NEWS RELEASE: New commentary suggests a prosperous future for Northern Ontario rests on how we are governed

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September 27, 2016 – A new commentary released by Northern Policy Institute suggests that many of Northern Ontario’s economic and social problems are linked to how the region is governed.

In the last thirty years, Northern Ontario’s economy has not performed as well as the province as a whole – or than the economies of northern parts of other provinces. Beyond economic issues, Northern Ontario is also underperforming in education and general conditions of its population, particularly Indigenous peoples.

Governance in Northern Ontario: Taking Ownership of the Future, by David MacKinnon, uses evidence to propose that Northern Ontario should pursue a regional governance model – people in a region determining their collective ends, means, and values – as a major step forward for the region. Continue Reading →

Philippines to suspend 20 more mines, boosting nickel price – by Enrico Dela Cruz and Manolo Serapio Jr (Reuters U.S. – September 27, 2016)

MANILA – The Philippines has ordered the suspension of 20 more mines for environmental violations, as the world’s top supplier of nickel ore vowed to pursue stricter standards than in global mining centers such as Canada and Australia.

Most of the mines were nickel producers and the news sent global prices up more than 1 percent on Tuesday, helping the metal recover from earlier losses amid worries over disruption of supply to the important Chinese market.

President Rodrigo Duterte has warned that the Philippines could survive without a mining industry and 10 mines have already been shuttered as part of an audit completed last month.”I am not against mining but I am definitely against the adverse effects that may happen, that are happening in some of the situations,” Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez told a briefing. Continue Reading →

[TMAC Resources Inc.] Giant arctic gold mine takes one step closer – by Frik Els ( – September 27, 2016)

TMAC Resources Inc. (TSX:TMR) announced on Monday that Canada’s Nunavut Impact Review Board has okayed an amended mining plan for the company’s Doris North gold mine, the first stage of its Hope Bay project.

Toronto-based TMC said the receipt of the amended Project Certificate No. 003 for a much larger mine than previous owners of the property envisaged marks the completion of the NIRB process and that the agency now transitions to a monitoring role.

The water board of the northern Canadian territory is progressing with a related amendment to the water license for the Doris Mine according to TMAC’s statement: Continue Reading →

Miners museum in Glace Bay in race against time to repair building – by George Mortimer (CBC News Nova Scotia – September 27, 2016)

‘It’s like living in a sieve,’ says museum director Mary Pat Mombourquette

The Cape Breton Miners Museum in Glace Bay, N.S., is struggling to raise money on its own while making a plea for government funding to save it from closure.

A building audit done more than a year ago identified a badly leaking roof, air quality issues originating in the building’s distinctive tower and other structural problems, according to museum director Mary Pat Mombourquette.

“The ceiling keeps collapsing. We’re losing more and more every day, and with the rain we lose a good chunk,” she said. “There’s problems with the foundation, problems with the walls, with the window, with the doors. Everything is leaking heat and everything is letting in rain. It’s like living in a sieve.” Continue Reading →

[Northern Ontario] Indigenous communities seek a fair stake in mining industry – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – September 27, 2016)

On any given day, Cheryl Recollet’s desk is littered with mining exploration plans, government notices, permit requests, and more, but with limited resources, it can be a struggle to vet them all in a timely manner.

Yet the people of Wahnapitae First Nation are determined to be active and educated participants in the resource development activity taking place in their traditional territory.

“We recognize that in order to make informed decisions, we must actively participate in the process,” said Recollect, director of sustainable development for Wahnapitae First Nation, located 60 kilometres north of Sudbury. “How do we make sure this information is getting to our leadership if we aren’t aware of what’s happening at all stages?” Continue Reading →

Name game: Potash merger offers much-needed rebranding opportunity – by Susan Krashinsky (Globe and Mail – September 27, 2016)

The proposed $36-billion (U.S.) mega-merger of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. is a bid to create a Canadian giant in the fertilizer market. It is also a union of two thoroughly boring brands.

One is literally named for the thing it sells and the location of its headquarters. The other is slightly more creative – named for a reference to agriculture with the “ium” suffix meant to symbolize “a close connection to the earth.” A key decision in the merger is still unknown: What will the new company be called?

“Agrium and PotashCorp are aware that naming the new company is one of the most important marketing activities that they will undertake. They intend to take their time to do it right and will provide an update on this in due course,” the companies said in an e-mailed statement. Continue Reading →

Locked and loaded: Chamber lobbies for Ring of Fire – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – September 27, 2016)

Lobbyists for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have a powerful new tool to use to persuade the Government of Canada that developing the Ring of Fire should be high on the national agenda.

A resolution regarding the vast chromite deposits, submitted by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, received 94.9 per cent support from more than 400 delegates at the Canadian chamber’s annual general meeting this month.

The resolution calls on the federal government to treat the Ring of Fire as a national priority, to work with governments, industry and community partners to forge agreements and build capacity with indigenous peoples, and to actively promote the Ring globally as a trade and investment opportunity. Continue Reading →

Royal Bank of Canada CEO touts pipelines as key to transitioning to a greener economy – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – September 27, 2016

CALGARY – The head of Canada’s largest bank made the case for new pipelines on Monday, while also calling for a national price on carbon.

“Our ability in the decades ahead to finance innovation, to create technologies that will power the 21st century and help transform the world to a cleaner economy, depends on our decisions today to get our natural resources to market,” Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay told a business luncheon in Edmonton.

Demand for oil and gas continues to rise around the world and domestic energy companies will lose their window to supply the market without new pipelines, he said. If that happens, McKay said, Canadian governments will need to tax other sectors to make up for lost revenue. “We can’t get to the economy of the future if we don’t use all of our resources, smartly and sustainably,” he said. Continue Reading →

Iron Giants to Add 200 Million Tons of Supplies Through 2020 – by Jamine Ng (Bloomberg News – September 22, 2016)

The world’s two largest iron-ore exporters Brazil and Australia will each add about 100 million metric tons of supply through the end of the decade, boosting a global glut and hurting prices in a slump that will then force marginal miners to cut output, according to Citigroup Inc.

Shipments from Brazil will expand to 480 million tons in 2020 from 371 million this year, while Australian cargoes rise to 934 million tons from 835 million, the bank said in a report. That’ll lift the surplus to 56 million tons in 2018 from 20 million this year, before price-induced curtailments help bring the global market back toward a balance, Citigroup estimates.

While iron ore has rallied in 2016, confounding predictions for renewed losses, investors are now refocusing on prospects for rising output from the top suppliers. With Brazil’s Vale SA set to start a four-year ramp-up of its S11D project, banks from Morgan Stanley to Citigroup as well as BHP Billiton Ltd. have said the additional output will probably contribute to weaker prices. Continue Reading →

Ferrochrome price in sharp rise – by Martin Creamer ( – September 26, 2016)

JOHANNESBURG ( – The European benchmark ferrochrome price for the fourth quarter of 2016 has been settled at 110c a pound, 12.2% up on the 98c-a-pound price of the third quarter.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Merafe Resources said last month that it expected to benefit from renewed positive ferrochrome demand trends, as well as from only four of seven South African ferrochrome producers currently being in production.

Merafe – headed by CEO Zanele Matlala – generates income primarily from the Glencore–Merafe Chrome Venture. In reporting its results for the six months ended June 30, Merafe indicated higher demand prospects for ferrochrome on the likelihood of global stainless steel production growing 2.6% this year and by 3.1% in 2017. Continue Reading →

Timmins Chamber of Commerce wants clarity for relationship between private sector and First Nations – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – September 25, 2016)

Two policy positions proposed by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce to be added to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s federal lobbying efforts passed with the near-unanimous support of delegates at a national conference held in Regina this past weekend.

The issues the Timmins Chamber wants the federal government to be pressured to address are climate change’s impact on the winter roads system, and clarifying what exactly is expected of private companies when it comes to dealing with First Nations. Manager of policy, Nick Stewart, was one of two chamber of commerce employees to travel to Saskatchewan to pitch the policy positions to other delegates – who voted to approve both proposals with 98% in favour.

“There were 140 chambers from across Canada on hand,” said Stewart. “We’re convinced that these policies are not just good for us, they’re good for everyone from Red Deer to Fredericton … There are a lot of issues specific to Northern Ontario that we would love to push at the federal level, but if you can’t translate that to some broader national impact, you’re not going to get any support at all.” Continue Reading →

Chamber of Commerce resolution asks feds to lend more support to the Ring of Fire – by Staff (Sudbury Northern Life – September 23, 2016)

Resolution received majority support at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce has received majority support for a resolution it submitted asking the federal government make the development of the Ring of Fire a national priority.

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce submitted the resolution, called “Make the Ring of Fire a Priority of National Significance”, at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting and Convetion, held Sept. 17 to 19 in Regina. The resolution received support from 94.9 per cent of the convention’s more than 400 delegates, and has now become the official policy of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“It was great to see our resolution about the Ring of Fire, a project located in Northern Ontario, be debated, voted on and successfully passed by delegates from across Canada and know that these delegates see this as a project of national significance,” said Tracy Nutt, chair of the board of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, in a press release. “This clearly demonstrates that the Ring of Fire is not just a vital project for Ontario, but for the entire nation.” Continue Reading →


Co-sponsored by the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce and the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce.


The Ring of Fire is a transformative project for Canada. Federal action is required to expedite the development of the Ring of Fire and ensure the economic and social potential of this nationally-significant, multigenerational project is realized.


The Ring of Fire is a mineral resource rich area of approximately 5,120 km2 located in the James Bay Lowlands region of Northern Ontario. There are a number of First Nations communities in close proximity to the Ring of Fire. Since the early 2000s, significant deposits of copper, zinc, nickel, platinum, palladium, vanadium, and gold along with the first and largest deposit of chromite in North America have been discovered. Based on current projections, the Ring of Fire is estimated to hold more than $60 billion in geological riches (1) with deposits being significant enough to sustain activity for a century. (2)

The Ring of Fire is not a Northern Ontario or Ontario project but will have far reaching impacts across the nation. In the first ten years, the GDP impact outside Ontario will range from $2.1 to $6.3 billion; in the first 32 years, the GDP impact outside of Ontario will range from $5.8 to $16.8 billion throughout the country. Continue Reading →

Nickel caught between shifting Indonesian and Philippine supply trends – by Andy Home (Daily Mail/Reuters – September 26, 2016)

LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Indonesia shocked the nickel market at the start of 2014 when it made good on a commitment to ban all exports of unprocessed minerals. With the stroke of a presidential pen the flow of nickel ore to China’s nickel pig iron (NPI) producers was halted.

Indonesian mined nickel production slumped from 834,000 tonnes in 2013 to 177,000 tonnes in 2014, according to the International Nickel Study Group (INSG). Only two local operators, Aneka Tambang and Vale Indonesia, were in a position to keep digging because they were already transforming ore into downstream products.

Now it is the turn of the Philippines to roil the nickel market. The country, which lifted output to capitalise on the gap left by Indonesia, has been closing nickel mines on environmental grounds with another tranche of suspensions to be announced on Tuesday. Continue Reading →

North American Aboriginals, First Nations join hands to thwart domestic oil development – by Henry Lazenby ( – September 23, 2016)

VANCOUVER ( – Canadian and Northern US Aboriginal groups and First Nations, this week, adopted the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, seeking to officially prohibit and collectively challenge and resist oil sands industry expansion in Alberta. This extends to preventing the transport of such expanded production, whether by pipeline, rail or tanker.

Some 50 First Nations and tribes have committed to stopping five current tar sands pipeline and tanker project proposals – Kinder Morgan, Energy East, Line 3, Northern Gateway and Keystone XL – as well as tar sands rail projects such as the Chaleur Terminals export project, at the Port of Belledune, in New Brunswick.

“What this treaty means is that, from Quebec, we will work with our First Nation allies in British Columbia to ensure that the Kinder Morgan pipeline does not pass and we will also work with our tribal allies in Minnesota as they take on Enbridge’s Line 3 expansion, and we know they’ll help us do the same against Energy East,” said Kanesatake grand chief Serge Simon. Continue Reading →