Ring of Fire News


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

#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – January 31, 2020

  • “… As for the Ring of Fire, (Ontario mines minister Greg) Rickford said there would be “no more regional brainwork” in the “not too distant future.” He added the province would be working with the communities in the region differently.  “We spent more than $20 million and sadly the Indigenous communities have not benefited from this and the leaders of those communities will tell you.”  The minister explained the government has done Indigenous communities and mining companies a “disservice” by being caught up in bureaucratic systems which have not benefited those proximal to the Ring of Fire.  When it comes to the region, Rickford said he would argue the larger economic prospect is tied to the infrastructure that supports it, meaning the government would be taking “an entirely different approach” and “building a corridor to prosperity so the communities in that region … will have roads not just to the North to any developments that occur but also to the South.  “The government of Ontario does not build mines. It’s the companies that build mines. Our job is to support infrastructure, and we are very close to developing full partnerships with the Indigenous communities.” …” (northernnews.ca)


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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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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – July 17, 2015

  • Remember the “mining claims all the way up to the RoF” court case? “KWG Updates Appeals Status — With respect to the appeal of the decision of the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released July 30, 2014, counsel for the parties have agreed with the Registrar of the Court of Appeal for Ontario to conduct the hearing previously scheduled for October 20th, 2015 on November 25th, 2015 instead ….”
  • “Noront Resources Announces Issuance of Interest Shares and Establishment Fee Shares — Noront Resources Ltd. announces that payment of interest in the amount of $372,090, for the second quarter of 2015 pursuant to a loan agreement entered into between Noront and Resource Capital Funds V L.P. dated February 26, 2013, has been satisfied by delivery of 811,007 common shares of the Company at an effective price of $0.4588 per Interest Share. The Interest Shares were delivered on July 10, 2015 subject to a four month hold period, expiring on November 11, 2015 ….”
  • ”Roads, the best way to find new deposits — One of the first priorities is road transportation. Last March at the PDAC mining convention, the federal and provincial governments jointly announced roughly $800,000 in funding for four of the five isolated First Nations – Webequie, Nibinamik, Neskantaga and Eabametoong – to begin consultations on an east-west road that will connect their communities and the Ring of Fire camp to the provincial highway system. A small baby step of progress ….”
  • Speaking of roads and funding for them, here’s what the province says this …. “Ontario Takes Action to Secure Infrastructure Funding …. Ontario also nominated the Ring of Fire under the National Infrastructure Component and continues to call on the federal government to match the province’s commitment to invest up to $1 billion in the region. This project represents an unprecedented opportunity to unlock the economic development potential of northern Ontario and realize tremendous public benefits for Aboriginal communities, Ontario and Canada as a whole ….”
  • …. while Canada says this “The federal government has approved the vast majority of Ontario’s initial infrastructure requests as it fires back over provincial complaints that the Conservatives are playing politics with the billions set aside for projects like roads, sewers and transit. Federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel is revealing for the first time how many Ontario projects have been approved. In a statement to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Lebel says that 77 of the 106 projects the province initially submitted for funding under the New Building Canada Fund have either been announced or approved by the government …. The 106 projects are on an initial list previously submitted by Ontario. The province sent a second list to Ottawa on Thursday that seeks funding for major projects including infrastructure to encourage mining in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, as well as GO Transit improvements in Toronto and the surrounding region ….”
  • “Minister Rickford Highlights Importance of Mining at Greenstone Mineral Exploration Forum — The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, (Tuesday) delivered keynote remarks at the Greenstone Mineral Exploration Forum. The Minister highlighted the Government of Canada’s commitment to the mining industry, as well as the need for engagement and partnerships in the development of mining projects in and around the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario ….”
  • Meanwhile, one of the other candidates in Rickford’s riding mentions the RoF as well ”Hampton wants better relationship between feds and First Nations hoping for change — The Harper Conservatives are failing to work with Treaty 3 and Nishnawbe Aski Nation First Nations, causing an economic delay in creating good jobs and a better economy in Northwestern Ontario, according to Howard Hampton, federal NDP candidate in the Kenora riding.  “The Harper Conservatives’ refusal to cooperate with First Nations is delaying vital development projects for the Northwest,” said Hampton. “The Ring of Fire, four-laning the Trans-Canada from Manitoba to Kenora, and building a hydro transmission line to the Far North could all be a reality if the Conservatives would stop ignoring the First Nations in the region.” …. “The Ring of Fire holds billions of dollars in mineral deposits, would create thousands of good jobs and a better economy for everyone in the region,” said Hampton. “The Conservatives refusal to work in partnership with First Nations like Neskantaga is unbelievable.” ….”


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Ring of Fire News – 5 Sept 11

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  • Four NW Ontario First Nations sign a Ring of Fire collaboration deal, endorse rail link to ROF area.  “…. The East-West Corridor Collaborative Agreement was signed between the communities of Webequie, Neskantaga, Eabametoong and Nibinamik. Since March 2010, the First Nations have been working towards a community-driven strategy to develop a preferred corridor through their traditional territories. The goal is to establish a First Nation joint venture that will operate an infrastructure, transportation and service corridor for northern First Nations and other activities in the Ring of Fire. The First Nation Chiefs were supported by their Councils during today’s signing ceremony in Thunder Bay …. One of the major objectives outlined in the East-West Corridor Collaborative Agreement is to ensure that community members from the four First Nations realize the maximum possible benefits from the corridor development ….”  (Sources:  First Nations news release, tbnewswatch.com, Canadian Press, 31 Aug 11; Chronicle-Journal, 1 Sept 11)
  • Webequie First Nation hires “Ring of Fire Senior Director”.   “Webequie First Nation introduced Michael Fox, President of Fox High Impact Consulting, as Webequie’s Ring of Fire Senior Director. Fox will be working to ensure a community-driven approach and community-based opportunities related to the development of the Ring of Fire are recognized and realized by companies and governments …. (Chief Cornelius Wabasse says) ” Michael recognizes that agreements with companies and governments are premised on the community’s Aboriginal and Treaty rights and that any Impact and Benefits Agreement has to be ratified by the community members” …. (Ring of Fire) project submissions trigger a legal process and will now formalize Webequie First Nation’s engagement with both companies and governments. “We will be assembling our negotiating team and executing our community-based strategy with both companies in the very near future,” says Michael Fox. “We will also be engaging with Marten Falls First Nation at a Council-to-Council level for the Mine Sites developments. And we definitely look forward to continued discussions with regional First Nations on infrastructure corridor initiatives.” ….”  (Sources:  First Nation news release, tbnewswatch.com, 29 Aug 11; Chronicle-Journal, 30 Aug 11)
  • Sudbury:  Talking to cabinet ministers + provincial party leaders at municipal conference = clinching its spot as a Ring of Fire hub?  “Sudbury council members said recent talks with provincial ministers have resulted in a renewed commitment to keep Ring of Fire infrastructure in the North. “We heard directly from all three parties that they are committed to keeping the Ring of Fire refinery jobs in Northern Ontario,” Councillor Dave Kilgour reported in a news release. “This is welcoming news as these jobs are imperative for the growth of our community.” Municipal representatives from across Ontario are in London this week for the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference. Kilgour is joined by Mayor Marianne Matichuk and Councillors Fabio Belli and Andre Rivest. While there, the Sudbury delegation met with Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli, Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle, Conservative Party Deputy Minister Christine Elliot and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath ….”  (Source:  Northern Ontario Business, 26 Jul 11)
  • “…. KWG’s railway infrastructure project has been well timed and the need for a railway in the Ring of Fire seems highly economic. Meetings with government and First Nations officials are ongoing to determine a mutually beneficial result. As well, KWG continues to explore the available funding mechanisms that can be employed to continue development of the railroad link to the Ring of Fire …..”  (Source:  KWG Management and Discussion Analysis document (PDF) as of 30 Jun 11 via SEDAR)
  • KWG Resources Inc. has completed the acquisition of 7 million treasury units of its subsidiary Debut Diamonds Inc. valued at $0.30 each in exchange for subscription receipts for 21 million KWG treasury units valued at $0.10 each. The Debut units each comprised one new treasury share and one share purchase warrant; each Debut warrant may be exercised to acquire an additional Debut treasury share upon payment of $0.40 at any time within 5 years. The KWG subscription receipts are exchangeable for KWG treasury units which will each comprise one new treasury share and one share purchase warrant; each KWG warrant may be exercised to acquire an additional KWG treasury share upon payment of $0.15 at any time within 5 years. “This exchange will provide KWG with additional shares of Debut for distribution to the KWG shareholders while providing Debut with sufficient working capital to qualify for listing”, said KWG President Frank Smeenk. “At the same time it permitted Debut to close the acquisition of an option to earn an interest in the Nakina targets, comprising 33 interpreted geophysical targets in 28 claim blocks north of Nakina. These include some of the best magnetic targets seen in Ontario since the Attawapiskat cluster, and resulted from analysis of the Ontario Geological Survey data made public in late 2010.” ….”  (Sources:  KWG news release, Debut Diamonds news release, 29 Aug 11)
  • MacDonald Mines Limited is pleased to announce that the Company has completed nine holes, totaling 2,553 metres, of an ongoing drilling program on its Ring of Fire, Semple-Hulbert project near Kasabonika, Ontario. Following initial assay and geophysical results the spring/summer program was completed in August. The company is currently reviewing all data as it awaits final assays, which will allow for both additional geological and geophysical interpretation …. Results of the program will be released as soon as they have been received and reviewed. Camp Relocation: The company will also relocate its exploration camp to newly discovered favourable geology. This will also provide important cost saving in the forth-coming drilling exploration ….”  (Source:  Company news release, 26 Aug 11)
  • UC Resources Ltd. is pleased to provide an update of the drilling of a recently discovered anomaly in the McFaulds lake area of the “Ring of Fire” in Northern, Ontario. The company completed its 1200 metre, 2-hole core drilling program at McFaulds Lake property and submitted 126 cut core samples for assay. A description of the core encountered during the program has been provided below by M.J. (Moe) Lavigne, P. Geo, who was acting as QP for this drill program and a qualified person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101 has reviewed and approved the technical information in this press release on behalf of the company …. Based on a visual estimate, the copper content of the mineralization encountered will not exceed 0.5%, but are good candidates for PGE enrichment. The magnetite rich rocks encountered are also good candidate for PGE enrichment, and may also have elevated vanadium and titanium …. Assaying will be conducted by Activation Laboratories Ltd of Ancaster, Ontario and results will be press released upon arrival ….” (Source: Company news release, 29 Aug 11)

Summary of more open source information and sources cited (1-31 Aug 11) also available here (PDF).  All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act.  We’re not responsible for accuracy of original material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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Ring of Fire News, Week ending 27 Jun 11

The Ring of Fire News blog shares public information in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act, and is not responsible for the accuracy of the original material.  Inclusion of material or sources here should not imply endorsement or otherwise by the Ring of Fire News blog.

  • The Matawa First Nation communities have been offered up to $9.6 million over three years to develop core capacity to participate in the Ring of Fire initiative. “The funding was intended to support whatever specific community needs were identified,” said Christine Kaszycki, Ontario’s Ring of Fire coordinator. “There are a range of things that are available and the communities have the opportunity to submit a funding request and through that identify the approach that they would be taking as part of their proposal.” The Ring of Fire has been a hotbed of mineral exploration activity in recent years, home to a potentially large deposit of chromite, a mineral used to make stainless steel. The area is located in the James Bay lowlands near the traditional territories of Webequie and Marten Falls. The five remote fly-in communities of Eabametoong, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, Nibinamik and Webequie have been offered $1.5 million over three years, the three communities along Hwy. 11, Constance Lake, Ginoogaming and Long Lake #58, have been offered $450,000 over three years and Aroland has been offered $750,000 over three years….” (Source:  Wawatay News, 24 Jun 11)
  • Ontario Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, Michael Gravelle, told a Ring of Fire transportation conference in Thunder Bay that other governments, not just Ontario, will have to contribute to developing any transportation infrastructure into the Ring of Fire area.  (Source:  CBQ-FM Thunder Bay, 23 Jun 11)
  • Speaking at the same conference, Gravelle was quoted saying, “The decision on the location (of processing facilities) is ultimately production-driven, and will be made by the (mining) companies based on factors including sustainability, cost and profitability…. We expect the decisions we make on transportation, infrastructure and other considerations will support those production and community decisions.”   He is also quoted saying, “If I was specifying that it should be in one community I would be certainly in a position where it would be difficult for me to maintain the kind of credibility I need to continue our work with Cliff’s (Natural Resources) and with the other companies.” (Sources:  Chronicle-Journal, 24 Jun 11, clipping available here; Tbnewswatch.com, 24 Jun 11)
  • Mining camp workers employed by Cliffs (Natural Resources) and who walked off the job …. held a quiet demonstration outside (the ROF infrastructure conference mentioned above).  Representative Harry Baxter Sr. said they were there to show conference delegates, companies and the public that all is not well in the Ring of Fire. Baxter said the workers “have no benefits, no safety standards, no insurance.” He said more than two dozen camp workers walked off the job, protesting what Baxter said were unsafe conditions and a pay cut to $140 a day. Baxter said the pay is inadequate for those who live in the remote North where expenses are much higher than elsewhere. They are taking their concerns to a First Nations chiefs meeting at the Valhalla Inn on Friday, he said. Cliffs spokesmen have said the camp manager resigned amid the walkout and will be replaced. The other workers, they said, are welcome to return to their jobs. They also said the company would meet with the workers to discuss their concerns.”  Cliffs’ senior VP of ferralloys, Bill Boor, was also quoted saying he is contacting workers who left the work site to “discuss their problems directly with them.” Boor is also quoted saying “Their concern is that they’re going to now get taxed, and therefore their take-home pay will be reduced. We’re going to pay competitive wages, and in fact in this issue, we’re going to make sure people’s take-home pay does not go down. If that means we have to pay more because somebody who was a registered contractor, for example, is now subject to taxes, we’re going to take that on.” (Chronicle-Journal, 21 Jun 11, clipping available hereChronicle-Journal, 23 Jun 11)
  • KWG Resources Inc. advises that its subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation has acquired by staking, two 16-unit mineral claims adjoining to the south of the Fancamp Exploration Ltd claims 3012257 and 3012258. The north-eastern corner of the eastern-most claim is within Koper Lake. As such, the new claim encompasses that portion of the western shore of Koper Lake that has been the logistics hub for activities in the area. The claims are outside of the areas of interest provided for in KWG’s agreements with Spider Resources Inc., and UC Resources Limited. The companies are also pleased to announce the appointment of Bruce Hodgman as a Vice-President of Canada Chrome Corporation.”  (Source:  KWG news release, 21 Jun 11)
  • “A Lakehead University professor has suggested a Ring of Fire endowment fund for future generations in northern Ontario. “Natural resources in a sense are like a gift – it’s like winning a lottery,” said Livio Di Matteo, a professor of economics at Lakehead University. “When you win a lottery, it’s great to spend some of it and have a good time. But at the same time if you want to prepare for tomorrow, it’s also a good idea to save a large portion of it and then only spend the income.” ….”  (Source:  Wawatay News, 24 Jun 11)
  • A Lakehead University economist suggests blimps.  “…. Development of the Ring of Fire will require transportation infrastructure and the Ring of Fire Conference held in Thunder Bay yesterday discussed proposals for transportation infrastructure. Of course, the proposals have a familiar ring – building new all-weather roads as well as building a new rail line. These are expensive pieces of transportation infrastructure and will provide access to the Ring of Fire and immediately adjacent areas. There are many First Nations living in Ontario’s Far North who rely on winter roads for bringing in supplies and these ice roads have become increasingly fragile with the shorter winters brought about by climate change. A railroad or road to the Ring of Fire would not necessarily meet the needs of all remote First Nations. One solution that would be cost-effective in meeting the needs of First Nations as well as providing a means to transport heavy equipment and supplies for mining companies lies in an old technology that is receiving some updates – Lighter Than Air Vehicles, also known as airships ….”  (Source:  Netnewsledger.com, 24 Jun 11)

Summary of more open source information and sources cited also available here (PDF).

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