition of approximately 103 claims currently owned by CCOI and CCFNI, including: a 100% interest in the Black Thor chromite deposit; a 100% interest in the Black Label chromite deposit; and, a 70% interest in the Big Daddy chromite deposit. It also gives Noront 85% ownership of the McFauld’s Lake copper zinc resource.   Upon closing, Noront will hold a total of approximately 360 mining claims and roughly 65% (80,000 hectares) of the emerging mining camp known as the Ring of Fire, located 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. These additional assets, alongside Noront’s existing Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum group element deposit and its Blackbird chromite deposit will allow Noront to further its vision of becoming the leading resource company in the area.  “This purchase consolidates the world-class discoveries made in the Ring of Fire,” said Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts. “It also underscores Noront’s long-standing belief and commitment to the region. We have made significant investments in the Ring of Fire and our team has become experts in the region from both a technical and social point of view. We also believe in the considerable exploration upside which we are eager to develop.” ….”
  • Former federal RoF Minister:  Now’s not the RoF’s time  “The federal and provincial governments are not likely to make any significant moves on the Ring of Fire mining project until there is a vast improvement in mineral markets, says federal Treasury Board president Tony Clement.  The guest speaker at a Timmins Chamber of Commerce luncheon ….  Clement responded to a question about the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Ring of Fire report card, which gave failing grades to both levels of governments for not being proactive enough to get mining projects up and running.  The report card blamed red tape in the mine permitting process, as well as a failure to provide infrastructure, such as better road or rail links.  “There has been little progress developing this extraordinary economic opportunity,” it read ….”
  • KWG Resources official:  Now IS the time  “…. Mo Lavigne, KWG Resources vice-president of exploration and development …. responded to Clement’s statement, telling reporters after the event that the idea of current commodity prices negatively affecting development is misguided.  “He’s really regurgitating a narrative that’s totally incorrect,” lavigne said.  “For chromium and nickel this is exactly the right time to be developing the Ring of Fire.  “I think it’s more misinformed commentary than anything else … People making uninformed comments is rampant these days. It’s so commonplace and unfortunately it’s not really helping us make good decisions.” ….”
  • Editorial:  “Time for Ring of Fire is now …. While it is true that the downturn in the commodity cycle has negatively impacted some global mining firms (for example, Cliffs Natural Resources), the price of iron ore has little to do with the Ring of Fire, which contains no iron ore deposits. The economics of the development have changed very little since Clement himself dubbed it “Ontario’s oil sands” just a few years ago.  It would seem that Minister Clement is actually referring to a weakened business case for investing in the Ring of Fire. On this point, he is right–over the last several years, development in the region has all but stalled ….”
  • Speaking of KWG …. “KWG Resources Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has approved the delisting of its common shares from the TSX Venture Exchange and that it is in the process of making an application to the TSXV concerning such delisting.  As described in KWG’s Press Release of March 13, 2015, the delisting is necessary in order for KWG to be in a position to satisfy its obligations under the option agreement with Bold Ventures Inc. in respect of the Black Horse claims. KWG’s management and Board determined that it was in the best interest of its shareholders to continue to earn an 80% interest in Bold’s interest in the chromite resources comprising the Black Horse claims and a 20% interest in their non-chromite resources and to husband its cash resources by issuing 35,000,000 shares of KWG rather than making a cash payment of $700,000, especially in light of the difficulty in raising equity in the current markets ….”
  • Current federal RoF Minister not buying recent OCC report  “If FedNor Minister Greg Rickford were rating the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s performance, he would give it a failing grade.  The Conservative MP for Kenora said he rejects a chamber of commerce report in which the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper was given an F for not making development of the Ring of Fire a national priority.  “I don’t accept it,” Rickford told reporters Friday at a news conference to announce funding for the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada.  “The federal government has been working with communities. They (the OCC) didn’t talk about the new runways we put in there, surfaces for communities to land and do exploration activities, investment in small business centres, the support for the environmental assessment process that was hiring first nations people and making important contributions from the first nations communities to that.” ….” – OCC report “Where are we Now? A Report Card on the Ring of Fire”
  • More criticism of power rates  “A mining expert believes the city would be poised to capitalize on the Ring of Fire if electricity prices weren’t so high.  John Mason, the project manager of mining services with the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, said there are some reasons to believe the city could one day be the site of stainless steel production.  The Ring of Fire is home to rich chromite deposits, which when produced to chromium and ferrochromium is used to manufacture steel.  Mason cited the city’s location at the head of the Great Lakes and relative proximity to the lucrative mining development as two potential advantages.  “It’s certainly doable in terms if you look at the seaway system to move product,” he said. “The talent is there, I think our infrastructure is there and the financing could be there there but electricity pricing and availability is one of the biggest concerns.” ….”
  • Prospectors’ group:  It’s not JUST RoF, ya know …. “Ontario is falling behind as a mining jurisdiction, agreed several industry players who participated in a consultation forum organized by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines …. “There’s no tacit recognition by this provincial government that it believes in mining,” said Gino Chitaroni, president of the Northern Prospectors Association.  “All we hear about is the Ring of Fire. Let me explain something about the Ring of Fire, it’s not the only thing going on in this province. I’m sick to death of it.” ….”

 

 

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