Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Ring of Pants-on-Fire: Kathleen Wynne’s ‘weeks, not months’ deadline blows by – by John Michael McGrath (TV Ontario – July 25, 2017)

http://tvo.org/

OPINION: This spring, Ontario’s premier seemed determined to speed up negotiations on developing the mineral-rich Ring of Fire — then, nothing happened.

Neither Premier Kathleen Wynne nor the Ontario Liberals generally are predisposed to playing the heavy with Indigenous communities. The Grits won the 2003 election partly on a pledge to establish better relations with Indigenous people, in contrast with the acrimony — and violence — of the Mike Harris years. Wynne has made reconciliation a personal mission in her time as premier.

So it was notable that she wrote a letter this spring to the Matawa Chiefs Council urging a speedy resolution to negotiations on developing the Ring of Fire, a mineral-rich region northeast of Thunder Bay that’s smack-dab in the middle of multiple First Nations territories. Wynne said she hoped for “meaningful progress in weeks, not months” on an agreement to build transportation infrastructure to the chromite and nickel deposits there.

Well, it’s been months, not weeks, yet the government has announced no major progress on an agreement, and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines had no new details to report this week in response to inquiries from TVO.org. Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay, Fort William First Nation make the case for Ring of Fire smelter – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 20, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Economic developers take Noront miners on brownfields tour

Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation made a joint push this week to be the host site for a ferrochrome smelter serving the Ring of Fire.

Local economic development officials took representatives from Noront Resources, the biggest claimholder in the Far North mineral belt, on a tour of area industrial sites, hoping to sway the Toronto mine developer to pick northwestern Ontario for a $600-million to $800-million processing plant.

John Mason, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission’s mining services project manager, said the tour was basically to give Noront president Alan Coutts and chief development officer Steve Flewelling a better on-the-ground appreciation of what land and infrastructure is available.

The tour took them to the Grand Trunk Railway lands on the Fort William reserve and a mixture of private and government-owned parcels of waterfront brownfields in the Mission and McKellar Islands area. “It was essentially a waterfront, or water-themed, tour,” said Mason. Continue Reading →

[Ring of Fire Ferrochome Facility] Thunder Bay in the mix – by Brigitte Petersen (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – July 20, 2017)

http://www.chroniclejournal.com/

Toronto-based mining company Noront Resources revealed its plan to build a ferrochrome processing facility (FPF) in Northern Ontario Wednesday at the Valhalla Inn to a crowd of about 130 people. The company is considering locating the plant, which could initially create up to 350 jobs, in either Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins or Sudbury.

The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) and Fort William First Nation Economic Development Corporation invited Noront to deliver a preliminary presentation about plans for the FPF, and to discuss any advancements with the Ring of Fire, a mineral-rich zone located 400 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

Chromite is used to make stainless steel. Noront wants to process ferrochrome, an alloy of chromium and iron, to sell to stainless steel producers. “The demand for stainless steel continues to rise,” said Alan Coutts, Noront’s president and CEO, adding that Noront’s ferrochrome product would be shipped to U.S.-based stainless steel plants. Continue Reading →

Romano pressing for mid-August Ring of Fire tour – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – July 19, 2017)

http://www.saultstar.com/

“There’s a few challenges that we’re addressing now,” Romano said during a Northern Ontario media conference call led by PC leader Patrick Brown. Romano, elected in a provincial byelection just more than a month ago, has been named Northern Ontario’s critic of jobs and the Ring of Fire.

He said that since starting his role about 40 days ago, he’s met with executives from NorOnt on three occasions and has established a good line of communications with them. “I’m running a lot of laps on this one,” he told The Sault Star. “There is an issue that needs to be resolved and I am trying to assist the Economic Development Corp., who is lead on this one, for their bid submission to NorOnt.”

Brown said if the PC’s form the next provincial government, he vows to build the Ring of Fire transportation corridor and dedicate the funds needed to do so in order to create opportunities in the North. Continue Reading →

Are the feds ready to buy into the Ring of Fire? – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 7, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Transport minister launches national $2-billion transportation infrastructure fund

It’ll be a wait-and-see proposition if Ottawa is finally ready to invest in mining-related transportation infrastructure for Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire. Federal transport minister Marc Garneau announced some of the details behind the Trade and Transportation Corridors Initiative (TTCI) as part of the government’s “nation-building infrastructure plan” on July 4.

The feds said they’re prepared to spend two billion dollars over 11 years on trade-oriented transportation infrastructure through investments in ports, waterways, airports, roads, bridges, border crossings, and rail networks.Up to $400 million is earmarked to support transportation infrastructure for the movement of people and goods in Canada’s Northern territories under a merit-based program.

Proponents are now being invited to tap into this fund by submitting an expression of interest to support transportation projects. Last March, no mention was made in the federal budget of any kind of investment toward building mining-related infrastructure for the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

North Eastern Ontario urban mayors aim to put up united front – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – July 4, 2017)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – Mayors from Northern Ontario’s larger urban municipalities met in Timmins last week to discuss common concerns and plan strategies to get more funding from upper levels of government.

Key issues, according to Timmins Mayor Steve Black, included the need for more FedNor funding, a bigger commitment to Northern rail networks, more money for the opioid drug crisis and the need to restructure district social services administration board’s responsibilities.

Black said the first concern was discussion over the budget promise by federal Liberals to add $25-million to FedNor’s $41-million budget over a period of five years. “They have increased the FedNor budget but it’s not significant and substantial enough an increase to put us on equal ground with the other development agencies across Canada,” said Black. Continue Reading →

Forget Ring of Fire: Cobalt mining camp is ready to roll – by PJ Wilson (North Bay Nugget – June 23, 2017)

http://www.nugget.ca/

COBALT – As much attention as the Ring of Fire has garnered, the expected resurgence of the Cobalt Camp is a bigger story. “The Ring of Fire . . . is too much pie in the sky,” Gino Chitaroni says. “There are too many working parts. You don’t need millions of dollars there. You need billions. There is no way in hell it will be developed anytime soon.”

Chitaroni, president and manager of PolyMet Labs in this old mining town, says political problems are delaying the Ring of Fire project in northwestern Ontario even more. It will be at least a decade – probably more – before anything comes out of it, he believes. But the Cobalt Camp, he says, is ready to roll again.

“Even with China involved directly, and they have very, very deep pockets, the infrastructure requirements there means Ring of Fire is many, many years off,” says Chitaroni, who also is president of the Northern Prospectors’ Association. “It’s sad that the government has put all its (mining) eggs in one basket when there are so many other, much better projects.” Continue Reading →

Noront looks for smelter landing spots in Sudbury, Timmins – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 20, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Nickel City puts “best foot forward” to host Ring of Fire chromite processor

Noront Resources’ search for a home for a potential ferrochrome smelter took them to Sudbury and Timmins in mid-June. The largest claim holder in the Ring of Fire recently tweeted photos of visits to the northeastern Ontario cities as part of a pan-Northern Ontario scan to find a suitable landing spot for a $600-million to $800-million processing plant.

Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay-Fort William First Nation are in the mix to host the facility which could be years away from construction given the slow pace of development talks between the Ontario government and First Nation communities in the James Bay region.

Greater Sudbury Development Corporation (GSDC) director Ian Wood said the plant could create “several hundred” construction and permanent jobs, but he remained cautious about heightening local expectations. Continue Reading →

Sioux-to-Sault partnership forms for Ring of Fire – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – June 19, 2017)

http://www.saultstar.com/

The proposal calls for a trans-load facility to be established in Sioux Lookout, where raw materials can be trucked and transported via rail across the region. Sault Ste. Marie was selected as the ideal partner for the project because of its location, history and infrastructure, said EDC CEO Tom Dodds.

Dodds was recently in Sioux Lookout to tour the proposed trans-load facility location and discuss integrated transportation systems and the commercial and industrial networks that could benefit from the proposal. “Our concept is the same and we see the synergies that could be created from an east west route,” Dodds said.

That east-west route, would run along an old winter road system that is already in place to service communities to Pickle Lake. The closest community with reliable infrastructure becomes Sioux Lookout, which currently serves as a hub for that region’s remote communities, includes a hospital and the necessary infrastructure for a staging point, Dodds said. Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire: burning down a rare economic opportunity – by Joseph Quesnel and Kenneth Green (Troy Media – June 12, 2017)

http://www.troymedia.com/

First Nations can’t veto development in northern Ontario. They must engage in good faith, just like business and governments, and not squander this opportunity

Joseph Quesnel is a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute. Kenneth Green is Senior Director, Natural Resource Studies at the Fraser Institute.

ANTIGONISH, N.S. /Troy Media/ – It’s often said that successful First Nations must operate at the speed of business, not the speed of government. That certainly applies to First Nations affected by the Ring of Fire mining proposal.

Long delays and lack of communication between governments and the nine First Nation communities involved have plagued efforts to establish mining of largely chromite deposits in the region 500 km north of Thunder Bay.

A central bone of contention is the construction of an all-season transportation corridor to get the mined ore to plants in northern Ontario where it can be refined. In late May, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told a Chamber of Commerce meeting in northeastern Ontario that movement on an infrastructure plan should come in “weeks, not months.” Continue Reading →

Romano critic of Northern jobs, Ring of Fire – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – June 9, 2017)

http://www.saultstar.com/

Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown made the announcement at Queen’s Park on Friday, updating critic roles for his caucus.

“As our newest MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, I’m looking forward to having Ross Romano work hard every day for Northern Ontario families and as part of the PC caucus,” said Brown in a press release. “Ross won a riding that the Ontario PCs have not won in 30 years due to his hard work and commitment. Given his background in serving his community as a city councillor, I know he will dedicate his efforts at Queen’s Park to bring about positive change.”

Romano, whose resignation as a city councillor will be formally accepted by council Monday, said he welcomes his new role, especially because his campaign focused on the need for good paying jobs in Northern Ontario and the need to move forward with infrastructure to prepare for the Ring of Fire development.

He expects to be formally sworn in as the city’s MPP in the next few weeks. Continue Reading →

Marten Falls’ new best buddies: KWG wants First Nation to be Ring of Fire mining partner – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – June 6, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Ring of Fire developer KWG Resources and Marten Falls First Nation have agreed to negotiate the terms of a chromite mining partnership agreement in the Ring of Fire.

The two parties are fresh from a May trip to China to meet with KWG’s project partner, China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group, to hear some encouraging results of a rail corridor feasibility study.

A proposed north-south rail corridor, once staked by KWG, crosses the traditional territory of Marten Falls. A June 6 KWG release proposes an equal profit-sharing partnership “that may be derived from mining activities after provision for fully-absorbed manufacturing costs, including comminution, concentration and transportation, plus reclamation, and the amortization of project-finance borrowings.” Continue Reading →

Road blocks to the Ring of Fire: Details still scarce, election clock ticking on Far North mineral development – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 2, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Making any headway on building an access road to the Ring of Fire remains a complex, winding and muddled path. Despite Premier Kathleen Wynne’s strident tones in demanding progress to jumpstart development in the dormant Far North mineral belt, it could be years before any shovels are in the ground to blaze a road corridor to the James Bay lowlands.

The provincial bureaucrat leading the regional infrastructure planning process claims much work remains to forge First Nation partnerships with the Matawa tribal council before any construction takes place.

When Northern Development and Mines assistant deputy minister Christine Kaszycki was asked by an attendee at a May 25 Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon for a realistic timeline when Ring of Fire ore can be expected to start moving, she admitted she couldn’t provide one. Continue Reading →

Chinese railroaders like the route to the Ring of Fire – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – June 2, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Feasibility study projects moving mega-tonnes of chromite out of Far North

A delegation of KWG Resources and Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN), one of the communities near the Ring of Fire deposits, completed a trip to China to lay the foundation for a Far North railway and project financing.

A June 1 KWG release said the group was provided with an overview of the feasibility study began last year, when they most recently visited with their project partner, China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group (FSDI), at its headquarters in Xian, China on May 15.

The company was advised by its Chinese partners that the study had concluded that the route which traverses the Marten Falls’ traditional territory was a viable alignment for the construction of a chromite ore-haul railroad. Continue Reading →

Mining reps weary of all talk, no action in Ring of Fire – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – June 1, 2017)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – Some key players in the Ontario mining industry said they’re getting sick and tired hearing about the Ring of Fire. That’s mainly because for all the talk about the mining prospect, nothing is being been done about it.

That was part of the discussion that came out Thursday during the Investor’s Forum at the Big Event Canadian Mining Expo that was on this week in Timmins. Part of the forum included an open discussion on what might be done to get the higher levels of government to get moving to develop the area.

The Ring Of Fire refers to a massive deposit of chromite and nickel located in the McFauld’s Lake and Webequie area, about 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins. Chromite is an important element for manufacturing stainless steel. The Ring of Fire area could become the largest chromite mining site in North America, a venture that is often measured in the tens of billions of dollars. Continue Reading →