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What's up with the biggest thing happening in mining in NW Ontario?

#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – June 12, 2015

  • Some Noront optimism (or fingers crossed?)  “The head of the leading junior miner in the Ring of Fire feels it’s getting close to obtaining provincial approval to advance to the next phase of developing its nickel-copper deposit in the James Bay lowlands. Al Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources, is expecting good news from the province within a few weeks on the much sought-after terms of reference on its environmental assessment report of its Eagle’s Nest project. “From my conversations with the province, I think we’re very close to having something that’s going to work for all of us,” said Coutts ….”
  • “KWG Resources Inc. has agreed to acquire the 5-claim Hornby Property from MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. for 4 million treasury shares of KWG. The vendor will retain a 2% NSR, half of which may be purchased by KWG for $1 million at any time prior to production from the property. KWG will also have the first right to buy the balance of the NSR at any time the holder proposes to sell it. The Hornby Property claims constitute an extensive holding adjoining the southerly boundary of the Big Daddy Joint Venture property immediately to the north and would effectively double the surface area available for possible future mining operations at the Big Daddy deposit and the adjoining Black Thor deposit. The property is also adjacent to the Koper Lake property to the west that contains the Black Horse chromite deposit ….”
  • Good question  “A fall court date has been set to hear an appeal by KWG Resources on a disputed access corridor to the Ring of Fire. But will the Toronto junior miner’s noted adversary, Cliffs Natural Resources, show up? KWG announced that the Ontario Court of Appeal has set Oct. 20 as the date to hear their argument to retain control of a long string of mining claims that it wants to use for an underground slurry pipeline from its chromite deposit in the James Bay lowlands. The respondent is Cliffs Natural Resources, which sold off its chromite properties this past spring to Noront Resources and has since departed Ontario. Both parties have until June 29 to file their materials. KWG owns 30 per cent of the Big Daddy deposit which it once shared in an acrimonious relationship with Cliffs. The Ontario government, through the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, is an intervenor in the proceedings ….”
  • Some editorial advice for Ontario’s new Tory party leader “…. For now, all Brown has to do is criticize the Liberal government, whether it’s high energy rates choking Northern businesses, the stalled Ring of Fire development, nursing cuts and the general sense of alienation many in the region feel. That’s what opposition leaders do. However, Brown will eventually have to develop real policy alternatives as the 2018 election draws near ….”
  • An interesting way to raise some capital  “Abitibi Royalties Inc. is pleased to announce the official launch of the Abitibi Royalties Search. “The Royalty Search” is an easy to use website that allows mining companies and prospectors a quick way of accessing capital in this difficult commodities market. What We Are Offering: Abitibi Royalties is offering to pay, for a specified period of time, the claim fees/taxes related to: 1) Existing mineral properties or 2) Staking of new mineral properties In return for paying these fees, Abitibi Royalties would be granted a net smelter royalty (“NSR”) on the property. Many claim holders are having a difficult time paying the fees associated with their property and face losing the mineral claims or they do not have the capital needed to stake new properties …. Abitibi Royalties Inc. (CVE:RZZ) holds a 3% NSR on the Odyssey North discovery, Jeffrey Zone and the eastern portion of the Barnat Extension and a 2% NSR on portions of the Gouldie and Charlie zones all at the Canadian Malartic mine near Val-d’Or, Quebec. In addition, the Company holds 100% title to the Luc Bourdon and Bourdon West Prospects in the McFaulds Lake (“Ring of Fire”) area, Ontario ….”
  • A bit of analysis from TVO’s “The Agenda” …. “Can the Ring of Fire keep its promises to First Nations? — First Nations communities in Ontario’s northwest live in conditions the vast majority of Ontarians would find unacceptable. But will the enormous wealth promised by the Ring of Fire mineral deposit really change that? ….”
  • …. with a pretty short & sweet answer from Mining Watch Canada, via Twitter   “Spoiler: no ….”
  • First, they came for the loggers ….  “Mayors from Northern Ontario and Quebec are banding together in a fight against they describe as the “negative impacts from environmental extremism.” Forestry companies have been targeted by special interest groups like Greenpeace for harvesting within the Boreal Forest which spans across the country including much of Northern Ontario. Hearst Mayor Roger Sigouin, Cochrane Mayor Peter Politis and Timmins Coun. Mike Doody, who is also chairman of the North Eastern Ontario Municipal Association (NEOMA) were among the leaders who attended a recent meeting in Ottawa involving mayors from 22 communities in Ontario and Quebec. These three along with Timmins Mayor Steve Black held a press conference at city hall Tuesday to discuss their aim to raise awareness of what they feel is an attack on communities that rely on resource-based industries. Sigouin said if environmental lobby groups are successful in making it impossible to carry out forestry it will be “just like a dropping a bomb in Northern Ontario to kill all of the communities.” Politis said, “What we have to become better at is counter-messaging …For Greenpeace to suggest any deforestation takes place at all in Canada, let alone Northern Ontario, is completely false and irresponsible.” ….”
  • (Not exactly #RoF, but) Some think tank ideas to change Fednor  “New research calls for the federal government to restructure its Northern Ontario economic development organization FedNor to better meet the needs of local communities. “The current mandate, structure, and approach to regional economic development of the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario have a detrimental effect on the organization’s policy engagement in the region,” says Brock University political scientist Charles Conteh, who wrote the report, released June 9 by the Northern Policy Institute ….”
  • Not about mining, but applicable in general  “…. I think this means a new outlook on how to get projects – and, yes, pipelines – built in Canada is needed. Yes, the courts have made it clear that a pipeline won’t get built without the full and informed consent of every First Nation that’s affected along any potential route. But rather than looking at those communities as obstacles to be overcome, the energy sector should treat them as business partners in waiting. And if it asks the right questions, it might just get the answer it’s been looking for all along.”
  • More on how to deal with First Nations from the Globe & Mail  “…. These three events – and there are others – at least slightly modify the apparently entrenched narrative that “reconciliation” has not been tried in good faith by governments, and that the failure to achieve agreements nudging Canada toward “reconciliation” has been entirely the fault of governments. They bear some blame for the unhappy state of current affairs, to be sure, but not all of it. Political failures have opened a path for eager courts to march boldly into aboriginal affairs, so that most of the action has been created by “judge-made law.” ….”

 

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