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

Ring of Fire News – 19 Dec 11

NOTE:  Ring of Fire News will be taking a holiday break, and will be back here with the latest on 9 Jan 11 – have a safe and happy holiday season!


  • Where’s the Cliffs smelter going? (1)  Most likely Sudbury, according to Greenstone.  “Municipal leaders are trying to convince Cliffs Natural Resources to locate its chromite smelter to Greenstone admit the company seems to be sticking to its existing plan to build the facility near Sudbury where it can plug into established power sources.  “They seem committed to their (Sudbury) base case and don’t seem to be dissuaded by anything else yet,” Municipality of Greenstone chief administrator Roy Sinclair said ….”  Source (PDF)
  • Where’s the Cliffs smelter going? (1)  Timmins, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe (with Thunder Bay and Sudbury running a close second).  “Timmins is still in the competition, but is clearly a long-shot.  City residents on Monday night got a chance to view the production plans for Cliffs Natural Resources.  Cliffs is the Cleveland-based company developing a chromite mine in an area of the James Bay lowlands, commonly known as the Ring of Fire.  Timmins has been vying to be the site for a ferrochrome production facility connected with the chromite mine.  However, Capreol has already been identified by Cliffs as the preferred site.  Timmins is one of the three communities as a potential alternative — Thunder Bay and Greenstone being the other two.  However, Dean Rogers, president of the Porcupine Prospectors and Developers Association, doesn’t think Timmins would move to the front of the line if, for whatever reason, Capreol was dropped from consideration.  “It’s partly a political decision I would guess,” said Rogers. “With two of the Liberal ministers sitting in both Thunder Bay and Sudbury area, it’s kind of hard to go against the fact one of those may be the chosen area for its location — if it’s located in this province at all.” ….”  Sourcemoremore
  • FedNor Minister:  it’s up to Ontario to do something about electricity rates (and we have teams working on the Ring of Fire issues, too).  “The federal government has a role to play to make sure the Ring of Fire is developed and that it creates jobs in the North, says FedNor Minister Tony Clement.  But, if those jobs are to remain in Ontario, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty and his government will have to do something about electricity rates, said Clement.  Clement has struck a committee to stay up to date with developments in the massive chromite deposits, to make sure the economic potential of the area is maximized.  But Clement said Monday that while he favours processing jobs remaining in Northern Ontario, the high cost of electricity could be a problem.  “(That) is firmly in the hands of (Premier) Dalton McGuinty and the Liberal government, so they’ve got to step up,” said Clement …. A group of federal officials is remaining in close touch with the province about the development.  The federal government is involved in a number of “regulatory hurdles” and with respect to “dialogue with First Nations” about development of the deposits.  Clement said the federal committee was struck after he noticed “about a year ago that we should be more co-ordinated in this area.” ….”  Source
  • Aroland Chief Sonny Gagnon:  When’s Cliffs dropping by OUR community?  “…. (Chief Gagnon) said Cliffs needs to come to his community to give residents a greater understanding of both the potential downside of the project, as well as the benefits under proposals to transfer ore from company trucks to trains on First Nations’ traditional territory.  “Along with the good, there’s the bad side of things that development does, so we need to understand it. We really need to get our elders and youth to understand here’s what’s going to be happening,” he said Monday.  Gagnon said an enhanced environmental assessment would bring public hearings to his community, but so far the government is sticking with a paper-based assessment of Cliffs plans.”  Source
  • More Ring of Fire-Attawapiskat linkage.  “The Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation says the crisis in Attawapiskat is a wake-up call for other First Nations.  Stan Beardy said the fact that people there are living in such dire conditions with a diamond mine next door is causing chiefs to rethink the potential benefits of new mines in northern Ontario.  “That is what’s missing and the end result is, what we’re trying to deal with today, people [are] living in tent frames and shacks,” Beardy said. “That’s not fair and that’s what we’re trying to address.”  Beardy said it’s also unfair that a critical housing shortage in Attawapiskat resulted in a government crackdown on the community’s finances, instead of immediate aid.”  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-16 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 – 12 Dec 11

  • Comparisons are being drawn between the situation in Attawapiskat and the Ring of Fire (1)  “…. In spite of our objections, the mine was approved and is now in operation. Life has clearly not improved for the citizens of Attawapiskat. We’ve continued our connection with the community by providing it with scientific information about the potential effects of the mine on mercury levels in lakes and rivers, boreal woodland caribou populations and the formation of sinkholes. But that does not fix the tremendous social and economic problems the community is facing.  Meanwhile, many more industrial developments are looming for Ontario’s north. Next up are mega-mines being proposed to extract valuable minerals in the Ring of Fire upstream from Attawapiskat ….”  Source
  • Comparisons are being drawn between the situation in Attawapiskat and the Ring of Fire (2)  “@politixgirl (Gina Cosentino)  Same question 4 FNs w/ chromite MT @NoLore @Knowledgewalker: any chance diamond folks want #Attawapiskat gone 4 better access to diamonds?”  Source
  • With Ring of Fire development needing provincial and federal money, some northern mayors want FedNor funding easier to access, especially if provincial Northern Ontario Heritage Fund money is not forthcoming.  “If a tight budget won’t allow the feds to add more money to FedNor, then Northern mayors want Ottawa to adjust how it doles out the cash.  The economic development program for Northern Ontario offers one-time, one-year funding, but that may not suit larger multi-year ventures, especially infrastructure projects, said North Bay Mayor Al McDonald during an interview on the weekend.  “If we can get that small adjustment made, that would help municipalities control their destiny,” he said.  McDonald and the city’s CEO Dave Linkie were among the Northern representatives including Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Jay Aspin to accept an invitation to meet with FedNor Minister Tony Clement on Thursday to hash out priorities for Northern Ontario.  FedNor’s budget is about $34 million for the year, compared to the $100-million Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, yet the two programs are linked in a way that makes it easier to access federal money if the provincial dollars are already committed.  Northern mayors want to uncouple the programs to make it easier to access FedNor money when Heritage funding isn’t in place ….”  Source
  • A column by an industry writer in the National Post points a finger at Ontario re:  consulting with First Nations under the Far North Act (PDF).  “…. It’s rather ironic that the supposedly “conservative mining industry” is consulting and making various agreements that ensure aboriginal communities get maximum benefits from mineral development of their traditional territories and that adhere to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples commitment to “prior and informed consent.”  Conversely, the Liberal-left McGuinty government and its environmental allies force unwanted parks on First Nations communities with a condescending colonial mindset from the past century ….”  Source
  • Some northwestern Ontario First Nations are working to improve electrical connectivity near the Ring of Fire (although not specifically for any ROF projects at this point).   “Numerous First Nation Communities are working to bring transmission line connectivity and green energy development to remote First Nation communities currently operating on expensive diesel generators in Northwestern Ontario.  Wataynikaneyap Power is being formed as a First Nation led company to design, permit, construct, own and operate a 230 kV transmission line to bring additional grid connection to Pickle Lake. The Company is proposing a two-phase planning and permitting process to bring connectivity to the remote First Nations. The first phase would reinforce the grid at Pickle Lake and the second phase would extend the grid north of Pickle Lake to service the remote communities.  Significant pre-development work has been completed, including a routing study for the new line to Pickle Lake (Phase 1). The Team engaged a transmission Consultant to evaluate five potential route options to connect to Pickle Lake. A preferred route has been identified and further studies will take place over the coming months. Community consultations and the commencement of an Environmental Assessment is planned in early 2012.  The need for this transmission line is supported by the Ministry of Energy as identified in the Long Term Energy Plan, released November 23, 2010 and the Ministry Directive to plan for remote First Nation community connectivity, February 3, 2011.  Early engagement and participation of all First Nation Communities will be key to successful development. Each community will have the choice to be an equal owner in Wataynikaneyap Power. Reliable power in the region is a direct benefit for all, while allowing those communities with renewable energy projects to sell their clean power to the provincial grid, further supporting regional economic development. The opportunity to turn off the diesel generators used in the region will result in a meaningful reduction of greenhouse gas generation while allowing First Nations significantly more power capacity to enable community development projects ….”  Source (alternate link to news release here)

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-11 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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Ring of Fire News – 22 Aug 11

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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.


  • FedNor money reportedly to be used to help First Nations deal with the Ring of Fire.  “Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund plans to support small and medium-sized businesses in the 33 communities it serves in northwestern Ontario with a recent $1.36 million investment from FedNor. “In addition, it will help us meet the growing need for investment capital so Aboriginal people can benefit from business opportunities related to resource developments, including the area known as the Ring of Fire,” said NADF chair Madeline Commanda. NADF will use $960,000 to offer business support services and access to capital to small and medium-sized enterprises over a three-year period. A further $400,000 will be used to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with repayable loans, equity and loan guarantees ….”  (Sources:  Wawatay News, 18 Aug 11; FedNor news release, 11 Aug 11)
  • Grassy Narrows court decision = impact on licensing/exploration in Ring of Fire?  “A northwestern Ontario aboriginal community is declaring victory in its 11-year court battle to stop logging on traditional lands — a ruling their lawyer says could have legal implications for similar disputes across Canada. The Grassy Narrows First Nation challenged the province’s right to permit industrial logging on its traditional lands, saying it infringed on their hunting and trapping rights under a treaty they signed in 1873 …. Robert Janes, a lawyer for the First Nation, said the judge noted in her 300-page ruling that the federal government promised to defend their rights, but hasn’t done so for many years. The ruling will likely have legal implications for similar disputes in Ontario — such as the massive Ring of Fire chromite deposit in the north — and in other parts of the country, he said. It may even change government policy. “Madam Justice Sanderson was very clear that each treaty has its own history, has to be dealt with on its own, but there’s clear implications for the other treaties and the way they’re to be interpreted,” he said. Ms. Sanderson also made it clear that the federal government has a duty to protect the rights of aboriginal people, Mr. Janes said ….”  (Source:  Globe & Mail, 17 Aug 11)
  • Rencore Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce the first diamond drilling program to commence on its wholly owned mining claims in the James Bay Lowlands of Northeastern Ontario (Ring of Fire Area) within the Webequie First Nation Traditional Lands. This initial program tests approximately one half of the high priority drill targets that Rencore has in the Ring of Fire area. The other half of the drill targets that Rencore has in the Ring of Fire area are found within Kasabonika Lake First Nation Traditional Lands (“KLFN”). That program, yet to be initiated in the KLFN, is pending conclusion of ongoing negotiations …. The Rencore mining claims, subject of this initial drill program, are strategically located between 30 and 60 km northwest of the Webequie First Nation community along the postulated western extension of the main Ring of Fire structure. This structure hosts a number of Chromite Deposits as well as Nickel-Copper-PGE MMS and Copper-Zinc-Lead VMS deposits presently undergoing economic mining studies by their owners. The 8 drill targets being tested by Rencore with approximately 1200 meters of drilling are the highest priority anomalies resulting from an electromagnetic and magnetometer VTEM airborne survey carried out over the mining claims and surrounding area during 2010 by GeoTech Ltd. of Aurora, Ontario. The helicopter supported drilling program will be carried out under contract with Cyr Drilling Ontario Inc. with Webequie Logistics Ltd. providing crew accommodations and local labour requirements ….”  (Source:  company news release, 18 Aug 11)
  • Cliffs Natural Resources, the top US iron-ore miner, has agreed with a group of lenders to bump up its revolving credit facility to $1.75-billion, with the option of expanding it by an additional $250-million, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday. The loan, which replaces a 2007 $600-million facility, matures in August 2016 and will go towards refinancing existing debt, general working capital needs and for other purposes including buyouts, the company said. In June, Cliffs issued a prospectus to raise up to $872-million in a share offering to pay down its debt, but this week said the market collapse of early August had prompted it to rather launch a share buy-back in the immediate term. The company owns iron-ore mines in the US and Canada, and also plans to build a ferrochrome smelter in the Great White North, which it will feed with chrome from its projects in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire area ….”  (Sources:  miningweekly.com, 17 Aug 11; )
  • Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says he wants to focus on creating more local jobs. Schreiner paid his first visit to Thunder Bay on Saturday as part of his tour of Northwestern Ontario. Schreiner and Green party candidate for Thunder Bay – Superior North Scot Kyle toured downtown Port Arthur before meeting with local party supporters …. Schreiner said he was in support of mining development projects such as the Ring of Fire as long as developers managed the project in an environmentally friendly way and kept jobs in northern Ontario ….”  (Source:  tbnewswatch.com, 21 Aug 11)

Summary of more open source information and sources cited (1-21 Aug 11) also available here (PDF).

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