25th November 2014

Leadership race: Ring of Fire ignites PC debate – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – November 25, 2014)

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

It was the last question at the first Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership debate, submitted online by a man from Huntsville. But it fired up candidates and an audience of about 150 people, most party faithful, at College Boreal on Monday night.

Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod and Barrie MP Patrick Brown were asked what their plans were to spur development of the Ring of Fire.

“We’ve heard a lot of talk and promises from the Liberals,” wrote the Huntsville resident, “but no real plan to move forward.” All four candidates couldn’t have agreed more with that statement.

Fedeli summed up the frustration of northerners with the lack of development of the chromite deposits 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay at the first of six debates before a new party leader is named May 9.

A former two-term mayor of North Bay, Fedeli said he remembered the Liberals’ Northern Development and Mines minister visiting his town to talk about this “great, vast find.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

25th November 2014

How to Avoid a $1-Billion Boondoggle – by Bill Gallagher (Onotassiniik Magazine – Winter 2014)

http://issuu.com/wawatay/docs/ono_winter_2014_layout/

‘Boondoggle’: any unnecessary and wasteful project
‘Billion’: a thousand million (Webster’s Dictionary)

A billion dollars is an attention-getting number. That’s no doubt why the Wynne Liberals touted that number as a campaign pledge in the run-up to their recent election win. This $1-billion dollar carrot arose after the party politically ‘rediscovered’ the Ring of Fire as a slumbering engine of economic growth for the province.

Buried in the election budget was the glossed-over detail that the Queen’s Park $1-billion was contingent on Ottawa making a matching billion. The feds quickly set this sleight-of-hand straight; whereupon the Wynne Liberals confirmed on the hustings that they were good for their $1-billion dollar pledge no matter what.

On the industry side of the ledger, as Cliffs Natural Resources slowly realized that it was taking a fiscal cold shower on its rushed expansion into Canada; it took its own billion dollar write down on its Bloom Lake iron project in Quebec. (‘Write-down’ is an accounting term used to describe a reduction of the book value of an asset due to economic or fundamental changes in an asset.) Cliffs will likely take another major write down on account of its botched Ring of Fire investment. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Cliffs Natural Resources, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 1 Comment

24th November 2014

RINGS of DEVELOPMENT: Maximizing Ring of Fire benefits requires simultaneous planning at local First Nation, tribal council and NAN levels – by John van Nostrand (Onotassiniik Magazine – Winter 2014)

http://issuu.com/wawatay/docs/ono_winter_2014_layout/1

http://www.replan.ca/

John van Nostrand is the Principal at rePlan Inc., a company that provides social assessment, advisory and management services to natural resource companies and financial institutions around the world.

Mines are like the proverbial pebble in the pond – they have profound circles of influence. Their impacts range from the economic to the environmental to the social. They affect national, regional and local economies, entire watersheds and ecosystems, and the towns, farmlands and hunting grounds that communities around them occupy.

The Ring of Fire is one of the largest pebbles ever to be dropped in the pond we call Ontario. It will create an economy estimated at more than $50 billion. It will have a broad impact on over 60 per cent of the province, and a direct impact on an area four times larger than the Timmins/Sudbury Mining Region in northeastern Ontario.

Development of that region began more than 100 years ago when major ore, nickel and silver deposits were exposed around Sudbury and Cobalt during the building of the railway to the Clay Belt. But with the Ring of Fire, there is a very real opportunity to prepare and plan – ahead of development – in order to maximize the benefits for not only for the mining companies and our provincial coffers, but also the 49 communities of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations that currently live in the region. 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 November 2014

Grand Chief pushing power plan for Ring of Fire – by Jeff Labine (Timmins Daily Press – November 21, 2014)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The Mushkegowuk Council, a large Northeastern Ontario Aboriginal organization, is positioning itself to become a major player in the Ring of Fire development by providing electrical energy to that whole project.

Lawrence Martin, the newly elected Grand Chief of the Mushkegowuk Council, told The Daily Press Friday that plans are being worked on to bring upwards of a thousand megawatts of energy from Quebec to service the Ring of Fire and to service Timmins if a smelter is needed here. He said this can all be done through the corporate jurisdiction of Five Nations Energy Inc., an Aboriginal energy distribution company.

Martin, who will be sworn in as the new grand chief on Tuesday, said the Mushkegowuk Council has been discussing major electrical infrastructure improvements for many months already.

Just a few years ago, Martin was known as the Mayor of Cochrane. He was elected to the post of grand chief that was left vacant by the death of well-known Grand Chief Stan Louttit, who died in June after a struggle with cancer.

Martin was elected in a recent council by-election over six other candidates, also well-known within the Mushkegowuk First Nations communities. They were Peter Wesley, Roderick Sutherland, Theresa Hall, Annie Metat, Peter Nakogee and Edward Nakogee. 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

24th November 2014

Ontario should be No. 1 in mining: Fedeli – by Jeff Labine (Timmins Daily Press – November 21, 2014)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Vic Fedeli wants to make Ontario No. 1 in mining again.

The MPP for Nipissing and Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidate paid a visit to the Timmins Chamber of Commerce on Friday during his campaign tour. He laid out his plan to help small businesses if he gets elected as party leader this coming May. He called it an excellent opportunity to discuss the business climate in Ontario.

He said there are many threats to businesses – such as high energy rates and payroll taxes – so he promised that as party leader he would work to lower hydro and have the government stay out of the way while providing support and less red tape.

His first step to reducing those costs was to stop spending as he believes the province spends more than it takes in. He pointed to the recent fall economic statement that showed a $509 million shortfall.

He said he wants Ontario to be first in everything from health care to mining. “This isn’t about ideology. This is about rolling up our sleeves and doing what’s right for all of us,” he said. “You can imagine here in Northern Ontario the mining and forestry sectors that getting permits for a new mine has become almost impossible, it has certainly become impracticable. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st November 2014

Federal government right to question province for plan, Ring of Fire stakeholder says [KWG Resources] – by Jamie Smith (tbnewswatch.com – November 21, 2014)

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/

THUNDER BAY — A major Ring of Fire player says the federal government is right in asking the province to show their plans for the massive mining project.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford (Con., Kenora) said recently that the province hasn’t spent any money despite making a $1 billion commitment to the project.

KWG exploration and development vice-president Moe Lavigne said the commitment is putting the cart before the horse and mining companies don’t have a social license in the area without an actual plan to bring infrastructure to the North.

“It’s great to make that commitment for a billion dollars but you need a place to spend it,” he said. “You need a plan and that doesn’t exist.”

The plan is supposed to be developed through the province’s development corporation but so far no one from the province has contacted KWG or any First Nations to be a part of the organization. “There’s absolutely no update there. We haven’t had any contact with anybody in the development corporation,” he added.

Meanwhile, a former Ring of Fire stakeholder continues to declare its skepticism that the region will ever become a profitable venture for private interests. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 1 Comment

21st November 2014

Lies we wish were true [Ring of Fire transportation] – by David Robinson (Northern Ontario Business – November 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.  

Dave Robinson is an economist with the Institute for Northern Ontario Research and Development at Laurentian University.drobinson@laurentian.ca 

Here is a fantasy about Northern development and the Ring of Fire. Everyone in the story really exists. Not a single event in the story has happened — yet.

In late 2014, the chief of the Moose Cree First Nation, Norm Hardisty, wrote to Stephen McGlennan, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles in Britain, asking if their Airlander 50 would be a suitable vehicle for CreeWest, a First Nations-owned air carrier. Hardisty didn’t have a clear plan in mind, but he knew that if First Nations controlled an essential transportation system they would be big winners in the development of Ontario’s North. McGlennan phoned Hardisty back saying he would fly a half-dozen people to the hangar in London where the radical airship is being built.

According to the International Business Review, McGlennan’s super blimp has a top speed of 160 kilometres per hour, can carry 50 tons of equipment, and can operate in the most extreme weather. If there is no runway, it can deliver 20 tons to any clearing bigger than a football field. In comparison, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter can only lift a maximum of 10 tons. And helicopters are fuel hogs. The Airlander has much better fuel efficiency than any conventional aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st November 2014

Ring of Fire is ‘beyond the point of no return,’ mining company says – Bill Curry and Bertrand Marotte (Globe and Mail – November 20, 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 and MONTREAL – The Ring of Fire project is “beyond the point of no return” in spite of renewed government pledges to move ahead, says the CEO of the mining company that owns the rights to most of the resources in the remote Northern Ontario mineral deposit.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. CEO Lourenco Goncalves made headlines last month with his declaration that he had “zero hope” that the Ring of Fire would be developed in his lifetime.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail this week, Mr. Goncalves said recent pledges from the federal and Ontario governments to support the project with public infrastructure cash have not changed his assessment of the project’s viability.

“Last month I said it would not happen in the next 50 years. This month I will say it’s not going to happen in 49 years and 11 months,” he said. “We are beyond the point of no return.”

The Cleveland-based company bought three chromite deposits in 2010 for $350-million and has spent about $200-million on development. Since large chromite deposits were first discovered in 2008, estimates have pegged the mineral potential of the region at $60-billion. Read the rest of this entry »

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

20th November 2014

Province on defensive after federal accusations of Ring of Fire inaction – by Jamie Smith (tbnewswatch.com – November 20, 2014)

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/

The provincial and federal governments seem to be in a war of words over the Ring of Fire. Federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford (Con., Kenora) said in the House of Commons Wednesday that the province’s much-touted $1 billion for infrastructure and development corporation in the Ring of Fire isn’t actual policy.

“Ontario has not committed a red cent and has set up a development corporation that is not supported by First Nation communities, the private sector, and it is not a policy option for this government in its current form,” Rickford said.

“We have made significant investments in the Ring of Fire and will continue to demonstrate our commitment by working with First Nation communities and the provincial government should it identify the Ring of Fire as an actual priority.”

He was responding to a question by MP David McGuinty (Lib., Ottawa South) on whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne by the end of the year on the issue.

In Queen’s Park Thursday Ontario Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle (Lib., Thunder Bay-Superior North) said the province is absolutely committed to the project despite the absence of the federal government. Read the rest of this entry »

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

20th November 2014

Rock-bottom prices forcing Cliffs to pull up stakes in Canada – by Bertrand Marotte and Nicolas Van Praet (Globe and Mail – November 20, 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.

MONTREAL — Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.’s Canadian adventure is winding down. The Ohio-based mining giant is preparing to shut down its money-losing Bloom Lake iron ore mine in northeastern Quebec amid rock-bottom prices for the mineral and high operating costs. It has already closed a Labrador iron ore property at Wabush and said it is looking to sell its chromite deposits in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.

Cliffs has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the high-potential Ring of Fire deposit and the existing Lake Bloom operations, but has run into a series of roadblocks, including a five-year low for iron ore prices, slumping Chinese demand and major delays in getting agreements with Ontario and First Nations over essential infrastructure for the Ring of Fire.

A shutdown of Bloom Lake would be a major blow to the local economy and to the provincial government’s multibillion-dollar Plan Nord economic development strategy pinned on natural resources extraction north of the 49th parallel.

Likewise, the Ontario government had made the Ring of Fire the centrepiece of its ambitious development plans for the mineral-rich region about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay in the James Bay Lowlands. And Cliffs had been the leading mining player in that plan. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Cliffs Natural Resources, Iron Ore, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Quebec Mining, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

19th November 2014

Ring of Fire funding held up by Ottawa, Ontario battle – by Bill Curry (Globe and Mail – November 19, 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 — Plans to spend billions of federal and provincial dollars on infrastructure in Ontario are being held up by a behind-the-scenes battle over the Ring of Fire, as the province wants Ottawa to match $1-billion in new money to develop the ambitious mining project.

Nearly two years have passed since Ottawa announced a 10-year, $14-billion Building Canada Fund for infrastructure, but the Conservative government is expressing its strong frustration that Ontario has yet to submit a list of projects. Ottawa has said Ontario qualifies for $2.7-billion from the fund, but the province argues that using that money for the Ring of Fire would leave very little for other provincial needs such as transit and new roads.

As a result, the two governments appear to be at loggerheads, though ministers and officials are attempting to break the impasse. The waiting, combined with falling chromite prices, has proved to be too much for Cleveland’s Cliffs Natural Resources – the region’s leading mining firm is now looking to sell its Ring of Fire assets.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford, who represents the Northwestern Ontario riding of Kenora, insisted Tuesday that there is momentum around the Ring of Fire and that he expects the two governments to make progress shortly. Read the rest of this entry »

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

19th November 2014

MPP says Ontario dragging its feet on Ring of Fire – by Jeff Labine (Timmins Daily Press – November 19, 2014)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The MPP for Timmins-James Bay is blaming the Liberal government for squandering the proposed Ring of Fire project and causing friction with mining companies.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered his fall economic statement, saying the government is working to meet fiscal targets despite modest economic growth and later than expected revenues. He said the revenue projection for 2014-15 is $118.4 billion – $509 million lower than first forecast.

In that same report, Sousa once again called on the federal government to match the Liberal’s $1-billion investment into the Ring of Fire.

New Democrat MPP Gilles Bisson said because the Liberals have dragged their feet, major companies like Cliffs Natural Resources have left the project. He said Cliffs and many other mining companies continue to voice their frustration with the government.

“They have been talking about the Ring of Fire for eight or nine years,” he said. “They have mentioned it now in two or three budgets and a couple of Throne Speeches. Now they got this fallacy going on that they are going to do something when it comes to infrastructure in the Ring of Fire but we have to wait for the feds. Read the rest of this entry »

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

18th November 2014

Feds prepared to spend billions on Ring of Fire – by Len Gillis (Timmins Times – November 18, 2014)

www.timminstimes.co

Federal mines minister Greg Rickford said this week the federal government is ready to ante up its share of infrastructure funding for nationally significant projects such as the Ring of Fire mining development.

But he made it clear that the Province of Ontario will have to pay a share of those costs as well. Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, was speaking at the annual Mining Day event on Parliament Hill on Tuesday. The event was sponsored by the Mining Association of Canada. The Timmins Times requested a copy of his speech.

Rickford, the government MP for Kenora, said he recognizes the importance of mining on both the provincial and national levels, in that it continues to generate tens of billions of dollars to Canada’s GDP (gross domestic product).

“Bottom line – mining is a cornerstone of Canada’s economy and our quality of life,” he said. He admitted that as a Northern MP, he has a continuing local interest.

“My riding has a dynamic mining sector, with some of this country’s biggest mines. As your own figures show, the sector is directly responsible for providing more than 380,000 jobs. The industry is a major employer of Aboriginal Peoples, providing employment to over 10,000 individuals,” Rickford told the audience. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario Politics, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 1 Comment

13th November 2014

Webequie chief calls for true partnerships at mining summit – by Rick Garrick (Wawatay News – November 13, 2014)

http://www.wawataynews.ca/

Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse called for “true partnerships” at the 4th Annual Mining Ready Summit, held Oct. 28-29 in Thunder Bay.

“That’s the way going forward for us to have a step in the processes and also be part of the processes that are potentially going to happen in our area,” Wabasse said. “We have to have these agreements and they have to be real and they have to be honoured.”

Wabasse said his community does not want to sign agreements where “nothing is happening on our side.”

“We know that we have to work our part as well too to make that agreement become reality,” Wabasse said. “We need to understand as First Nations about that agreement, what we need to do to make that happen as well too.”

Wabasse said his community is not opposed to development. “We want to be able to benefit from our lands and resources,” Wabasse said. “We want to be able to benefit from any development that is happening in our area. We know that things are changing — we are not going to be trapping and fishing all our lives — we have to look at other ways of benefitting from our lands and resources.”

But the community still does practice its traditional ways of life on the land, including harvesting traditional foods such as moose, caribou, rabbits and partridge.

“We had a good fall harvest this season,” Wabasse said. “The community engaged in a fall hunting festival, so it was good to see our people still very into the traditional ways of life and also eating traditional foods.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

13th November 2014

PoV: Sudburians victim of political shell game – by Don MacDonald (Sudbury Star – November 12, 2014)

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

When it comes to developing the Ring of Fire, or building the Maley Drive extension, Sudburians are getting to watch the old political shell game. It’s not a game they want to play or one in which they can get any satisfaction.

During spring’s Ontario election campaign, Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne promised $1 billion to help develop the infrastructure the Ring of Fire needs, such as roads and power. She promised to strike a board to oversee the development of the Ring of Fire within 60 days of getting elected.

Wynne also promised $26.7 million as the province’s share of extending Maley Drive. The city has already committed $26.7 million; all that’s needed is for the federal government to come up with its $26.7 million.

Maley Drive is important to the city because the extension would reduce traffic on Lasalle and The Kingsway, and divert heavy ore and other trucks.

The Ring of Fire is important to Sudbury — but also Northern Ontario and, in fact, all of Canada — because it may be home to $60 billion in mineral wealth. It could create thousands of new jobs and lots of new tax revenue. Sudbury, being the centre of mining in Ontario, can only stand to benefit by opening up the Ring of Fire, a large swath of land in northwestern Ontario containing chromite, nickel, copper and platinum. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario Politics, Northern Ontario Separation and Alienation, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

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