21st November 2014

Lies we wish were true [Ring of Fire transportation] – by David Robinson (Northern Ontario Business – November 2014)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.  

Dave Robinson is an economist with the Institute for Northern Ontario Research and Development at Laurentian University.drobinson@laurentian.ca 

Here is a fantasy about Northern development and the Ring of Fire. Everyone in the story really exists. Not a single event in the story has happened — yet.

In late 2014, the chief of the Moose Cree First Nation, Norm Hardisty, wrote to Stephen McGlennan, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles in Britain, asking if their Airlander 50 would be a suitable vehicle for CreeWest, a First Nations-owned air carrier. Hardisty didn’t have a clear plan in mind, but he knew that if First Nations controlled an essential transportation system they would be big winners in the development of Ontario’s North. McGlennan phoned Hardisty back saying he would fly a half-dozen people to the hangar in London where the radical airship is being built.

According to the International Business Review, McGlennan’s super blimp has a top speed of 160 kilometres per hour, can carry 50 tons of equipment, and can operate in the most extreme weather. If there is no runway, it can deliver 20 tons to any clearing bigger than a football field. In comparison, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter can only lift a maximum of 10 tons. And helicopters are fuel hogs. The Airlander has much better fuel efficiency than any conventional aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »

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21st November 2014

Ring of Fire is ‘beyond the point of no return,’ mining company says – Bill Curry and Bertrand Marotte (Globe and Mail – November 20, 2014)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Ottawa and MONTREAL – The Ring of Fire project is “beyond the point of no return” in spite of renewed government pledges to move ahead, says the CEO of the mining company that owns the rights to most of the resources in the remote Northern Ontario mineral deposit.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. CEO Lourenco Goncalves made headlines last month with his declaration that he had “zero hope” that the Ring of Fire would be developed in his lifetime.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail this week, Mr. Goncalves said recent pledges from the federal and Ontario governments to support the project with public infrastructure cash have not changed his assessment of the project’s viability.

“Last month I said it would not happen in the next 50 years. This month I will say it’s not going to happen in 49 years and 11 months,” he said. “We are beyond the point of no return.”

The Cleveland-based company bought three chromite deposits in 2010 for $350-million and has spent about $200-million on development. Since large chromite deposits were first discovered in 2008, estimates have pegged the mineral potential of the region at $60-billion. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Cliffs Natural Resources, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

20th November 2014

Province on defensive after federal accusations of Ring of Fire inaction – by Jamie Smith (tbnewswatch.com – November 20, 2014)

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/

The provincial and federal governments seem to be in a war of words over the Ring of Fire. Federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford (Con., Kenora) said in the House of Commons Wednesday that the province’s much-touted $1 billion for infrastructure and development corporation in the Ring of Fire isn’t actual policy.

“Ontario has not committed a red cent and has set up a development corporation that is not supported by First Nation communities, the private sector, and it is not a policy option for this government in its current form,” Rickford said.

“We have made significant investments in the Ring of Fire and will continue to demonstrate our commitment by working with First Nation communities and the provincial government should it identify the Ring of Fire as an actual priority.”

He was responding to a question by MP David McGuinty (Lib., Ottawa South) on whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne by the end of the year on the issue.

In Queen’s Park Thursday Ontario Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle (Lib., Thunder Bay-Superior North) said the province is absolutely committed to the project despite the absence of the federal government. Read the rest of this entry »

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20th November 2014

Red Chris mine failure would eclipse Mount Polley damage: report – by By Cara McKenna (CBC News British Columbia – November 19, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia

Porous soil at site of proposed tailings pond dam called a ‘major design issue’

The Canadian Press – The results of a third-party review into the design of a northwestern B.C. gold and copper mine says it has the potential to cause significantly more environmental damage than the recent collapse of the Mount Polley tailings pond.

Engineering firm Klohn Crippen Berger made 22 recommendations for the owner of the mine, Imperial Metals, to improve the tailings dam of the Red Chris mine, 500 kilometres north of Terrace.

The review found the design of the dam is feasible, but that there are issues that must be addressed. The three-phased review looks at the tailings pond design, water quality predictions and geohazards at the mine site.

It identifies a “major design issue” for the soil on which the dams would be built, noting the porous soil could cause damaging water leaks if the planned installation of a fine-grained tailings blanket isn’t enough to limit seepage.

It also suggests that designers carefully monitor the water balance for their tailings reservoir and complete a risk assessment around the effects of another nearby landslide. Read the rest of this entry »

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19th November 2014

Lawrence Martin elected Mushkegowuk Grand Chief – (CBC News Sudbury – November 17, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury

Lawrence Martin has been elected as the new Grand Chief of the Mushkegowuk Council. Martin, who is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation, beat out six other candidates in a by-election. He has also served as Mushkegowuk Grand Chief before, from 1998 to 2001.

The grand chief position has been open since the death of long-time leader Stan Louttit, who lost a battle with cancer in June. “We have a lot of the housing issues, we have a lot of the water and sewage problems,” Martin said of the challenges he will face as Grand Chief.

“But there’s all kinds of money out there. Minister Rickford just announced the Canada Build program that has millions and millions of dollars and now we can actually start applying for those funds for the infrastructure in the communities.”

After Martin served a term with Mushkegowuk Council, he was active in off-reserve politics. He served as mayor of the towns of Cochrane and Sioux Lookout.

“Lawrence Martin made history as the first Aboriginal person in Ontario elected to lead a non-native municipality, then made history again by becoming one of the only people in Canada elected to lead two different municipalities,” Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Grand Chief Harvey Yesno said in a release. Read the rest of this entry »

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19th November 2014

MPP says Ontario dragging its feet on Ring of Fire – by Jeff Labine (Timmins Daily Press – November 19, 2014)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The MPP for Timmins-James Bay is blaming the Liberal government for squandering the proposed Ring of Fire project and causing friction with mining companies.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered his fall economic statement, saying the government is working to meet fiscal targets despite modest economic growth and later than expected revenues. He said the revenue projection for 2014-15 is $118.4 billion – $509 million lower than first forecast.

In that same report, Sousa once again called on the federal government to match the Liberal’s $1-billion investment into the Ring of Fire.

New Democrat MPP Gilles Bisson said because the Liberals have dragged their feet, major companies like Cliffs Natural Resources have left the project. He said Cliffs and many other mining companies continue to voice their frustration with the government.

“They have been talking about the Ring of Fire for eight or nine years,” he said. “They have mentioned it now in two or three budgets and a couple of Throne Speeches. Now they got this fallacy going on that they are going to do something when it comes to infrastructure in the Ring of Fire but we have to wait for the feds. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Northern Ontario Politics, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Timmins | 0 Comments

18th November 2014

Perception study of Aboriginal Canadians reveals low opinion of mining industry – by Creamer Media Reporter (MiningWeekly.com – November 18, 2014)

http://www.miningweekly.com/page/americas-home

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – A Canada-wide survey of Aboriginal Canadians who reside in rural and/or remote communities has revealed that only 38% have a favourable perception of the mining and mineral exploration industry. This is a considerable difference compared with the positive approval among Canadians cited in recent industry studies, ranging between 76% and 82%.

The results provide valuable insight on how mining proponents can gain social license by building positive relationships with Aboriginal communities, addressing concerns and ensuring the communities benefit from proposed projects.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, Greg Rickford, on Monday highlighted the importance of mining to Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian economy, as well as the potential presented by areas with high mineral development opportunities such as the Ring of Fire and the North.

When addressing attendees of the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association’s twenty-second annual conference, the Minister also emphasised the Canadian government’s commitment to responsibly developing Canada’s natural resources, which includes engaging with communities and environmental stewardship.

Rickford underscored the government of Canada’s ongoing efforts to increase Aboriginal participation in the mining industry with a particular emphasis on Aboriginal youth. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th November 2014

Quebec mining giants, Plan Nord promoters meet as industry slumps – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq Online.ca – November 17, 2014)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

Major new mining projects for Nunavik have stalled

Dig below the surface and you may find that hope and fear are the underlying themes at this week’s Quebec mines conference, Nov. 17 to Nov. 20, in Quebec City.

The Quebec mining sector faces sharply decreasing commodity prices at a time when the Quebec government wants to promote resource development, the centre-piece of its long-touted Plan Nord, relaunched in 2014 by the new Liberal government.

But low gold prices and falling demand for nickel and iron in China means the 2,000 delegates expected at the conference, whose sponsors include Quebec’s department of resources and energy, its mining association and other industry players, may end up bemoaning a bust in resource development rather than applauding its boom.

Key major mining projects in Nunavik have already stalled. Oceanic Iron Ore Corp., whose company officials recently accompanied Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard on his junket to promote Plan Nord in China is still looking for a Chinese partner for its ambitious Hopes Advance iron ore project near Aupaluk on Nunavik’s Ungava Bay.

The iron mine project, which looked so promising in 2013, has enough resources to produce between 10 million and 20 million tonnes of high-grade iron ore concentrate product every year for up to 48 years. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th November 2014

First Nations in Canada touted as land-management leaders – by Bruce Cheadle (Globe and Mail – November 14, 2014)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

OTTAWA — The Canadian Press – Amid the court challenges, war of words, sit-ins and street protests that have marked First Nations relations with Canada’s resource sector, it might surprise some Canadians that aboriginal land management in this country is being held up as a model to the world.

Members of three remote native communities are in Sydney, Australia, this week, where the World Parks Congress is holding its sixth international summit. They’re part of a global movement showcasing ways to balance aboriginal rights, cultural protection, resource development and environmental stewardship.

“There’s some real leadership happening in Canada,” said Valerie Courtois, director of the Aboriginal Leadership Initiative for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign, before departing for Sydney this week.

Representatives of the Grand Cree of Quebec, the North West Territories’ Lutsel K’e and Manitoba’s Poplar River First Nation have been invited to the congress, which meets every 10 years to discuss biodiversity, conservation and the state of the world’s parks and protected areas. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th November 2014

Common misconceptions about the duty to consult – by Bruce McIvor (Troy Media – November , 2014)

http://www.troymedia.com/

Bruce McIvor is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation.

VANCOUVER, BC, Nov 16, 2014/ Troy Media/ – Governments, industry and First Nations still continue to disagree on what it takes to fulfil the duty to consult, resulting in stalled resource development projects and growing public frustration. This is despite the fact that for over 10 years, and culminating in the recent Tsilhqot’in decision, the courts have established and elaborated on the principles underpinning the duty to consult.
If governments, industry and First Nations are going to trust each other and work together, we need to dispel common misconceptions about the duty to consult, agree on basic requirements and outline a path to reconciliation.

First, the duty to consult is qualitatively different than consultation with the general public. It is a constitutional duty owed solely to Aboriginal people. It exists because Indigenous peoples with their own laws and customs controlled the lands and waters now called Canada before non-Indigenous people arrived. European states bent on colonization recognized that, based on their own laws, they could not simply ignore the fact of the original inhabitants: Indigenous and non-Indigenous interests had to be reconciled. The duty to consult is part of this ongoing national project.

While specific obligations vary with the circumstances, the courts have identified minimum requirements for meaningful consultation with First Nations. Consultation must begin at the earliest stages of planning and cannot be postponed. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th November 2014

Webequie chief calls for true partnerships at mining summit – by Rick Garrick (Wawatay News – November 13, 2014)

http://www.wawataynews.ca/

Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse called for “true partnerships” at the 4th Annual Mining Ready Summit, held Oct. 28-29 in Thunder Bay.

“That’s the way going forward for us to have a step in the processes and also be part of the processes that are potentially going to happen in our area,” Wabasse said. “We have to have these agreements and they have to be real and they have to be honoured.”

Wabasse said his community does not want to sign agreements where “nothing is happening on our side.”

“We know that we have to work our part as well too to make that agreement become reality,” Wabasse said. “We need to understand as First Nations about that agreement, what we need to do to make that happen as well too.”

Wabasse said his community is not opposed to development. “We want to be able to benefit from our lands and resources,” Wabasse said. “We want to be able to benefit from any development that is happening in our area. We know that things are changing — we are not going to be trapping and fishing all our lives — we have to look at other ways of benefitting from our lands and resources.”

But the community still does practice its traditional ways of life on the land, including harvesting traditional foods such as moose, caribou, rabbits and partridge.

“We had a good fall harvest this season,” Wabasse said. “The community engaged in a fall hunting festival, so it was good to see our people still very into the traditional ways of life and also eating traditional foods.” Read the rest of this entry »

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13th November 2014

Commentary: What miners need to know about Canada’s new payment reporting law – by Graham Erion and John Munnis (Northern Miner – November 11, 2012)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. 

On Oct. 23, 2014, the Government of Canada introduced its long-awaited legislation to mandate disclosure of public payments made by mining and oil & gas companies for the commercial development of oil, gas and minerals. The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act follows over a year of industry consultations and an industry and civil society-led roundtable, both of which Davis LLP has covered extensively. With the introduction of the Act, key details for the payment reporting scheme have been clarified, which are reviewed below.

The basic payment reporting obligation

The Act applies to any entity engaged in, or controlling other entities engaged in, the commercial development of oil, gas or minerals anywhere in the world so long as the entity: has publicly listed in Canada; has a place of business in Canada, does business in Canada or has assets in Canada, and that, based on its consolidated financial statements, meets at least two of the following conditions for at least one of its two most recent financial years; has $20 million in assets; has $40 million in revenue; and/or has 250 employees.

Entities covered under the Act must provide the Canadian government with an annual report detailing the payments it has made directly or indirectly to a public body — whether monetary or in-kind — to develop oil, gas or minerals if the total amount of such payments during the previous financial year is at least $100,000 (or such other amount if prescribed by regulation). Read the rest of this entry »

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13th November 2014

Non-aboriginal Canadians need to wake up to the rising power of Aboriginal Peoples – by Anna Marie Tremonti (CBC The Current – November 13, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/

Aboriginal youth and a whole new generation of First Nations thinkers and leaders are speaking up but arguably non-aboriginal Canadians haven’t been listening. In a week when the news is dominated by the trauma of the brutal attack of another young aboriginal woman, we bring you a conversation about empowerment and greater expectations … in what John Ralston Saul calls “The Comeback”

“We are bringing this message for our future generations for our grandparents that went to residential schools for the children that were raped in residential schools. We bring this message forward for them.”

“Stay strong, we are all in this together. We will not fall. We will not end this. We are in this for the long hall with Chief Theresa Spence with all of our Chiefs. With all of those involved in the idle no more movement. We are in unity with the creator, with ceremony.”

Andrea Landry from Pays Plat First Nation in Ontario at Idle No More protest in Ottawa, January of 2013 Read the rest of this entry »

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12th November 2014

Micro-mining builds sustainability into extraction processes – by E. Hinton and K. Palmer (CIM Magazine – August 2007)

https://www.cim.org/en.aspx

While this article is somewhat dated, the subject is strategically relevant for First Nations communities. – Stan Sudol, Editor/Owner RepublicOfMining.com

In many parts of the world, communities are taking a “just say no” approach to the usual boom-and-bust style of mining. Rather than accepting a large influx of outside people, who may bring with them economic disruption and social problems, they are looking for a more sustainable future.

Resistance to traditional mining is made more acute as governments increasingly feel obligated to listen to their peoples’ wishes and heed them. Some of this is due to the growing power of non-governmental organizations, which can quickly mount Internet-savvy publicity campaigns that reach into mining companies’ boardrooms, to object to developments that local people are resisting. Some of it is also due to the growing influence of the Equator Principles, under which lending institutions refuse to provide financing for projects that do not pass accepted sustainability thresholds.

Do the words “mining” and “sustainable” fit together?

They can, through what we can call “micro-mining.” This involves a search for small, concentrated deposits that can be extracted at relatively low cost. This keeps the financial commitment relatively small. Aside from some startup capital, financing stays organic, through earned revenues. This means living within the means of the deposit. The workforce is largely local, backed by sufficient outside expertise. Read the rest of this entry »

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10th November 2014

B.C. aboriginal training program ends amid funding dispute – by Wendy Stueck (Globe and Mail – November 9, 2014)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

VANCOUVER — A federally funded program that helped more than 1,000 First Nations people land jobs in British Columbia’s mining sector has abruptly closed its doors, saying it was not able to operate without secure financing from Ottawa.

The federal government, however, says the $10-million program – known as the Aboriginal Mentoring and Training Association, or AMTA – filed “questionable expense claims” and was unable to account for some of the money it received before it ceased operations.

The group insists it can account for all the funds it has received and spent. The unhappy ending mars what had been a success story for industry, First Nations communities and people such as Meagan Sam.

Ms. Sam, currently working as a contract truck driver at the Gibraltar mine, about 65 kilometres north of Williams Lake, said AMTA counsellors helped her get through training programs, including a stint in the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook.

“They really opened doors for me,” Ms. Sam said Friday in an interview. “I maybe could have done it [the training] on my own, but it would have been a lot harder.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, British Columbia Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

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