2nd March 2015

Ring of Fire road study needs wider lens, environmental group says – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – March 2, 2015)


“No one is saying, ‘Holy cannolis, what are all the plans for the region for the next 20 – 30 years?’”

Government funding for a $785,000 study of a road to the Ring of Fire is a “welcome move” for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, but the environmental group says more needs to be done to look at the region-wide impacts of the proposed mining development in northern Ontario.

The federal and provincial governments announced Sunday that they’ll jointly fund a study looking at a road that would connect the remote Webequie, Eabametoong, Nibinamik and Neskantaga First Nations to the provincial highway at Pickle Lake, Ont. about 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.

The environmental group hopes it acts as a “springboard” for further study and a comprehensive, region-wide development plan for the nickel and chromite deposits in northern Ontario’s James Bay lowlands.

“Once a road goes in, it has a whole cascade of effects,” said Anna Baggio, the Ontario planning director for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Wildlands League. “There are alternatives in terms of where these roads could go and that needs to be looked at and fully costed and accounted for in a transparent way.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

2nd March 2015

Ottawa, Queen’s Park fund Ring of Fire road study – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 01, 2015)


Will spend $732K in a First Nations-led initiative

First Nations in Ontario’s Far North are being empowered to have a say on a future road to reach the stranded chromite and nickel deposits in the Ring of Fire.

Four Aboriginal communities in the vicinity of the isolated mineral belt in the James Bay lowlands received more than $732,000 from the federal and provincial governments to conduct a Regional Community Service Corridor study.

In championing it as a First Nation-led initiative, federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford and Ontario’s Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle kicked off the opening of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s annual convention in Toronto on March 1 with the joint announcement.

The partnership involves the remote communities of Webequie, Eabametoong, Neskantaga and Nibinamik. The money will cover the costs of satellite imagery and GIS mapping of the terrain in the James Bay region, combined with an extensive consultation process with the area communities that is expected to take four to six months. Read the rest of this entry »

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

2nd March 2015

Roads from riches in Ring of Fire – by Rick Millette (Timmins Daily Press – March 1, 2015)


Rick Millette is a Senior Executive Director/Ring of Fire at Northern Policy Institute.

What is the one thing that would make living in Ontario’s far North communities better? If you asked that question to seven people knowledgeable about the North, you might very well get seven different answers. Clean drinking water. Functional sewer systems. Quality education. Improved health services. Reliable electricity. Healthy food at affordable prices. Better housing.

To a large degree, this wish list stems from the fact that Ontario’s far North communities are accessible only by air for most of the year. These challenges rarely exist for communities with road access.

Astronomically high costs are attached to anyone or anything that has to fly to these places. If the weather cooperates, a winter ice road might provide a month or two of access in every year. There have been poor weather conditions in recent years attributed to global warming. If the pattern continues, winter road construction and use will be progressively problematic.

So what is the one thing that would make living in the far North better? Answer: a network of year-round roads. While there are correlations to improving the quality of life at all levels through road access, none illustrate the benefits more strongly or tangibly than food and fuel. Read the rest of this entry »

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

27th February 2015

Probe’s David Palmer our Mining Person of the Year – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – February 25, 2015)

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

When the discovery of a new gold patch rocks the mining world, it is a wondrous thing. When the discovery is made in an underexplored area with no previously known precious metal deposits it’s even more exciting, and when the discovery stems, in part, from a simple good deed, it becomes extraordinary.

The tale of how David Palmer discovered the Borden Lake gold deposit and earned the prestigious Bill Dennis Award and title to The Northern Miner’s Mining Person of the Year for 2014 begins in 2003, about four years after he graduated from McGill University with a PhD in economic geology.

The geologist, whose PhD thesis focused on ore-forming hydrothermal fluids associated with carbonatites, was working for a junior, when a prospector he didn’t know by the name of Bob de Carle, pitched a nickel property called Sunday Lake, north of Thunder Bay.

The property didn’t fit the company’s model, so it passed. But Palmer thought it still held promise. His view was that the material just hadn’t been presented in the right way, which masked some of what he felt were its most interesting features. So he offered to spend some personal time reworking the geological data to improve the odds that de Carle — a geophysicist by training — could find success the next time he shopped it around. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Gold and Silver, Goldcorp Inc., Northern Miner - Mining Person of the Year Award, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

27th February 2015

Getting to Yes has never been tougher – by Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail – February 27, 2015)

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.

Mines and forest projects can face the same procedural snakes and ladders.
In Northern Ontario, the so-called Ring of Fire chromite deposits will be
tied up for years and years in environment reviews and aboriginal demands.
Already, the major U.S. company interested in developing the deposits has
walked away. Who could blame it? (Jeffrey Simpson – Globe and Mail)

Forget for a moment U.S. President Barack Obama’s doubts about the Keystone XL pipeline. Whether the President decides for or against the project shouldn’t deflect Canadians from asking within their own borders: How do we get to Yes?

Getting to Yes is becoming harder all the time. Fossil-fuel developments, pipelines, mines, dams, hydro-electric transmission lines and wind turbines are frequently contested, delayed or blocked.

Even when they’re approved, the process for getting to Yes can take so long that projects lose their economic rationale, as with the now-abandoned Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which shuddered to a halt after 10 years of review because the gas market had changed. Or, projects are postponed or killed because they face tough competition from overseas suppliers where approvals are not so protracted. Proposed liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia face this very risk. Read the rest of this entry »

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

26th February 2015

Light at the end of the tunnel – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – February 24, 2015)


Ontario exploration spending continues slide, but several projects advance to mine development

Exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures in Ontario were down significantly in 2014 – no surprise to junior mining companies, geologists, drilling companies and manufacturers of drilling consumables. But the news wasn’t all bad as the New Year dawned.

Revised estimates published by Natural Resources Canada in September pegged exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures for Ontario at $509.5 million, less than half the amount spent in 2011 and down again from last year’s total of $562 million.

Ontario still leads all other provinces and territories with 24 per cent of spending in Canada, but that’s down from Ontario’s 30.8 per cent share registered in 2010.

Gold continued to be the predominant target, accounting for $416.3 million of total spending for the year. Grass roots exploration took most of the hit, though several of the most promising projects crossed the threshold from exploration to mine development. By late January, gold had rebounded from its October low of $1,140 and was sitting at just under $1300.

“We had a very good run from the early 2000s,” said Rod Thomas, president of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. “China was growing at double digit rates and there was a huge demand for commodities starting around 2003 all the way to the financial crisis in 2008… but we bounced back and the industry did really well until around April 2012.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

26th February 2015

Moosonee railway extension gaining momentum – by Len Gillis (Timmins Times – February 25, 2015)


Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Lawrence Martin will be joining the chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council at the annual prospectors’ convention in Toronto next week to outline his plans for a new railway line running from Moosonee to the Ring Of Fire mining project.

Martin said he met with Neskantaga Chief Peter Moonias earlier this week to outline the idea, but Martin said Moonias could not make any sort of a commitment on behalf of the Matawa First Nations, which is claiming territorial jurisdiction over the mining area. Martin said however there is growing support for Mushkegowuk.

Regardless, grand chief Martin said the idea is gaining momentum and more people are willing to listen to the idea. He said he expects mining executives at the Prospectors and Developers Convention next week will be interested in hearing the proposal, given the overall interest in the mining project.

The Ring of Fire is the name give to a huge deposit of chromite located in the McFauld’s Lake and Webequie area, about 600 kilometres north west of Timmins. Chromite is an important mineral element in manufacturing stainless steel. The Ring of Fire area could become the largest chromite mining site in North America, a venture measured in the tens of billions of dollars.

In January, Martin revealed the idea of creating a rail link across Mushkegowuk territory into the Ring Of Fire area with a two-pronged objective; one to bring in a rail link and secondly to bring in a high-voltage energy transmission line. Read the rest of this entry »

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

26th February 2015

[Mike Tremblay] Self-confessed bush rat strikes gold – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – February 13, 2014)


Mike Tremblay grew up in Chapleau, nine kilometres from the Borden Lake discovery, and couldn’t wait to get out. “I was getting to the point where I was going to be in trouble with the law if I didn’t figure out what I was going to do with myself, so I went to the guidance councellor and they figured I was the kind of guy who should be working outdoors.”

Forestry was out of the question, so Tremblay enrolled in a geology program at Sault College. In 1984, he was back in Chapleau and found work with Noranda on an outcrop sampling program. “They were redoing the highway at the time and blasted through an outcrop,” he recalled. “One of the guys I worked with mapped it and in his report called it vent proximal geology.

That was really interesting to me. Noranda’s idea was that it was good geology for a base metal deposit, but there was a little sniff of gold and I decided to follow it up.” A self-confessed “bush rat,” Tremblay received a series of grants through the Ontario Prospectors Assistance Program over the years.

“The OPAP grants of $10,000 allowed me to pay myself $100 a day, spend time near my home town and still do what I wanted to do on my own terms,” he said.

He first staked property in the Borden Lake area in 1987 and continued to work it for a total of 17 years between other jobs. He held the property from 1987 to 2000 and restaked it in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Gold and Silver, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

24th February 2015

Fraser Institute, junior miners slam Ontario Mining Act – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – February 24, 2015)

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 uncertainty created by the Ontario government in its mishandling of First Nations consultation were cited by the Fraser Institute in its choice to drop the province down in its annual rankings of global mining-friendly jurisdictions.

Ontario placed 23rd, falling nine spots from last year’s survey. Much of the blame is being placed on the regulatory and policy confusion created within the resource industry stemming from the province’s amendments to the Mining Act and in dealing with First Nations issues.

“In Ontario, the new Mining Act amendments regarding First Nations consultation have resulted in complete incomprehensibility of rights on all sides,” said Kenneth Green, the institute’s senior director of energy and natural resources, in a Feb. 24 news release.

The Calgary-based think tank annually ranks 122 jurisdictions around the world based on geological attractiveness, government policy and investment.

The report included a survey and comments from mining companies on operating in Ontario. One respondent aid the act has resulted in “near-veto powers against exploration” by First Nations concerning their traditional lands, while other called it an “impractical regulation” that’s caused a “misinterpretation of rights on all sides.” Read the rest of this entry »

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24th February 2015

NEWS RELEASE: The Fraser Institute: Saskatchewan Ranks First in Canada and Second Worldwide in Annual Global Mining Survey; Ontario and B.C. Slipping


Click here for full report: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/survey-of-mining-companies-2014.pdf

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Feb. 24, 2015) – Saskatchewan is the most attractive jurisdiction for mining investment in Canada, according to an annual global survey of mining executives released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.

The Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2014, rates 122 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness and the extent to which government policies encourage exploration and investment. Saskatchewan ranks as the top jurisdiction in Canada and finishes second worldwide behind Finland.

“In addition to being blessed with an abundance of mineral potential, Saskatchewan gets credit for having a government with a transparent and productive approach to mining policy,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources and director of the Survey of Mining Companies.

“The province offers a competitive taxation regime, good scientific support, efficient permitting procedures and clarity around land claims. That’s what miners look for.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Ontario Mining, Saskatchewan Mining | 0 Comments

20th February 2015

[Ontario] Prospectors’ future in jeopardy (Northern News – February 17, 2015)


KIRKLAND LAKE – The frustrations and problems prospectors are facing as they try to stay in business was front and centre at the Northern Prospectors’ Association’s Annual General Meeting. NPA President Gino Chitaroni didn’t sugar coat the very real challenges prospectors are dealing with. During his opening address Chitaroni stated, “I wish these were good times but sadly they are not for us in the industry. We are now at a crossroads where our whole industry and way of life is completely threatened.”

He sees prospectors facing three major issues. The first is the lack of financing, the second is over regulation and bad government regulatory guidelines and the third is the empowerment of First Nations at the expense of the mining and exploration industry.

In terms of being able to raise money for projects, Chitaroni said that is currently a world wide problem. He got much more specific when talking about over regulation, noting that the government’s decision to implement exploration plans and permits, map staking, the Far North Act and the overzealous renewal of the Mining Act, are hindering the exploration and mining industry. These changes, he said, “when this compounded by eco-centric government policies from other ministries spells disaster.”

When speaking about the provincial government’s dealings with First Nations, the NPA president issued a warning, saying, “First Nation empowerment at the expense of the mining and exploration industry which if unabated maybe the contagion that will spill off to other business sectors, private land holders, farmers and even municipalities. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

19th February 2015

Lockerby Mine fire under investigation – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – February 19, 2015)

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

A fire underground Monday at First Nickel Inc.’s Lockerby Mine, in which no one was injured, illustrates the effectiveness of procedures and protocols in place in Ontario to react to emergencies underground, says the company’s vice-president.

Officials at First Nickel and with the Ministry of Labour are investigating the cause of a fire detected Monday about 11 a.m. on a conveyor belt in a small space of the mine in which no one was working at the time.

Vern Baker, FNI vice-president of Sudbury operations, said the fire drove more than 30 employees who were working underground to refuge stations, where they remained for 61/2 hours.

Flames were evident when mine rescue teams showed up and they put the fire out with water, said Baker. “The problem almost always in a mine is not the flame,” said Baker. “The problem is the smoke. That’s where the real danger for most of us is.”

While company officials don’t know what caused one of several conveyor belts at the nickel mine to catch fire, they have ruled it was not caused by electricity or “by a person,” said Baker. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

12th February 2015

First Nickel committed to Lockerby Mine -by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – February 12, 2015)

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

First Nickel wouldn’t be planning to invest as much as $900,000 in exploration drilling in 2015 if it didn’t believe Lockerby Mine had a future longer beyond a year or two.

The company made tough decisions in December, bringing in a new vice-president of Sudbury operations, developing a plan to cut expenses and employees, and resuming mining its ramp development between the 6,800-foot level, says FNI’s Thomas Boehlert. FNI issued layoff notices to about 25% of its own employees and cut 75% of the contractors it was employing so it could save 130 other jobs at the mine formerly owned by Falconbridge Ltd.

The economics of the market, the low price of nickel and the cost of running the mine forced the company to stop ramp development in 2014. But it decided to resume mining below that level, mining the ore it believes will last until 2016, as it invests in diamond drilling to define and “prove up” other ore bodies at the mine, says Boehlert, the president and chief executive officer of First Nickel.

If cuts to expenses, including some at FNI’s Toronto office, hadn’t been made, the company would have quickly mined out the remaining reserves at and above the 6,800-foot level and had to close the mine, said Boehlert in a recent interview. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Nickel, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

9th February 2015

Sudbury needs premier needs to act boldly [turn Laurentian in global Harvard of hardrock mining] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – February 9, 2015)

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

Note: this is the second of two parts.

Sudbury: Paris of the Mining World

While I can’t remember who coined the phrase, “Sudbury, the Paris of the Mining World” – I wish I had been that clever – there is an amazing amount of truth to the statement. Obviously, in no uncertain terms, does any part of Sudbury remind anyone – even in a drugged or drunken state – of Paris.

However, my lake-filled, mid-sized hometown does have a wide variety of retail, tourist, educational and other amenities that most tiny isolated mining towns do not and it is located only 400 km north of Canada’s largest city, Toronto.

A few years ago, a colleague who moved from Red Lake to Sudbury almost considered herself in “mining heaven” with the abundance of amenities not found in that tiny gold mining centre.

In addition to the Ontario government’s new differentiation and international student outreach policies, there are many other reasons why all post-secondary mining programs should be relocated to Sudbury’s Laurentian University. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Glencore-Xstrata PLC, Industry Clusters for Economic Prosperity, Nickel, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, SAMSSA, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances, Sudbury, Sudbury Laurentian University - Mining Faculties and Research, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Mining Supply and Services Sector, Vale | 0 Comments

9th February 2015

Accent: Laurentian as ‘Harvard of Hardrock Mining’ – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – February 7, 2015)

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

Note: This is the first of two parts.

Laurentian University economics professor David Robinson, who ran for the Green Party in Sudbury’s provincial byelection on Thursday, has done a terrific job in highlighting mining issues and his plans to ensure that Sudbury continues to become Ontario’s centre of mining excellence.

It’s a refreshing policy approach that often gets overlooked by other politicians, but in fairness to Glenn Thibeault and even Premier Kathleen Wynne, both have also mentioned — but not with the same passion as Robinson — and promoted Sudbury’s mining sector.

However, as with many issues related to Premier Wynne and the mining sector — including the Ring of Fire — there seems to be more “political talk” and very “little solid walk.” Actually, dodging and spinning would be a better description of her government’s mining policy in general.

If Premier Wynne is truly serious about promoting and establishing Sudbury as a centre of mining excellence, then she must merge and relocate all of Ontario’s university mining programs to Laurentian and significantly expand and establish a “Global Harvard of Hardrock Mining” with a mandate to educate the next generation of miners in Canada and from around the world.

With this consolidation, not only would the premier solidify Sudbury’s premier role in underground mining, supply and services, mining education and research in Canada, she would also dovetail with current policy proposals from her own Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that are trying to cut duplication in the university sector and increase the number of international students attending the province’s universities. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, SAMSSA, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances, Sudbury, Sudbury Laurentian University - Mining Faculties and Research, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Mining Supply and Services Sector | 0 Comments

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