30th March 2015

An idea for Ring of Fire’s riches – by Tom Mills (Sault Star – March 28, 2015)

http://www.saultstar.com/

Ontario should look to socialist Norway if it wants to capitalize on the rich mineral deposits of the far north’s Ring of Fire.

Like Canada, Norway has a resource-based economy, exploiting extensive reserves of oil, natural gas minerals and lumber. Half its export revenues come from oil and gas.

Unlike Canada, Norway is not in hock up to its eyeballs. In fact, it’s the second-wealthiest country in the world. Every Norwegian is, theoretically, a millionaire. That’s a million kroner, which translates to about $177,000 US apiece.

That’s because, unlike many other resource-rich countries and provinces, Norway put its oil revenues, from taxes, fees and ownership stakes, into a fund where politicians couldn’t get their spendthrift hands on them.

The money was invested in financial markets outside Norway. It grew. Their sovereign wealth fund, created a mere 20 years ago, now controls about one per cent of all publicly traded shares in the world. 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 March 2015

Northern First Nations concerned about the sale of claims in Ring of Fire – CBC Sudbury Points North’s Jason Turnbull Interviews CBC Reporter Jody Porter (March 26, 2015)

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

Chiefs from the First Nations closest to the Ring of Fire say the Noront deal has left them disillusioned with their discussions with the province.

Click here for the interview: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Ontario/Up+North/ID/2660868646/

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

26th March 2015

First Nations oppose Noront, Cliffs deal in Ring of Fire – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – March 26, 2015)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay

‘We’re not in such a rush. We’re willing to do this well,” Eabametoong Chief Elizabeth Atlookan says

Plans by Noront Resources to buy Cliffs’ chromite assets in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining area are a “barrier to future opportunities” and a “threat to aboriginal and treaty rights,” say First Nations chiefs opposed to the deal.

Noront announced the $20-million deal on Monday. The purchase requires court approval and won’t be finalized until at least mid-April because Cliffs’ Quebec subsidiary is in restructuring proceedings under the Companies’s Creditors Arrangement Act.

The Matawa Chiefs Council, representing the eight First Nations closest to the proposed mine sites, went public Wednesday with plans to stall the deal before it is finalized.

“Our rights to the chromite deposit are recognized by the fact that the province and mining companies have already made promises to share revenues and benefits from development,” said Neskantaga Chief Peter Moonias. “We should have had a voice in the sale.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

26th March 2015

[Ring of Fire] Canada’s “Next Oil Sands Miracle” a Bust – by Rich Duprey (The Motley Fool – March 26, 2015)

http://www.fool.com/?source=illsitima0000001

Once billed as the economic equivalent of Canada’s oil sands industry, the vast oil deposits in the country’s western provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where 97% of its oil reserves reside, Ontario’s Ring of Fire chromite region held the promise of being an engine of economic growth in its own right worth somewhere north of $120 billion.

Unfortunately it was also mired in parochial biases and competing interests that served to quench any fire for success.

A fraction of its value

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF ) was once thought to hold the key to unlocking its potential, but after suspending work in 2013 on its $3.3 billion Black Thor chromite deposit, it gave up all hope of the region ever being developed and began an orderly exit from Canada. That culminated earlier this week with the sale of all of its chromite projects to one of the Ring of Fire’s other interested parties, Noront Resources (NASDAQOTH: NOSOF ) .

Six years ago the two had engaged in a protracted bidding for the rights to the chromite properties with Cliffs emerging victorious and agreeing to pay about $240 million. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

26th March 2015

Mining analyst weighs in on sale of Cliffs’ Ring of Fire – CBC Sudbury Points North’s Jason Turnbull Interviews Mining Policy Analyst Stan Sudol (March 25, 2015)

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

The mining policy analyst and owner/editor of www.republicofmining.com, Stan Sudol says the Noront Resources got a good deal in its purchase of Cliffs Natural Resources stake in the Ring of Fire.

Click here: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Ontario/Up+North/ID/2660705564/

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

26th March 2015

Ring of Fire still emerging – Editorial (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – March 26, 2015)

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

When the bottom fell out of iron-ore giant Cliffs Natural Resources last year and the company’s big plans for Northern Ontario began to unravel, a competitor remarked that development in the Ring of Fire would still happen one day, “not just on Cliffs’ timetable.”

The remark was unfair because, up until the fall of 2013, Cliffs was the real deal: It had spent $500 million in pre-development work on its RoF properties, and was very close to operating the remote region’s first mine.

Few will forget Cliffs’ thoughtful RoF point-man, Bill Boor, especially his candour and willingness to field questions from all comers.

But many got carried away by the idea that Cleveland-based Cliffs, an established company that floated the prospect of 1,000-plus jobs, could pull it off, even as metal prices dropped.

Earlier this week, Noront Resources announced the move that many expected — the potential purchase of Cliffs’ RoF properties. The US$20 million deal, which includes the big Black Thor chromite deposit, is expected to close next month.

In announcing the plan, Noront president Alan Coutts wisely cautioned against any expectations that his company would be able to quickly pick up where Cliffs left off. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Cliffs Natural Resources, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

25th March 2015

Matawa Chiefs Oppose Noront Ring of Fire Plans – by Staff (Netnewsledger.com – March 25, 2015)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

THUNDER BAY ON – BUSINESS – Matawa First Nation Chiefs re-affirmed their commitment to a community based processes for Ring of Fire Development, including creating environmental protections and economic opportunities which are driven by their community members, not just industry plans.

The recent purchase announcement by Noront goes against the Matawa First Nations Unity Declaration signed in Webequie First Nation July 13, 2011.

The Chiefs have repeatedly signalled that genuine partnership in development will be the only way forward in the Ring of Fire, and Noront seems intent on driving its agenda, rather than working together.

The Matawa Chiefs are examining legal and political options on both the purchase agreement and the rumored advancing of the Environmental Assessment process beyond the draft Terms of Reference phase. These moves are seen as a barrier to future opportunities with the First Nations as well as threatening Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. The Chiefs were informed of the deal at the same time as the public, and while negotiating the next steps on an enhanced environmental assessment.

Chief Peter Moonias outlined the key reasons why the Chiefs are frustrated with Noront, “the Cliffs chromite is on our lands, we have jurisdiction here as well as Aboriginal Title and Treaty rights in the lands that hold the Cliffs chromite. 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 | 1 Comment

24th March 2015

Column: Noront the new king of the Ring – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury star – March 25, 2015)

(L to R) Noront Team at PDAC Awards Ceremony: Glenn Nolan, Vice President, Aboriginal Affairs; Alan Coutts, P.Geo, President and CEO; Kaitlyn Ferris, Manager, Corporate Responsibility; Paul Semple, P.Eng, Chief Operating Officer; Gregory Rieveley, CPA, CA, Chief Financial Officer.

(L to R) Noront Team at PDAC Awards Ceremony: Glenn Nolan, Vice President, Aboriginal Affairs; Alan Coutts, P.Geo, President and CEO; Kaitlyn Ferris, Manager, Corporate Responsibility; Paul Semple, P.Eng, Chief Operating Officer; Gregory Rieveley, CPA, CA, Chief Financial Officer. (Photo by Stan Sudol)

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

Just when I was ready to title my next Ring of Fire column, “Lost and sinking in the political muskeg of the James Bay lowlands,” a corporate bolt of lightning struck Monday, when Noront Resources, with the backing of Franco Nevada Corporation, announced the acquisition of Cliffs’ chromite properties.

This is a game changer in the Ring of Fire! A Canadian company is putting cold hard cash on the table – during one of the most severe mining busts in decades – in the long-term financial belief of the economic potential of the Ring of Fire.

Franco Nevada is lending Noront U.S. $22.5 million for five years at 7% interest in return for a 3% royalty for Cliffs’ Black Thor chomite deposit and a 2% royalty for all of Noront’s other Ring of Fire properties, with the exception of their Eagle’s Nest nickel/copper/PGM mine. The stock markets seemed to be pleased with this announcement, as Noront shares closed at 48.5 cents on Tuesday, the same as Monday, up almost 37% from their closing price the previous week.

Without a doubt, this is the mining deal of the century — and/or an extraordinary fire sale. 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, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances | 0 Comments

24th March 2015

Cliffs Natural Resources-Noront Resources deal puts new Sudbury smelter in limbo (CBC News Sudbury – March 24, 2015)

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

Smelter plant hinged on yet to be negotiated power rates, tax dollars to access Ring of Fire

A proposal for a new smelter in Sudbury has been pushed further into limbo after Cliffs Natural Resources announced a deal to sell off its Ring of Fire assets.

The Cleveland-based company said Monday it had entered into a definitive agreement with Noront Resources to purchase its chromite deposits and associated claims for $20 million.

Then Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci announced in 2012 that Cliffs would be building a smelter in Capreol, north of Sudbury, to process the chromite it mined in the far north — along with hundreds of jobs. The company even started taking job applications.

However, the new plant hinged on yet to be negotiated power rates, as well as tax dollars, to access the remote Ring of Fire. Neither issue has been settled since. With the sale of Cliffs’ chromite assets and associated claims to Noront Resources, the ball is effectively in Noront’s park.

However, CEO Al Coutts said the company is focusing on mining at this point — not smelting. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Cliffs Natural Resources, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

24th March 2015

Ring of Fire: Ontario has ‘gun to our head’ First Nation chief says – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – March 24, 2015)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay

Neskantaga Chief Peter Moonias says Ontario has a ‘hidden agenda’ to support Noront Resources

The Ontario government has put ‘a gun to the head’ of First Nations leaders trying to negotiate a fair deal in the Ring of Fire mining area in the James Bay lowlands, Neskantaga Chief Peter Moonias says. His comments came within hours of Noront Resources announcement on Monday that it had struck a deal to buy Cliffs Natural Resources assets in the area.

Chiefs were informed of the deal at the same time as being told that the province has set an April 1 deadline for a decision on the next step in Noront’s environmental assessment for a proposed nickel mine in the Ring of Fire, Moonias said.

“There’s a hidden agenda,” he said. “We are being targeted with a gun to our head. We have no more opportunity to study the process.” The deadline doesn’t allow enough time for community members in the nine First Nations closest to the Ring of Fire mineral deposits to be informed, Moonias said.

The Matawa First Nations are engaged in a negotiation process about the mining project under a framework agreement with Ontario. Moonias said the sudden announcement of the tight timeline left him disillusioned about the talks. 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

24th March 2015

Cliffs to exit Ontario’s Ring of Fire with sale of chromite assets – Business Network News Andrew Bell interviews Noront’s Alan Coatts (March 23, 2015)

http://www.bnn.ca/

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

24th March 2015

Crummy chromite investment – by Kip Keen (Mineweb.com – March 24, 2015)

http://www.mineweb.com/

Cliffs exits the Ring of Fire.

So ends Cliffs Natural Resources’ adventure in Northern Ontario with the miner announcing that it has a buyer for its Canadian chromite projects. It was an expensive one.

A half-decade ago Cliffs paid some C$350 million in cash and shares to buy majority control of a series of then newly discovered chromite deposits. They were heralded as world-class with potential to supply the North American steel markets especially.

In 2009 and 2010 Cliffs struck deals to buy the juniors involved in the discoveries. It bought Freewest Resources for about C$240 million (in shares at the time). Then it bought up Spider Resources in 2010 for C$125 million (cash).

These were the juniors that put the region on the map – the so-called Ring of Fire. The potential was often billed as huge – a nebulous ~$60 billion or so in deposit value.

The region garnered promises from the Ontario government especially for major spending on infrastructure. For it was remote and would require new road access hundreds of kilometres long through bush and First Nations territory. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Cliffs Natural Resources, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

23rd March 2015

Noront Resources buys Ring of Fire claims for $20 million (U.S.) – by Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew (Toronto Star – March 23, 2015)

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.

Shares of Noront surged nearly 37 per cent on the deal, announced Monday. The stock gained 13 cents to close at 48.5 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Toronto-based junior mining firm Noront Resources has agreed to pay $20 million (U.S.) to Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. to purchase the U.S. mining giant’s chromite properties in the Ring of Fire.

Shares of Noront surged nearly 37 per cent on news of the deal, announced Monday. The stock gained 13 cents to close at 48.5 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange.

“We are convinced that the Ring of Fire region is going to be the next major mining camp in Ontario. We’ve been looking at acquiring more land there and getting more deals done,” Noront president and chief executive officer Alan Coutts said in an interview.

“When Cliffs announced they were going to pull out of the area, we thought, ‘This is a natural fit for us.’ ” The miner said it will buy the shares of two Cliffs subsidiaries that own 103 claims, adding to its own holdings in the Ring of Fire area, about 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont. 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

23rd March 2015

Ontario slammed by Northern Prospectors Association – by Andrew Topf (Mining.com – March 20, 2015)

http://www.mining.com/

Dotted with lucrative gold mines like Red Lake, Hemlo, Musselwhite and Timmins, along with the nickel belt of Sudbury, Ontario with its storied mining history should be a prospector’s dream. In fact the province’s allure as a mining jurisdiction has never been duller, despite the promise of the Ring of Fire and a number of prospective gold properties.

Participants at a consultation forum earlier this week took the opportunity to blame the Ontario government for concentrating its efforts on the Ring of Fire – a chromite-rich development project in the James Bay lowlands of Northern Ontario – and neglecting other mining projects that would be easier to access than the remote Ring of Fire, which lacks key infrastructure for mining.

“There’s no tacit recognition by this provincial government that it believes in mining,” said Gino Chitaroni, president of the Northern Prospectors Association, in an article posted Friday in Northern Ontario Business. “All we hear about is the Ring of Fire. Let me explain something about the Ring of Fire, it’s not the only thing going on in this province. I’m sick to death of it.”

Chitaroni told industry players at the session, hosted by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, that “he could think of eight to 10 mining projects in eastern Ontario alone, that would be viable with some investment, and much easier to access than the remote Ring of Fire,” according to Northern Ontario Business. 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

23rd March 2015

Ontario’s Ring Of Fire, Formerly ‘The Next Oilsands,’ Sold For Peanuts – by Sunny Freeman (Huffington Post – March 23, 2015)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/business/

A junior miner will soon be the biggest player in Ontario’s fledgling Ring of Fire mining development, after agreeing to pay US$20 million for the properties of Cliffs Natural Resources, a U.S. mining giant who has abandoned hope of developing the area.

Toronto-based Noront Resources is getting quite the deal for about 103 mining claims — including Cliffs’ flagship $3.3 billion Black Thor chromite deposit — in the region estimated to be worth $50 billion during the height of the commodity boom. Cliffs paid $240 million for the assets in 2009.

The market has since shifted and a lack of concrete movement in talks between First Nations, government and developers has turned many miners off of the 5,000 square kilometre area said to be rich with chromite, copper, zinc, platinum and other valuable metals.

The Ring of Fire was once touted as Canada’s next oilsands, but interest in the area has fallen off and the prospects for development in the remote region, located on First Nations land, have dimmed.

Cliffs decided to suspend its projects in the area in late 2013, citing numerous delays and difficulties that prevented the project from moving ahead. 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

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