Ring of Fire News

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

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





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





 

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – August 27, 2019

  • Ontario walks away from framework agreement, goes for one-on-one deals …
  • This from The Canadian Press“Ontario is ripping up an agreement with First Nations on building road access to the Ring of Fire region in favour of pursuing individual deals with the nine communities, saying the move will speed up development of the mining project.  Greg Rickford, the minister in charge of the file, announced Tuesday that the new approach will mean the government can address specific community needs and opportunities with First Nation communities …” – more from CBC.ca & TBNewswatch
  • This, from a statement attributed to Ontario’s mines’ minister, Greg Rickford“Ontario’s government is working for the people by ending delays that prevent development in the Ring of Fire area – one of the most promising mineral development opportunities in over a century with the potential to sustain up to 5,500 jobs annually across Ontario within the first 10 years of development.  “Despite over a decade of talk and more than $20 million invested, real progress on the Ring of Fire has been met with delay after delay. That’s why Ontario is taking a new, pragmatic approach to unlocking the Ring of Fire’s potential, one that includes working directly with willing First Nation partners who want to move at the speed of business, to ensure sustainable development … By working toward bilateral agreements with First Nation partners on Ring of Fire development, the Province will also help address unique community needs and opportunities when it comes to developing the Ring of Fire …”
  • From a joint Noront-Marten Falls First Nation statement“Noront Resources and Marten Falls First Nation are pleased to jointly support today’s announcement regarding development in the Ring of Fire, made by Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Greg Rickford.  Since the discovery of the Ring of Fire, we have worked collaboratively toward development of the region. We are encouraged by the Ontario government’s support and commitment to develop, on an expedited basis, the Ring of Fire mineral deposits and associated infrastructure which will be shared between community and industrial use … Together, Noront and Marten Falls will continue to engage the additional First Nations communities that are committed to developing the Ring of Fire and its associated infrastructure …”

  • In other #RoF news “Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford was in Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday to discuss updates on the Ring of Fire project … Rickford, along with Sault MPP Ross Romano and Noront Resources president and CEO Alan Coutts, held a press conference at Algoma Steel, where Coutts announced that Noront has signed memorandums of understanding with First Nations communities in the Ring of Fire area and is also in talks with Algoma Steel on the terms of the company’s tenancy for the construction and operation of the planned FPF which would be located adjacent to the steelmaking operation on Algoma Steel property …” (saultonline.com)

  • From the same news conference:  Noront discussing tenancy fees with Algoma Steel for ferrochrome facility … Coutts said “Noront is in discussions with Algoma Steel on the terms of our company’s tenancy for the construction and operation of our planned FPF which would be located here, adjacent to the steelmaking operation. The signing of the agreement would result in Algoma receiving an equity position in the Noront project,” Coutts said, that statement receiving a round of applause from Algoma Steel officials in attendance.  “There’ll be a fee for Noront’s tenancy on our property and it’s a way for us to dollarize, eventually, the value of some of the land we have which is excess land, if you like. It’s good news for Algoma Steel,” said Michael McQuade, Algoma Steel CEO …” (sootoday.com)

  • Speaking of Noront … Noront Resources Ltd (NOT.V)’s Stochastic Momentum Index is diving lower and has passed the key level of -40, indicating possible oversold territory.  The SMI indicator was developed by William Blau ad presented in Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities magazine in 1993, ten years after the original stochastic was invented.  The oscillator fluctuates between -100 and 100, and as such the indicator can be readily used to identify overbought and oversold levels …” (valliantnews.com, 27 Aug 2019)


  • Remember those billboards attributed to an ad agency with the same address as KWG Resources in Toronto?  “Anti-immigrant ads on billboards across Canada are being taken down after a public outcry and multiple petitions against them, the company that owns the billboards said.  The ads were launched in support of Maxime Bernier, leader of the small right-wing anti-immigration People’s Party of Canada, and called for a halt on mass immigration to Canada. They started appearing in several Canadian cities last week and were bought by True North Strong and Free Advertising Corp (TNSFAC) …” (Reuters, via nationnews.com)more from the National Observer


 

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Tory #RingOfFire, Resource Revenue Sharing Promises?

Following the June 7th election (link to overall results), Ontario’s Conservatives will form a majority government  with 76 seats, with the NDP forming the official opposition with 40 seats.  The rest of the Legislature:  7 Liberal seats and 1 Green Party seat.  Premier-Designate Doug Ford will become Premier and name his cabinet on June 29, 2018.

Ring of Fire

The Conservative platform commits to “using every tool at (their) disposal to cut through the special interest and bureaucratic delays preventing Northern Ontario from benefiting from the Ring of Fire and other important resource projects.” 

Ford also told media during a campaign stop in Timmins, “consultations were important, but the project should not be held up at the expense of perpetuating the red tape that is involved.”  Elsewhere, one Tory candidate also told media, “various tribal councils around the area” need to be partners in the development.”  Ford is also quoted saying, “We’re going to work with the people of the North, we’re going to work with the First Nations, we’re going to respect the treaties that are in place right now. But we’re not going to talk. We’re going to get in there, after the agreements, and get to work.”  A related question is whether whether the incoming government will honour a negotiation-guiding Framework Agreement signed in 2014 with nine Ring of Fire First Nations.

Indigenous leaders, like Chiefs of Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, are calling for significant consultation with First Nations on the project:  “First Nations must be fully consulted on any proposed development in the Far North and the Ring of Fire. First Nation consent is required here … Free, prior and informed consent means our Peoples will make the final decision before any bulldozers enter pristine lands.”  Responding to a campaign statement where Ford said “If I have to hop on a bulldozer myself, we’re going to start building roads to the Ring of Fire,” (more via CBC.ca here) Mushkegowuk Council Grand Chief Jonathon Solomon is quoted saying, “You just can’t bulldoze over First Nations … If Doug Ford believes he can do that, he’s going to have a lot of issues he is going to face.”

Resource Revenue Sharing

According to a party statement, the new government “will establish resource revenue sharing from mining, forestry and aggregates to help Northern and Indigenous communities share in the benefits of resource development (and) direct the province to take a portion of provincial revenues collected from aggregate licenses, stumpage fees and the mining tax. This revenue will go to the local, host Northern and Indigenous communities …”  The platform document says this would result in $30 million per year flowing to communities, starting in year two of the mandate.  What isn’t clear yet is:

  • exactly what “local,” “host Northern” and “Indigenous” communities mean;
  • what formula would be used to figure who gets how much; and
  • what a new government might mean for an initial resource revenue sharing agreement signed in May 2018 between Ontario, Grand Council Treaty #3, Mushkegowuk and Wabun Tribal Council.

Former Federal Natural Resources Minister in Cabinet???

Conservative Greg Rickford, a former federal Conservative MP, cabinet minister (Natural Resources and FedNor) and Parliamentary Secretary (INAC) under Stephen Harper, has been elected in the Kenora-Rainy River riding.  With such experience, he could be expected to be included in cabinet.

Caveat on Next Steps

The Tory platform promises a “line-by-line audit of government spending to bring an end to the culture of waste and mismanagement in government,” and to find some $6 billion in savings to be used elsewhere. The platform also calls for “a value-for-money audit of every government program” and “an independent commission of inquiry whose mandate is to get to the bottom of the deficit scandal and to propose timely solutions to solving the deficit problem.”  Any of these reviews could mean a freeze on any current agreements until the reviews are done.


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

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

 

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