Ring of Fire News

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


 

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


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#RingOfFire (#RoF) News – September 28, 2016


 

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” ‘Cease and desist,’ Neskantaga First Nation tells Ring of Fire mining company”

This, from CBC.ca:

“The chief of a northern Ontario First Nation says he was offended and troubled earlier this month by a notice that a mining company was set to begin drilling on the community’s traditional lands.

Neskantaga Chief Wayne Moonias responded to the the notice from Noront Resources with a letter telling the company it must “cease and desist” because it does not have consent from the First Nation to drill.

The drilling program is planned to begin by the end of August in an area known as the Ring of Fire in Ontario’s James Bay Lowlands.

“It’s offensive on our end to receive a notice that’s basically telling us ‘by the way we’re going to be drilling,'” Moonias said. “They haven’t asked us for our consent, they haven’t engaged with us in a way we expect, so it is very troubling.”

Noront is “reaching out” to Neskantaga, according to president Al Coutts, but there is no plan to delay the drilling.

Geophysical work done earlier this year revealed “interesting responses,” Coutts said and the company wants to conduct diamond drilling to confirm what could be a promising nickel-copper-platinum discovery.

“Not all of the [First Nations] communities [in the area] are aligned and see eye-to-eye on things,” Coutts said. “What we’ve done is work closely with Marten Falls and Webequie and we recently had a group of elders from both of those communities visit the site and get comfortable with what we’re doing.” …”

More, from netnewsledger.com:

“… On September 7, 2012, Marten Falls entered into a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Canada and the Province of Ontario (MNDM, MNR) outlining the collaborative development of the ‘Ring of Fire.

According to Section 1.e. of this MOU:  Assessment of community needs with respect to social, community and economic development supports, education and skills training, and health supports, including treatment for prescription drug abuse

In an attempt to be proactive and work within this MOU, Marten Falls began the construction of a Training Centre to offer skills and training for future employment in the Ring of Fire, and employment of community members to construct four homes designed to showcase as a solution to the current housing crisis that overshadows most First Nation Communities.

These projects remain incomplete or near completion, two years later as a result of various delays from the government and is questionable to the intent of the MOU …”

A bit of commentary at the Agoracom Noront forums here.


 

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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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Ontario Mines’ Minister: Ring of Fire, Noront Good to Go

This from Michael Gravelle, from an exchange in Ontario’s Legislature yesterday, during Question Period:

“…. Noront Resources made it very clear that they remain committed to the project, and we’re working very closely with them. In fact, they announced that they are moving forward on an exploration project within the Ring of Fire area themselves.

As a government, we remain absolutely committed to the project. We have our commitment of $1 billion for the transportation infrastructure corridor locked in, thanks to the Minister of Finance. We are looking forward to an opportunity to have a discussion with the new federal government to engage in the process that was not very successful in the past with the previous government.

We are engaged in a regional framework discussion with Matawa First Nations, and we have set up a development corporation to move that forward. So we are indeed making very positive progress ….”

More back-and-forth here and here – Ring of Fire Q’s & A’s collected here (via Dropbox.com).


 

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