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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – June 5, 2015

  • “KWG Resources Inc. reports that the Registrar of the Ontario Court of Appeal has notified the parties that October 20th, 2015 has been fixed for the hearing of the appeal of Canada Chrome Corporation of the decision of the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court made in July 2014 overturning the decision of the Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner. The respondent in the appeal is 2274659 Ontario Inc. and the intervenor is the Minister of Northern Development and Mines. Both parties have until June 29, 2015 to file responding materials if they elect to do so. 2274659 Ontario Inc. was formerly a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (“Cliffs”) and is now wholly-owned by Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront”) ….”
  • Noront’s latest update on their #RoF work  “…. In May, Noront took receipt of the physical and intellectual property associated with its acquisition of properties previously owned by Cliffs Natural Resources in the Ring of Fire. While the company’s near-term focus remains on its Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposit, Noront plans to evaluate development opportunities for other resources in its project pipeline in parallel with the advancement of Eagle’s Nest …. The next steps are to convene a cooperative discussion with the First Nation communities most directly affected by development, with the goal of: negotiating a Benefit Agreement; completing the Environmental Assessment activities; and working together on community readiness initiatives. Concurrent with the permitting of Eagle’s Nest, Noront will review the technical and social data related to its newly acquired chromite properties. By early 2016, the company expects to complete both a strategic plan for chromite development and a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) over these deposits, including its previously held Blackbird deposit. To ensure there is a broad level of engagement on development of these projects, including the associated infrastructure required for a bulk commodity, Noront has proposed a separate discussion forum with local First Nations and the provincial government. In addition, the company has received exploration permits from the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) and intends to conduct regional geophysical surveys followed by drilling in this very prospective region to advance regional exploration over the consolidated mineral land package that Noront has compiled (which amounts to roughly 66% of the landmass of the Ring of Fire) ….”more (alternate link)
  • Check out all the #RoF players attending the 5th Annual Ontario Mining Forum in Thunder Bay 17-18 June – you can click on the “Day 1” and “Day 2” buttons to get more details about who’s speaking about what when.
  • A chance to watch Canada’s #RoF minister on video with an update “Kenora Member of Parliament Minister Greg Rickford is Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. Minister Rickford says that despite less than favourable market conditions that work on the Ring of Fire mining project is continuing ….”
  • Lakehead University economist mentions #RoF in a column as an example of how one should manage expectations  “…. The Ring of Fire is a classic example of how economic development is viewed in the north. There are expectations that the Ring of Fire’s mining development will bring about an economic boom and create a cornucopia of jobs. All that is needed is federal and provincial government infrastructure spending to kick-start the process. The reality is that, in the absence of market demand, government spending alone will not create mining development. Moreover, modern mining is capital intensive and mass job creation prospects are limited. Indeed, more of the benefits from mining are on the supply chain side. Rather than viewing the mining frontier as a coming boom that will quickly fix the northern economic malaise, it would be more realistic for northern Ontario to look at it as a long-term process of relatively modest, but sustained development ….”
  • The latest on what could be an interesting race in the Kenora riding (where the incumbent is Canada’s #RoF minister, and the federal NDP’s #RoF advisor wants the NDP nomination)  “…. in front of a crowd of Liberals at the Kenora Travelodge, Bob Nault was nominated as the Liberal candidate for the Kenora riding for the upcoming 2015 General Election. Nault, the former Minister of Indian Affairs and MP for Kenora-Rainy River for 16 years, was excited to be named the candidate. “I’m honoured and proud to once again represent the Liberal Party of Canada in Kenora. Today, we start the real work of speaking to Northerners about the problems facing our region and our plan to address those issues. Under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, we will present a plan more in line with Northern values.” ….”
  • A Globe & Mail resource revenue sharing tie-in to this week’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission recommendations (with a hat tip to resource legal beagle Bill Gallagher for spotting this first) …. “…. the Supreme Court is increasingly stepping in as arbiter. In decision after decision, it is asserting that First Nations have a legitimate claim to a say and a share in the wealth of resources on Crown land. If Ottawa and the private sector will not negotiate solutions, the courts may well impose them. But progress along that route will be protracted, expensive and imperfect. Are Canada’s political leaders – Conservative, NDP or Liberal – willing to take a great leap, to negotiate with First Nations leaders as equals in search of solutions that benefit all? Are there First Nations leaders willing to enter those negotiations in good faith? Are there First Nations communities willing to endorse the solutions they reach? ….”
  • …. as well as the Financial Post’s take  “…. One priority must be not to make things worse in a misguided attempt to make them better (the original sin of residential schools). Last year’s Supreme Court decision on aboriginal land title in the case of the Tsilhqot’in Nation in B.C. was sold as strengthening requirements for consultation. This seems an admirable measure but in fact creates uncertainty, not least by greatly extending lands under possible dispute. The ruling declared that it did not give native people a veto, but it opens the possibility of endless court wrangling. Consultation is indeed essential. The danger is that by trying to make reparation for past sins by granting additional powers to challenge development, the decision may have compensated for alleged cultural genocide by handing natives the weapons of economic suicide ….”

 

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