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


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – August 9, 2016

  • Hope continues to spring eternal … Noront expects Ring of Fire road funding announcement soon — With a funding announcement for a permanent Ring of Fire road expected shortly, Toronto-based Noront Resources is enlarging its land package in the James Bay camp and is devising a multiple mine development plan … “
  • … as Ontario’s Premier fans out across the north “Premier Kathleen Wynne will visit schools, hospitals, businesses, Indigenous communities and other groups across Northern Ontario from August 6 to 12 to listen to local ideas and highlight how the government is supporting economic growth and job creation in the North …”
  • More on the Noront front “Noront buys ‘small, but strategic’ Ring of Fire claim — Mining company Noront has made what it’s calling a small, but strategic, acquisition in the Ring of Fire.  Noront bought out the majority of MacDonald Mines properties in the James Bay Lowlands mineral deposit.  The company says it now controls 75 per cent of the staked claims in the region.  The government is studying a plan for a road to the proposed mine and First Nations in the area …”Canadian Mining JournalNoront company statementMacDonald Mines company statement
  • One analyst’s take from last week … “What’s Noront Resources Ltd Downside After Today’s (3 Aug) Huge Decline?”
  • … and today  “The stock of Noront Resources Ltd gapped up by $0.03 today and has $1.25 target or 191.00% above today’s $0.43 share price …”
  • Meanwhile, KWG draws the eye a bit – on YouTube, anyway “You know how sometimes you see something and it leaves you scratching your head, so you go back (in the case of a video you found on the Internet, let’s say) and watch it again, just to make sure you weren’t hallucinating?  com came across just that sort of thing …  Junior miner KWG Resources is selling the Ring of Fire deposit in northwestern Ontario, of which it has several claims in the still-undeveloped chromite hotspot, using girls in bikinis. Yes, girls in bikinis selling a mining development …”here’s the video in question from KWG’s YouTube channel, as well as more from Resource Clips , Canadian Mining Journal and some discussion over at an Agoracom online forum
  • In other, less controversial KWG news … KWG Files Notice of Sale From Control of Debut Diamonds –KWG Resources Inc. has filed a Notice of Sale from Control with respect to all of its 144,630,000 common shares of affiliate Debut Diamonds Inc. The notice provides that the shares will be sold either in whole or in part and either privately or through the facilities of the Canadian Securities Exchange stock market …”
  • Not strictly #RoF, but of note, some analysis from TVO’s Steve Paikin about his read of the mood in bits of northern Ontario: “… one does wonder whether northern Ontario is going through its own version of America’s Tea Party, or Trumpism, or the United Kingdom’s Brexit. Too many people have lost faith in the established institutions and simply want something else. Premier Wynne will be heading to Kenora soon, where she’ll find some of her citizens who want to join Manitoba. They already live and play in Manitoba’s time zone, are so much closer to Winnipeg than Toronto, and feel ever so distant from Ontario’s decision-makers. And others in the north want to separate from the rest of Ontario altogether, creating their own province. Ironically, with the price of what’s in the ground fetching not nearly the high prices they once did, many observers would say this is a particularly foolish time, economically speaking, for the north to separate. But as we saw with the Brexit debate and are seeing with Donald Trump’s ascendancy, these decisions are often not made for logical reasons. They’re emotional. They’re experienced at a gut level …”

 

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – May 1, 2016

  • Premier’s take on the Ring while speaking in Thunder Bay  “Kathleen Wynne views the Ring of Fire as more than just an economic development opportunity.  The Ontario premier was asked about the province’s progress in developing the potentially lucrative mineral deposit in the remote north during her media availability in Thunder Bay … Wynne responded that her government is dedicated to acting in an environmentally responsible manner while engaging and consulting with First Nations communities to ensure their children will experience the resulting economic prosperity.  “That’s a bigger vision than just how do we, as fast as possible, get trucks in to get those minerals out, get them out and then leave the site,” Wynne said.  “That’s not the vision we have and I think there are a lot of critics who look at us and say ‘you haven’t moved fast enough,’ but the reality is that the work that’s going on now to build those relationships, do the training, to make a plan that’s actually going to have long-term impact, that’s what’s important about the Ring of Fire potential.” …”
  • Ontario’s Tory Leader Patrick Brown also mentions the Ring  “Using a local mill as his backdrop, Ontario’s Tory leader blamed a decade of Liberal policy for shedding jobs in Northern Ontario.  Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown returned to Thunder Bay … for the 70th annual Northern Ontario Municipal Association conference …  “My solution for employment is one you cut red tape,” he said. “The regulatory burden is intense in Ontario. You look at the terms of reference on the Ring of Fire that’s supposed to take five days but takes three years, the government needs to be more agile.  “You need to build infrastructure to product to market place and you need to have affordable energy prices.” …”
  • More on Chinese interest in the Ring  “A team of Chinese engineers has proposed a 340km rail line to northern Ontario to get access to a rare metal, and has suggested that the project would enable Chinese companies to penetrate Canada’s infrastructure market.  The scheme under consideration would connect a planned chromite mining and smelting complex known as the “Ring of Fire” with the existing rail network at Nakina in the south of the province …”
  • Yet more on China in the Ring  “… Rail and resources the perfect combination … It’s the combination of those two factors that makes this potential investment a “real prize” for China, said Walid Hejazi, a University of Toronto professor and expert in global competitiveness, with a focus on China.  “I would argue that one without the other, this deal may not go through,” he said.  Filling infrastructure gaps in other countries is one way China secures access to desired resources, Hejazi said …”
  • Meanwhile, Noront presses road over rail  “The biggest player in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire says government infrastructure cash should focus on an east-west road rather than grand plans for a $2-billion north-south rail line.  Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources Ltd., responded to a proposal recently promoted to the federal and Ontario governments for a 340-kilometre-long rail line that would be built and financed by Chinese investors.  “What we’re saying is let’s not blow our brains out building the biggest, costliest infrastructure known to mankind without the economic justification,” Mr. Coutts told The Globe and Mail …”
  • One commentator’s take on the need for the stars to align (at more than one level)  “… A series of common interests may be lining up. Pushing development of the Ring of Fire checks off a number of important boxes for Mr. Trudeau – trade, infrastructure, indigenous policy, the economy and perhaps even climate change.  Mining development would require putting the area on the power grid, allowing remote First Nations communities to stop using dirty gas-fired power plants.  A delegation of Chinese engineers, along with executives of KWG, made a timely visit to Parliament Hill last week to talk up their railway road project with MP Marc Serré, who chairs the Liberals’ Northern Ontario caucus.  “This is an international trade deal,” KWG Resources chief executive officer Frank Smeenk said, spinning the broader trade implications. “From the Chinese perspective, this is an opportunity to begin the relationship with Canada that they have long aspired to and one that is really mutually beneficial.”  Earlier this month, executives of Noront Resources Ltd., which also owns extensive mining claims in the Ring of Fire, also met with a group of Liberal MPs in Ottawa.  It’s still unclear whether this confluence of common interests will lead to anything more than chatter …”
  • KWG raising more money for their work  “KWG Resources Inc. has received and accepted subscriptions of $390,000 to close the private placement of units previously announced, for a total of $1.75 million including $0.6 million in settlement of amounts payable to directors, officers, employees and consultants …”
  • Point:  Aboriginal commentator Doug Cuthand explains not enough diamond taxes on De Beers is causing problems with the Ring “… The tax grab by the Dalton McGuinty government set back all the resource projects in the Ring of Fire area and created the climate of distrust between the First Nations and the province. So when the media lament the missing economy in Attawapiskat, they don’t have to look further than to Queen’s Park …”
  • Counterpoint:  Mining Watch Canada’s Ramsay Hart, in the comments of Cuthand’s commentary, begs to differ:  “… The diamond royalty also has nothing to do with the over-hyped Ring of Fire. It is smoldering due to extreme infrastructure costs and low commodity prices, along with the fact that the Matawa communities are taking their time in reviewing their options …” 

 

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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – April 20, 2016

  • The latest Chinese #RoF moves Engineers from China recently visited the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario to assess the potential of building a $2-billion railway line, a proponent behind developing minerals in the area said … Frank Smeenk, CEO of Toronto-based mineral exploration company KWG Resources, said the rail line is crucial for the extraction of nickel, chromite, copper and platinum from the massive deposits. He said a team of engineers from a subsidiary of the state-owned China Railway Construction Corp. surveyed a proposed 328-kilometre route last week as part of detailed engineering work before they advance toward a final investment decision. “They had to visit the route, to see it with their own eyes,” said Smeenk. Smeenk said roads would also have to be built to construct the mine and railway. Those roads would also link several remote northern communities, and they should be built, regardless of whether the mine proceeds, he said …” – more on the Chinese work under way here (Globe & Mail), here (CBC.ca), here (tbnewswatch.com) and here (Timmins Today)
  • More PM Trudeau on the #RoF from his recent northern Ontario drop-bythis from CBC.ca: “… Trudeau’s answers were vague. “We’re still talking with them about how the federal government can best be an active partner in this and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “We’re not at the announcement phase yet. We are having discussions with our partners right now.” “
  • Another #RoF PM-ism from the drop-by, via the Chronicle-Journal: “… “It continues to be something we’re working on with the province,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while in Thunder Bay … “It is normal and expected that the federal government should be a partner in developing large-scale projects like this,” he said …”
  • More PM-isms, via tbnewswatch.com: “… Trudeau said his federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr recently met with Ontario Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle where they discussed the development. “It continues to be something we’re working on with the province. Obviously the province has the lead on it but we’ve expressed very clearly a number of times we’re willing to be a partner and that’s what we’re engaging with the provincial government on a regular basis,” he said …”
  • Two Sudbury-area Liberal MPs pledge to keep fighting the #RoF fight “Innovation and infrastructure spending are keys to rebuilding Canada’s – and Sudbury’s – economy, the region’s two Liberals MPs said … Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Nickel Belt MP Marc Serre made the comments while speaking at an event presented by Laurentian University and the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce … Both MPs said Ottawa is committed to the Ring of Fire, a mineral rich area located in northwestern Ontario. They said the government needs to focus on both the infrastructure around the Ring of Fire and the First Nations living within it. Developing road and railway links is key, they said. “We’re investing in First Nation education, health and infrastructure. That is the door into the Ring of Fire,” said Lefebvre. He also said the participation of First Nations is absolutely key in moving the project forward …”
  • KWG continues to raise money for their work “KWG Resources Inc. has received subscriptions to complete the $1.5 million private placement of units previously announced, including $0.6 million in settlement of amounts payable to directors, officers, employees and consultants … The proceeds will be used to pay the initial costs of the feasibility study to be undertaken by China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group Co., Ltd. and for working capital …”
  • Meanwhile, Noront shares its latest (exploration and financials) as well “… The Company is progressively and systematically exploring the favourable footwall contact that hosts the Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposit and the showings known as Blue Jay and Eagle Two … A program is also being proposed over Project Area 5, known as the Big Daddy property, now held by Noront (70%) and KWG (30%). Similar to the Black Thor property, the favourable footwall contact remains virtually unexplored as the target of previous drilling focused on chromite resources higher up in the ultramafic sill. This latest round of geophysical test work will be conducted over the next six months and will be supported by local First Nations workers employed as line cutters, geophysical helpers and cooks … The Company issued 1,403,273 common shares at a deemed issue price of $0.3387 per share in satisfaction of legal advisory fees in relation to the previously announced financing of the purchase of the Cliffs Chromite Assets which closed on April 28, 2015 … In addition, the Company’s Board of Directors has granted the option to acquire an aggregate of 500,000 common shares to new employees with an exercise price of $0.33 per common share …”
  • Point … What Ontario needs to unlock Ring of Fire’s mineral wealth is a Marshall Plan … If the Trudeau government worked in conjunction with Ontario and adopted something akin to a “Marshall Plan” — the name of the American initiative to rebuild war-torn Europe after the Second World War — to develop and modernize infrastructure in the isolated northwest, it would kill two birds with one stone …”
  • … and counterpoint (attributed to the Chief of Eabametoong First Nation): “… Is a Marshall Plan needed? No. Rather, our First Nations and Ontario need to collaborate on a new, long-term vision of human and environmental life that can incorporate wise industrial development. Let’s work together on that … Am I, or the First Nation that I represent, categorically against development? No. However, we will not be bought off. We are interested in the development of meaningful, relationship-based partnerships that could lead to wise management of resources …”
  • Think tank report: lessons to be learned from the past? “The ongoing saga to develop the Ring of Fire could — and perhaps should — draw lessons from the past, states a new report from the Northern Policy Institute. In the report From Resource to Revenue: Dryden Mill Lessons for the Ring of Fire, Laurentian University history professor Mark Kuhlberg draws comparisons between the Ring of Fire and the early history of the pulp and paper mill in Dryden. “Following the discovery of copper-nickel and chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire nearly a decade ago, there has been much talk about the enormous potential for economic development represented by this untapped resource,” Kuhlberg wrote. “Eight years later, however, many are questioning why so little progress has been made and some are becoming increasingly frustrated with the pace of development.” …”

 

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Ring of Fire News – 9 Jan 12

  • While not in the Ring of Fire area, another court decision giving First Nations more say in development in their back yards.  “In a decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, released January 3, Madam Justice Brown ordered that Solid Gold Resources Corp. cannot carry on any further exploration activity on its claims block for 120 days, and that during this time the company and the Ontario Crown must engage with Wahgoshig in a process of meaningful consultation and accommodation about any such further exploration. She ordered that if this process is not productive, Wahgoshig can go back to court to seek an extension of the injunction. Solid Gold’s mining claims block is in the heart of Wahgoshig’s traditional territory, on land that is of significant importance to Wahgoshig. Solid Gold came onto this land and started drilling without any consultation or accommodation occurring first. The court decision clearly finds this to be wrong ….” First Nation news releaseCourt decision (HTML) – Court decision (PDF) – More more more – more
  • Premier following latest court decision:  up to businesses to consult with First Nations.  “…. Premier Dalton McGuinty would not comment directly on the ruling Thursday but he waved aside questions about whether this would make relations between First Nations and exploration companies more difficult. “There is an important legal obligation now placed on businesses to consult in a formal and thorough way,” he said after an announcement in Waterloo, Ont. “We need to get beyond the times where First Nation communities and the interests that they had in resources were given short shrift and were disrespected.” That obligation to consult, he added, is there “for a good reason.” “We fully expect that if businesses have an interest in pursuing these kinds of explorations, that they will consult.” ….”  Sourcealternate source if first link doesn’t work (PDF)
  • A former provincial energy minister-turned-consultant said First Nations will have the ultimate say on how the Ring of Fire mineral developments will unfold, and that includes the location of a proposed ferrochrome smelter. George Smitherman is pitching for the furnaces to be located in the northwestern Ontario municipality of Greenstone, and the village of Exton, which is already designated as a future ore transloading junction. Cliffs Natural Resources has maintained Sudbury is the frontrunner among four Northern Ontario communities to land the processing plant, and its 400-plus jobs, but only if provincial power rates are competitive with neighbouring jurisdictions. The international miner is expected to name the site for the plant sometime this year. “If the company persists in seeing the decision narrowly on the basis of power, then this has great project risk.” ….”  Source – A reminder:  Smitherman is working for the Municipality of Greenstone and Aroland First Nation trying to get a smelter into that part of northwestern Ontario.
  • Lakehead University economist worried about implications of Conference Board of Canada report for Thunder Bay’s port, Ring of Fire.  “The new report by the Conference Board of Canada titled Northern Assets: Transportation Infrastructure in Remote Communities on transportation in northern Canada provides a case study of Churchill Manitoba as a potential international gateway that may give the Port of Thunder Bay some cause for concern. The Port of Churchill and its Bay Line rail line play a key role in what is referred to as the Government of Manitoba’s Churchill Gateway System. Churchill could increase its role as a shipping hub by diversifying the range of agricultural products it handles and by increasing its share of Nunavut-bound freight—especially for mining projects. As well, climate change and melting sea ice is opening up the possibility of developing polar shipping lanes between Churchill, Asia, and Europe …. Alarm bells should be ringing in Thunder Bay given that this new strategy is not just a Manitoba government lobbying strategy but now also seems to have been given the blessing of the Conference Board of Canada. What’s next? A call for Federal government funding to build a rail link from Churchill to the Ring of Fire?”  Source Conference Board reportalternate report link if first link isn’t working (PDF)
  • Predictions (1)  Lakehead University economist:  “As 2012 dawns, Ontario’s Northwest begins another year of change and anticipation of change …. Despite the new knowledge economy, rocks and trees will still be important to the regional economy in 2012. However, despite the promise of the Ring of Fire, nothing substantial will happen without the cooperation of the First Nations, competitive energy prices and new transportation infrastructure ….”  Source
  • Predictions (2)  “…. Patrick Dillon, Business Manager of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, said work is currently picking up in transportation, mining and utility projects. All areas of the province will be seeing growth, like the north, where mining is getting stronger, roads need to be built and the Ring of Fire has potential for huge growth. “We as industry partners are really going to have some forethought and discussion, basic understanding between us about the Ring of Fire. It’s pretty remote and it’s going to take a pretty major construction workforce to supply,” said Dillon ….”  Source
  • Ring of Fire junior miner, KWG Resources announced it’s raised $1.75 million through flow-through shares to help pay for exploration at its high grade chromium project in the James Bay lowlands. In a Dec. 30 release, the Montreal-based company said it’s using the proceeds to fund half of its current drilling program at the Big Daddy deposit, currently being conducted by Cliffs Chromite Far North, formerly Spider Resources. Of the 17,500,000 units issued at a price of $0.10 per unit, insiders of the company purchased 2,500,000 units, or 14 per cent of the offering.”  Source KWG news release
  • Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce the completion of the private placement financing originally announced on November 29, 2011.  Noront has issued 4,073,800 total flow-through common shares (“Flow-Through Shares”) at a price of $0.86 per Flow-Through Share for gross proceeds of $3,503,468. Dundee Securities Ltd., acted as lead agent on behalf of a syndicate including Raymond James Ltd.  In connection with the Offering, the Agents received a cash commission equal to 5.0% of the gross proceeds raised under the Offering. All securities issued will be subject to a four month hold period under Canadian securities laws. 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. Such CEE will be renounced in favour of the subscribers of the Flow-Through Shares effective on or before December 31, 2011 ….”  Source
  • Green Swan Capital Corp. has successfully secured financing to fund a mining joint venture it has been working on with Melkior Resources Inc.  The Ottawa capital pool company raised $647,019.98 via flow-through and cash financings. Flow-through financing included 1,807,846 shares at 13 cents per share, and the cash financing comprised 4,120,000 units at 10 cents a share. Last August, Green Swan announced it was looking to acquire an option to purchase up to a 70-per-cent interest in Melkior’s RiverBank and Broke Back claims in the Ring of Fire area of northern Ontario ….”  Source

More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1 Dec 11-6 Jan 12 (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 – 14 Nov 11

  • More on Matawa’s court fight to get a federal-provincial environmental assessment for the proposed Cliffs chromite project.  “The Ring of Fire is coming under fire today in Ottawa, as the federal and provincial governments are being told that greater environmental assessments must be done before the project can move forward. Ecojustice and CPAWS Wildlands League are calling on Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent and Ontario’s Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley to appoint an independent joint review panel to assess a proposed mega-mine for chromite in northern Ontario by the American-based Cliffs Resources Company.  As well, the Matawa Chiefs withdrew their support from Ring of Fire development on October 20, 2011 until the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency implements a negotiated Joint Review Panel Environmental Assessment instead of a Comprehensive Study EA Process. The Chiefs are launching a Judicial Review …..”  Sourcemoremore (PDF) – moremoremore

  • National Aboriginal support for the court fight.  “Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today expressed concern about plans to move forward on projects in British Columbia and Northern Ontario without respecting the rights and interests of First Nations.  “As we near the first anniversary of Canada’s endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we must achieve respectful, practical approaches that will lead to mutually-beneficial economic development,” said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo …. National Chief Atleo’s comments come after …. CEAA’s approval of an environmental assessment for the proposed “New Prosperity Mine” comes shortly after a controversial decision to allow a limited review of the Cliffs Chromite Project in Ontario.  In late October, CEAA turned down requests by Matawa First Nations Chiefs for a Joint Review Panel Environmental Assessment of a proposed chromite mine in the Ring of Fire, an area in the James Bay lowlands of Ontario. Matawa Chiefs were in Ottawa yesterday announcing their launch of a judicial review which they hope will overturn this decision.  National Chief Atleo and Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse stood with Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy and Matawa Chiefs Sonny Gagnon from Aroland First Nation, Chief Peter Moonias of Neskantaga First Nation and Chief Roger Oshkineegish of Nibinimik First Nation as they continued calls for their full engagement.  “First Nations are not opposed to development, but not at any cost,” said National Chief Atleo.  “We want to see environmentally sound community development that respects our rights, reflects our relationship to our land, our resources, and our traditions. The international community recognizes that the path towards economic progress for everyone rests on the principles of respect, transparency, and consent. If Canada wants to promote new mining ventures, it must allow the environmental review process to do what it was designed to do by listening to the people who will inherit the costs and benefits of projects in their communities.” ….”  Source

  • Open house on the Cliffs Chromite Project in Thunder Bay today ….  “Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is hosting an open house on Monday, a requirement as part of the environmental assessment needed to proceed with a chromite mine in the Ring of Fire.  The project, as outlined by the Cleveland-based company, includes the mine site and the accompanying ore processing facility, a ferrachrome production facility which local officials are trying to secure for Thunder Bay, and the transportation infrastructure needed to move equipment, materials and people too and from the mine site.  “During the open house and its project consultants will provide information to the community as well as answer questions about the project,” the company says in a statement obtained by tbnewswatch.com. “In addition, the session is designed to garner community feedback.”  The open house will be staged Monday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Valhalla Inn.”  Source  – more details in ad (PDF) here

  • …. and Capreol, near Sudbury, tomorrow.  “Cliffs Natural Resources will hold an information session in Capreol next week about its chromite project’s environmental assessment.  And Coun. Dave Kilgour will be listening closely.  Kilgour, the Ward 7 councillor, has high hopes for Greater Sudbury’s chances of getting a ferrochrome production facility. The facility will process chromite ore from the Ring of Fire, a resource-rich site in northwestern Ontario.  “Right from the get go on this, right from the start, that site has been set down as their ‘base case,’ ” he said of Moose Mountain, a brown-field site about 14 miles north of Capreol.  Capreol is part of Kilgour’s ward.  The site is marked as the proposed ferrochrome production facility in a Cliffs Chormite Project advertisement focusing on the open house.  The ad also has the proposed transportation system marked, as well as the mine site …. The open house, which will take place Nov. 15 from 4-8 p.m. at the Capreol Community Centre, will include information on the federal environmental assessment with Cliffs representatives, said Pat Persico, senior manager of global communications at Cliffs ….”  Source
  • Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP is now Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines.  “…. When asked if it might affect his ability to fight for a ferrachrome processing plant for Thunder Bay, when American mining giant Cliffs Natural Resources appears to be leaning toward Sudbury for the Ring of Fire project, Mauro said he doesn’t see a conflict.  “I think that we can all do the best we can to entice a private-sector player locate where they’re going to locate,” he said.  “But at the end of the day clearly they’ll choose. I think the best we can do as a government is to ensure we have the macro pieces in place that will entice them to be in Ontario. Then we do the best selling job we can to encourage them to find Thunder Bay to be the location. I don’t feel restricted in my role at all, and have had meetings with Cliffs in the past … so that won’t change.” ….”  ( Source )  Compare and contrast with Minister Rick Bartolucci’s answer to a similar question:  “the way the (Sudbury) mayor and the community have engaged me in this process, I can still act as the MPP, and will.”  ( Source )

  • Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. …. announced that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend on the Company’s common shares of $0.28 per share. The cash dividend will be payable on Dec. 1, 2011, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Nov. 18, 2011 ….”  Source
  • UC wants to sell off it’s share of a major McFaulds Lake property it holds with other partners ….  “UC Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Freewest Resources Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., for Freewest to acquire 100% of the UC owned 55% Joint Venture Interest in the McFaulds Lake area property, subject to and in accordance with the Joint Venture Agreement dated as of July 26, 2011 between KWG Resources Inc. (“KWG”), Spider Resources Inc. (now named Cliffs Chromite Far North Inc.), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cliffs, and UC ….”  Source

  • …. and KWG says it’ll think about it.  “KWG Resources Inc. received last Friday evening a notice of the election by Cliffs Chromite Far North Inc. that it will exercise its pre-emptive right to acquire from UC Resources Inc. the Participating Joint Venture Interest which it had agreed to sell to Freewest Resources Inc. on November 9, 2011. KWG has 45 days from receipt of the notice to elect to participate in the exercise of the pre-emptive right, proportionally to its present interest in the Joint Venture.  “It would appear difficult to justify spending some millions of dollars to have a larger non-operating but contributing minority interest in another joint venture with Cliffs”, said KWG President Frank Smeenk. “But we will look at it closely”….”   Source


More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1-14 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 – 7 Nov 11

  • Thunder Bay the latest to make pilgrimage to Cleveland to convince Cliffs to build chromite smelter in northwestern Ontario  “…. Greenstone municipal leaders won’t be far behind this month when their Thunder Bay counterparts meet with Cliffs Natural Resources senior officials at the company’s head office. Like Thunder Bay, the rural municipality has decided to pull out all the stops late in the game and meet face-to-face with top Cliffs executives to try and convince them to locate a chromite processor at Exton, near Nakina. It’s the second time a Greenstone mayor has gon on a road trip to try and bolster the case to benefit from Cliffs’ planned Ring of Fire chromite mine. A date couldn’t be confirmed Thursday but former Ontario Energy minister George Smitherman is to accompany Greenstone Mayor Renald Beaulieu and CAO Roy Sinclair …. Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs, city manager Tim Commisso and newly-hired mining exploration specialist John Mason are to head to Cleveland on Nov. 16. “We have a compelling case, and if we don’t go (to Cleveland) we’re never going to get (the processor in Thunder Bay), Hobbs said Thursday. “But if we don’t get it, we will be supporting Greenstone’s bid to have it in Exton,” added Hobbs ….”  Source (PDF)

  • Cliffs Natural Resources holding public meeting in Thunder Bay this month on proposed chromite project  “…. Cliffs officials are to be in Thunder Bay on Nov. 14 for a public information session, the first time they have held a large forum about the project. The session is to take (place) at the Valhalla Inn, 4-8 pm.”  Source (PDF)

  • More information on Noront Resources’ Blackbird exploration site  “Noront Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce the results from an additional 16 holes at the Company’s 100% owned Blackbird chromite deposit …. Wes Hanson, CEO of Noront states: “Drilling at Blackbird has been completed and results returned to date indicate that the limits of the high grade chromite deposit have expanded to the north – northeast along strike as well as down dip. The Company believes that this will translate into a material increase in the chromite resource relative to the December 2009 estimate. The Company plans to update the chromite resource and complete a Preliminary Assessment by the second quarter of 2012.” Mr. Hanson adds: “The Company continues to operate two drills, both of which are testing anomalies identified by an ongoing, ground based, geophysical survey that is underway at the Eagle’s Nest Complex. Company geologists believe these anomalies may represent buried nickel sulphide mineralization that airborne surveys failed to highlight” …. Noront’s summer drill program was undertaken to increase the existing chromite resource. To date 47 holes (21,137 metres) have been drilled. Of the holes drilled to date, assays have been received on 31 holes ….”  Source

  • Analyst:  KWG Resources stock might “Favor Bears (this) Week”  “The recent share price action of KWG Resources Inc. leads to think about a possible bounce down as the company has no strong news and their stock tends to follow the established trading boundaries. KWG had a 4.7 million trading volume on Thursday paired with a share price advance of 18.75%. However, the action didn’t follow up on that and stock’s value has already started retracing back down. The price action is currently in line with the general downtrend and continues to follow the boundaries of an established price channel. Furthermore, despite the large increase in trading volume the intraday price action depicted a low liquidity rally, meaning there is no strong buying pressure. The most recent price advance was somewhat encouraged by news, but there was nothing material to them. On October 27 the company reported that a 12 thousand meter drilling program is underway on Big Daddy chromite deposit in the Ring of Fire property in Ontario. According to the press release the initial metallurgical testing and drilling should be completed during Q1 2012. KWG currently holds 28% interest in the claims explored. The company actually had cash issues for the last reported period but those should now be over as they sold 1% net smelter royalty interests in the Black Thor, Black Label and Big Daddy chromite deposits to Anglo Pacific Group PLC for $18 million in August.”  Source

  • Lakehead University economist Livio DiMatteo:  McGuinty Liberals may bend on Far North Act? “…. This is going to be a contentious issue though how much the provincial government is willing to backtrack on the legislation is open to debate. Given the messianic zeal with which the provincial Liberals have approached environmental and energy issues –even to the detriment of their electoral performance in this region – it is unlikely that they will retreat. Nevertheless, they may be open to modifications if not for the repeal of the legislation …. “  Source

  • What’s next for First Nations calling for joint panel environmental assessment for Ring of Fire projects?  “A group of nine First Nations calling for an enhanced environmental review of Cliffs Natural Resources’ proposed chromite mine project is mulling its options in the wake of what appears to be a mute response from the federal government. “The chiefs are going to be meeting to work on a strategy,” Matawa First Nations spokesman Jason Rasevych said Thursday from the group’s Thunder Bay office. On Oct. 21, Matawa gave the government a week to respond to its demand for the appointment of an independent review panel into Cliffs’ project in the Ring of Fire, about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. Matawa hasn’t said what it will do if its demand isn’t met, but there has been speculation about the issuing of eviction notices and action in the courts. On Thursday, the chiefs flew to Ottawa to support a similar demand from the seven First Nations that comprise the Mushkegowuk group of remote reserves located to the east of the Ring of Fire belt. Both Matawa and Mushkegowuk argue that Cliffs’ project qualifies for a panel review because it has the potential to cause significant damage to the environment and constitute infringement on Aboriginal and treaty rights. The Ring of Fire “is in the heart of the boreal forest and the largest collection of intact wetlands in the world,” the groups say. The Municipality of Greenstone is formally backing Matawa’s call for a panel review ….”  Sourcemore

  • One of the “KI 6” hired by environmental group for watershed protection program.  “John Cutfeet, a Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug band member, has been hired as the new Aboriginal Watershed Program Coordinator (Anishinini’ow Niipii’ow Anokiinakun) for the Wildlands League. Wildlands League is a chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and is supporting First Nations directly with the new Aboriginal Watershed Coordinator to help protect river, lakes and wetlands in Canada’s far north. “A majority of First Nation communities do not have the resources or the capacity to begin to deal with the changes that are coming into their traditional territories,” Cutfeet said. “Wildlands League is committing more than 13 percent of its budget this year to providing support and capacity to advance watershed protection for the maintenance of healthy ecosystems. This means 13 percent of its budget is going directly to First Nations.” The role of the new Aboriginal Watershed Coordinator will be to develop culturally appropriate, community-based approaches to watershed stewardship in First Nation communities most often affected by water quality issues. “Communities in the far north do not always have the financial mans or the capacity to do the important work of protecting the environment. Wildlands League is taking the lead to begin to address this very important need,” Cutfeet said.”  Sourcemore


More open source information (excerpts from information monitored 1 Oct-4 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 – 31 Oct 11


  • The Toronto Star highlights the engineering work and challenges the key players face to exploit the  Ring of Fire. “Since the discovery of chromite was announced in northern Ontario in 2007 – nickel and copper were found three years earlier – engineers and miners have been looking at how to develop these deposits, which have been declared the most promising mining opportunity in Canada in a century. But there’s a problem: the site is a vast subarctic muskeg bog in the remote James Bay Lowlands, 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. For thousands of square kilometres, the terrain is difficult to walk on, let alone haul thousands of tonnes of heavy ore-with one lucky exception …. None of it will be easy-or cheap-but as (KWG Resources VP Moe) Lavigne describes the hurdles at the mine sites, “It’s just engineering. It’s all doable.” ”  Source

  • “…. (Cliffs Natural Resources) expects to incur cash outflows of approximately $85 million to support future growth, comprised of approximately $40 million related to its global exploration activities and approximately $45 million related to its chromite project in Ontario, Canada ….”  Sourcealternative download site (PDF)

  • KWG Resources Inc. is pleased to report that a 12,000 metre core drilling program is underway on its Big Daddy Chromite deposit in the Ring of Fire, James Bay Lowlands. KWG has earned 28% interest in these mineral claims and will increase this to 30% by funding 50% of this $5 million program. The goal of this program is to collect a chromitite sample of sufficient size for pyro-metallurgical testing and to complete resource definition drilling on that portion of the deposit that is amenable to open pit mining. Cliffs Natural Resources is the project operator, and it is anticipated that the metallurgical testing and drilling will be completed during the first quarter of 2012 ….”  Source

  • James Bay First Nation leaders join call for Joint Review Panel for Ring of Fire projects.  “Mushkegowuk First Nations say their concerns are being ignored with the recent announcement that an environmental study of proposed mines in the Ring of Fire won’t allow First Nations to fully participate. Mushkegowuk Council said the projects in the Ring of Fire in the James Bay lowlands, are at the head of two major river systems, the Attawapiskat River and Ekwan River, which flow into Mushekgowuk territory. One of the projects headed by Cliffs Natural Resources is now under a comprehensive environmental assessment, announced Oct. 17 by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency …. But Mushkegowuk expected more. “I am extremely disappointed at the total lack of respect shown by the federal government and Cliffs to the desires of the Mushkegowuk leadership,” said Grand Chief Stan Louttit of Mushkegowuk Council ….”  Source

  • Chiefs of Ontario (COO) supports Matawa in call for Joint Review Panel. “…. “I stand with the Matawa leadership in this assertion of their jurisdiction”, Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse confirmed today, “The health of our people and all people, and the health of the environment are too important to be ignored.” Regional Chief Toulouse also noted, “A respectful dialogue amongst First Nations, and Canada is the best way forward. We, First Nations and settler peoples alike, have duties and responsibilities to future generations, to the land, and to the waters – these considerations must inform our decisions and conduct.” ….” Source (COO news release) – more

  • Meanwhile, a Joint Review Panel in place outside the Ring of Fire is already facing criticism.  “The absence of Aboriginal representation on an expert panel reviewing a proposal for a new Marathon-area mine, combined with a perception of bias in favour of the proponent, continues to be a source of frustration and anxiety at Pic River First Nation. The uncertainty was aired Wednesday night inside a candle-lit spiritual lodge, where federal officials were grilled about the quality and integrity of an ongoing joint provincial-federal review into Stillwater Canada’s plan for a copper and palladium mine north of Marathon’s airport. Pic River school principal Lisa Michano-Courchene told the gathering she is troubled that the all-male panel’s two scientists and one engineer are unknown to reserve residents. The panellists are from New Brunswick, Toronto and Sudbury. Pic River’s formal request for the panel to have at least one Aboriginal representative wasn’t granted. “We are expected to have trust in this panel, but I can’t have trust in people who have no connection to our land,” Michano-Courchene said. Panel co-manager Colette Spagnuolo said the panellists were chosen by the provincial and federal governments ….”  SourceMarathon Platinum Group Metals and Copper Mine Project Review Panel information (via CEAA)

  • Lone Northern Ontario Conservative MPP starts the fight to repeal or change the Far North Act ” “Let’s hit the re-set button on this job killing act,” states Vic Fedeli the Progressive Conservative MP for Nippising. “Repealing this means that Ontario’s North is open for business.” The provincial Progressive Conservatives are looking for changes to the Far North Act. Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing, is calling “For Dalton McGuinty to undo his damaging, out-of-touch legislation and repeal Bill 191, also known as the Far North Act”. The Ontario PCs have opposed Bill 191 since its inception. During the provincial election the party promised to repeal it. Fedeli today, once again called on Dalton McGuinty to repeal this bad bill and instead focus on the fundamentals of job creation and a strong economy – competitive taxes, affordable energy and red tape reduction. Fedeli is the former Mayor of North Bay, and recently was elected to the Ontario Legislature representing the Nipissing riding. Fedeli points to the Ring of Fire as reason enough to repeal the Far North Act. “We would never have found the Ring of Fire,” the MPP stated. The investments and money being spent in the North is massive states Fedeli. “Flying into one mining camp during the election, I saw countless Blue and White canvas tents, which are made here in North Bay”. The massive drill rods are manufactured across the north, the MPP adds. Fedeli points to the Far North Act as a focal point that has soured relations between the North and the rest of Ontario. “Absolutely not one Northern First Nations leader, or Northern Mayor supports this legislation” ….”  Source more


All information shared here in accordance with the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act.  We’re not responsible for accuracy of original material, and inclusion of material doesn’t mean endorsement.

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Ring of Fire News – 5 Sept 11

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

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

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Ring of Fire News – 8 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.


  • Northern Development, Mines & Forestry Minister Michael Gravelle on Ring of Fire in pre-provincial-election statement: “we are all hoping to see the first mine there possibly ready to open within five years, with a significant training program put into place now so that Aboriginal and Northern workers can get those good-paying jobs in the future ….”  (Source:  Statement, 4 Aug 11)
  • KWG sells off Ring of Fire smelter royalties to Anglo Pacific Group PLC…. “KWG Resources Inc. has completed the sale of net smelter royalty interests (“NSR”) in the Black Thor, Black Label and Big Daddy chromite deposits to Anglo Pacific Group PLC for US$18 million. Half of the purchase price has been received by KWG and the remaining 50% has been received by an escrow agent to be held in escrow for a period of three months as security for KWG’s indemnification obligations to the purchaser in connection with the transaction ….”  (Source:  KWG news release, 4 Aug 11)
  • …. or put another way:  “Anglo Pacific Group has bought 7207565 Canada Inc from KWG Resources Inc. for US$18m. 7207565 Canada Inc owns a 1% net smelter royalty interest in the Black Thor, Black Label and Big Daddy chromite deposits, owned and operated by Cliffs Natural Resources, in the Ring of Fire region of Northern Ontario, Canada. Cliffs Natural Resources is currently undertaking an environmental assessment for Black Thor as part of its project development plans, and once constructed anticipates the production of ore for both direct sale and integrated ferrochrome production. Cliffs has also announced a commitment to engage with First Nations communities affected by the development to ensure the creation of opportunities for enhanced social wellbeing and economic prospects for those communities ….”  (Source:  Anglo Pacific Group news release, 2 Aug 11)
  • Ring of Fire Resources getting out of McNugget property?  “Ring of Fire Resources Inc. announces that it has engaged IBK Capital Corp to divest its 36.75% interest in its McNugget JV Project for cash. Macdonald Mines Exploration Ltd. (“BMK”) has the remaining 63.25% interest in the project and is the operator ….”  (Source:  Ring of Fire Resources news release, 4 Aug 11)

Summary of more open source information and sources cited (1-4 Aug 11) also available here (PDF).

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