Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Chinese rail engineering firm scopes out Ring of Fire proposal – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 26, 2015)

No sense getting into the chromite business without having China on your radar, according to KWG Resources.

With more than half of the world’s ferrochrome is being consumed by the People’s Republic, Moe Lavigne, vice-president of exploration and development for the Toronto junior miner, said it’s a no-brainer that his exploration firm would strike a deal with a Chinese railroad engineering outfit to investigate the economics of a Ring of Fire railroad.

KWG announced on Nov. 24 a three-year agreement with China Railway First Survey and Design Institute to conduct, what amounts to, a pre-feasibility study of KWG’s long-standing plans for an ore-haul railway from northwestern Ontario to the James Bay region to haul out chromite for processing. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: China Railway FSDI Signs KWG Standstill Agreement

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Nov. 24, 2015) – KWG Resources Inc. (CSE:KWG) (“KWG”) and China Railway First Survey & Design Institute Group Co., Ltd. (“FSDI”) have signed a Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement arranged by Golden Share Mining Corporation (TSX VENTRUE:GSH) (“GSH”), which includes a three-year standstill provision, to enable the scoping and engineering data of KWG subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation (“CCC”) to be made available for examination and analysis by FSDI.

The parties intend to explore the possibility of a negotiated transaction between them for FSDI to undertake a feasibility study for KWG on all aspects of the construction of a Ring of Fire transportation corridor and railroad, including terms for construction financing facilities. FSDI has begun its review of the CCC data and advises that it will deliver a proposal to the parties as soon as possible in preparation for discussions in early 2016. Continue Reading →

Is Ring reality or myth: next 100 days will tell – by Stefan Huzan (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – November 8, 2015)

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

I believe the next 100 days will demonstrate if there is to be a new economic reality in Northern Ontario because Justin Trudeau, the new prime minister of Canada, has appointed Patty Hajdu, Thunder Bay-Superior North, to the federal cabinet.

After all, the biggest promise of the Liberal election campaign was multi-billion dollar investments for growth.

And, it is important to note that Ontario Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne had also won majority support of voters in 2014, to a large extent on the basis of similar promises of multi-billion dollar investment into infrastructure. Continue Reading →

What is the Ring of Fire? – Moving towards the sustainable development of this vital resource (Society Notes – November 17, 2015)

The official blog of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.

The Ring of Fire refers to a 5,000 km2 area in the James Bay Lowlands (550 km north of Thunder Bay) considered to be one of the largest potential mineral reserves in Ontario. Containing chromite, nickel, copper, zinc, and gold, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce estimates that this region in the James Bay Lowlands could generate $25 billion in economic activity, creating thousands of new jobs across the province for 30 years.
Did You Know?

The Ring of Fire has been called a “once-in-a generation economic opportunity” and the “most promising mineral development opportunity in Ontario since the discovery of the Sudbury Basin in 1883 and the Timmins gold camp in 1909. Continue Reading →

[Ontario] Open the north; get on with it – Editorial (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – November 12, 2015)

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

Ontario has just completed the fourth Northern Leaders Dialogue. Provincial, municipal and indigenous leaders gathered in Thunder Bay to discuss issues around development and transportation, part of the province’s growth plan for Northern Ontario.

The advent of exploration around the rich Ring of Fire mineral belt has added urgency to the notion of opening the North. Yet there remains much indecision on whether transportation should be rail or road, east-west or north-south. Who should pay what share of the cost? While Ontario spins its wheels, what are neighbouring provinces and other jurisdictions doing?

In Quebec, 950 kilometres north of Quebec City, Stornoway Diamond Corp. invested $800 million in capital expenditures in the province’s first diamond mine. To provide year-round access, the province and Stornoway split the cost of building a 243-kilometre road serving one of 35 mines that the Quebec government estimates will be operating by 2020. Continue Reading →

[Ring of Fire] Access road priority: MP – by Carl Clutchey (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – November 7, 2015)

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

No “trained seal” this guy. Though he didn’t make it into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first cabinet, veteran Liberal MP Bob Nault said he’s confident a promised open style of government will allow him to make the case for pressing Northern issues, including a main access road into the Ring of Fire mining belt.

“You don’t have to be in cabinet to be effective in this job,” Nault (Kenora) said Friday. “We’re moving to a system where the roles of (backbench) MPs and Parliamentary committees are going to be strengthened.”
Chuckling, Nault added: “We don’t have to sit there like trained seals,” a reference to how Justin’s father, Pierre Trudeau, once viewed backbenchers.

Nault, who was Indian Affairs minister when he retired from politics in 2004 after 16 straight years in the House of Commons, said he decided to get back into federal politics because of what he saw as a top-down approach by the former Harper government. Continue Reading →

Webequie chief calls for true partnerships at mining summit – by Rick (Wawatay News – November 2015)

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. Continue Reading →

Mining analyst Stan Sudol weighs in on Ring of Fire development – Interviewed by Up North’s Jason Turnbull (CBC News Sudbury – November 6, 2015)

This week at Queen’s Park, the PCs said the Liberals were planning a tax on chromite. Analyst Stan Sudol weighed in.

Click here for interview:

Noront CEO Al Coutts on Ring of Fire Road Infrastructure and Eagle’s Nest Mine – Interviewed by Superior Morning’s Lisa Laco (CBC News Thunder Bay – November 6, 2015)

Over the past few years the Ring of Fire has certainly cooled off. Al Coutts of Noront Resources talks about their plans… and keeping anxious investors happy.

Click here for interview:

Fiery Exchanges in Question Period over Ring of Fire ( – November 5, 2015)

QUEEN’S PARK – POLITICS – There was a fiery exchange in Question Period in Queen’s Park between Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown and Thunder Bay Superior North MPP and Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle today. The PC Leader is demanding action on the Ring of Fire mining project that Brown states is stalled after eight long years.

There have been reports, in the Financial Post that Noront Resources is frustrated over progress on the mining project.

Minister Gravelle stated “As a government, we remain absolutely committed to the project. We have got our commitment of $1 billion locked in, thanks to the Minister of Finance for the transportation infrastructure corridor. We are looking forward to having an opportunity to have a discussion with the new federal government to engage in the process that was not very successful in the past with the previous government.

“We are engaged in a regional framework discussion with Matawa First Nations, and we have set up a development corporation to move that forward. So we are indeed making very positive progress.” Continue Reading →

Chromite tax helped kill Capreol plant: Tories – by Keith Leslie (Canadian Press/Sudbury Star – November 6, 2015)

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

TORONTO — Ontario’s Opposition says a Liberal government plan to tax the mineral chromite prompted Cliffs Natural Resources to pull out of the Ring of Fire mining project in the province’s north.

The U.S.-based Cliffs withdrew earlier this year from the Ring of Fire, a region 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay that is rich in deposits of copper, nickel, platinum and chromite, which is essential for making stainless steel.

The company, which spent $550 million to buy land in the area, was in negotiations with the Ontario government for a $3.3-billion capital investment to develop the Ring of Fire until it pulled out last spring. It also cancelled a planned $1.8-billion chromite processing facility in Capreol.

Documents released as part of an investigation into cancelled gas plants in the Toronto-area four years ago revealed the province wanted to impose a royalty on chromite mined by Cliffs of between $6.6 million and $34.4 million a year. Continue Reading →

[Noront] Junior miner wants faster government action on providing Far North infrastructure – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 6, 2015)

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. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business

Noront Resources president-CEO Alan Coutts isn’t enamoured with the provincial government’s glacial pace of infrastructure planning in the Ring of Fire, but his junior mining company has no immediate intention to mothball its nickel project in the region.

“We don’t have any plans to stop activities at this time,” said Coutts, a day after Noront announced the start of a modest $650,000 step-out exploration program, three kilometres from its flagship Eagle’s Nest nickel deposit.

A rather upbeat Coutts was beating back a Toronto newspaper report that the main mineral developer in the Ring of Fire was threatening to suspend exploration in an effort to speed up a government commitment to build mining-related infrastructure in the Far North.

The article, citing unnamed sources close to the company, said Resource Capital Funds, Noront’s main financier, is supportive and that such a work stoppage could be made within weeks. Continue Reading →

Liberals killing $60M project – NDP – (North Bay Nugget – November 5, 2015)

Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle came under fire in the provincial legislature Thursday for inaction at the Ring of Fire, with the NDP charging that the Liberals are on track to kill a $60-billion mining project.

The questioning followed a report earlier this week from the Financial Post that Noront Resources Ltd. warned the province that it will stop work unless they can show some progress has been made on First Nations agreements and infrastructure for the remote mining development.

The company has spent millions on the Eagle’s Nest project in the Ring of Fire but work and spending could stop by end of December if progress isn’t made.

“Minister, we attended Meet the Miners Day and you boasted of your government’s commitment to mining in Ontario. Last year, mining giant Cliffs, which spent $550 million in the Ring of Fire, said they can no longer do business with this Liberal government and sold their claims at a massive loss to Noront for $20 million,” charged Algoma-Manitoulin NDP MPP Michael Mantha. Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire player feels pressure – by Carl Clutchey (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – November 5, 2015)

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

Even as it starts a new exploration program in the Ring of Fire this week, the mineral belt’s lone main player admits it’s never been tougher to secure the funds for such projects.

“I don’t want to sound gloom-and-doom, but it is a tough market out there and investors want to see progress,” Noront Resources CEO Alan Coutts said Wednesday.

Noront has earmarked $600,000 to resume exploration in the area of its existing proposed Eagle Nest nickel mine about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

Though metal prices, including nickel, are down, Coutts said the Toronto-based company remains committed to getting its mine up and running about four years from now. Continue Reading →

Despite reports, Noront says it’s not threatening to walk away from Ring of Fire – by Jamie Smith ( – November 4, 2015)

Noront is not threatening to walk away from the Ring of Fire its CEO says.

The Financial Post ran a story with anonymous sources Tuesday saying the company has threatened to walk away from its Eagle’s Nest project if it doesn’t see progress from the province and First Nations soon. Alan Coutts said that same day the company announced a new exploration program in the area with nearby First Nations as participants.

“We don’t have any plans to shut down operations,” he said. “I don’t want to get into speculative stuff but we’re active.”

It’s a weak market out there, especially for a junior company like Nortont but Coutts said they’ve been finding the money they need and that’s happened because they’ve shown progress. “There’s activity, there’s alignment and there’s progress in the Ring of Fire,” he said.

Obviously the company would like to see firmer plans from the province on infrastructure for the project but Coutts said there are current discussions on those issues. Continue Reading →