Matawa First Nations to start training for Ring of Fire development – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – August 9, 2013)

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TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – The Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance (RoFATA) would receive more than $5.9-million from the Canadian Governments’ ‘Skills and Partnership Fund’ to provide training for employment in the mining sector for the people of Matawa First Nations, in preparation for development of the Ring of Fire mineral complex in Ontario’s Far North.

The Ring of Fire is a 5 000 km2 mineral-rich area in the James Bay Lowlands, situated within the traditional lands of two of the Matawa First Nations.

Nine specialised training and six pre-trade courses would be made available to Matawa First Nations members, with many courses to be presented in their First Nation communities and others locally in Thunder Bay. About 260 trainees would be trained on courses lasting between 5 weeks and 20 weeks, and 196 trainees would enter into employment through RoFATA.

The Matawa First Nations, Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), Noront Resources and Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology this week signed a memorandum of understanding, creating RoFATA partnership.

The partnership’s critical objective is to provide training-to-employment opportunities to support the Matawa First Nations people.

KKETS would be registering the students for the training programmes, some of which would start as soon as mid-October.

Confederation College would be organise and deliver the training programmes and the applicants’ interests and qualifications assessments would be done in conjunction with KKETS. Participants would have the opportunity to make choices in determining their appropriate career path in the mineral and mining sector.

Noront Resources is the industry partner and committed to creating opportunities to enable the Matawa First Nations’ people to participate in all aspects of its mining operation on the Eagle’s Nest nickel/copper/platinum/palladium deposit.

“It is important to Noront that we have access to a local workforce that is trained for the employment opportunities that we will require as we develop and operate our Eagle’s Nest project. This programme is a step to achieve this very important goal,” Noront Resources interim CEO Paul Parisotto said.

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