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#RingOfFire (RoF) News – April 2, 2015

  • Noront’s side of the story re: it’s buy “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 ….”
  • “The president and CEO of Noront Resources acknowledges the acquisition of the claims formerly held by Cliffs Natural Resources is a game changer for the Ring of Fire. Alan Coutts was in Thunder Bay on Friday in hopes of meeting with Matawa chiefs regarding the announcement earlier this week of Noront now holding nearly 65 per cent of the Ring of Fire. While he did not get to meet with the chiefs, he said the consultation process needs to be completely re-evaluated. “I think we’ll probably have to take a couple of steps backwards to change the relationship and dialogue but ultimately it will allow us to go forward a lot further,” Coutts said at the company’s Thunder Bay office. “We’re potentially redefining the landscape of how industry, First Nations and government work together for the entire nation.” Matawa chiefs expressed concern about the sale, accusing the company of working outside of the framework agreement that had been signed last year and objecting to First Nations not having any input in the transaction ….”
  • What’s an online poll at the Sudbury Star say about Cliffs sale of assets to Noront? “…. The Star asked its readers this week whether they believe the “recent Ring of Fire shakeup … will speed up development in the region.” The answer? A resounding no. More than 400 online respondents — 63% of people — believe it will have little impact. Only 24% of those who voted are optimistic the sale will awaken the dormant project, while 13% are unsure of what could happen. The Star only received one call about this topic, from a gentleman who is more concerned about the environmental effects of chromite mining, than who owns the rights to the deposits ….”
  • Online petition calls for Ontario to let Noront get going “…. The Ministry (Ministry# PR-13-10102) Granted Noront Resources an exploration permit April 19,2013. This permit is for a duration of 3 years with possibility of 3 year renewal. The public consulation period was held Feb. 26 2013-March 28,2013. There were no comments recieved. The shareholders of this company expect the law to be upheld for for Noront Resources and for this company to be allowed to explore as per the permit recieved. The share holder price has been damaged and we demand the release of permits or compensation for losses ….”
  • A bit of online dissatisfaction about whazzup in the RoF?  “I’m an investor in a company called Noront Resources …. Will the Ontario government and the RoF Secretariat, along with the Deputy Minister’s Aboriginal predecessors and Mr. David de Launay himself, explain to all of Ontarians, so too all of Canadians, why this project has been placed on hold because the FNs claim that crown land, and the minerals therein, is theirs as traditional territory, nay, as holding Aboriginal Title and treaty rights? …. Bob Rae now says that FN consent will be required, beyond consultation and reasonable accommodation backed by treaty courts, if the Ring of Fire is to be developed. He’s a lawyer. On what grounds does he base this off? …. They refuse to give the “Social License To Operate” if “Free, Prior and Informed Consent” is not met as a standard. Of course, they decide what that standard means in the end. Again, how is that fair to the rest of Canadians? Do Canadians understand the implications? ….”
  • One idea for what to do with the RoF’s riches “Ontario should look to socialist Norway if it wants to capitalize on the rich mineral deposits of the far north’s Ring of Fire. Like Canada, Norway has a resource-based economy, exploiting extensive reserves of oil, natural gas minerals and lumber. Half its export revenues come from oil and gas. Unlike Canada, Norway is not in hock up to its eyeballs. In fact, it’s the second-wealthiest country in the world. Every Norwegian is, theoretically, a millionaire. That’s a million kroner, which translates to about $177,000 US apiece. That’s because, unlike many other resource-rich countries and provinces, Norway put its oil revenues, from taxes, fees and ownership stakes, into a fund where politicians couldn’t get their spendthrift hands on them ….”
  • Linking education, Aborignal youth and the RoF  “Dr. David Pearson, who is a well known scholar, who has had his own radio and televisions programs, as well as being a Professor at Laurentian University and key person in the development of Science North, was the keynote speaker at the Northeastern Ontario Mines and Mineral Symposium dinner held in Kirkland Lake. From the start of his talk when he asked people in the room to imagine they were 12 years old and living in a remote fly in First Nations community, he surprised many in the room with the subject of his talk. Most of the people attending the dinner were delegates to the symposium and were either directly or indirectly employed in exploration and mining. The tile of Dr. Pearson’s talk was Valcanos, Chromite and Hope for the Far North. Based on the title of the talk and Dr. Pearson’s background in geology, it was reasonable to expect hear a talk about the history of the mineralogy that makes up the Ring of Fire. Instead what guests heard was his unique approach to get First Nations children to use their imagination and create an interest in geology, so they would be able to take part in the mining developed that is expected in the coming years ….”
  • “Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Kathleen Wynne being unable to get along is holding back Ontario business. That was the message from a speech by Allan O’Dette, president of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, to the annual general meeting of the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce at the Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn and Spa in Perth …. “We cannot tolerate our politicians not getting along,” said O’Dette. “That, frankly (is) holding us back,” he said, pointing specifically to inaction on the Ring of Fire mining development project some 400 km north of Thunder Bay, as a large example. He said that “this petty political cycle between Ottawa and Queen’s Park,” is especially unpopular with younger voters. “They will not tolerate partisan politics any more. And neither should you.” ….”
  • Not in Ontario, but still worth watching …. “The duty to consult is a Crown responsibility. But what happens when the Crown’s consultation is inadequate? Can a company that suffers losses as a result claim compensation from the Crown? A recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Moulton Contracting Ltd. v British Columbia, 2015 BCCA 89 indicates that it will be very difficult for companies to seek compensation from governments even where the Crown is found to have mishandled its consultation obligations ….”
  • Have a great Easter holiday!

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