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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – April 20, 2016

  • The latest Chinese #RoF moves Engineers from China recently visited the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario to assess the potential of building a $2-billion railway line, a proponent behind developing minerals in the area said … Frank Smeenk, CEO of Toronto-based mineral exploration company KWG Resources, said the rail line is crucial for the extraction of nickel, chromite, copper and platinum from the massive deposits. He said a team of engineers from a subsidiary of the state-owned China Railway Construction Corp. surveyed a proposed 328-kilometre route last week as part of detailed engineering work before they advance toward a final investment decision. “They had to visit the route, to see it with their own eyes,” said Smeenk. Smeenk said roads would also have to be built to construct the mine and railway. Those roads would also link several remote northern communities, and they should be built, regardless of whether the mine proceeds, he said …” – more on the Chinese work under way here (Globe & Mail), here (CBC.ca), here (tbnewswatch.com) and here (Timmins Today)
  • More PM Trudeau on the #RoF from his recent northern Ontario drop-bythis from CBC.ca: “… Trudeau’s answers were vague. “We’re still talking with them about how the federal government can best be an active partner in this and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “We’re not at the announcement phase yet. We are having discussions with our partners right now.” “
  • Another #RoF PM-ism from the drop-by, via the Chronicle-Journal: “… “It continues to be something we’re working on with the province,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while in Thunder Bay … “It is normal and expected that the federal government should be a partner in developing large-scale projects like this,” he said …”
  • More PM-isms, via tbnewswatch.com: “… Trudeau said his federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr recently met with Ontario Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle where they discussed the development. “It continues to be something we’re working on with the province. Obviously the province has the lead on it but we’ve expressed very clearly a number of times we’re willing to be a partner and that’s what we’re engaging with the provincial government on a regular basis,” he said …”
  • Two Sudbury-area Liberal MPs pledge to keep fighting the #RoF fight “Innovation and infrastructure spending are keys to rebuilding Canada’s – and Sudbury’s – economy, the region’s two Liberals MPs said … Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre made the comments while speaking at an event presented by Laurentian University and the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce … Both MPs said Ottawa is committed to the Ring of Fire, a mineral rich area located in northwestern Ontario. They said the government needs to focus on both the infrastructure around the Ring of Fire and the First Nations living within it. Developing road and railway links is key, they said. “We’re investing in First Nation education, health and infrastructure. That is the door into the Ring of Fire,” said Lefebvre. He also said the participation of First Nations is absolutely key in moving the project forward …”
  • KWG continues to raise money for their work “KWG Resources Inc. has received subscriptions to complete the $1.5 million private placement of units previously announced, including $0.6 million in settlement of amounts payable to directors, officers, employees and consultants … The proceeds will be used to pay the initial costs of the feasibility study to be undertaken by China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group Co., Ltd. and for working capital …”
  • Meanwhile, Noront shares its latest (exploration and financials) as well “… The Company is progressively and systematically exploring the favourable footwall contact that hosts the Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposit and the showings known as Blue Jay and Eagle Two … A program is also being proposed over Project Area 5, known as the Big Daddy property, now held by Noront (70%) and KWG (30%). Similar to the Black Thor property, the favourable footwall contact remains virtually unexplored as the target of previous drilling focused on chromite resources higher up in the ultramafic sill. This latest round of geophysical test work will be conducted over the next six months and will be supported by local First Nations workers employed as line cutters, geophysical helpers and cooks … The Company issued 1,403,273 common shares at a deemed issue price of $0.3387 per share in satisfaction of legal advisory fees in relation to the previously announced financing of the purchase of the Cliffs Chromite Assets which closed on April 28, 2015 … In addition, the Company’s Board of Directors has granted the option to acquire an aggregate of 500,000 common shares to new employees with an exercise price of $0.33 per common share …”
  • Point … What Ontario needs to unlock Ring of Fire’s mineral wealth is a Marshall Plan … If the Trudeau government worked in conjunction with Ontario and adopted something akin to a “Marshall Plan” — the name of the American initiative to rebuild war-torn Europe after the Second World War — to develop and modernize infrastructure in the isolated northwest, it would kill two birds with one stone …”
  • … and counterpoint (attributed to the Chief of Eabametoong First Nation): “… Is a Marshall Plan needed? No. Rather, our First Nations and Ontario need to collaborate on a new, long-term vision of human and environmental life that can incorporate wise industrial development. Let’s work together on that … Am I, or the First Nation that I represent, categorically against development? No. However, we will not be bought off. We are interested in the development of meaningful, relationship-based partnerships that could lead to wise management of resources …”
  • Think tank report: lessons to be learned from the past? “The ongoing saga to develop the Ring of Fire could — and perhaps should — draw lessons from the past, states a new report from the Northern Policy Institute. In the report From Resource to Revenue: Dryden Mill Lessons for the Ring of Fire, Laurentian University history professor Mark Kuhlberg draws comparisons between the Ring of Fire and the early history of the pulp and paper mill in Dryden. “Following the discovery of copper-nickel and chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire nearly a decade ago, there has been much talk about the enormous potential for economic development represented by this untapped resource,” Kuhlberg wrote. “Eight years later, however, many are questioning why so little progress has been made and some are becoming increasingly frustrated with the pace of development.” …”

 

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#PMJT on #RoF?

Well, we’ve heard a little something from the PM during his stop in Sudbury …

“… The prime minister was also asked about the Ring of Fire and whether the federal government would be providing infrastructure funds to get a road into the mineral deposit in northwestern Ontario. Trudeau acknowledged the importance of developing the deposit, and said he would have more to say on funding in the coming months …”

More via Google News here.

We’ll see …


 

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“Trudeau to visit resource-rich northern Ontario to talk infrastructure”

This, from The Canadian Press, shared shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) – we’ll see how often the old Ring of Fire’ll come up during his visit…

 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to northern Ontario today as he continues to talk up his government’s infrastructure spending plans.

Trudeau is expected to make an announcement in Liberal-friendly Sudbury, where city officials have been hoping for federal funding to match a $26.7 million Ontario government commitment to an $80-million road construction project.

Sudbury was among the first stops Trudeau made as last year’s federal election campaign was ramping up, during which he made promises that included $200 million for the mining and forest sectors.

His government’s first budget last month included $87.2 million for a wide range of research projects in forestry, mining and minerals, earth sciences and mapping, and innovation in energy technology.

But the budget has been criticized by some — including some of the Liberal government’s own members, sources say — for a lack of support for the forestry sector.

While mining and other resource companies haven’t garnered the national headlines the oil sector has been capturing of late, the sluggish international economy and a collapse in commodity prices has also left them reeling.

During last year’s election campaign, Trudeau also promised to work with the Ontario government to bring resources to market from a vast stretch of territory known as the Ring of Fire — a region once dubbed by former federal Conservative cabinet minister Tony Clement as the oilsands of Ontario.

Sudbury has been tabbed as a possible home for a smelter to process chromite from the Ring of Fire, but resource development in the region has been hampered by negotiations between the Ontario government and First Nations over education, training, jobs and environmental concerns.

On Friday, Trudeau is expected to visit Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., where the biggest employer in town — Essar Steel Algoma — has been under bankruptcy protection since last fall.

More, as it unfolds …


 

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – April 4, 2016

  • More federal budget reaction Roads may come before mines — With the excitement that used to accompany potential Ring of Fire mining development pretty much worn off these days, mining companies and job-seekers alike might have to get used to a go-slow approach that could last several years, if not decades. That was the feeling on Wednesday, the day after the federal Liberals failed to reference the rich mining belt in their first budget. “I think things are still moving forward (in the RoF), but maybe at a snail’s pace,” said Garry Clark, the Thunder Bay-based executive-director of the Ontario Prospectors Association …”
  • One company’s take on the budget Ring of Fire player says federal budget will help — Officials with KWG Resources said they are pleased the federal government allocated money in last week’s budget that will help develop the Ring of Fire …” – “KWG Applauds Important Canadian Governmant Budget Support (company statement)
  • One NDP MP’s take: Hughes – The Devil is in the details with the federal budget — Canadians elected the Liberals in October with a lot of hope based on a campaign that promised the moon to just about anyone dissatisfied with Stephen Harper’s time in office. Now that they have delivered a budget it’s time to compare those promises with what is being delivered. The result is a mixed bag that will take years to fully understand. In Northern Ontario big ticket issues like the Ring of Fire, FedNor, and Forestry were left unaddressed and the haze surrounding infrastructure commitments makes it impossible to say whether the region will benefit …”
  • Another NDP MP’s take: Angus: Show me the money — “Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus wants a clear answer on whether infrastructure money is going to be spent on the development of the Ring of Fire mineral deposits. He says the multi-billion dollar project was overlooked in the both the Liberal platform and Liberal budget. Angus says Liberal MPs saying the government is doing its part through investment in clean water, education and First Nation infrastructure doesn’t cut it. Let’s not kid anyone here. Dealing with the crisis in education and lack of clean water is a constitutional and moral obligation of the federal government. They have to do this work. It should not be spun as the Liberals getting a multi-billion dollar mining project off the ground. That would be like pretending that fixing schools in Toronto is the federal role in building subways,” stated Angus …”
  • Liberal MP’s take: Ring of Fire not forgotten Ring on federal radar: MP — Historic investments in infrastructure and education for First Nations will help advance the Ring of Fire, says Sudbury Liberal MP Paul Lefebvre. In last week’s federal, the Liberals allocated $8.4 billion to be spent on First Nations in the next five years. There was no specific mention of other infrastructure investments in the rich chromite deposits in the James Bay Lowlands in the budget. Lefebvre said no projects were identified anywhere in Canada, but billions will be invested in such projects. The money for First Nations will be invested in decent housing and potable water for indigenous people who badly need them. Many of the First Nations that will receive funding are located in northwestern Ontario, in and around the Ring of Fire. Investments in basic necessities “all go together” with money the federal government may spend on other infrastructure such as roads, rail and hydroelectric systems …”
  • A Tory MPP remains underwhelmed by Ontario’s 2016 budget “Northern Minister Michael Gravelle’s Letter to the Editor (Showing priority of Northern Ontario, March 10) fails to mention some key facts about the 2016 Liberal Budget … And as I spent seven hours in the lock-up reading the budget, I was shocked to see the short paragraph on the Ring of Fire was simply a re-announcement of the 2015 paragraph, which itself was a re-announcement of the 2014 paragraph! …”
  • KWG raising money … “KWG Resources Inc. was granted a waiver by the Canadian Securities Exchange of its minimum share issuance price policy in order to complete a private placement of 75 million units for $1,500,000. Each unit will comprise one new treasury share and one warrant; each warrant may be exercised to acquire a further treasury share for $0.05 at any time within five years from closing …”
  • … as is Noront Resources “Noront Resources Ltd. … announced the closing of a non-brokered private placement of 1,500,000 units at a price of $0.35 per Unit for gross proceeds of $525,000 and 1,366,667 flow-through units at a price of $0.45 per Flow-Through Unit for gross proceeds of $615,000. The Company intends to use the proceeds for exploration activities and for working capital purposes …”
  • Commentary from a former provincial public servant Time to act on Ring of Fire — Remember the excitement and promise of the Ring of Fire? That’s the huge mineral deposit of chromite, nickel, gold, copper and platinum that was discovered in 2007, 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay … The current state of the Ring of Fire is a story of lost opportunity …”
  • Soo’s Liberal MP using Ring of Fire as another reason for funding said port “Speaking during a Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) breakfast (March 30th), MP Terry Sheehan spoke about Canada’s steel industry, the Port of Algoma, middle class tax cuts, First Nations issues and opportunities for youth … The port project came up during the initial Northern Ontario caucus meeting. Sheehan said he brought it up during discussion by the Thunder Bay-area MPs regarding the Ring of Fire development. “Absolutely, because we have a port that can be used with the development of the Ring of Fire and opening all of that up there’s a huge opportunity for my community,” said Sheehan …”

 

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