Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

No time line for Ring of Fire, Premier – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – May 16, 2016)

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will not give a timeline for when people can expect the Ring of Fire chromite development to be up and running. But, she says, those who think the project is stalled or that the Ontario government isn’t doing enough to get the mining project off the ground may not be seeing the full picture.

Minutes after she had promised a group of miners at Kidd Operations that the Liberal government would “position Ontario over the next decade as the global leader in sustainable mineral development.” The Daily Press sat down with the premier and asked when the project will be operational.

“I want to get shovels in the ground to build related infrastructure as soon as we can, but I’m not going to preempt the process. But by the time I finish my first term as premier, I want us to be able to point to progress that we can point to,” said Wynne. Continue Reading →

Roads, not rail preferred to transport Ring of Fire chromite, miners told – by Matt Sookram ( – May 13, 2016)

“Hopefully if we get everything right it will be ready for the next commodity cycle.”

After 10 years the Ring of Fire remains stalled at the earliest stages of development, and that’s bad news for North Bay with up to 70 mining related companies located here. A roundtable discussion, part of Mining Week in North Bay, tackled different ideas last night on how to move forward with the project.

David Paul Achneepineskum is the Chief Executive Officer for Mattawa First Nations Management and says they are really building the foundation first, before they can begin discussions and, more importantly, negotiations.

Achneepineskum says there are still many factors to consider, “We have four pillars that we want to address and agree upon. One is environment, the other is revenue sharing, and there’s also infrastructure and community and social economic impacts.”

Some of the major discussions in the past have centred on whether the best way to transport chromite out of the Ring of Fire is by rail or road. Continue Reading →

Ontario North promised more infrastructure funding – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – May 13, 2016)

TIMMINS – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told municipal leaders in Timmins on Thursday that her Liberal government plans to continue spending money on infrastructure for things like roads, waterlines and sewers.

While it was welcome information for the mayors and councillors attending the annual FONOM (Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities) conference it sounded a lot like an election speech which is not completely unexpected, given that Ontario voters will go to the polls on June 14, 2018.

Wynne alluded to that when she mentioned that her government is effectively at the halfway point and she listed the many and varied achievements of the Queen’s Park Liberals under her direction. “So we’re nearly halfway through our mandate to build Ontario up so really this morning I want to show you what it is exactly that we are building in Ontario,” the premier told the delegates in the morning session. Continue Reading →

Chinese more likely to build rail link to Ring of Fire – by John R. Hunt (North Bay Nugget – May 4, 2016)

A recent report may be good news for the development of the Ring of Fire. It also is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Ontario and Canada. The report stated that representatives of a Chinese railway had visited the Ring of Fire with a view to connecting it to the nearest rail head.

They were invited or welcomed by KWG Resources, a mining company which is developing a property in the Ring of Fire. KWG has long argued that a rail link is much more essential than highway access.

The Ring of Fire may be the richest mineral deposit since the discovery of nickel at Sudbury and the founding of silver in Cobalt. It has the potential to create thousands of jobs with many opportunities for First Nations in the area.

Presumably the Chinese are capable of doing a good job, but so are companies from many other nations. Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Roads to First Nations working in other areas (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – April 30, 2016)

Current economic, social, education and health stats paint a bleak picture of Canada’s First Nation communities. This is particularly true of the so called fly-in First Nations located in Northern Ontario beyond surface road or rail access.

These communities have existed for centuries and once were self sufficient thanks to trapping and fishing. Today most fly-in First Nations are dependent on financial assistance provided by senior government.

Picture a situation where you live in a remote reserve linked only to the outside world by expensive air service of dubious merit; that you are governed by a distant oblivious ruler (Ottawa and Queen’s Park), and that you exist on government hand-outs which, if you decide to quit the reserve, you will lose. Continue Reading →

[Ring of Fire] Gov’ts keep in touch: Wynne – by Brent Linton (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – May 2, 2016)

Ontario and federal cabinet ministers keep in touch regularly on important projects including the Ring of Fire, claims Kathleen Wynne.

Ontario’s premier paid a visit to Thunder Bay last week and spoke about the massive chromite project in the lower James Bay area known as the Ring of Fire.

She made it clear that communication with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet is much better than under the former Conservative government.

“Unlike the previous government, we actually have regular conversations between ministers about these files,” Wynne said. Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire bigger vision than fast as possible: Wynne –by Matt Vis ( – April 29, 2016)

THUNDER BAY – Kathleen Wynne views the Ring of Fire as more than just an economic development opportunity.

The Ontario premier was asked about the province’s progress in developing the potentially lucrative mineral deposit in the remote north during her media availability in Thunder Bay on Thursday.

Wynne responded that her government is dedicated to acting in an environmentally responsible manner while engaging and consulting with First Nations communities to ensure their children will experience the resulting economic prosperity.

“That’s a bigger vision than just how do we, as fast as possible, get trucks in to get those minerals out, get them out and then leave the site,” Wynne said. Continue Reading →

KWG CEO: Unlock Ring of Fire Riches With Chinese-Built Rail – Bloomberg TV’s Pamela Ritchie Interviews Frank Smeenk (April 22, 2016)

Frank Smeenk, President & CEO of KWG Resources joins Bloomberg TV Canada’s Pamela Ritchie to discuss his proposal to build a railroad to Ring of Fire that could be financed by Chinese banks.

Ring of Fire development a political winner, but not quite so for mining companies – by Barrie McKenna (Globe and Mail – April 25, 2016)

OTTAWA — Good lobbyists know that advancing an agenda works best when the stars align. That’s the moment when what you want is in sync with what the government wants. Take the Ring of Fire – a mineral-rich, but untapped swath of northwestern Ontario.

The problem (beyond the immediate inconvenience of depressed commodities prices) is that the area is essentially cut off from the world. There are no roads, rail links or power supply to get at the vast deposits of nickel, chromite, copper and platinum buried in the belt, located 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

Enter Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He’s committed to spending billions of dollars on infrastructure. He also wants to forge a new relationship with indigenous Canadians, involve them in resource development and create economic opportunities for troubled northern communities, such as Attawapiskat. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire needs a road, not rail, Noront CEO asserts – by Bill Curry (Globe and Mail – April 21, 2016)

OTTAWA — The biggest player in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire says government infrastructure cash should focus on an east-west road rather than grand plans for a $2-billion north-south rail line.

Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources Ltd., responded to a proposal recently promoted to the federal and Ontario governments for a 340-kilometre-long rail line that would be built and financed by Chinese investors.

“What we’re saying is let’s not blow our brains out building the biggest, costliest infrastructure known to mankind without the economic justification,” Mr. Coutts told The Globe and Mail.

Both Ottawa and Ontario are looking to make major investments in infrastructure to spur the economy and help struggling First Nations communities. Continue Reading →

Chinese engineers visit Ontario’s Ring of Fire to survey possible $2B railway route (Canadian Press/Toronto Star – April 19, 2016)

Engineers from China recently visited the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario to assess the potential of building a $2-billion railway line, a proponent behind developing minerals in the area said Tuesday.

Frank Smeenk, CEO of Toronto-based mineral exploration company KWG Resources, said the rail line is crucial for the extraction of nickel, chromite, copper and platinum from the massive deposits.

He said a team of engineers from a subsidiary of the state-owned China Railway Construction Corp. surveyed a proposed 328-kilometre route last week as part of detailed engineering work before they advance toward a final investment decision. Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire rail investment could be ‘real prize’ for China, business expert says – by Amy Hadley (CBC News Thunder Bay – April 21, 2016)

Business expert Walid Hejazi says he was not at all surprised by China’s interest in the Ring of Fire

A group of engineers from a Chinese rail company have wrapped up a visit to Ontario to explore the possibility of building a rail line to the Ring of Fire mineral deposit, in the province’s far north.

The visit included a survey of northern terrain by helicopter, and a meeting with MPs in Ottawa.

“The impression they left us is that this is a very good project and they’re very interested in pursuing it,” said Moe Lavigne, the vice-president of KWG Resources, a junior mining company with a stake in the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

Chinese engineers endorse plans for $2-billion rail line to Ring of Fire – by Bill Curry (Globe and Mail – April 20, 2016)

OTTAWA — A team of Chinese engineers is endorsing a planned rail line to Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire and says the project could open the door to Chinese bids on other Canadian rail projects.

If approved, the planned $2-billion rail line to the Ring of Fire mineral deposits would mark the first time that a Chinese rail company plays a major role in rail construction in Canada. China’s state-owned rail companies are aggressively eyeing international expansion, particularly in the area of high-speed commuter rail.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail in Ottawa, senior engineer Zhu Lizheng spoke positively about the potential of building a north-south rail line about 340 kilometres long that would connect the Ring of Fire to an existing CN Rail line near Nakina, Ontario. Continue Reading →

‘Our job is to close the gap,’ Minister of Indigenous Affairs tells First Nations – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – April 19, 2016)

‘We need to be whole’ to benefit from mining development, Eabametoong chief tells Carolyn Bennett

Mining is not the solution to the social ills, including suicides, plaguing First Nations in northern Ontario, the Minister of Indigenous Affairs and First Nations leaders agree.

Minister Carolyn Bennett was in Attawapiskat on Monday after the Cree community on the James Bay coast cited more than a dozen suicide attempts in April and 28 recorded attempts in March. Bennett’s visit was part of a tour of remote First Nations in northern Ontario by the Minister.

“We see there’s mining industries, there’s governments that want to get into our traditional lands”, Chief Wayne Moonias told Bennett last Friday in Neskantaga First Nation. “Development is not going to occur with the social conditions facing our community.” Continue Reading →

China shows renewed interest in developing resource-rich Ring of Fire – by Bill Curry (Globe and Mail – April 19, 2016)

OTTAWA — Chinese officials looking to build a $2-billion rail line to Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire will meet with MPs on Parliament Hill Tuesday, a visit that underscores China’s strong interest in the region’s mining potential.

A group of engineers from a subsidiary of the state-owned China Railway Construction Co. toured the Ring of Fire region by helicopter last week along with officials from KWG Resources, a small Toronto-based mining firm that hopes to secure Chinese investment for its Ring of Fire plans.

The decline in commodity prices has led to a waning of momentum around the Ring of Fire project, which is believed to hold about $60-billion in minerals and more than 100 years of mining activity. Continue Reading →