2nd September 2014

Ring of Fire a chance to build it right – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – August 30, 2014)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation is an opportunity to “create a vision from the moon” of what one of the first planned mining camps in Ontario will be like. Maurice (Moe) Lavigne, for one, is eager to get going on that.

The vice-president of exploration and development for KWG Resources Inc., has ideas for what the development corporation should do first when it is up and fully running.

Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle announced Thursday it would start with an interim board of public servants and “transition” to a more mature board of partner members from first nations, industry and governments.

Some were critical that is taking too long to happen. “In my biggest fantasy, I would have liked to have seen the Ontario government start that particular process five years ago, but they didn’t,” said Lavigne on Thursday.

Still he considered the official establishment this week of the “devco” — headquartered in Thunder Bay — a step forward.

Planning the infrastructure to support development in the Ring of Fire chromite deposits, an undeveloped area of the province located 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is something new for just about everyone. Read the rest of this entry »

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2nd September 2014

Ring of Fire Announcement Draws Fire on Ontario Government – by James Murray (Netnewsledger.com – August 30, 2014)


Latest Announcement on Ring of Fire Shakes Webequie

WEBEQUIE FN – THUNDER BAY – The announcement of a Ring of Fire Development Corporation by Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle has generated some controversy. “The Province’s decision to unilaterally move ahead with the economic development corporation for the Ring of Fire is disappointing,” states Webequie First Nation Chief Cornelius Wabasse. “We have been clear that we are willing to work with Ontario about Ring of Fire issues, but it has to be in a true spirit of partnership. Decisions of this magnitude cannot be made by Ontario behind closed doors.”

Minister Gravelle made the announcement this week saying, “The development corporation is a vital step towards building the much-needed infrastructure that is critical to realizing the full potential of the Ring of Fire,” states Michael Gravelle, the Minister of Northern Development and Mines. “It is a key building block to achieving our mutual goals of unlocking regional economic growth and benefiting from value- added opportunities like mineral processing and job creation”.

“I have confidence that this team will guide us through this initial, and necessary phase of the ROF Infrastructure Development Corporation, and I am encouraged by the work that is already underway to bring together First Nations, key industry players, communities and the federal government as partners. Together we can find the best ways to move forward so we can all tap into the extraordinary potential of the Ring of Fire.”

In a media statement, Webiquie First Nation says, “The Ontario Government’s announcement of its establishment of the Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation violates clear commitments made to Webequie First Nation” Read the rest of this entry »

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29th August 2014

First Nations group working on Ring of Fire infrastructure plan (Northern Miner – August 28, 2014)

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

Yet another infrastructure plan is in the works for Ontario’s remote Ring of Fire region, this one for an infrastructure corridor consisting of a railway, power, and a seasonal sea port in James Bay.

The big difference here is that the plan is being proposed by First Nations – the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council.

“This is going to be aboriginal-led,” said Mushkegowuk Director of Lands and Resources Vern Cheechoo. “I know there’s other plans in the region – the Ontario government with their corporation plan, we have Ontario Hydro with a grid plan, we have other groups that want to bring infrastructure into the region and we are one of the options. We feel we’re best situated for this.”

Mushkegowuk represents 10,000 people, including members of the Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Moose Cree, Taykwa Tagamou, Chapleau Cree and Missanabie Cree First Nations. The council has started talks with the nine Matawa First Nations, whose territories are closest to the Ring of Fire, on working together.

Some of the previous infrastructure proposals, such as Cliffs’ proposal to build a 340-km all-weather industrial road, for example, proved controversial because of inadequate consultation. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th August 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Northern Superior Reports on Progress of its $110 Million Lawsuit Against Government of Ontario

SUDBURY, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Aug. 27, 2014) - Northern Superior Resources Inc. (“Northern Superior” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:SUP) reports the following progress on the Company’s $110 million lawsuit against the Government of Ontario:

Since the appointment at the Company’s request of a Judge to manage its case against the Ontario Government, lawyers for Northern Superior and the Government of Ontario have attended three (3) case conferences before Mr. Justice Lederer of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice;

As a result of these case conferences, various outstanding procedural issues have now been resolved and the case can now move to the next stage;

Northern Superior obtained further documentation previously undisclosed by the Ontario Government, and on August 21, 2014 delivered its final “Reply” in response to the Ontario Government’s “Fresh and Amended Statement of Defense” (copies of all pleadings can be found on “Northern Superior’s website www.nsuperior.com under the heading “Claim”); and

Northern Superior and the Ontario Government have agreed that in addition to managing procedural aspects of the court action, Justice Lederer will also hear and rule on the merits of the case. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th August 2014

Mining must strengthen community engagement, public confidence – Minister Rickford – by Dorothy Kosich (Mineweb.com – August 28, 2014)


Instead of debating whether Canada should develop its resources, Minister Greg Rickford advises the discussion should focus on responsible resource development.

RENO (MINEWEB) - While Ontario’s Ring of Fire holds great promise for the province’s north, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford stressed the importance of engaging with all communities in the region to work effectively with the province and the mining industry.

In a speech to 2014 Energy and Mine Ministers Meeting in Sudbury Tuesday, Rickford said, “I believe the Ring of Fire holds great promise for this region—a legacy resource development that will require substantial investment, new roads and essential infrastructure to ensure that our communities will have road access and electrification at a competitive value point for industry and communities in Northern Ontario to thrive.”

However, he observed, “To build local confidence, communities must trust what governments and industry say and what government and industries do. We must listen and address local concerns.”

“Building trust in public confidence comes from transparency,” said Rickford. “One of the reasons we’re pursuing initiatives like mandatory reporting for the extractive sector … is to get us to a point of some consensus.” Read the rest of this entry »

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28th August 2014

Imperial Metals agrees to First Nation tailings review – by James Keller (Canadian Manufacturing.com – August 27, 2014)


The company behind the Mount Polley tailings dam breach will pay for an independent engineer to review the tailings facility at its Red Chris mine

VANCOUVER— The Canadian Press – A  British Columbia company behind a mine tailings spill has signed an agreement with a First Nation that will see an independent engineering firm review a tailings facility at a separate project.

The agreement between Imperial Metals Corp. and the Tahltan Central Council ends a blockade of the company’s Red Chris gold and copper mine, where workers had been prevented from entering by a group of Tahltan elders for more than two weeks.

The tailings dam at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine in central B.C. failed earlier this month, releasing millions of cubic metres of waste water and silt into several lakes and rivers. The spill raised concerns about the potential impact on humans and the environment, placing the company and the entire mining industry under increased scrutiny.

Several days later, a group of Tahltan elders known as the Klabona Keepers established a blockade of the Red Chris site, which is located in northwestern B.C. and expected to open by the end of the year.

Imperial Metals issued a news released announcing that it would pay for an independent engineer, selected by the Tahltan Central Council, to review the tailings facility for the Red Chris mine and report back by Sept. 24. Read the rest of this entry »

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25th August 2014

Environmental Training Focus on Ring of Fire – by James Murray (Netnewsledger – August 25 2014)


WAHNAPITAE FIRST NATION — This week, over 35 delegates from the Matawa and Mushkegowuk Nations will gather in Wahnapitae First Nation. The delegates are participating in a workshop organized by the Chiefs of Ontario (COO) and Four Rivers, Matawa’s environment office.

The environmental training builds on the Chiefs of Ontario’s 2013 Environmental Assessment toolkit which offers high-level technical staff the opportunity to work with leading industry professionals and enable community experts to learn more about mining and environmental assessment processes. Participants will visit several mining sites in the area, attend workshops focused on negotiating skills and learn more about the job opportunities, training, and environmental considerations central to development in the Ring of Fire region.

“This training is a direct response to the questions and concerns we heard from participants at the last Chiefs of Ontario training session in Constance Lake First Nation,” commented Regional Chief Stan Beardy. “The last training session was a starting point where we learned that people wanted to see on the ground what these mines look like and also to further build their understanding of the implications, both positive and negative, of mining development in their territories.”

Through the land excursions, in-depth group discussions and technical presentations, training participants will build on what they have learned in the first round of training to further enhance their ability to respond to companies seeking to develop minerals on their land. Read the rest of this entry »

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21st August 2014

First Nations poised to emerge as leaders in Ring of Fire development – by Suzanne Leclair (Mining Markets – August 21, 2014)


Suzanne Leclair LL.B is the founder of Connect Counsel, a Canadian professional multi-disciplinary business advisory firm dedicated to developing major aboriginal and non-aboriginal partnerships in energy and natural resource related infrastructure projects. She is an infrastructure advisor to Mushkegowuk Council.

In July, on the day after the Ontario Court handed a victory to Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) against KWG Resources (TSXV: KWG) regarding a potential road into the Ring of Fire, Cliffs’ legal representative flew to Marten Falls, an aboriginal community in the Ring of Fire region to explain the implications of the decision to the chiefs at their annual general meeting.

After his presentation, Cliffs’ representative fielded his first question from one of the chiefs: “How can two mining companies fight in a Toronto court over land that is simply not theirs?” With that simple question, the chief underscored the challenges as to who can lead the development of a transportation corridor into the isolated but mineral-rich region.

Also last month, another potential challenge arose with the Supreme Court of Canada’s Tsilhqot’in Nation decision. It’s the first time that aboriginal title has been granted in Canada, and it could have implications for resource development in Ontario. So, what’s changed with respect to the Ring of Fire since Canada’s highest court handed down a major victory for aboriginal communities in the form of the Tsilhqot’in ruling? Read the rest of this entry »

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21st August 2014

End of Australia’s mining boom threatens Pilbara Cities plan – by Jamie Smyth (Financial Times – August 20, 2014)



Port Hedland, Australia – In a dusty industrial estate next to the world’s biggest iron ore port in Western Australia’s remote Pilbara region, business has never been so bad.

“The rents got so high in the town that when the boom ended, businesses began to die off everywhere,” says Jo Woodward, owner of Jems, a ramshackle building with an eviction notice stuck to its padlocked gate that was recently Port Hedland’s only legal brothel. “Nothing is selling here now.”

The demise of Jems, and of many other Pilbara businesses that have closed their doors following the end of the country’s mining investment boom, suggests Australia may struggle to realise one of its flagship projects.

Port Hedland and neighbouring Karratha grew rapidly during a decade-long boom as workers flooded into the Pilbara to construct the iron ore mines, railways and ports needed to feed Chinese demand for steel. Read the rest of this entry »

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21st August 2014

Mushkegowuk Council Sets Ring of Fire Business Case – by NNL Staff (August 20, 2014)


Mushkegowuk MUSHKEGOWUK HOMELANDS – The Mushkegowuk Council has announced they will coordinate the development of their business case in support of a Ring of Fire rail, sea port, fibre-optic, and energy transportation corridor through an Aboriginal-led-alliance. “We now have the experience, people, credibility and knowledge to take an active role in leading the development of infrastructure corridors. We have learned from our mistakes and we have the confidence from our successes” said Deputy Grand Chief Leo Friday.

Deputy Grand Chief Leo Friday, on behalf of Mushkegowuk Council, announced to the Matawa Council of Chiefs at their annual general meeting on July 31st, 2014 that Mushkegowuk is fully supportive of Matawa’s interests in the Ring of Fire.

Mushkegowuk Seeks Matawa Agreement

In the spirit of our joint declaration between Matawa and Mushkegowuk Chiefs, Mushkegowuk Council offered the Matawa Council of Chiefs to jointly develop sustainable infrastructure opportunities to unlock the economic potential of the Ring of Fire while safeguard ing the historic rivers of the Matawa and Mushkegowuk homelands.

For example; Mushkegowuk’s Moose Cree First Nation and Taykwa Tagamou Nation have negotiated equity partnerships in power generation stations. Read the rest of this entry »

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21st August 2014

Editorial: Once more into the breach – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – August 20, 2014)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. Editor John Cumming MSc (Geol) is one of the country’s most well respected mining journalists.  jcumming@northernminer.com

It was another week of major developments in the fast-moving story of Imperial Metals and the massive, 15-million-tonne tailings and waste-water breach at its Mount Polley copper–gold mine in central B.C.’s Cariboo region.

One major worry amongst the general population in B.C. is that they’re looking at a Lac-Mégantic rail-disaster type of situation, where the offending company goes bankrupt soon after the incident, leaving local communities reeling and higher levels of government with the task of cleaning up the devastation and a multi-million dollar bill.

That doesn’t appear to be happening with Imperial Metals and the Mount Polley spill, as Imperial was able to flex a little of its financial muscle on Aug. 14 with the announcement that it would raise $100 million in a convertible debenture, with at least some of the funds to be directed towards the clean-up at Mount Polley.

Playing a large and leading role in the financing is Calgary-based oilsands billionaire Murray Edwards, chairman of Canadian Natural Resources and perhaps best known as a co-owner of the Calgary Flames NHL team. Among his many business ventures in Western Canada, he owns a 30% stake in Imperial Metals, which might account for less than 10% of his wealth, which was pegged by Forbes at US$2.2 billion in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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20th August 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Grand opening of first Remote Training Centre celebrated in Neskantaga

NESKANTAGA, ON, Aug. 19, 2014 /CNW/ – The grand opening of the Neskantaga Training Centre was celebrated today in Neskantaga Territory, Ontario, showcasing the new innovative facility and collaboration technology which delivers training directly to the remote community.

The Neskantaga Training Centre is a multi-purpose facility with construction components designed to be flown into remote communities and assembled on-site. The centre is outfitted with state of the art technology, including Cisco TelePresence, high-definition two-way video communication and collaboration technology, a 70-inch Smart Board, a 70-inch LED HDTV, high-speed satellite broadband connectivity, as well as individual laptops. The centre directly connects to e-learning tools and programs to offer a wide variety of curriculum including access to secondary and post-secondary institutions, safety training courses, trades and technical certifications. To see the Neskantaga Training Centre in action, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASjo4mFVOdQ&feature=youtu.be.

“The partnerships formed to build this facility, along with all of the hard work, have culminated in a facility that will have a positive impact on the people of Neskantaga for many years to come,” said Chief Peter Moonias of Neskantaga First Nation during the opening ceremonies. Read the rest of this entry »

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14th August 2014

B.C. First Nations band evicts mining company that owns Mount Polley tailings pond – by James Keller (Vancouver Province – August 14, 2014)


THE CANADIAN PRESS – CHASE, B.C. — A British Columbia First Nation plans to issue an eviction notice to Imperial Metals Corp. (TSX:III) — the company behind a massive tailings pond breach at a gold and copper mine last week — over a separate project in the band’s territory.

The declaration from the Neskonlith Indian Band is the latest sign that last week’s tailings spill at the Mount Polley Mine in central B.C. could ripple across the company’s other projects and possibly the province’s entire mining industry.

The Neskonlith band said the notice, which its chief planned to hand-deliver to Imperial Metals in Vancouver on Thursday, orders the company to stay away from the site of its proposed Ruddock Creek zinc and lead mine, which is located about 150 kilometres northeast of Kamloops.

The mine, which is still in the development phase and has yet to go through the environmental assessment process, would be located near the headwaters of the Adams River, home of an important sockeye salmon run. The Neskonlith band opposed the mine long before the Mount Polley tailings spill.

“We do not want the mine developing or operating in that sacred headwaters,” Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson said in an interview Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th August 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People opposed to Goliath Gold Project Wastewater Plans

(WABIGOON, ON – August 11, 2014) The Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People (OCAP) is strongly opposed to the plan of Treasury Metals’ Goliath Gold Project to discharge effluent into Blackwater Creek or pipe it directly to Wabigoon Lake through a submerged diffuser. The recent catastrophic spill of wastewater and tailings waste in British Columbia is a warning to everyone in this region of the importance of protecting Wabigoon Lake.

It has come as a surprise to many people in the Dryden region that Treasury Metals plans to submit their environmental impact study and that they don’t see any red flags concerning the project. These facts contrast strongly with the concerns about the health and environment from Aboriginal Peoples and others living in the region.

“Wabigoon Lake is of great importance to Aboriginal Peoples in this region and the name itself is Ojibwe for ‘flower’. The pristine waters of the lake are a major attraction for recreational boaters and anglers and this generates significant economic benefits. Allowing metal mining corporations to use our lake as a dump for their wastewater and tailings is a pollution risk that we should not be taking,” said Brad Maggrah, OCAP President.

The concerns and issues of Aboriginal Peoples about federal and provincial environmental policies, which allow mining companies to destroy lakes and waters with toxic tailings, have fallen on deaf ears. Aboriginal Peoples have a deep respect and spiritual connection to lands and waters, and the pollution of our freshwater lakes is of great concern. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th August 2014

Aboriginal institute trains mining industry workers – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 13, 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. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business ianross@nob.on.ca.

Seven Generations Education Institute is seeking to create a home grown workforce to position Aboriginal people in northwestern Ontario to take advantage of coming opportunities in the mining sector.

The Aboriginally run Treaty 3 organization, established in 1978, was the recipient of $5.2 million in federal funding last spring to provide training and real world experience to First Nation, Inuit and Métis participants.

The one-time grant funding will be spread out over 15 months. The money, which arrived last April through Ottawa’s Skills and Partnership Fund, is aimed at skill development of new workers coming into the mining sector and placing them in a position to fill vital support roles as development begins to unfold in the region.

“The goal is not to create miners,” said Brenda Cameron, project coordinator of the Mining Workforce Preparation Program for Seven Generations. “It’s to create a trained Aboriginal workforce where people can secure a job somewhere in the mining industry.

“You need people to staff the offices, build the mines, tradespeople, electricians, first responders and line cooks.” Those skills are also transferrable to other sectors as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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