Ring of Fire News

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

#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – February 19, 2018


 

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Ring of Fire (RoF) News – October 24, 2014


 

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Ring of Fire News – 5 Dec 11

  • Noront Resources:  we have a preferred route for year-round access to our proposed Eagle’s Nest mining site.  “…. Paul Semple, chief operating officer with Noront, said …. they have looked at 12 different scenarios that included using roads, trains and hovercrafts, but have since narrowed down the choices. While an environmental review still needs to be completed, he said having a route that will allow them year round access will be incredibly beneficial.  “When we looked at our studies we found a preferred East to West route which comes in from Pickle Lake and comes onto an all season road up to Webequie,” Semple said.  “We follow an existing winter road corridor so we minimize our environmental disturbance.  It’s pretty important to have these roads otherwise you would have a fleet of trucks running two months out of the year and then they would sit idle for the next 10.” ….”  Source
  • Meanwhile, Noront re-announces it has its environmental assessment documents for the Eagle’s Nest project available for public scrutiny.  “Noront Resources Ltd. has released the Notice of Commencement of Terms of Reference.  Noront is continuing with its work for the Environmental Assessment for the Eagle’s Nest Mine Project in northwest Ontario.  Since 2009, Environmental Baseline studies have been conducted around the mineral deposit, at infrastructure sites, and along the access corridor. Noront has also been advancing the engineering of the mine and infrastructure since 2009, incorporating means to protect the environment and support sustainable development.  Draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Eagle’s Nest Mine project have been prepared by Noront in compliance with Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) requirements.  The draft TOR is available for review by the public, and copies can be down loaded at www.norontresources.com or www.eaglesnestmine.com  ….”   Source  (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency documents also available here, here and here)
  • Noront selling shared to raise ~$4M for Ring of Fire work.  “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Dundee Securities Ltd., on behalf of a syndicate including Raymond James Ltd. under which the Agents have agreed to offer for sale, on a best efforts private placement basis, flow-through common shares (the “Flow-Through Shares”) at a price of $0.86 per Flow-Through Share for gross proceeds of approximately $3,000,000.  In addition, Noront has granted the Agents an over-allotment option (the “Option”) to sell up to an additional $1,000,000 of the Flow-Through Shares sold pursuant to the Offering, at $0.86 per Flow-Through Share, exercisable at any time prior to 48 hours before the Closing Date of the Offering …. The gross proceeds from the sale of the Flow-Through Shares will be used for Canadian Exploration Expenses (“CEE”), with the Company to use best efforts to qualify such CEE as “flow-through mining expenditures”, to fund ongoing exploration activities on the Company’s McFauld’s Lake project ….”  Source
  • Merry Christmas from Noront to First Nation kids!  “A Toronto-based mining company wants to ensure that 350 children in two remote First Nations near the Ring of Fire mining district have presents for Christmas.  Noront Resources Ltd. in co-operation with the North-South Partnership for Children, is running its third annual Ring of Fire Christmas Fund.  In the past two years the company has raised over $40,000 and has ensured that every child under age 12, both on- and off-reserve in Marten Falls and Webequie has received a wrapped gift ….”  Sourcemore (company news release) – more (company brochure)
  • What Premier Dalton McGuinty had to say about the prospect of Cliffs Natural Resources shipping some less-than-fully-processed chromite straight to China, instead of having it all refined in Ontario:  “…. we’re going to do everything we can together to maximize the benefits for the people of Ontario.  I know where my friend (Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath, who asked the question in the Legislature) wants to go on this, and I can’t agree with her in that regard. She would suggest that we put up a wall around our resources sector here in Ontario. The fact of the matter is, we receive raw minerals from other parts of the world. We bring them into our province, we process them here, and we create good jobs here. So that’s not the kind of fight I want to get into with the international community.  Having said that, I again say to my honourable colleague, let us see if we can find a way, all of us together, working with northerners in particular, to ensure that we maximize the benefits of the development of the Ring of Fire for the benefit of all Ontarians ….”  Source (PDF of question & answer exchange from 30 Nov 11 Hansard) – moremore
  • Message from First Nation governance conference in Thunder Bay:  Unity is the key.  “…. “We can’t approach these things fractured,” said Elijah Harper, a former member of both provincial and federal parliament in northern Manitoba.  Harper was one of several speakers at the two-day First Nations Strategy for the Ring of Fire forum hosted by the National Centre for First Nations Governance at the Victoria Inn Tuesday.  “There’s a confusion of how to work together; that’s the problem – where to begin,” said Harper. “People are at different stages of speaking with the mining companies. “  Not only does there need to be collaboration on how to move forward with mining development, but also on how to deal with Aboriginal and treaty rights.  Harper said people need to be properly advised so they can make informed decisions in respect to development; so they know what impacts it may have on their traditional territory.  “They have to be addressed with the mining companies and also to stress that the federal and provincial government have a responsibility to ensure consultation happens,” he said.  Harper believes it is possible for the communities to work together as they have a common vision – they want to benefit from the Ring of Fire activity.  “That’s the ultimate goal – to achieve a good future for the First Nations and for generations to come,” he said.  The aim of the conference was to show First Nations what it takes to organize a legal and political strategy to get the most out of negotiations with government and industry.  The forum was also to educate Aboriginal people about their rights and the legal obligations of the federal and provincial governments, specifically regarding resource use and the Ring of Fire ….”  Source
  • Op-ed attributed to Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy on why he’s against the Far North Act:  First Nations don’t have the final say.  “…. The core elements of every land use plan are subject to a provincial veto which is in complete denial of a standard that is being recognized internationally, that is, the right for First Nations to provide free, prior and informed consent. Canada and Ontario still have yet to catch up to this standard ….”  Source
  • The Wasaya Group is teaming up with other businesses to help service the Ring of Fire.  “…. This fall, the Thunder Bay-based Native venture corporation announced joint ventures with a major Northern contractor and a Sioux Lookout trucking company.  Wasaya has struck business partnerships with Dowland Contracting of Inuvik, N.W.T. and Morgan Transfer of Sioux Lookout.  Dowland business development director Martin Landry said the company has delivered more than $1 billion in mine and power line developments as well as hospital and school projects in Canada and Alaska since its inception 30 years ago.  The new venture, Wasaya Dowland Contracting, will provide construction expertise to Wasaya with future training and apprenticeship programs stemming from the relationship.  “Wasaya Dowland Contracting will undertake large construction initiatives through the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors,” said Landry. “The company will be available to serve the Ring of Fire should they require our industrial capacity” ….” Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1 Nov-5 Dec 11 (PDF) here.  All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act.  We’re not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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Ring of Fire News – 21 Nov 11

  • More on Noront’s Eagle’s Nest project entering the Environmental Assessment fray.  “As the controversy over the environmental study of a proposed Ring of Fire mine drags on, another proposed mine in the Ring of Fire has started a similar environmental assessment process.  The environmental assessment for Noront Resources’ proposed Eagles Nest mine kicked off Nov. 15 with the opening of a 30-day public comment period.  The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) decided to do a comprehensive study, the same process chosen for Cliffs Natural Resources’ proposed chromite mine.  CEAA spokesperson Celine Legault said that the agency determined there was no need for the Noront project to be subjected to a more intensive Joint Review Panel (JRP) assessment.  “At any time during the study the (federal) minister of environment can refer the assessment to a Joint Review Panel,” Legault said.  He said the decision to refer the project to a JRP would be based on the project having “likely, significant adverse effects” and “major public concerns.”  A JRP review would involve a panel of independent experts overseeing the review, and include community meetings where oral testimonies and concerns could be raised.  In contrast, a comprehensive study is done by the CEAA itself. In a comprehensive study only written submissions are accepted.  The Noront comprehensive study will involve three public comment periods where any member of the public can submit a written concern to the CEAA, Legault said. The first public comment period has a deadline of Dec. 16.  During the second public comment period meetings will be held in affected Aboriginal communities, Legault said.  She added that consultation with Aboriginal groups has been ongoing since Noront submitted its project description in the spring of 2011….”  Source more
  • Some editorial comment on the process and how it handles big projects.  “TWO LARGE resource development proposals in this country highlight the difficulties in balancing economic opportunity with environmental protection. The addition of economic uncertainty and cultural considerations makes this balancing act even tougher. Here in the Northwest, the proposal to develop the huge Ring of Fire chromite project is the subject of dispute over what form of environmental assessment is suitable. A comprehensive study of Cliffs Natural Resources’ proposal, by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, is already under way. First Nations in the James Bay Lowlands withdrew their support of the project when the federal government opted not to conduct a higher-level joint review panel EA. Matawa First Nations claims the comprehensive study EA provides “no realistic opportunity for First Nations to participate.” It says the current process will fast track the EA process for government and Cliffs, but put First Nation communities and their lands at serious risk …. The comprehensive study is one of three types of environmental assessments. It tends to be geared to large projects with the potential for major adverse environmental effects. CEAA spokesman Celine Legault said the study could widen to a joint review panel if the federal environment minister deems there is sufficient public concern or considerable environmental impacts that can’t be mitigated …. Timing is important for a development of this size and delays can threaten the project ….” Source
  • Has Cliffs already chosen a site for its smelter?  “…. Cliff’s Natural Resources has issued an update on The Ring of Fire. That October Update states that the Ferrochrome Production Facility will be in Sudbury. “Refining the concentrate will occur at the Ferrochrome Production Facility located for the Base Case on privately owned lands near Capreol within a rural area of the City of Greater Sudbury. The size of the site will be approximately 1.5 km by 1 km. The site is currently designated as “Rural”, allowing a variety of land uses, especially those that provide rural economic benefits that are balanced with protection of the natural environment and the agricultural resource base”. “Infrastructure and services will be required to support construction and operation of the Ferrochrome Production Facility. It is estimated that 350-450 people will work at the site during construction and 350-450 during operations. These workers will commute daily to the site from the surrounding area. The availability of skilled labour is a significant consideration in selecting the location of the Ferrochrome Production Facility ….”  Source Cliffs presentation (PDF)
  • If we believe a Cliffs spokesperson speaking at a Sudbury open house, no they haven’t (at least as of 15 Nov 11, anyway).  “…. Dave Cartella, general manager of global environmental affairs and counsel with Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., said a final decision on where the chromite processing facility will be located has not yet been made. The company has been using Capreol as its “base case” for planning purposes. “(Capreol) does meet all of our basic needs,” Cartella said. “We’re just not ready to make a decision yet.”  Source
  • Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation make the case to Cliffs for a smelter in Thunder Bay.  “Thunder Bay mayor Keith Hobbs was all smiles Wednesday night when he stepped off the chartered plane that took him and six others to Cleveland, Ohio. He said the pitch the delegation made to Cliffs Natural Resources to build its chromite smelter in the northwest was well-received. “It went very well, we had a great presentation,” he said, noting that the presentation was months in the making. Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins was part of the delegation. Hobbs said he thinks Thunder Bay residents are already on board. “Well, there were over 350 people at the open house that Cliff’s put on here, and from what they told us there weren’t too many negative comments at all,” he said. “People want work, and they want to be working in Thunder Bay.” Hobbs said he asks people about the smelter on his walkabouts, and gets positive feedback. George Stevenson is one Thunder Bay resident who supports bringing a smelter to the area. “It’ll be a positive for our community and for the region,” he said. “It could mean a lot of machine shop work in Thunder Bay; it could mean a lot of the fellas getting employment out at the Ring of Fire.” …. Other people were more cautious. Pat Hovi said she has some questions. “I think we want to know whether it’s going to increase employment opportunities for the people in Thunder Bay, or whether there’s an environmental issue we need to know about as well. Those are my concerns.” Hobbs said consultation with the public will be Cliffs’ responsibility, once it chooses the location for the smelter ….”  Sourcemore more
  • Greenstone makes the case to Cliffs for a smelter in Greenstone.  “In Cleveland (16 Nov 11), senior management of Cliffs Natural Resources hosted a multi-hour meeting with a delegation from the Municipality of Greenstone. The focus of the wide ranging discussion was the potential for siting a ferrochrome refinery at Exton Siding (between Nakina and the Aroland First Nation). Greenstone Mayor Renald (Ron) Beaulieu observed, “I was pleased and impressed with the responsiveness and attention our submission received from the Cliffs representatives. They asked some tough but important and insightful questions. Clearly they have been giving a lot of consideration to the benefits of the Exton site.” The Greenstone presentation in Cleveland is an updated version of the “North West Kick- Start” plan released at a media conference in Thunder Bay earlier in the fall. However, the submission has been upgraded with more detailed information and maps related to electricity supply. The Greenstone delegation made similar presentations to officials at Queen’s Park before going to Cleveland. The Mayor commented, “I am very pleased with the quality of the case the Greenstone delegation made in Cleveland. Residents of Greenstone and throughout the Region should be confident that we advanced important points in favour of Greenstone being the site for the ferrochrome refinery. The points made were related to sustainability, economics, electricity supply, First Nations relations and support.” The Mayor continued, “We also talked about the Greenstone mining and exploration legacy and its strategic location as a labour source for workers in all facets of the planned chromite operation.” Charles Fox, a former Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation carefully outlined the important relationship that Greenstone has with local First Nations, and the overarching importance of the Matawa First Nations cooperation to the success of the project ….”  Source alternate download site for news release (PDF) – Chronicle-Journal coverage (PDF)
  • Editorial comparing, contrasting Thunder Bay’s, Greenstone’s approaches.  “…. Both communities stressed the importance of their alliance with First Nations. But while Hobbs and other Thunder Bay leaders travelled to Cleveland with Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins, the Greenstone delegation did not include a representative from Matawa First Nations with member communities closest to the Black Thor chromite deposit. Matawa recently withdrew its support for the project in a dispute over environmental review. Greenstone instead met Cliffs with Charles Fox, a former grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation which includes Matawa. As such, Fox could be signalling he may be able to help get Matawa back on side. …. One big plus for Thunder Bay is the existence of its Ontario power plant which produces just the right amount of electricity needed to power the electric arc furnaces that will process the chromite ore. Central to a longstanding Northwest argument for a homegrown power rate is the fact more power is produced here than is needed. Ontario’s plans to modernize its power grid could easily accommodate the electricity needs of the region and the processor. One final nugget: As Hobbs and Collins peered out the window of their flight home Wednesday, they agreed vacant land on Mission Island next to the power plant would be the perfect place for Cliffs to build is processor.”  Source
  • On that bit in green above, could this be what was being discussed behind closed doors at Thunder Bay City Hall on August 15th?
  • On that bit in red above, let’s also remember that Greenstone & Aroland First Nation hired Fox late last year as a consultant – from a November 2010 Municipality of Greenstone resolution:  “…. be it resolved that Charles Fox Consulting be engaged to provide services to assist with the work as herein delineated, and for the development of agreements with other First Nations in the Ring of Fire, to a limit of $60,000. Any expenditures for such work in excess to this amount will require Council approval. That Council approve funding applications to NOHFC and to FedNor to assist with the cost of developing and implementing work as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between Aroland First Nation and the Municipality”  Source
  • Column:  No reason why Thunder Bay shouldn’t be to mining what Fort MacMurray is to oil.  “Alberta is seen as Canada’s energy capital. The massive oil, natural gas, and oil sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan are fueling the massive economic growth across the west. Calgary is the brains in the energy sector, and Edmonton and Fort MacMurray are the muscle. There is, should we here in Northwestern Ontario take this as a model, for a similar one for Thunder Bay, Sudbury, and Greenstone with reference to the mining opportunties in The Ring of Fire. Thunder Bay should be the base where important decisions are made on mining in Northwestern Ontario. As well our city can be where the research and analysis can be completed. Additionally, for Northern Ontario and beyond, Thunder Bay can be the destination for sample inspection, analytical testing, and advisory services for the minerals, exploration, and mining industries. We would likely within a short period of time develop a global network of state-of-the-art laboratories. Sudbury can be the processing site for the ferrochrome processor. Greenstone can serve, in conjunction with Thunder Bay as the distribution point for materials needed onsite in the mines. Such a move fits in tightly with Thunder Bay’s Strategic Plan. While the Strat Plan says we will aggressively pursue the chromite processor, more importantly in the long term it says, “We will grow and attract more technology and knowledge-based/research companies”. Our strategic plan also states Thunder Bay will “Pursue the development of a Mining Centre of Excellence in conjunction with the private sector, training and educational institutions such and Lakehead University and Confederation College, and urban and regional Aboriginal organizations.” ….”  Source
  • Sudbury’s Greens join the call for a joint environmental assessment of the Cliffs project – this from a letter from the Party’s Sudbury CEO to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency:  “…. I am frustrated that the CEAA has chosen to assess Cliffs Chromite project as a single project, disconnected from the reality of development proposals on the ground in the Ring of Fire. If ever there was an area of proposed development for which a Joint Assessment should be used by the CEAA, clearly Northwestern Ontario’s remote Ring of Fire fits the bill, as development is to be in an isolated, geographically confined area, which because of its ecology, is sensitive in nature. The Ring of Fire is located within the habitat area of Canada’s iconic woodland caribou, an endangered species which is very skittish when it comes to development. While I am glad that the draft Guidelines developed by the CEAA require the assessment of potential impacts on caribou from Cliffs Chromite project, the fact is that this assessment should be taking place on a broader scale, and it should consider the impacts from all anticipated development. This ad hoc approach to assessing development is doing a considerable disservice to the people of Canada, and to residents of the City of Greater Sudbury in particular, who may be on the hook to finance upgrades to service a ferrochrome production facility which may ultimately be bigger in scale and used longer than anticipated to simply service ore and concentrate from Cliffs Black Thor deposit. We don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into here, and the EA process contemplated in the draft Guidelines won’t provide clarity when it comes to actual anticipated impacts. A more comprehensive process which assesses the Ring of Fire in its entirety is therefore necessary ….”  Sourcealternate download site for entire letter (PDF)
  • Matawa is reportedly ramping up its internal communications campaign within its member communities.  “…. Matawa officials released a brochure they’ve sent to their communities to inform residents of northern reserves about the activities in their traditional territories with respect to the Ring of Fire. According to an email obtained by TB Newswatch, the brochure covers Matawa’s repeated attempts to communicate with the government about Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. and Noront Resources Ltd. projects and the request for a joint panel review environmental assessment and subsequent judicial review filed in federal court on Nov. 7, 2011. Matawa chiefs met with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines on Oct. 20, and the following day withdrew their support of Ring of Fire development, stating a comprehensive study environmental assessment was “inadequate.” …. “The government is failing in this whole Ring of Fire and northern development initiative,” Marten Falls Chief Eli Moonias is quoted as saying in the brochure, which urges residents to talk to their community communications liaison officer or the Matawa Four Rivers Environmental Advisory Service ….”  Source
  • Meanwhile, Big Trout Lake is calling on the Government of Ontario to tell an exploration company to stop working on areas around where the First Nation says graves are located.  “The Chief of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuweg First Nation has fired off an angry letter the Minister of Natural Resources, demanding action to resolve the latest dispute involving KI’s traditional territory. The letter from Chief Donny Morris follows a breakdown in talks between the province and KI over on-going exploration work in the area by a company called God’s Lake Resources. KI leaders walked away after they said provincial representatives refused to provide assurances that exploration work would stop while the talks on a joint-panel environmental assessment continued. In the letter, Chief Morris said the exploration continues to pose a threat to sacred sites on the land, which is a concern that he said has been raised repeatedly. The chief warns Minister Rick Bartolucci that unless time and funding is provided to allow for proper mapping of such sites, the province risks another Platinex-type dispute.”  Source more more

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-19 Nov 11 (PDF) here.  All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act.  We’re not responsible for the accuracy of the source material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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Next Up for EA: Noront’s Eagle’s Nest Project

This from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency:

Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act(the Act), the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) is responsible for exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions of the responsible authority for certain projects subject to the comprehensive study requirements of the Act.

Based on information it has received, the Agency has determined that the project is described in the comprehensive study list and that an environmental assessment of the project is required. As a result, the Agency commenced a comprehensive study on November 1, 2011.

The proposed project consists of constructing, operating and eventually decommissioning an underground nickel-copper-platinum multi-metal mine at a mining rate of approximately 2,960 tonnes per day which represents an anticipated mine life of approximately 11 years. The proposal also includes an underground concentrate processing facility, an all-season access road from Pickle Lake to Webequie Junction, concentrate pipeline from Webequie Junction to the mine site and ancillary mine infrastructure. The project mine site is located approximately 540 km north of the City of Thunder Bay, Ontario and 240 km west of James Bay in an area known as the “Ring of Fire”

(….)

As per the Cabinet Directive on Improving the Performance of the Regulatory System for Major Resource Projects, this environmental assessment has been identified as a major natural resource project. For additional information refer to the Major Projects Management Office’s Tracker, designed to track and monitor the progress of major resource projects through the federal regulatory system ….

More here (list o’ documents), here (project main page), here (the company’s project page) and here (Chronicle-Journal)

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Ring of Fire News – 3 Oct 11

  • Is the City of Thunder Bay considering offering land to a company willing to set up a chromite smelter here?  On August 15, the City’s Inter-Governmental Liaison Committee (consisting of the Mayor, some city councillors and staff) held one of its regular meetings to discuss issues associated with dealing with other levels of government.  Part of the meeting was closed to the public to discuss “a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board.” (the Municipal Act says municipal councils and committees, as well as local boards, have to explain why meetings are closed to the public when convening them).  What was the only item of business discussed during the closed part of the meeting?  An update from the City Manager on “Ferrochrome Facility Update”.  CBC Radio Thunder Bay said last week that the City of Thunder Bay continues to work on its “business case” for having a smelter built here, and will present it to the company when the plan is complete.  Sourcemore (PDF)
  • Meanwhile, Sudbury, Cliffs mum after their meeting in Cleveland.  “The City of Greater Sudbury has made its initial case to Cliffs Natural Resources to land a proposed ferrochrome production facility, but neither side will get into specifics about how things went at a meeting at the mining company’s head offices in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday. “The meeting was productive and it was a great opportunity to meet with the Cliffs team,” Mayor Marianne Matichuk said in a release Tuesday. The release went on to say the “very preliminary meeting” was an information exchange and that the mayor and her staff team will continue to work with Cliffs as they continue their deliberations …. Pat Persico, Cliffs Natural Resources’ senior manager of media relations and marketing, said in a statement Tuesday that the company will not comment on the ferrochrome production facility issue until a decision on a location is made. “Cliffs understands that there are many interested stakeholders following this project,” she said in an email. “At this time, we do not have updated information to share publicly about Cliffs Chromite Project located in the Ring of Fire nor any business meetings with various cities …. “When we arrive at a decision for the (ferrochrome production facility) site, we will make a public announcement.” ….”  Source
  • Aboriginal media outlet Wawatay News collects and shares party positions on the Ring of Fire and the Far North Act.  My only observation:  funny how some parties had a candidate speaking, and others just a party spokesperson.  Source alternative download (PDF)
  • ANOTHER call for a joint federal-provincial environmental assessment of proposed Ring of Fire projects.  “Matawa Chiefs are deeply concerned about the type of Environmental Assessment (EA) process that will be used to determine the impacts of two resource development projects in their traditional territories. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) is expected to announce the formal start of the EA process for the Cliffs Chromite Project in early October and for the Noront Eagle’s Nest Project in early November. Concerns over the EA have prompted the Matawa First Nations Chiefs to demand that a “Joint Review Panel Environmental Assessment” process be adopted in order to safeguard the sustainability and integrity of their lands ….”  Source (PDF) – Matawa’s Ring of Fire Environmental Assessment Process Facebook page
  • Previous calls, mentions of a call for a joint environmental assessment of Ring of Fire projects:  9 Aug 11 – Wawatay News story; 11 Jul 11 – blog entry by KI spokesperson, environmental organization rep; 31 May 11 – Matawa  First Nations Chiefs resolution and letter to Canada’s, Ontario’s environment ministers (PDF); 3 May 11 – Environmental group letter to Canada’s Environment Minister (PDF)
  • Precedent for joint panel?  9 Aug 11:  “Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent and Ontario’s Minister of the Environment John Wilkinson announced today the establishment of a three-member joint review panel for the environmental assessment of the proposed Marathon Platinum Group Metals and Copper Mine Project in Ontario ….” (more info here)
  • Matawa, James Bay Chiefs call for honouring the spoken (not just the written) word of the Treaties. “There are changes coming, on an increasingly frequent level as many First Nations across Northern Ontario are working closer together. There are agreements on sharing information, and on mining and exploration rights being signed. Now, First Nations are uniting to implement the Oral Treaty. Seven Matawa First Nations and Seven Mushkegowuk First Nations have signed a declaration to work together to achieve the implementation of the Oral Treaty. The Chiefs Declaration states that we are “…committed to exercising our inherent and treaty rights, without limitations imposed by others. We will consider the use of any options to ensure that the development of our homelands occurs only with the free, informed and prior consent of our First Nations.” ….”  Source
  • Remember the Keewatin court decision which how could have a huge impact on Ontario’s power to license forestry and/or mining in Treaty areas?  Canada and Ontario are appealing the decision.  Source
  • Matawa hiring a charitable organization fundraiser for “education, social, health and community living” work in member First Nations.  “Established in 2011, The Gathering of Rivers for Community Care (GORFCC) is a Registered Charity dedicated to assisting the Matawa First Nations youth and families to achieve their goals in the areas of education, health and social and community living. GORFCC requires a Development Coordinator who will responsible for the day-to-day operations as well as the launch of the foundation, fundraising initiatives, stewardship, donor relations, and data collection. The Development Coordinator Internship will be reporting to the Chief Executive Officer of Matawa and GORFCC Board of Directors …. Application deadline is Friday October 7, 2011 by 4:30 P.M. ….”  Job posting (PDF) – Alternate download site (PDF)
  • New partnership between one of the Ring of Fire First Nations and B.C.-based communications, logistics company. “Webequie First Nations and INDI Indigenous Development Inc. (INDI) (more on company here) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which will see the provision of communications, safety and security services to communities and commercial clients alike in the Ring of Fire. Chief Cornelious Wabasse says “I am excited about this MOU with INDI. Their core competencies of communications, safety, and security are three important dimensions for our community and for the future developments in the Ring of Fire. One of the exciting elements is that our own members can be trained in these areas for future employment and be part of the eventual full scale operations. We look forward to contractual opportunities with the main operators in the Ring of Fire.” ….”  Source
  • One commentator’s take on Ring of Fire development:  “…. It makes no sense to go to war and start huge conflicts merely for the almighty dollar in developing these pristine traditional lands. Nobody would really win in this scenario. However, make no mistake about it no matter what government is in place or how much money or power industry has, if fair deals are not made with the First Nations of the “Ring Of Fire” nothing will ever be developed in this area. There will be a conflict that we will all have to endure for decades and we will waste a lot of energy, time and good will in a pointless fight ….”  Source
  • Big Trout Lake (aka Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, or KI) is back in the news re:  trying to block mining exploration in their traditional territory.  “The chief of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation is calling on (Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty) to stop a gold exploration company from working on a KI ancestral burial site. “Our ancestors deserve a place where they can rest undisturbed,” Chief Donny Morris said Wednesday. “People everywhere understand that cemeteries are sacred places. But in Sherman Lake, they want to put a gold mine on one.” The band claims that mining exploration company God’s Lake Resources has staked new claims despite KI’s well-publicized moratorium, and that the company has worked the site in spite of being informed that multiple grave sites are within the claim area. Government officials have told the band that they are powerless to stop God’s Lake from working their claims in spite of bands indigenous title, and spiritual connection to the area …. “  Source more more more (First Nation’s news releases, background information)
  • The company’s side on the latest Big Trout Lake/KI situation:  “A junior exploration company that Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation is trying to kick off its traditional territory says its attempts to consult with the band have been met with silence.  God’s Lake Resources CEO Ed Ludwig said Thursday that the company has tried to meet with the band, without success, about the existence of sacred burial sites near where the company is exploring for gold in the Sherman Lake area. “We were told about (the potential of grave sites in the area) and have asked the chief and elders to locate them,” said Ludwig, adding that the province has made the same request. “We’ve asked that they please come and show us . . . we want to show the proper respect. “I want to respect that avenue and develop a boundary, but when questioned about where there might be grave sites, the band has provided no response,” he said. Ludwig added that company employees have so far found “no evidence of any grave sites up there” ….”  Source more (PDF, Company’s latest Management’s Discussion and Analysis document, 29 Aug 11)
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s behind KI:  “Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy supports Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation in the community’s call for the Premier of Ontario to step in to halt mining activity within their traditional territory. “Ontario must take action to preserve its relationship with the First Nations in Ontario’s far north,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “Ontario must respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, supported by Canada, which states that free, prior, and informed consent is required from First Nations …. “ Source (NAN news release)
  • Some editorial support for KI:  Three years later and it looks like it’s business as usual in Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation. For the people who live there, it’s not a good thing. Earlier this week band leaders publicly demanded the province – in the midst of an election campaign – force mining companies to stop exploration work on their traditional territory. The community has set aside about 13,000 square kilometres of traditional land and said no exploration will be allowed until they’ve finished identifying where sacred burial sites are located. All they’ve asked for at this point is time …. While no one wants to halt development of Ontario’s north, First Nations do have the right to be consulted and negotiate before companies are allowed to stake their land. It’s the right thing to do.”  Source
  • Some editorial questions for KI:  “Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation has a reputation for making demands. But what does it want? …. If KI wants this thing resolved, it has to participate. It cannot expect God’s Lake to put its plans on hold indefinitely …. “We have full intentions of exploring this property,” Ludwig said, and the province has said it has no reason to order God’s Lake to stop, though that is another thing that KI is demanding.  “Our door is always open,” said (company CEO Ed)Ludwig, “and we would welcome (KI) as a partner, providing jobs for community members — without all the political rhetoric.” What is KI waiting for? Get the elders up there and show the exploration personnel what land is off-limits.  What more does it want? The mining industry, the provincial government and the people of Northern Ontario want to know.” Source

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Ring of Fire News – 29 Aug 11

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  • Ontario names Ring of Fire Advisory Council, opens Ring of Fire office in Thunder Bay   The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry has opened a Ring of Fire Office on James Street in Thunder Bay.  Managing the office will be former Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund President, and Director for Aboriginal Community and Stakeholder Relations with the Ring of Fire Secretariat Harvey Yesno.  The first four members of a Ring of Fire Advisory Council have also been announced:  former Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief John Beaucage;  President of Sudbury’s Laurentian University (and former assistant deputy minister with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) Dominic Giroux;  Ontario Mining Association president (and former Conservative Minister of Natural Resources and Minister of Northern Development and Mines) Chris Hodgson; and former president of Confederation College, Patricia Lang (link to PDF of College bio).  (Sources:  Ministry news release and backgrounder, 25 Aug 11; Chronicle-Journal, 25 Aug 11; tbnewswatch.com, 25 Aug 11; Northern Ontario Business, 26 Aug 11; Wawatay News, 26 Aug 11; Sudbury Star, 26 Aug 11)
  • “Prefeasibilty study predicts 3 year payback for (Noront) Ring of Fire project – TSX-V-quoted Noront Resources on Tuesday published the results of a prefeasibility study into its Eagles Nest nickel-copper-platinum project in Ontario’s Ring of Fire, outlining a $734-million capital investment for a one-million-ton-a-year mine. The study, which Micon conducted, predicted a three-year capital payback, and gave the project a C$560-million net present value at a 6% discount rate. Noront CEO Wes Hanson said this was the first mineral reserve published for the emerging Ring of Fire camp, and that it was a “milestone” that will “accelerate meaningful discussion on infrastructure” development in the area. “It positions the company to begin negotiating downstream agreements that will provide future funding for continued development of the project without excessive shareholder dilution,” he added in a statement …. According to Hanson, Noront will complete a feasibility study on the Eagles Nest project in the first quarter next year, with first commercial production set for 2016 ….” (Sources: company news release, 23 Aug 11; miningweekly.com, 24 Aug 11; Canadian Mining Journal, 24 Aug 11)
  • Next Noront Resources annual meeting:  10 Nov 11 in Toronto (Source:  company SEDAR filing (PDF), 19 Aug 11)
  • Without the necessary transportation infrastructure, development in the Ring of Fire cannot happen, said Raymond Ferris. “They need the infrastructure,” said the Matawa First Nations’ Ring of Fire coordinator, noting a proposed railway from the Ring of Fire area to Nakina is vital. Ferris spoke about the infrastructure needs of First Nations communities surrounding the Ring of Fire Wednesday afternoon at the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation Technical Conference and Trade Show at the Valhalla Inn. “They can’t fly out the chromite; it’s too big of a bulk,” he said. “From what I hear, the railway is the cheapest mode of transportation. The road is going to be close to 400 per cent more in transporting costs.” Companies like Cliff’s Natural Resources have offered to provide money for the railway, but a company official said in June that ultimately it will be provincial infrastructure. Ferris said First Nations are also looking at taking ownership of the project …. Ferris also said it’s important for the remote communities to be involved to protect the environment and their culture ….” (Source: tbnewswatch.com, 24 Aug 11)

Summary of more open source information and sources cited (1-27 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.


I

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Ring of Fire News, 11 Jul 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.


  • Ontario’s mines minister Michael Gravelle following a transportation corridor conference:  there’s only going to be one transportation corridor into the Ring of Fire.  “…. “It was a very positive, amicable session, but (the companies) do have some differences. What came out of that was they recognize they have to come together on this as well. Certainly they will be crucial on making that decision …. There clearly is an understanding by all three companies despite their different visions that there needs to be one vision for the transportation corridor, so I am optimistic that we will be coming to a decision on that as soon as we can …. We heard the companies this morning talk about potentially if all things move forward in a positive way to begin construction of some sort by 2013 …. that is their ambitious timeline.”  (Source: Wawatay News, 7 Jul 11)
  • Northeastern Ontario municipalities and the Ontario Mining Association say it’s time for Ontario to share mining tax revenues.  “Northern municipalities want an equitable share of the rich mining tax revenue currently collected by the provincial government. The Province has collected over half a billion dollars in Ontario Mining Tax revenue over the past 5 years.  Alan Spacek, President of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) stated, “Northern Ontario is a vast storehouse of mineral wealth. In recent years, Northern Ontario has returned record levels of revenue to the provincial government. Northern Ontario is once again a major economic contributor.” Tom Laughren, Vice President of FONOM and Mayor of Timmins noted, “Unfortunately for Northern municipalities, much of the wealth generated by mining leaves the region in the form of corporate profits, Federal and Provincial corporate income tax, and resource specific taxes or fees such as the Ontario Mining Tax. This has created significant hardship for all Northerners. We are
    facing increasing cost pressures related to the provision of vital local services and an additional source of revenue would be of great benefit to our people.” One glimmer of hope is in the form of a key recommendation contained in the Ontario Mining Association’s (OMA) March, 2011 report Action Plan for Ontario: Taking Advantage of a Critical Window on Opportunity. Chris Hodgson, President of the OMA stated “The OMA would also like to see local municipal and First Nation communities have a greater share in the benefits of mining through the existing levels of mining tax.” President Spacek agrees. “We support entering into respectful discussions between municipalities, First Nations and the Provincial Government, culminating in the sharing of Ontario Mining Tax revenues with municipalities and First Nations.” ….”
    (Source: FONOM news release, 5 Jul 11)
  • A branch of KWG’s now official a railway company.  “KWG Resources Inc. subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation received formal acknowledgement from the Registrar of Shortline Railways of receipt of its application for a licence to construct and operate a shortline railway under Ontario’s Shortline Railways Act, legislation which governs provincial railways in Ontario. “This is one small step in a long journey”, said Canada Chrome Vice-President Bruce Hodgman, “but it is a seminal one and we look forward to working with Ontario and its railway regulators on moving forward our proposed Ring of Fire Railroad”.” (Source: company news release, 7 Jul 11)
  • Another branch of KWG’s going over all the claims staked for a railway corridor to the Ring of Fire, looking for more mineral potential information.  “…. Debut to (joint venture) with KWG to analyze Canada Chrome till samples – KWG agreed to provide access to the valuable geotechnical database covering a 330 kilometer north-south transect through the base-metal-rich and diamond-bearing area from the Ring of Fire to Nakina.  The database was created as a result of a mechanized-auger soil sampling program conducted by Golder Associates that collected nearly 6000 soil samples from 811 borings on claims staked by KWG subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation. Debut will process the glacial till horizons at its cost under a reciprocal joint venture agreement, to recover heavy and indicator minerals. Diamond discoveries following from the analysis of these samples will be the property of Debut while metal discoveries resulting from the work will be the property of KWG.  The analysis is expected to be completed in the next number of months at a budget of $1 million ….” (Source:  company news release, 6 Jul 11)
  • More data for Noront’s plan for a more detailed mine plan.  “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to report initial metallurgical results for the Eagle’s Nest deposit, part of the Company’s McFaulds Lake Project in the James Bay Lowlands, Ontario. During the 2010 drill program, a series of holes were drilled into the Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper and PGM deposit in order to obtain samples for metallurgical testwork …. Mr. Paul Semple, P.Eng and Noront’s Chief Operating Officer noted “These positive results confirm the metallurgical assumptions made during the NI 43-101 Preliminary Assessment report and the metallurgical characteristics are similar to most other Canadian nickel copper deposits. Further testwork will focus on finalizing equipment sizes and the optimization of grade/recovery relationships based on further discussions with interested smelters.” “ (Source: company news release, 7 Jul 11)
  • Some highlights from a Noront “Corporate Presentation” publicly available online:  Out of total 2012 budget of $17.6 million, approximately 6% ($1,056,000) is earmarked for “First Nations Consultation.”  Current estimates show “site start up commissioning” for 2016.  Company aims to work with First Nations to “Work cooperatively with the local First Nation communities to develop a regional land use plan that benefits all stakeholders and recognizes the environmental sensitivity of the James Bay Lowlands.”  Latest estimated transport infrastructure costs: Pickle Lake to Webequie, 200 kms, $180 M; Webequie to site, 95 kms, $15M. (Noront Corporate Presentation dated 23 Jul 11 – 13.4MB PDF – downloadable here)
  • A consultant says its time for First Nations to develop and share their own “how to develop in our area” procedures.  “…. Michael Fox, president of Fox High Impact Consulting, called for a First Nations position paper from the Ring of Fire communities during his June 23 presentation at the conference. “The best thing I think is to actually have all the communities here affected by the Ring of Fire come up with their own community position paper and share their lands and resource policies or their consultation protocols so we can find that common denominator so we can actually do planning with the communities as required under the Far North Act,” Fox said …. Gravelle envisions the Ring of Fire mineral development area evolving on the same regional scale as some of Ontario’s other historic mineral deposits in Red Lake, Kirkland Lake, Timmins and Sudbury.” (Source: Wawatay News, 7 Jul 11)
  • An environmental group is helping some First Nations develop watershed plans, and is eying some watersheds in or around the Ring of Fire.  “…. Wildlands League will be collaborating with communities and tribal councils in the Far North of Ontario, who live on or near four (4) major rivers over the next two (2) years to advance watershed planning. The four major rivers, the Albany, Winisk, Attawapiskat and the Severn watersheds are four (4) of only 12 left in North America south of 55 degrees that remain undammed and unregulated (although there is a diversion on the Albany River near its headwaters upstream) thus making them ecologically significant. The Ekwan is another river community members have expressed concerns about too. This project will support tribal councils and indigenous communities, who are often most impacted by water quality and water quantity changes, “to develop culturally-appropriate, community-based approaches to watershed stewardship,” including “advancing mutually-supported river-system goals.” …. Exploration continues in places like the Ring of Fire, which is considered by some to hold one of the world’s largest chromite deposits in the lowlands of Hudson’s Bay. It is expected that the activities in the Ring of Fire will have a direct impact on at least three (3) of the major rivers including the streams, creeks, rivers and tributaries in the Ogoki, Kapiskau and the Ekwan watershed catchment areas. While a coalition of environmental organizations has called on the federal government to set up a joint-review panel to ensure that mining development is monitored closely and that these activities adhere to environmental standards, the silence has been deafening thus far…. ” (Source: blog post, 7 Jul 11)

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

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Ring of Fire News, Week ending 5 Jul 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.


  • Remember when KWG’s VP Moe Lavigne became a member of the board of Greenstone’s economic development corporation?  Now, KWG Resources & Greenstone are seeking big federal money for a railroad.  “KWG Resources Inc. is pleased to announce that its subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation, together with Greenstone Economic Development Corporation, have today filed an application with PPP Canada for consideration of funding support of up to $496 million for the construction of a railroad to the Ring of Fire mining discoveries in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario.  On May 4, 2011 PPP Canada launched Round Three call for proposals of the P3 Canada Fund, encouraging provinces, territories, First Nations and municipalities to consider the P3 model for their public infrastructure needs. The P3 Canada Fund is a merit-based program designed to generate an increase in P3 public infrastructure. Eligible projects can receive up to 25% of the direct cost of construction for a P3 project.  Canada Chrome Corporation has undertaken preliminary engineering and construction cost estimates to build a railroad from a junction with the Trans-Canada line of the Canadian National Railway at Exton, Ontario. The project is presently estimated to cost $1.984 billion.  The co-applicants made the submission for themselves and a joint venture anticipated to be formed with the Municipality of Greenstone and a First Nations Regional Economic Development Corporation to be created by the Matawa and Mushkegowuk First Nations ….”  (Source:  company news release, 24 Jun 11)
  • “…. Lakehead University business dean Bahram Dadgostar said there are plenty of countries, including China and India, that are looking to Ontario for its resources, but without the labour pool or proper resources to get it from point A to point B, they’ll go elsewhere.  That goes ditto for companies looking to invest from within the North American market, especially in places like the Ring of Fire and other mining opportunities.  We don’t have a connection to the North, we don’t have those things,” Dadgostar said. “We have to look at what infrastructure is required to attract industry. People around the world are looking for opportunities, but they go where (they can make the most money).”  In other words, companies won’t build railways and roads, he said ….”  (Source:  Tbnewswatch.com, 29 Jun 11)
  • Noront Update (1): Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to report final assay results from the 2010 /11 winter exploration program at the Company’s McFaulds Lake Project in the James Bay lowlands, Ontario …. Noront’s President and CEO, Wes Hanson, states: “The exciting discovery of pervasive nickel mineralization and establishing the geometry of the AT-12 ultramafic dike are very significant events. Preliminary estimates suggest that AT-12 averages 0.30 to 0.35% nickel, comparable to many nickel projects currently being evaluated for economic exploitation. The Company believes AT-12 may be amenable to bulk mining methods, which would significantly increase the life of our Eagle’s Nest advanced development project and could potentially increase that projects throughput rate ….”  (Source:  company news release, 28 Jun 11)
  • Noront Update (2):  “…. On June 17, 2011, the Company staked six mineral claims comprising 32 units on open ground that lies directly to the north of Noront claims 4226694 and 4226662 (and directly south of Fancamp Exploration Limited’s claims 3012257 and 3012258). These two 16-unit claims were formerly claims 4221148 and 4221149 of MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. Another exploration company active in the Ring of Fire has announced that they have staked these claims.  The Company has filed notice with the Mining Recorders Office contesting the validity of the staking by the other company.  Noront also staked another 16-unit mineral claim, further to east. This claim lies directly to the north of Noront’s claim 4226616 and lies on the west shore of McFaulds Lake, and was formerly claim 4212366 of MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd ….”  (Source:  company news release, 28 Jun 11)
  • What Cliffs Natural Resources is telling investors about its Ring of Fire work“…. Cliffs’ Chromite project represents the start of Ferroalloys, a new business for Cliffs – Upon completion, Cliffs will be the only North American chromite mining and processing operation …. Ferrochrome Production Facility: Site location studies on-going anticipated need for 1-2 km site (brownfield preferred) – Power cost and grid stability are key drivers for selection – Canada relies on hydroelectric power which offers clean electric energy with long-term price stability – Power constraints elsewhere are driving up cost curve …. Feasibility study will be completed in 2012, leaving the environmental assessment (EA) and permitting process as the determinants of start-up timing – Investigations of environmental baseline conditions underway – Submitted a “Project Description” in May – First step in EA process – Permits needed for construction and operation may be issued by governmental agencies only after the EA is successfully completed …. Cliffs chromite mine will be world class, positioned in a AAA country and with very low mining costs – Cliffs is working to develop an efficient transportation network and build a state-of-the-art furnace operation to supply world markets with both chromite ore and ferrochrome – Ferrochrome processing is critical to access North American and European markets that don’t have processing capacity – Significant value and access to growth markets will be generated from the chromite ore delivered to Asian customers – With a very large potential resource, Cliffs has the ability to expand its position in the market through time ….” (Source:  Cliffs 2011 Analyst and Investor Day Presentation; full report here, , Ring of Fire development section (PDF) here)
  • Industry Canada’s latest summary of Ontario’s economy includes this on the Ring of Fire“…. Future investment is expected as large chromite deposits are mined in the Ring of Fire area located in the James Bay Lowlands. The Ring of Fire is the only chromite deposit in North America and could be the largest in the world.  Cliffs Natural Resources is currently in the planning process of a project to extract the resource. Capreol, Timmins, Thunder Bay, and Greenstone are potential sites for a smelter related to the chromite project, which would create 500 jobs during construction and 500 jobs during operation ….”  (Source:  Industry Canada’s  Ontario Economic Overview:  June 2011 Update, full report available (PDF) here)
  • A Thunder Bay-area peat business is seeking a piece of the Ring of Fire action.  “Peat Resources Limited has renewed its permits on 19,000 hectares of peatlands in the Upsala area of northwestern Ontario and has received a Letter of Authority from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to carry out surveys and resource evaluations of peatlands in the McFaulds Lake (Ring of Fire) region …. The McFaulds Lake peatlands are of special interest because of their proximity to Ring of Fire mineral exploration activity. Proposals for development of these base metal deposits point to the need for over 50 MW of power at the remote mine sites and up to 300 MW at a ferrochrome processing facility at a location to be determined in northern Ontario. Peat Resources Limited is in discussion with the mining companies, provincial government authorities including the Ring of Fire Secretariat and First Nations of the region. The company is urging consideration of the use of peat fuel to supplement the energy needs of these mining and ore processing developments as well as the introduction of peat-fuelled combined-heat-and-power systems in remote (off-grid) First Nations communities ….”  (Source:  company news release, 5 Jul 11)

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

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