Tim Hudak: Ontario should develop Ring of Fire like oilsands – by Tanya Talaga (Toronto Star – June 27, 2012)posted in Aboriginal Mining, Northern Ontario Politics, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery |
The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.
The mineral rich Ring of Fire is Ontario’s “oilsands” and the province should take a page out of Alberta’s playbook by developing it quickly, says Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.
The Tory leader visited the remote Ring of Fire area, located nearly 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, on Monday with other Tory MPPs to survey the swampy earth said to hold more than a $30 billion haul of chromite — the key material used to make stainless steel.
“In many ways, the Ring of Fire is Ontario’s oilsands — an enormous wealth beneath the earth that can break open a new frontier for job creation and investment in our province. Sometimes we look (with) wonder and awe at what Alberta can do; we can do that in Ontario and we can do that with the Ring of Fire,” said Hudak.
However, the Toronto Star reported on Tuesday Environment Canada has raised a number of red flags concerning the development of the area, which calls for an open pit mine and a transportation corridor to be built through one of the last intact boreal forests.
The same toxic material that Erin Brockovich discovered in the water of a small California town, chromium-6, could pollute northern Ontario due to chromite mining in the Ring of Fire, documents obtained by the Star show.
Most people have no idea what the Ring of Fire or chromite is but everybody knows what the oilsands and potash is, said Hudak, a former minister of northern development and mines under former Ontario premier Mike Harris.
“We have our own oilsands, our own potash potential in the far north. It is a treasure chest of chromite, nickel, copper, zinc,” said Hudak.
When asked if Hudak supports energy price breaks to Cliffs Natural Resources, an American firm that plans on investing nearly $3 billion into their Ring of Fire chromite project, he said “no obstacle” should stand in the way of development.
“This is a once in a century opportunity. It could surpass what the Sudbury basin did for the entire province of Ontario,” he said.
Environmental studies must be vigorously carried out and First Nations have to be at the table in order to help lift them out of abject poverty, he added. “You have native communities with 90 something per cent unemployment and incredible wealth under the ground,” he said. “This is the next frontier so let’s get on with it.”
For the rest of this article, please go to the Toronto Star website: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1217716–tim-hudak-ontario-should-develop-ring-of-fire-like-oilsands