31st October 2014

Enhanced airport best option [Ring of Fire] – by Rick Millette (Timmins Press – October 30, 2014)

http://www.timminspress.com/

Rick Millette is a senior executive director at the Ring of Fire at Northern Policy Institute.

TIMMINS – Fly in. Fly out. It’s been the mantra of remote mines since governments and industry realized they were often left holding the bag for mining towns when the minerals were gone. Roads, water systems and schools remained but were not sustainable by the few taxpayers left behind.

It was a hard lesson, so now fly-in operations make sense when an ore body might only last a couple of decades. A temporary camp can be built to house hundreds of workers with all the comforts of home and then be easily dismantled when no longer needed.

But what should the strategic policy be when an ore body is multi-generational? The Ring of Fire is a 100-year resource, with some claiming 200 years. That’s a realistic projection based on known mineral reserves and when compared to other large ore bodies like Sudbury.

Sudbury’s depth and breadth of minerals is nowhere near exhaustion after 131 years. In addition, the Ring holds more than chromite. A host of other metals are abundantly present, offering mining longevity in their own right.

All this to say that the Ring of Fire may not fit the model for fly-in mining camps. A mining resource that can sustain a community for a hundred years or more has time to diversify beyond dependence on its mining base. Sudbury and Timmins being just two examples in Northern Ontario. Read the rest of this entry »

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31st October 2014

Canada: Ontario Premier Wynne Mandates Aboriginal Priorities – by Julie Abouchar and Nicole Petersen (Mondaq.com – October 31, 2014)

http://www.mondaq.com/

Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released mandate letters to her cabinet ministers on September 25, 2014, outlining key priorities for each ministry. Premier Wynne’s marching orders include many Aboriginal priorities.

Key Aboriginal priorities connected to environmental, energy and natural resource issues relate to socio-economic opportunities, sharing resource benefits, negotiations in the Ring of Fire, land claims, treaty and consultation issues, drinking water quality and dialogue with the federal government. Notable among the Premier’s Aboriginal priorities is the movement towards developing a coherent policy for improving drinking water quality and plans to develop mining interests in northern Ontario.

Energy Projects and Programs

Remote Transmission Projects – The Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA) will create an Aboriginal Economic Development Fund for Aboriginal communities and businesses to improve opportunities for employment and business development. Specifically, MAA will partner with the Minister of Energy (ME) to create the Remote Electrification Readiness Program. This will position Aboriginal communities to benefit from remote transmission projects. Read the rest of this entry »

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30th October 2014

Chinese rail money for Ring of Fire? – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 30, 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.

The plate tectonics for Ontario’s stalled Ring of Fire development project could significantly shift if Premier Kathleen Wynne’s visit to China pays dividends down the road.

The China Daily reported that the Far North mineral deposits could be cause for a constructive arrangement between the province and its second largest trading partner.

Fang Li, Chinese consul general in Toronto, who accompanied the premier on her first overseas trip was quoted as saying “Ontario is the most important for China among the provinces of Canada,” adding that the large, but inaccessible chromite and nickel deposits in the James Bay lowlands could lead to a cooperative arrangement between the two countries.

“The demand for the minerals is high in China; we can work together if the necessary infrastructure such as a rail line can be built in this area,” Fang said.

Accompanying Wynne on the trip is Brad Duguid, minister of economic development, employment and infrastructure, and Michael Chan, minister of citizenship, immigration and international trade, and representatives of about 60 clean tech and science and technology businesses and organizations. Read the rest of this entry »

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30th October 2014

Ring of Fire doubts ‘baseless and false’ – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – October 30, 2014)

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

Cliffs Natural Resources’ new chief executive officer may have shaken the confidence of some this week when he said he had “zero hope” the Ring of Fire would be developed in the next 50 years.

But Lourenco Goncalves didn’t cause three proponents of the chromite deposits 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay to lose faith the Ring will be mined and will add billions to the province’s economy when it is.

Goncalves, 55, told The Financial Post he didn’t expect to see the Ring developed in his lifetime, and that he intends to be around for another 50 years.

The newly named CEO of the Cleveland-based company was, no doubt, expressing the frustration of the company with one of the biggest claims in the Ring of Fire. It has suspended work on its project after investing $500 million in it.

In May 2012, Cliffs and the Government of Ontario announced Cliffs had upgraded its Ring of Fire project to the feasibility stage and reached a number of key agreements with the province. Most important to Sudbury was Cliffs’ decision to locate a $1.8-billion ferrochrome processing plant in Capreol, just north of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances | 0 Comments

29th October 2014

New Cliffs CEO sees ‘zero hope,’ no asset sale in Ontario’s Ring of Fire – by Peter Koven (National Post – October 29, 2014)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

The new chief executive of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. doubts that Ontario’s “Ring of Fire” will be developed for decades to come, or that anyone will buy his company’s rich chromite assets in the region in the near future.

Lourenco Goncalves, 55, said in an interview Tuesday that he has “zero hope” that a solution will be reached to spur on development in the region anytime soon.

“I don’t believe under my watch, and I plan to stay [alive] for the next 50 years… that the Ring of Fire will be developed,” he said.

A handful of junior mining companies, including KWG Resources Inc. and Noront Resources Ltd., are more optimistic and are interested in buying Cliffs’ Ring of Fire properties. But according to Mr. Goncalves, they all have the same problem: “They do not have any money.”

His comments have to be discouraging for the Ontario government, which made the Ring of Fire the centerpiece of its northern development plans. To date, Cleveland-based Cliffs is the only large mining company to take a serious interest in the area.

The Ring of Fire, located in the remote James Bay Lowlands, was discovered amid much fanfare in 2007. It is thought to hold about $60-billion of chromite, base metals and other minerals. Read the rest of this entry »

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

28th October 2014

Innu want say in Plan Nord – by Geoffrey Vendeville (Montreal Gazette – October 26, 2014)

http://montrealgazette.com/

For Quebec’s Innu First Nations, the provincial government’s lucrative northern development plan represents a “golden opportunity,” under the right circumstances, said chief Gilbert Dominique.

“We’ve said it many times: We’re not against development. We just want it to be done in a way that is respectful of our way of life and the environment, and that there be economic benefits for First Nations,” he said.

The traditional territory of the province’s nine Innu bands covers one-third of the land slated for development under Quebec’s Plan Nord, Innu leaders said in a parliamentary commission Friday.

Seven Innu villages are located on the Côte-Nord, two on Lac-St-Jean and two more across the border in Labrador. Numbering about 16,000, the Innu are the second largest native group in Quebec.

Dominique said his community of Mashteuiatsh isn’t immune to the social ills that afflict other disadvantaged First Nations including higher levels of unemployment, addiction and violence. The Plan Nord may be a way to improve their situation and give younger generations more hope for the future, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th October 2014

[Ontario] Province must build RoF road – Editorial (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – October 27, 2014)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

National media coverage on the Ring of Fire has been of the doom-and-gloom variety of late, but that doesn’t mean the province should throw in the towel on the idea for a main access road into the remote mineral rich zone.

Not surprisingly, in the wake of falling metal prices right across the globe, pundits and mining industry analysts have been questioning the RoF’s value. Maybe it’s not that rock-solid after all, the thinking goes.

But surely that thinking is flawed. It’s hardly a shock to discover that when mineral prices fall and stock values plummet, companies are no longer in a position to fork out the enormous upfront costs of building new mines.

Not until a mine is up and running is its proponent in a position to make operational changes, including temporary shutdowns, to ride out the industry’s inevitable ups and downs.

A few years ago, North American Palladium wisely shut down its Lac des Iles mine north of Thunder Bay when the price of palladium plunged. It restarted the operation when the price came back up, casting the views of cynics aside.

Fortunes can also lead the other way. Some may remember when Inmet Mining caved on a major expansion at its former Schreiber zinc mine after prices for that mineral crashed. But none of that means the province should abandon a sensible plan to build a main access road into the James Bay lowlands. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th October 2014

Aboriginal rights: A simple matter of rights denied – by Jim Coyle (Toronto Star – October 26, 2014)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

“People went into the Ring of Fire under the old idea that they could get what
they wanted under the old terms. And it turns out that under the new terms it’s
going to be done differently. This is the shifting of power, just as the pipeline
story is the shifting of power. Suddenly, people are realizing that they can’t get
those pipelines without the aboriginals. That’s real power. This is not the same
Canada.” (Public thinker John Ralston Saul)

If the biggest favour one human being can do another is to speak the truth, especially when that truth is uncomfortable to hear, then Canadians probably owe John Ralston Saul a collective nod of thanks.

To this high season of books by and about aboriginal people in Canada, Saul this week adds The Comeback, a celebration of how native people are empowering themselves, a review of how they’ve been (and continue to be) wronged, and a warning that Canada is at an historic moment when this missing piece in nation-building must be addressed.

He does not claim to speak for aboriginal Canadians. More than ever, they do that for themselves, he says. “There’s a critical mass of aboriginal thinkers and leaders and writers who are using the methods which can get to the population at large — very fine novels, very fine essays, very fine public arguments,” he told the Star. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th October 2014

Federal bill to boost transparency of public, private resource companies – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – October 25, 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 — he federal government has introduced legislation requiring resource companies to publish what they pay to foreign and domestic governments, with a plan to include First Nations governments after two years.

Representatives of mining and oil and gas industries welcomed the bill Friday, saying it would make it easier for them to demonstrate the benefits of their investments to local communities at home and abroad.

The long-promised legislation was part of an omnibus bill introduced Thursday, and will impose fines for companies that fail to report payments exceeding $100,000. It covers all publicly traded companies, as well as privately held ones that meet two of the following three conditions: have at least $20-million in assets, $40-million in revenue or 250 employees.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised to pursue the “publish-what-you-pay” initiative at a G20 meeting in Britain in 2013. Some industry groups had urged the provincial securities commissions to take the lead on the effort to be consistent with similar rules in the United States and the European Union. Read the rest of this entry »

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24th October 2014

The indigenous land rights ruling that could transform Canada – by Martin Lukacs (The Guardian – October 21, 2014)

http://www.theguardian.com/us

Indigenous rights offer a path to a radically more just and sustainable country – which is why the Canadian government is bent on eliminating them

The unrest is palpable. In First Nations across Canada, word is spreading of a historic court ruling recognizing Indigenous land rights. And the murmurs are turning to action: an eviction notice issued to a railway company in British Columbia; a park occupied in Vancouver; lawsuits launched against the Enbridge tar sands pipeline; a government deal reconsidered by Ontario Algonquins; and sovereignty declared by the Atikamekw in Quebec.

These First Nations have been emboldened by this summer’s Supreme Court of Canada William decision, which recognized the aboriginal title of the Tsilhqot’in nation to 1,750 sq km of their land in central British Columbia – not outright ownership, but the right to use and manage the land and to reap its economic benefits.

The ruling affects all “unceded” territory in Canada – those lands never signed away through a treaty or conquered by war. Which means that over an enormous land mass – most of British Columbia, large parts of Quebec and Atlantic Canada, and a number of other spots – a new legal landscape is emerging that offers the prospect of much more responsible land stewardship. Read the rest of this entry »

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24th October 2014

News Release: Goldeye Explorations Limited’s Weebigee Project: A High-Grade Gold Discovery in Ontario’s Sandy Lake Greenstone Belt – by Robin Luke Webster (The Ontario Prospector – Winter 2015)

http://www.ontarioprospectors.com/home/

Robin Luke Webster is the Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Community Relations, Goldeye Explorations Limited

In 1986, a former Inco Geophysicist, Blaine Webster, founded a private company to stake mineral exploration claims near Sandy Lake, 225km north of Red Lake, Ontario. At the time, he could hardly have imagined that it would take nearly 30 years to launch a comprehensive exploration and drilling program on the property. In the ensuing years, the company, Goldeye Explorations Limited, obtained a public listing, explored a number of other mineral properties, and made an exciting discovery at its Tyrrell project near Shining Tree, Ontario.

While Goldeye carried out limited exploration after initially staking its claims at Sandy Lake, the project was put on indefinite hold soon after due to opposition from nearby Sandy Lake First Nation (SLFN). Knowing the significant mineral potential of the Sandy Lake area, however, and the benefits that a discovery could bring for both Goldeye shareholders and the local community, Blaine maintained Goldeye’s interest in the claims and focused on building a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with the members of SLFN. When Goldeye sold the Tyrrell project to Temex Resources Corp. in 2012, its focus returned to Sandy Lake.

Guided by Ontario’s new mining act, Goldeye ramped up its ongoing efforts to advance the project and in 2013, after a process of extensive consultations and discussions, SLFN agreed to the terms of a comprehensive Exploration Agreement that made it possible for the long envisioned work program to commence. Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd October 2014

Define ‘consultation’ and ‘social licence’ – by Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail – October 22, 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.

What does it mean to be “consulted?” Does it mean to give an opinion and to be heard? To have your views prevail? To exercise a veto? We don’t know, and as a result of this, much confusion surrounds public decisions, especially for projects that require this amorphous idea of “consultation” or “social licence” to proceed.

Who defines “social licence?” Interest groups such as NGOs or businesses? Courts? Public opinion, but as measured by what? Polls? Write-in campaigns? Social media comments? Street demonstrations? Elections?

The confusion about “consultation” and “social licence” deepens when it comes to Canada’s First Nations. Courtesy of court rulings and depending on their title or land claim or treaty, aboriginals have to be “consulted,” their interests “accommodated,” and, if title is demonstrated, give their assent – except in the face of a “pressing and substantial” public interest.

What might that be, the “public interest?” Take the Northern Gateway pipeline to pump Alberta bitumen oil through northwestern British Columbia to Asia-Pacific markets.

The three-person National Energy Board panel that exhaustively studied the pipeline proposal – and supported it, with 209 conditions – declared that “the public interest is the interest of all Canadians.” Read the rest of this entry »

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22nd October 2014

Hopes for Ontario’s Ring of Fire doused as mining companies grow wary – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – October 22, 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.

Ontario’s “Ring of Fire” mineral belt was supposed to be a $60-billion natural resources treasure trove that would bring employment and economic prosperity to a remote part of the province’s north. It hasn’t worked out that way.

The project’s key player has given up, leaving the future of the deposit in question and hurting prospects that it will ever reach the lofty expectations of politicians.

Today, not much is happening in the Ring, a 5,000-square-kilometre crescent of mostly chromite in the boggy James Bay lowlands, 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

The region was said to be so rich in resources that it would rival Sudbury’s nickel basin and Alberta’s oil sands. Instead, the area remains undeveloped, a victim of the global slump in commodity prices and bureaucratic red tape.

“I’m disappointed that it hasn’t advanced more. It’s a long time, seven years after discovery,” said Neil Novak, the geologist who made the first discovery in the Ring and is now exploring for other metals as the chief executive officer of Black Widow Resources Inc.

In addition to the complete lack of infrastructure – there are no roads or power in the area – there is no real plan on how to mine the chromite, which is used to harden steel. Read the rest of this entry »

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20th October 2014

Rise of ‘social licence’: Claiming they speak for their community, protest groups are undermining the law – by Jen Gerson (National Post – October 18, 2014)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

It started with the War in the Woods, mass protests that quashed plans for clear-cutting in Clayoquot Sound.

Then came decisive demonstrations over airports, cellphone towers, wind farms, biotechnology — and one gas plant so hated by Ontario residents that the Liberals under former premier Dalton McGuinty allegedly spent $1-billion to cancel it.

Now it’s pipelines versus the people: protests over Alberta’s oil sands, and the metal tubes meant to carry its bitumen to market.

The outcome is uncertain. But dozens of recent developments have been overturned by the rise of “social licence” — the idea that community buy-in is as important, or more, than regulators’ approvals.

Or is it just NIMBYism by another name? Who speaks for “the people”? Who decides whether social licence is granted or not?

“You want people to feel heard in their concerns,” says Brian Lee Crowley, the managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy in Ottawa. “But I believe there’s a whole group of people who have become free riders on this concept of social licence, people who are dyed-in-the-wool opponents — whatever it is … They say, ‘Oh, you must not be allowed to do this unless you have social licence. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Corporate Social Responsibility | 0 Comments

17th October 2014

NEWS RELEASE: New Polling shows Northern Ontario First Nation residents’ perceptions on energy and mining

(October 16, 2014, Toronto, ON) New polling of Northern Ontario First Nation community residents that explores their attitudes towards renewable energy and resource develop was presented today by Oraclepoll Research President Dr. Paul Seccaspina at the Renewables & Mining Summit and Exhibition.

Issues surveyed in Northern Ontario First Nation Residents’ Perceptions on Energy and Mining, included:

• First Nation community residents’ attitude towards new energy generation sources (including renewable, nuclear and natural gas).
• Willingness to pay for new energy generation sources.
• Attitude towards provincial government renewable energy and conservation initiatives.
• Acceptability scenarios involving incentives and energy sources associated with a hypothetical mine development.

The research was conducted between September 26 and October 2, 2014 utilizing live person-to-person telephone calling to a random selected audience of First Nation community residents. Of the 200 respondents, a minimum of eight percent lived in communities not connected to the Ontario electricity grid and rely on diesel generation for electricity. The poll was commissioned by Environmental Communication Options, a firm actively engaged in a range of renewable, resource-focused and First Nation matters. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Mining Power Issues | 0 Comments

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