Eli Moonias says he believes the judicial review of the federal environmental assessment of the Ring of Fire won’t address all of his community’s concerns with the project.
The chief of Marten Falls First Nation as well as band councillors and members of his community were in the city to meet with officials with Cliffs. The meeting, which was held at the Prince Arthur Hotel Wednesday, is being hosted by the community and looking for direction on moving forward with the Ring of Fire project.
Moonias said they want to know how to approach the provincial environmental assessment. “What we’re trying to do is come up with a process that will work for both Ontario and the industry as well as our communities,” he said. “There are two processes; one is the (Canadian Environmental Assessment), which is before the courts, not the provincial one. The provincial one is being organized as we speak.
“We’re trying to get the process underway so that it will address our issues, which won’t be addressed in the CEA.” Earlier this year, Cliffs suspended its environmental assessment activities in the Ring of Fire.
Delays to the environmental assessment process, land surface rights and negotiations with the province of Ontario were some of the main reasons for the decision.
Moonias said they want to know how extracting the Chromite will do to the environment. He also had questions on where the waste will be dumped and what chemicals will be used.
If Moonias were to speak at the judicial review of the federal environmental assessment he would only have a few minutes to air out his concerns. He said that’s not enough time to go through everything.
Bill Boor, Cliff’s senior vice-president of global ferroalloys, said they were invited to the meeting in order to share information about the project. He said it’s encouraging to have discussions with the community.
He said they’re trying to move forward with the EA process as soon as they can.
“We’re working very hard with government and the communities and others to try and resolve the issues,” he said.
“When those issues are resolved we’ll be able to actually move forward. When we made that announcement that was more of an acknowledgement of where we are stuck in the process. I think you can tell by us being here and working hard with the community that we’re doing everything we can to move forward.”