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

#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – May 26, 2017

  • Stand by for Ontario’s Ring of Fire plan? “ “Very soon.”  That’s the best answer Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne gave while commenting on when Ontario might see some progress on the Ring of Fire mining development, located in the James Bay Lowlands.  Wynne made the comment in Timmins Thursday morning (23 May 2017) where she was speaking at the Timmins Family YMCA and meeting with community leaders …” – more on her tour o’ Northern Ontario here, here and here
  • #RoF mention in a “let’s get resource projects going” (the other being the Trans Mountain pipeline) editorial “It is in the best interest of Canada and all Canadians that this country get its act together and get its natural resources to market more quicklyBut don’t take our word for it …  Earlier this month, a clearly impatient Premier Wynne told First Nations communities in Northern Ontario she’s ready to abandon joint talks with them over building roads into the mineral-rich Ring of Fire region.  Her government, she stated in no uncertain terms, is committed to opening the area to mining very soon … both Wynne and Notley realize getting these natural resource projects up and running would not only create jobs and strengthen the economy, it would help fund the government services we all need.  That’s why Wynne told the chiefs of nine Matawa First Nations in Northern Ontario she will tolerate no more delays in her plan to build a road — with $1 billion in provincial funding — into the Ring of Fire region.  That’s a tough but timely message …”
  • A quick update/pitch from Ontario’s former Ring of Fire boss “The Ontario government’s goals of fostering a culture of innovation and enhancing relationships with Indigenous people and communities are key to its mineral development strategy, including development of the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario, Christine Kaszycki said on Thursday.  Kaszycki, the assistant deputy minister for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines mines and minerals division, also spoke about opportunities for the Sudbury region during a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Copper Cliff Italian Club …”
  • Timmins wants a ferrochrome smelter, continued … “When it was recently revealed that Timmins was back on the “shortlist” as the site of a possible refinery for the Ring of Fire nickel and chromite deposit, city officials wasting no time getting to work on a new plan. It was just last week that Noront Resources CEO Alan Coutts revealed that Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Timmins were all being considered for the location of a new smelter. Noront is the mining company with the largest land holdings in the huge mineral prospect located some 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins at McFaulds Lake … Timmins Mayor Steve Black confirmed that the city is preparing a proposal.  “We have been having discussions. This is something that obviously all of Northern Ontario has been watching and following very closely and every time we go to one of these mining events where we have the opportunity to meet Mr. Coutts and his team, we continue to emphasize that Timmins is the place where this facility should be,” Black told The Daily Press …”
  • … while a Sault Ste. Marie pundit pipes in, too“… The CEO of NORONT (Alan Coutts) was recently in the Soo,  and in an interview with CBC radio implied,  (more than implied actually) that SSM has an edge over the other competing communities to have the plant built here. Among the most important criteria to be factored in are the fact that we are located on the American border and on the Great Lakes ; one of the their goals is to ship the finished product through the Great Lakes  to American companies. Another reason is that we already have a diverse and skilled workforce (familiar with steel making and it’s offshoot processes)  that is open and desperate to cooperate.  Through meeting local officials he was impressed with the fact that we would welcome the investment in our community and work with his company to bring the project to pass …”
  • … as well as candidates for the provincial seat in the Soo as well “… Much of the discussion centered around the development of the Ring of Fire and the chromite smelter that Noront Resources is considering building in one of four northern Ontario cities, including the Sault …”
  • One analyst’s take on Noront about a week ago: “Interested investors have been looking for information on shares of NORONT RESOURCES LTD after the stock moved $-0.006, hitting the $0.186 price point in a recent tradeIt’s the latest price, but let’s analyze how the stock has been doing recently. In the past year, NORONT RESOURCES LTD’s stock was big mover. According to the short interest report published recently, (NOSOF) had 26,600 shorted shares for 0.4 days to cover. The prior short interest was 6,800 for a $291.18 change. The 52-Week High and Low are noted here. -52.31 % (High), 16.25 %, (Low). The stock had 62,600 average volume …”
  • And as of Wednesday of this week? “Noront Resources Ltd shares are moving today on volatility 5.56% or $0.015 from the open. The TSXV listed company saw a recent bid of $0.285 and 68000 shares have traded hands in the session …”
  • Another analyst’s take on how Noront’s doing “Investors considering positions in Noront Resources Ltd., might be interested in the Gross Margin Score of the company. The shares currently have a score of 64.00000. This score is derived from the Gross Margin (Marx) stability and growth over the previous eight years. The Gross Margin score lands on a scale from 1 to 100 where a score of 1 would be considered positive, and a score of 100 would be seen as negative.  The low score of 64.00000 for Noront Resources Ltd. indicates a top score for stability and growth …”
  • More from the authors of this study on how to get things going in the Ring of Fire “Premier Kathleen Wynne has jumped into the long-standing debate over the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario. Last week, she called on northern chiefs to seize the province’s offer to spend $1 billion on crucial road development and to not “squander” the opportunity for economic development in an area desperate for work and social improvements. The premier’s blunt intervention is a sign of the pent-up frustration among governments, companies and indigenous communities about the slow progress and endless negotiations surrounding the region’s vast deposits of chromite, nickel and other minerals …”

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – May 18, 2017


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – May 12, 2017

  • Tick, tick, tick … “NorOnt Resources will decide by the end of summer where it will build its ferrochrome facility.  Top executives from the operation were in Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday meeting with community leaders and the Chamber of Commerce members outlining their plans and how the Ring of Fire development can provide an economic boost to Northern Ontario communities.  lan Coutts, president and CEO of NorOnt Resources said he wants communities to understand the company and its capabilities and have the supports in place if the community is chosen to host the first ferrochrome facility in North America …”
  • Sudbury wants a smelter, …
  • Timmins wants it
  • and the Soo (as well as those running for a provincial seat there) certainly wants it, too.
  • Noront: Ontario needs to step up before we decide on a smelter  “At least four communities are in the running to host a $1-billion ferrochrome facility to process ore from the Ring of Fire, located in northwestern Ontario.  Top executives with Noront Resources were in Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday and said they will decide by the end of summer where the company will build its ferrochrome facility, which is expected to create up to 350 jobs.  Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay-Fort William are competing for the plant.  The Noront executives met with community leaders and chamber of commerce members in the Sault, outlining their plans and how the Ring of Fire development can provide an economic boost to Northern Ontario.  Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources, said he wants communities to understand the company and its capabilities, and have the supports in place if that community is chosen to host the first ferrochrome facility in North America … But nothing can be done until the province determines where roads should be built to the Ring of Fire area and the infrastructure is in place to get to the mineral deposits, Coutts said.  Noront is urging the province to come to a conclusion about where the road should be built to connect to the nearest highway, about 280 km away, and move forward with the infrastructure to make it a reality …”
  • Premier: First Nations need to decide  “Premier Kathleen Wynne is warning fly-in First Nations in Northern Ontario they must quickly agree on the construction of a road into their region – one that would also serve mining interests in the so-called Ring of Fire – or she will negotiate unilaterally with those communities that want the project.  It has been three years since the Ontario government said it would spend up to $1-billion to create an all-season road that would make development possible in the massive cache of chromite and other minerals as it connects to some reserves that are not currently accessible by car.  But little progress has been made, in part because the First Nations do not agree among themselves on how to proceed and are concerned about losing jurisdictional rights in the process. Negotiations with provincial officials have not always been productive …”
  • Ontario NDP Leader on Ontario Budget 2017 “…“Not one dime in Wynne’s budget is committed to the Ring of Fire,” said (Andrea) Horwath. “Failing to even mention a project with such massive potential – to create jobs, to grow the economy and to deliver prosperity for workers and their families – I think that’s wrong. To overlook the vast potential of the north is wrong.” …”more
  • Premier: It’s in there, really … “For weeks the NDP and Progressive Conservatives have said the budget drops all references to the Ring of Fire.  Both parties say they can’t find any mention of the $1 billion the Liberals committed earlier in time for the chromite project.   Mike Mantha of Algoma Manitoulin was the latest to ask the Premier during Question Period what happened to the money.   Kathleen Wynne says the money has not been removed and that it’s referenced on page 73 of the budget …”
  • Fact Check — Check page 73 of the budget document here (330 page PDF), and you’ll see it talks about infrastructure funding, but if you do a word search for “Ring of Fire” on the document, it doesn’t appear once.
  • … and I really DO want the Ring of Fire developed “…Wynne also says her government is still committed to the Ring of Fire. She says the $1 billion in funding for infrastructure for the Ring of Fire is still in place, and added the province is still working with the surrounding communities to get development going. Wynne finished the discussion about the Ring of Fire by saying there’s no one in the province who wants shovels in the ground at the Ring of Fire than her.”more
  • Meanwhile, in other corporate news … “KWG Resources Inc. announces that the adjourned Special Meeting of Shareholders of KWG has been cancelled by the Company’s board of directors. It was scheduled to reconvene on Friday, May 12, 2017 but management was unable to solicit sufficient proxies to vote in favour of passing the special resolution and thus the cost of convening the adjourned meeting was not warranted at this time. KWG is also pleased to announce that Bruce Hodgman has been promoted and appointed as a Vice President of the Company …” – a bit more from Hodgman’s LinkedIn profile here

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – May 10, 2017

  • More reminders of zero #RoF mentions in the latest Ontario Budget, via com (more), Northern Ontario Business, mynorthbaynow.com (more, more), mywestnipissingnow.com (more), the Toronto Star and the Sudbury Star.
  • With campaigning toward a a June 1st by-election in the Soo, smelter talk is bubbling up again: “…it looks like the Ring of Fire could become an election issue in the Sault Ste. Marie by-election.  P.C. candidate Ross Romano is promising to build a plant in the Sault to process the ore from the chromite site.  Several years ago when he was the minister of northern development and mines and MPP for Sudbury, Rick Bartolucci promised a similar refinery for Capreol before everything got derailed …”
  • More smelter talk, this time from Noront: “It’s time to get political about the Ring of Fire.  Noront Resources, the leading mine developer in the Far North, is eyeing Sault Ste. Marie as one of four sites in Northern Ontario for a potential ferrochrome smelter.  Company president-CEO Alan Coutts is making it known he’s putting mining on the campaign agenda in that city’s upcoming provincial byelection on June 1 …  The Sault is on Noront’s shortlist – along with Timmins, Sudbury and Thunder Bay/Fort William First Nation – to be the host community for a $600 million to $800-million plant to process chromite into ferrochrome, a critical ingredient used in stainless steel production.  Between now and the end of June, Coutts and his chief development officer, Steve Flewelling, will be visiting prospective sites and making public presentations in each city …”
  • In other Noront news“Shares of Noront Resources Ltd (NOT.V) is moving on volatility (Monday 8 May) 6.67% or $0.015 from the open. The TSXV listed company saw a recent bid of 0.24 on 56673 volume. Now let’s take a look at how the fundamentals are stacking up for Noront Resources Ltd (NOT.V). Fundamental analysis takes into consideration market, industry and stock conditions to help determine if the shares are correctly valued. Noront Resources Ltd currently has a yearly EPS of -0.04 …”
  • So, what’s the Northern Ontario Party promising for the Ring of Fire? From a platform summary:   “…We will undertake investment partnerships with mining companies and claim owners to begin building the required infrastructure for the Ring of Fire project including an access road and/or rail line north from Nakina. All provincially funded builders/developers will be sourced from within Northern Ontario, hiring Northern Ontarians …”
  • Another #RoF letter to the editor from Don Wallace: “The word that KWG Resources along with Marten Falls First Nation reps are off to China to discuss a rail line to the Ring of Fire mineral deposits’ has been quickly followed by shocking news that Queens Park did not mention the Ring of Fire in last week’s budget or its long-time promise of $1 billion to support the Ring project. Why?  Is it that Queen’s Park can’t handle the notion of the Chinese doing business in Northern Ontario? Or is it that Queen’s Park has its own plan? Not likely given 10 years of nothing but empty blather despite tens of millions spent.  Is it because the feds have a plan?  Even more unlikely.  Or it is because both Queen’s Park and the feds both fear political fallout from south of the border regarding direct Chinese communist enterprise at work in North American …” – previous contributions here
  • Someone with some Ring of Fire history is on the new team eyeing possible new ridings in Ontario’s far north according to a Government of Ontario info-machine news release – more here:  “… Theresa Hall served as a justice of the peace in Cochrane for over 16 years, and was the first Cree woman to hold this position … From 2011 to 2012, Ms. Hall served as the executive director of Canada Chrome Corporation. Following that, she was the Ring of Fire manager for Mushkegowuk Council …”

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – May 1, 2017

  • Ring of Fire mentions in Ontario’s latest budget?   More on that:  “The Conservative’s finance critic has slammed the Ontario budget, saying it proves the governing Liberals have given up on Northern Ontario.  Vic Fedeli said the budget … includes a $70-million cut to Northern Development and Mines and the $1 billion promised for Ring of Fire infrastructure has mysteriously disappeared.  “The Ministry helps to establish mining operations all over Northern Ontario, creating good well-paying jobs that help to grow our Northern economy — obviously not a concern of this government,” Fedeli said.  “It came as a serious shock to see that this year’s budget removed all mention of the Ring of Fire. After three years of promises the Wynne government has completely abandoned this critical mining project,” Fedeli said …” – more (North Bay Nugget) – more (Northern Ontario Business) – more (Sudbury.com)
  • Municipal leaders still thinking about Ring of Fire, too “The Northern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) annual conference got started at the Victoria Inn Wednesday, despite bad weather and low attendance. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who was scheduled to attend for a question and answer session, missed the event due to a flight cancellation … As for the Ring of Fire mining area, (NOMA president & mayor of Kenora David) Canfield said NOMA’s perspective is that northern communities need to be connected. He referred to a study by the Northern Policy Institute, that explored why so many of the First Nation communities in northeastern Ontario were doing better than those in Northwestern Ontario.  “These (northeastern Ontario communities) are connected,” said Canfield. “They have roads and they have infrastructure that allows them more opportunities. I think that the provincial and federal governments have to concentrate on connecting (remote) communities.”  Canfield said the Ring of Fire will come naturally when the commodity prices and needs are there.  “If you already have the infrastructure in place, it will happen and it will happen immediately,” he said. “Without the infrastructure in place, it’s nothing. We told the opposition party to stop talking about the Ring of Fire and start connecting the communities.” “
  • Ontario’s mines minister: it’s still in play  “Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines says the province is still committed to the Ring of Fire mineral development area  — even though it’s not mentioned in this year’s budget.  The government hasn’t backed away from its pledge of $1 billion in infrastructure spending to support mining in the mineral-rich region in the James Bay Lowlands, Bill Mauro   The province first made the promise in 2014.  Members of the opposition have questioned whether it’s absence in this week’s budget means now backing down from its commitment.  “I would suggest that those that are putting that criticism forward are headline-grabbing,” Mauro said.  Mauro also countered opposition concerns that the government had cut the budget of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines …”
  • Some fed politicos, too, say it’s not forgotten“The federal government is reaffirming its commitment to the Ring of Fire.  FedNor Minister Navdeep Bains made the commitment while in North Bay.  Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota says although the feds still support the chromite project, there’s a process to follow.   Rota says the project is coming together, and as long as people are willing to keep talking, the project is moving in the right direction.  The Ring of Fire can create about 5,000 jobs and is expected to generate $2 billion in tax revenue.”
  • More on the upcoming road trip to China “Bruce Achneepineskum is heading to China next month to hear about a $4-billion plan that includes building a rail line to the Ring of Fire through his community’s traditional territory.  The Chief of Marten Falls First Nation, a remote fly-in community of 770 registered people of which only about half live on the remote Northern Ontario reserve, says he’s interested in the latest overture from a small mining company with big plans …” – more on China investment, trip (Northern Ontario Business)
  • Meanwhile, a bit of corporate governance biz dealt with @ KWG “KWG Resources Inc. is pleased to announce that it has received approval to list its multiple voting shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange …”
  • #RoF info session slated for the Soo later this month “The Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation will be hosting a presentation on the Ring of Fire.  Alan Coutts, president and CEO and Stephen Flewelling, CDO of Noront Resources Ltd., will explain the current status of Noront’s Eagle’s Nest Project, the scale of Eagle’s Nest and future chromite projects. Business opportunities, employment and the impact on communities and the province will also be discussed …”
  • … and in North Bay “The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) in cooperation with North Bay Mining Week, MIRARCO Mining Innovation, and Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) North Bay Chapter presents:  Spark the Fire – Realizing the Untapped Potential of Ontario’s North — Ontario’s Ring of Fire represents a $60-billion multi-generational economic opportunity, arguably the world’s most promising mineral development project in more than a century. However, this potential is shrouded by both technical and societal challenges, multi-level political decision-making, dynamic risks, and palpable uncertainty.  The scale and complexity of these challenges makes the Ring of Fire a mega-project. As born problem solvers, it is time that Ontario’s engineers ask themselves:  How can engineers spark the fire and help realize the untapped potential of Ontario’s north? …”

 

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