26th January 2015

Liberals ‘on top’ of Ring of Fire, mines minister says – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – January 24, 2015)

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

When it comes to working with first nations to develop framework agreements for developing the Ring of Fire and approving environmental assessments for projects there, the Liberal government is “absolutely on top of it,” says Ontario’s mines minister.

Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said the province is continuing its “good work” on framework agreements and advancing the development corporation established to design and build infrastructure for the Ring of Fire.

The interim part of the development corporation is in place, Gravelle said in Sudbury on Friday, during a visit to boost the campaign of Liberal byelection candidate Glenn Thibeault.

The next stage is bringing the province’s full partners on board, including companies with holdings in the Ring of Fire, 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

Gravelle said he’s also looking forward to having more formal discussions with FedNor and Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford about the federal government’s “full engagement, if not matching dollars related to the project.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

23rd January 2015

Ring of Fire requires greater co-operation – by Thomas Perry (Timmins Daily Press – January 23, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Everyone agrees the Ring of Fire has the potential to have a huge impact on our region, the province and the country. Unfortunately, that seams to be as far as the parties involved in this mineral-rich project can go in terms of agreeing on anything.

The parties, for anyone unfamiliar with the Ring of Fire, are the federal government, the provincial government, a number of private-sector companies (including KWG Resources, Noront Resources and Cliff’s Natural Resources) and area First Nations.

Instead of working together to see this project developed, they appear more interested in playing the blame game. Federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford, speaking in Timmins this week, for example, suggested the private sector is not willing to move forward on the development at this time.

“The market has had trouble getting to the point where any company can justify moving ahead very quickly with an extractive exercise,” he said. “We are hopeful that the province is coming on board and turning its mind to specific projects that have the value-added, if you will, of connecting First Nation communities and smaller towns and cities in and around the Ring Of Fire, to be involved in and accessible to the Ring Of Fire.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

23rd January 2015

Possible rail solution in Ring of Fire – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – January 23, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The Mushkegowuk Tribal Council is considering the idea of teaming up with a Southern Ontario rail company to purchase the rail division of Ontario Northland with an eye to expanding rail service on the James Bay Coast and eventually to the Ring Of Fire mining development.

Mushkegowuk grand chief Lawrence Martin revealed Thursday afternoon that his organization has been approached by TGR Rail Canada Ltd, which is one of the companies bidding on the divestment of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

“They gave us a proposal to consider in which we would look at an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) to discuss the possibility of a partnership with them,” said grand chief Martin, speaking to the Aboriginal Energy Symposium.

He said TGR Rail Canada, based out of Toronto, is one of the companies approved by the province as eligible to purchase Ontario Northland rail operations provided they do it in a partnership with a Northern Ontario organization such as Mushkegowuk.

“At this point I can say it is a proposal. We are looking at it. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st January 2015

Robinson says he has a comprehensive plan for Ring of Fire – by Staff (Sudbury Northern Life – January 21, 2015)

http://www.northernlife.ca/

David Robinson says he has a comprehensive plan that would move the Ring of Fire development plan forward.

The Ring of Fire is a rich ore deposit in a remote section of northwestern Ontario, which no land transportation access, but a promise of billions of dollars worth of chromite and other metals. The province has taken heat for not producing a plan to allow development to move forward, and work in the area has effectively stalled.

Robinson, the Green Party candidate in the Sudbury riding byelection, said his plan includes developing a regional governance structure for those areas of Northern Ontario without functioning local governments. Regional government for the Far North will greatly strengthen the voice of people living in the area – and those expected to reside in the North when the Ring of Fire is developed.

“Sustainability begins at the local level,” says Robinson. “The people who live in the Far North will be hosting what will assuredly be one of the largest economic enterprises this province has ever seen. What we don’t need are politicians and bureaucrats sitting in a Toronto boardroom calling the shots for the Far North.

“Right now, that appears to be the plan that the Liberals, PCs and NDP have for the region.” Read the rest of this entry »

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21st January 2015

NOACC NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO ASSOCIATED CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE (NOACC) SUBMISSION TO STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE & ECONOMIC AFFAIRS PRE-BUDGET CONSULTATION (January 20, 2015)

http://www.noacc.ca/

The Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce (NOACC) is the “voice of business” representing the interests of nearly 2,000 members from Kenora and Rainy River in the West to Marathon and Greenstone in the East. We appreciate this opportunity to outline our concerns on a number of topics.

Skills Gap

The Province needs to address the skills gap. Two major trends are creating skills shortages. The first is the aging of the population and the departure of baby boomers from the workforce. The Conference Board of Canada’s long-term economic outlook projects that by 2025, one in five Canadians will be 65 or older. The second trend is that jobs are becoming increasingly specialized, which in turn demands more educated and skilled workers. The evidence is clear that the rising shortfall of skilled workers and the growing mismatch between the skills required and those available has evolved into a skills crisis affecting both the Ontario and the Canadian economy. Funding is vitally important to address the training and skills needs of Ontarians in all sectors.

One area that needs further attention is the apprenticeship system – the Ontario system uncompetitive with other resource-based Provinces. Many skilled trades require 4 journeypersons to train 2 apprentices, which leaves both small companies and rural communities at a disadvantage and does little to address the growing shortage of skilled trades. We believe that the current ratios are too high and should instead be comparative to Alberta and Saskatchewan levels of 1 journeyman to 3 apprentices. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario Politics, Northern Ontario Separation and Alienation, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

21st January 2015

Ring of Fire bogged down in bickering – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – January 21, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The much vaunted Ring Of Fire mining development is bogged down in bureaucratic studies along with bickering over where to build a new road, or rail link, to what is clearly the newest, richest and most promising mining development in Ontario so far this century.

That was part of the assessment offered in Timmins this week at an impromptu news scrum with federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford, the MP for Kenora and the minister for FedNor. But Rickford also said he is still hopeful the project will blossom.

The Ring Of Fire refers to a massive deposit of chromite and other precious minerals located in the McFauld’s Lake and Webequie area, about 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins. Chromite is an important 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.

The project involves KWG Resources Inc., which has about 30% of the Big Daddy property, and Noront Resources, which has the Eagle’s Nest project. They are the two major players involved. Both are Canadian. Another large company, Cliff’s Natural Resources, an American company, was supposed to be the big player in the development, but it pulled out last year, saying it could not get rights to build a transportation link, nor could it get infrastructure concessions from Queen’s Park. Read the rest of this entry »

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

20th January 2015

Industries urged to build trust with First Nations – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – January 20, 2015)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – One of the most respected legal minds in Canada told an audience in Timmins Monday that it is about time for mainstream Canadians to start showing more trust and respect to the Aboriginal community.

The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, former chief justice of the Federal Court of Canada and a former member of the Supreme Court of Canada, was speaking at a special lunch sponsored by the Misiway Milopemahtesewin Community Health Centre on Monday.

“I think it is the No. 1 societal issue facing our country, and that is the plight of our indigenous people,” he told the audience. Aside from being a renowned author, speaker and jurist, Iacobucci is also the man representing the Government of Ontario for negotiating with the Matawa First Nation tribal council for the Ring Of Fire project.

He spoke on the Ring Of Fire project only in passing, but he said it will have to be an example of the non-Aboriginal segment of our society treating First Nations and individual Aboriginals with more trust and respect.

At one point in his speech, he told the Timmins audience that resource companies need to include consultation and accommodating with First Nations. Read the rest of this entry »

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19th January 2015

Noront eager to mine Ring of Fire ore – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – January 19, 2015)

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

The head of Noront Resources is appealing to the provincial government to allow it to begin work developing its Eagle’s Nest nickel mine in the Ring of Fire while a plan to share resources with First Nations over the long term is developed.

Alan Coutts wants the province to give Noront the environmental approval it needs to start on its mine and all-weather road while an “over-arching” framework agreement is being negotiated with First Nations about resource sharing and related issues.

Noront isn’t asking for special treatment, said its president and chief executive officer during a visit to Sudbury.

It just wants the province to approve Noront’s terms of reference for the environmental assessment it submitted 2 1/2 years ago so it can keep and attract investors, reach impact benefit agreements with three First Nations near Eagle’s Nest and start mining ore.

Coutts was in Sudbury at the invitation of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce Ring of Fire Task Force to talk about the status of Noront’s project, why it is stalled and what he believes must be done to move it forward. Read the rest of this entry »

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16th January 2015

NEWS RELEASE: KWG Shareholder Loeb Capital Liquidating Holdings

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Jan. 16, 2015) -KWG Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:KWG)(FRANKFURT:KW6), reports that Loeb King Capital Management advised its clients in a letter dated January 13, 2015 that “the funds will begin an orderly liquidation”. According to a Bloomberg News report issued yesterday Loeb King Capital Management, an investment firm with about $1 billion, is closing after principal Gideon King decided to manage his own money. Loeb Capital Management LLP previously advised KWG management that it held approximately 49 million of KWG’s issued and outstanding shares and yesterday advised that 8 million of those had been sold on the TSX Venture market this week.

“We have appreciated the long term support of Loeb King Capital and its principal Gideon King,” said KWG President Frank Smeenk. “He has believed in our strategy and been with us in the trenches as we navigated the tortuous path to the creation of a new enterprise in Canada. The opportunity for our many smaller shareholders to acquire this equity interest now, at the prices Loeb is prepared to accept, is also welcomed by those of us who will continue. We wish Mr. King well.”

About KWG: KWG has a 30% interest in the Big Daddy chromite deposit and the right to earn 80% of the Black Horse chromite where resources are being defined. KWG has also acquired patent interests, including a method for the direct reduction of chromite to metalized iron and chrome using natural gas. KWG also owns 100% of Canada Chrome Corporation which has staked claims and conducted a $15 million surveying and soil testing program for the engineering and construction of a railroad to the Ring of Fire from Exton, Ontario. Read the rest of this entry »

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16th January 2015

Sudbury letter: Liberals fail to deliver – by Ryan Minor (Sudbury Star – January 16, 2015)

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

It is election time in Sudbury. The governing Liberals will be out making new promises and restating old promises. There is a saying that ‘words whisper, actions scream.’ We need to look past the rhetoric and ask: where are the results?

On the Highway 69 file, the minister of Transportation wants us to believe that the government is still committed to finishing the highway by 2017.

There are several troubling facts that cast doubt on this claim. The last contracts for construction of the highway were tendered in 2012. As of now, the MTO has not concluded a single deal with any of the three First Nations to acquire reserve lands. The remaining 82 km have been in federal environmental assessment since at least 2011. The MTO has no federal permits.

The 2014 budget included funding for 11 km of Highway 69 near Nobel and indicated that construction would start this fiscal year (by March 31). According to an email dated Jan. 8, 2015, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, information to complete the environmental assessment has been outstanding for years, which is surprising since the engineering is done, the project is entirely on Crown land, the project involves adding two more lanes to the existing highway and First Nations legally cannot withhold consultation.

Sudburians need to ask: what is the true construction timetable for the highway? What sort of issues are holding up agreements with the First Nations? Read the rest of this entry »

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15th January 2015

Mackenzie Iles Watson (Born 1935) – 2015 Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Inductee

The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame was conceived by the late Maurice R. Brown, former editor and publisher of The Northern Miner, as a way to recognize and honour the legendary mine finders and builders of a great Canadian industry. The Hall was established in 1988. For more information about the extraordinary individuals who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, please go to their home website: http://mininghalloffame.ca/

Geological acumen, entrepreneurial instincts, and an engaging personality are some of the qualities that contributed to the extraordinary success achieved by Mackenzie Watson during his 50-year career in the Canadian mining industry. His impressive track record of discovery includes involvement in the Holloway gold project in Ontario, chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire district, and the Strange Lake rare earths project in Quebec. He also built flagship Freewest Resources into a respected project generator and provided leadership and support to junior companies and industry associations.

Watson graduated with a BSc in geology from the University of New Brunswick in 1959, and soon after participated in the discovery of the Icon Sullivan copper mine near Chibougamau, Quebec. His 1970s successes included Lynx Canada’s Long Lake zinc mine in southeast Ontario, the Hebecourt massive sulphide deposit in Quebec, and the Ellison gold deposit in Quebec, and a thermal coal deposit in New Brunswick. He later became a technical advisor to Q-Vest, which raised $60 million to invest in junior companies during the 1980s.

Watson came into his own after becoming president of Freewest Resources in 1986. The company’s first major triumph was the Holloway gold project east of Timmins. Its discovery led to Freewest being absorbed by Hemlo Gold Mines and development of the deposit as a 1,350-tons-per-day mine. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

13th January 2015

Patent office decision may help KWG to cut chromite production costs in half – by Jamie Smith (tbnewswatch.com – January 13, 2015)

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/default.aspx

THUNDER BAY — Mining is an expensive industry. Just ask KWG Resources, which received good news from the U.S. Patent Office’s International Searching Authority earlier this month. The office found that KWG’s process for using natural gas and an accelerant, rather than a standard electric arc furnace, to process chromite is a novel one.

Vice-president of exploration and development Moe Lavigne said the idea could cut costs by more than half for its proposed operation. It could also have the potential to license the process to mines around the world but it hasn’t had the chance to get the process out of the lab yet.

“We haven’t tested it on chromites from around the world yet but we suspect that it’ll be applicable to any chromite deposit on the planet,” he said. Typically an electric furnace needs to burn at around 1,700 C in order to separate chromite, made of chromium, iron and oxygen. KWG’s process could do the same using natural gas at 1,200 C. That saves energy costs but also equipment costs by burning at a lower temperature.

“At 1,700 C just about everything melts,” Lavigne said. The footprint for the plant is also about a quarter of the size of an electric furnace like the one proposed by once KWG senior partner Cliffs Natural Resources. Electricity prices means a typical plant would likely be built in Quebec or Manitoba where prices are cheaper but natural gas is the same price across the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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

13th January 2015

Wynne’s actions snub Sudbury on free choice – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – January 13, 2015)

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

There was something oddly symbolic about a gesture at a news conference in Sudbury Wednesday. Hours after Kathleen Wynne announced a byelection for Feb. 5, she spoke to reporters at a local hotel. Positive and upbeat, the premier was pleased to be in Sudbury. The city looked Christmas-card pretty under fresh snow.

Wynne introduced Glenn Thibeault, former New Democrat MP, as the best man to represent Sudbury at Queen’s Park. Thibeault seemed nervous and had every right to be. For six years, Sudburians sent him to Ottawa under the NDP banner. Many are angry at what they see as betrayal.

Taking to the podium, Thibeault dropped his pen. Wynne swooped in, picked it up and handed it to him. It was a small movement, but to some indicative of how tightly Thibeault is being handled by the premier.

After hand-picking the former United Way executive director, Wynne and party brass are doing everything they can to ensure he doesn’t drop the ball. It has nothing to do, they say, with Wynne and powerful Sudbury Liberals wanting a member they could quickly promote to cabinet.

It’s about pressing Sudbury issues that need Thibeault’s attention — the expansion of Maley Dr., an arterial road; the four-laning of Highway 69; infrastructure for the Ring of Fire mineral belt. Read the rest of this entry »

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

9th January 2015

Harper-Wynne meeting a ‘good discussion,’ but not end of their cold war [Ring of Fire conflict] – by John Ivison (National Post – January 9, 2015)

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

The late unpleasantness between Kathleen Wynne and Stephen Harper may appear to have been resolved by their meeting last Monday in Toronto.

But, behind the scenes, all is not well and hostilities may be resumed when the Ontario Premier travels to Ottawa to speak on the state of the federation at a Canada 2020 conference on Jan. 20.

The suspicion at Queen’s Park is that the Prime Minister met Ms. Wynne simply to buy some peace and shut down a source of relentless criticism. The Premier had previously bemoaned the fact that Mr. Harper had refused to meet with her in 2014.

In her media availability following the pre-hockey game summit, she called the meeting a “positive step forward” and refrained from the kind of megaphone diplomacy that has characterized their relationship to this point.

But it is understood that the Premier expects to see some concrete results emerging from the conversation and that if those don’t materialize, she will go back on the offensive. The catalyst for a new cold war is likely to be the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario.

Ms. Wynne said that she and Mr. Harper had a “good discussion” over the mineral deposit project and the provincial request for $1-billion in federal funding to match the provincial government’s planned investment. Read the rest of this entry »

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

7th January 2015

Ontario and federal government need to work together to move Ring of Fire forward: Gravelle – by Jodi Lundmark (tbnewswatch.com – January 7, 2015)

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/default.aspx

THUNDER BAY — A collaborative partnership between the provincial and federal government is crucial in developing the Ring of Fire.

That’s what Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle said is clear after Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper met early Monday evening to discuss the economy, including nationally significant infrastructure projects like the Ring of Fire.

Gravelle said he had already spoken to Conservative Minister of Natural Resources Greg Rickford over the holidays about the mining project, but the recent meeting between the two leaders has encouraged the two ministers to speak further on the topic.

“There is no question again that this is an extraordinarily exciting economic opportunity,” said Gravelle Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s a complex project, but one where in order for us to truly reach the full potential, both the economic development potential and the social potential, the partnership and the shared funding by the federal government is going to be crucial.”

The provincial government has committed $1 billion to the Ring of Fire, specifically for transportation infrastructure.  Read the rest of this entry »

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

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