Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining

Has the federal government dropped the ball on Ring of Fire development? – by Jordan Press (Victoria Times Colonist – August 25, 2016)

The Canadian Press – OTTAWA – “The Ring of Fire is a provincial initiative that the previous federal government was extremely detached from and uninterested in.” — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

When a local reporter went digging for answers from Justin Trudeau about stalled development in the so-called Ring of Fire in northern Ontario, the prime minister went panning for political points.

Far away from where he stood in Sudbury lies one of the world’s largest undeveloped deposits of chromite — a key ingredient in stainless steel — as well as deposits of nickel, copper and platinum. But development hasn’t budged in the last 10 years.

Trudeau pointed the finger at the previous Conservative government. “The Ring of Fire is a provincial initiative that the previous federal government was extremely detached from and uninterested in,” Trudeau said after a cabinet retreat in Sudbury, one of the cities that could benefit from Ring of Fire development. Continue Reading →

New mine debunking Northwestern Ontario economic myths – by Jon Thompson ( – August 24, 2016)

THUNDER BAY – New Gold has yet to mine an ounce of gold from the site under development located 420 kilometres west of the city but it’s already had a $70-million impact on Thunder Bay’s economy.

Twenty-seven local firms have successfully bid for contracts to construct and supply New Gold’s Rainy River project. The lion’s share of the local impact goes to EKT90, which will be constructing the mine’s on-site gold mill.

Other companies are providing a spectrum of goods and services, from roads and highways to power line management, propane, fabricated products, as well as health and safety equipment. Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission mining services project manager John Mason. Continue Reading →

Gord Downie’s demand for courage – by Jesse Staniforth (Toronto Star – August 24, 2016)

How much was the Tragically Hip singer praising Prime Minister Trudeau or challenging him to make life better for indigenous people?

Gord Downie could have stood for a lot of things on Saturday night, during the final performance of the Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem tour, and possibly of his life. But with the nation watching — 11.7-million tuning in on CBC — he called for non-Indigenous Canadians to take up the long, difficult process of decolonization.

His comments came framed as a compliment to Justin Trudeau, who was in the crowd (wearing a Canadian Tuxedo): “He cares about the people way up North, that we were trained our entire lives to ignore, trained our entire lives to hear not a word of what’s going on up there. And what’s going on up there ain’t good. It’s maybe worse than it’s ever been [ … But] we’re going to get it fixed and we got the guy to do it, to start, to help. […] It’s really, really bad, but we’re going to figure it out — you’re going to figure it out.” Continue Reading →

Consent required to develop Moose Cree land says chief – by Alan S. Hale(Timmins Daily Press – August 24, 2016)

The newly elected chief and council of the Moose Cree First Nation held a press conference in Timmins on Tuesday to declare publicly – in no uncertain terms – that their traditional territory and the resources within it belonged to their people. Not only that, but anyone looking to develop it would need to get prior consent from the Moose Cree people as a whole, not just the band administration.

After a short ceremony performed by an elder, Chief Patricia Faries stood up and officially reaffirmed her First Nation’s declaration that a large swath of land along the southern shore of James Bay and for several hundred kilometres inland is their homeland since time immemorial, and so is theirs by right. The original Homeland Declaration was made in 2008.

“We the Moose Cree people are the original people of this land; the Creator has given us this land as our home. We are Indigenous to this land and we have an inherent right to this land … a right no other government can take from us,” affirmed Chief Faries. Continue Reading →

Noront boss puts pressure on province for Ring of Fire road – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 23, 2016)

A Ring of Fire developer is putting the onus squarely on Queen’s Park to find a way to fold three separate Ring of Fire road studies into one cohesive plan to get moving on building an access corridor to reach the stranded James Bay mineral deposits by 2018.

Though Al Coutts has no knowledge of an exact date on when the provincial and federal governments are expected to make a joint funding announcement on a road, the impatient president-CEO of Noront Resources is anticipating a speedy decision by the province on picking a route and providing a timetable for construction. “I was already expecting it earlier this year.”

In early August, Noront outlined its Ring of Fire development plan in pegging construction of its cornerstone Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper project to begin in 2018, the first in its stable of chromite and base metals properties. The first concentrate production from Eagle’s Nest begins in 2021. The company is counting on the province to hold up its end of the bargain with the construction of a permanent east-west road to service the future mines and the remote communities. Continue Reading →

New CEO, directors at Encanto could advance potash project at Muskowekwan First Nation – by Bruce Johnston (Regina Leader-Post – August 22, 2016)

A big shakeup at Encanto Potash Corp., which saw the CEO replaced and several directors resign from the company’s board of directors, could breathe new life into the company’s proposed $3-billion potash project at Muskowekwan First Nation, about 100 km northeast of Regina.

Norman Brewster, president and CEO of Cadillac Ventures Inc., was named CEO of Encanto earlier this month, replacing Jim Walchuk, who will stay on as an adviser. In addition to Brewster, six new directors were appointed to Encanto’s board of directors, including Muskowekwan First Nation Chief Reg Bellerose as First Nations special counsel. The company also moved its headquarters from Vancouver to Toronto.

Brewster said the financial markets haven’t been keen about financing new potash projects, especially since the price of potash plummeted from nearly US$900 a tonne in 2008 to less than US$200 per tonne in recent months. Continue Reading →

Update: Ring of Fire road study stalls as KWG rail study proceeds – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – August 22, 2016)

Hours after KWG Resources CSE:KWG updated its Ring of Fire rail proposal, CBC reported that a highly anticipated government-funded road study simply called for more study. Specifically excluded from its scope, the network added, was a route to the potential mining sites.

CBC obtained a copy of the document entitled All Season Community Road Study, Final Report June 30, 2016 and quoted this excerpt:

“This study has always been considered to be focused on an all-season community service road rather than an industrial road to connect to the Ring of Fire mineralized zone. Its intention was always to (1) link the four communities together; and (2) link the communities to the existing highway system.” Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Action Needed to Regain Canada’s Leadership in Mineral Exploration and Mining

Mineral and Mining Industry Highlights Top Priorities at Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference

WINNIPEG, MB–(Marketwired – August 22, 2016) – Canada’s mineral exploration and mining industry is asking Energy and Mines Ministers, currently in Winnipeg for their 73rd annual conference, to work on tackling several challenges that have resulted in Canada dropping to second place behind Australia as the most desirable mining destination in the world.

A brief submitted by the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF) details seven policy priorities that will help the industry overcome current challenges.

  • Financing for early-stage exploration: CMIF asks that all jurisdictions in Canada maintain and enhance fiscal incentives. In particular, the Ministers are asked to support the renewal of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) and to sustain the flow-through shares system. These measures have helped Canada attract billions of dollars in investment and led to the creation of thousands of jobs in remote areas of the country. Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire talk scarce at Sudbury federal retreat – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – August 23, 2016)

The federal government’s role in developing the Ring of Fire wasn’t on the agenda at this weekend’s Liberal cabinet retreat, although the broad issue of natural resources was, says the prime minister. The central discussion of the two-day retreat held at Laurentian University was relationships, particularly the federal government’s relationship with the provinces and territories, said Justin Trudeau.

He fielded questions Monday afternoon from reporters, most from national news organizations. The prime minister spoke at a podium with his cabinet ministers lined up behind him, with a sparkling Ramsey Lake in the background.

Security was tight at the news conference held behind the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre. Only those with media or other accreditation were admitted, and the park and boardwalk were closed to the public for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Continue Reading →

EXCLUSIVE: Ring of Fire road study produces inconclusive results about transportation in Ontario’s remote north – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 22, 2016)

Report suggests more study needed to determine viability of all-weather access for remote First Nations

A $785,000 study, jointly funded by Canada and Ontario, suggests more study is needed before deciding if an all-weather road should be built in a mineral-rich area known as the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario.

The study was announced in March 2015 at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto and was widely seen as a step towards getting “significant” nickel and chromite deposits out of the muskeg and off to markets.

“Today’s announcement represents our federal government’s latest meaningful contribution to helping the province enhance the economic potential of the Ring of Fire,” Canada’s then-Minister of Natural Resources Conservative Greg Rickford said at the time. But it turns out, the study was never really about mining. Continue Reading →

Ring of Miner junior needs to mend fences with First Nations – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 19, 2016)

Using sex appeal to promote the Ring of Fire doesn’t sit well with the senior leadership of the Matawa First Nations.

Chief David Paul Achneepineskum, CEO of the nine-community tribal council, accused KWG Resources and company president Frank Smeenk of “stooping very low” in attempting to communicate with First Nations in the James Bay region.

“KWG really needs to be more respectful of our leadership and especially our peoples. But certainly we are very insulted on this approach.” KWG Resources of Toronto, a junior exploration firm with chromite claims in the Ring of Fire camp, released a campy promotional video featuring two models in bikini tops and short shorts talking about the mineral potential in the region in early August.

One of the two models, who’s sitting on a swing in cottage country setting, said First Nations are “interested in sharing in the resources.” Continue Reading →

Attawapiskat eyes new deal with De Beers for reclamation work jobs – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – August 19, 2016)

Members of Attawapiskat First Nation are being asked to give the go-ahead to what the community’s economic development corporation is promoting as “major business venture … that could bring more benefits to the community as well as employment for many members.”

According to a letter sent out to all of the First Nation’s members by the corporation, Attawapiskat Enterprises, the business venture in question is having the Indigenous community directly involved in the site remediation projects after the closure of De Beers’ Victor Mine.

The diamond mine is set to cease operation in 2018, which the development corporation points out will mean that all the jobs it has brought to the community will leave with it, as well as putting the future of their winter road in question. Continue Reading →

Navajo Nation Sues E.P.A. in Poisoning of a Colorado River – by Julie Turkewitz (New York Times – August 16, 2016)

DENVER — The Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Environmental Protection Agency and several corporations, saying that poisoned water that flowed from a punctured Colorado mine last year disrupted hundreds of lives near a critical watershed.

The disaster, the federal suit says, has heightened economic and spiritual pain in a region hamstrung by poverty and drought. The tribe is seeking to hold the agency and corporations accountable, be made whole for at least $2 million spent on testing and alternative water sources and be compensated for lost revenue and psychological damages.

“We cannot just sit back and let the E.P.A. do what they’ve been doing, just doling us pennies,” said the president of the Navajo Nation, Russell Begaye, in a telephone interview. “This river is the main river that gives life to the whole region, not just those who live around the river, but the entire nation. This is our lifeblood. It is sacred to us.” Continue Reading →

[Alaska] Southeast tribes voice mining concerns to State Department – by Kevin Gullufsen (Juneau Empire – August 17, 2016)

Southeast tribal groups met with officials from the Department of State and the Environmental Protection Agency last week in Juneau and Ketchikan to discuss ongoing issues with Canadian mining projects on Southeast Alaska watersheds.

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska called for the meetings to address concerns over Canadian mines diverting potentially-toxic water to Southeast Alaska rivers. So-called “transboundary” mines are proposed on the Stikine, Taku, Alsek and Unuk River watersheds.

“What we’re trying to do is elevate our concerns and make sure they’re heard at the appropriate levels,” Central Council president Robert Peterson said in a Tuesday phone interview with the Empire. “We’re not against mining, what we’re concerned about are the mining practices that are proposed. … We’re concerned that all measures are taken and we want to ensure that our voices are heard.” Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire MOU Causing Concern in Marten Falls First Nation ( – August 17, 2016)

THUNDER BAY – MINING – There are rumblings in the Ring of Fire. Not the rumbling of machinery working, but more concerns about the slow progress from government and mining companies.

Marten Falls First Nation, is a remote community located 250Km Northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Ring of Fire lies within the traditional lands of Marten Falls. Improved housing, education and economic development opportunities have been identified as the Government priorities to First Nation communities. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Marten Falls.

On September 7, 2012, Marten Falls entered into a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Canada and the Province of Ontario (MNDM, MNR) outlining the collaborative development of the ‘Ring of Fire.

According to Section 1.e. of this MOU: Continue Reading →