29th August 2014

Ring of Fire announcement greeted with shrugs from critics – by Jonathan Migneault (Sudbury Northern Life – August 28, 2014)

http://www.northernlife.ca/

‘When will this horse drink,’ junior miner wonders

The province announced Thursday its plans to establish an interim board for the Ring of Fire development corporation, but critics say the announcement has been too little too late.

“I’m really pleased that we’re in a position today to take this very significant step forward to drive the Ring of Fire project forward,” said Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle.

He said the government met its commitment to establish a development corporation for the Ring of Fire chromite deposits in Northwestern Ontario 60 days after Premier Kathleen Wynne’s throne speech, on July 3.

An interim board made up of four senior bureaucrats, and based in Thunder Bay, is expected to bring First Nations, the public and private sectors together to create partnerships and facilitate investment decisions in strategic transportation infrastructure for the Ring of Fire.

Those four civil servants are: Bill Thornton, assistant deputy minister for Northern Development and Mines; Rob Dowler, assistant deputy minister with the Cabinet office; Linda McAusland, assistant deputy minister of Transportation; and Ehren Cory, executive vice-president of Infrastructure Ontario. Read the rest of this entry »

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29th August 2014

First Nations group working on Ring of Fire infrastructure plan (Northern Miner – August 28, 2014)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry.

Yet another infrastructure plan is in the works for Ontario’s remote Ring of Fire region, this one for an infrastructure corridor consisting of a railway, power, and a seasonal sea port in James Bay.

The big difference here is that the plan is being proposed by First Nations – the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council.

“This is going to be aboriginal-led,” said Mushkegowuk Director of Lands and Resources Vern Cheechoo. “I know there’s other plans in the region – the Ontario government with their corporation plan, we have Ontario Hydro with a grid plan, we have other groups that want to bring infrastructure into the region and we are one of the options. We feel we’re best situated for this.”

Mushkegowuk represents 10,000 people, including members of the Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Moose Cree, Taykwa Tagamou, Chapleau Cree and Missanabie Cree First Nations. The council has started talks with the nine Matawa First Nations, whose territories are closest to the Ring of Fire, on working together.

Some of the previous infrastructure proposals, such as Cliffs’ proposal to build a 340-km all-weather industrial road, for example, proved controversial because of inadequate consultation. Read the rest of this entry »

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29th August 2014

Critics look for details on Ring of Fire ‘devco’ – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – August 29, 2014)

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

Sudbury Star mining columnist Stan Sudol levelled even harsher criticism. “With no First
Nations or industry representatives on their board, this was obviously a rushed and cynical
announcement to try to meet an election promise,” said Sudol.”Let’s not forget this
development corporation was first announced 10 months ago, last November.”

Sudol pointed out the Cliffs Natural Resources, which has one of the largest claims in
the Ring of Fire, recently confirmed it was selling all non-core assets, including its
Ring of Fire properties. “This is an absolutely stunning indictment of the Ontario
Liberal government’s inability to move this project forward,” said Sudol.

It was on time, but it wasn’t the announcement those who were waiting for it were hoping to hear.

Six days before a self-imposed, 60-day election campaign promise to establish a development corporation to design, construct and maintain infrastructure for the Ring of Fire, the Government of Ontario announced it had officially done so.

In a brief news release, the province said the Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation was officially established as a not-for-profit corporation, headquartered in Thunder Bay, with an interim board of directors of four senior public servants.

The interim board will put the necessary structures in place to allow partners to determine their participation in the corporation, it announced. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th August 2014

KWG plans appeal of Ring of Fire court decision – by Richard Gilbert (Daily Commercial News – August 28, 2014)

http://www.dailycommercialnews.com/

KWG Resources is planning to appeal a decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which allows Cliffs Natural Resources to access land or an easement for construction of a road to a Ring of Fire chromite deposit.

“Whether or not it is in the public interest to grant an easement for a road is a matter for the Minister of Natural Resources to determine, after an environmental assessment and consultation with First Nations and other affected interests,” said KWG Resources in a statement.

“It is for the Minister to determine whether the easement should be granted in the public interest and on what terms.”

Canada Chrome Corporation (CCC), a subsidiary of KWG Resources Inc., served notice on Aug. 13 of its intention to launch a legal challenge in the Court of Appeal of Ontario. The appeal seeks to reverse another appeal decision made by the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on July 30. Counsel for KWG are reviewing the Divisional Court’s extensive reasons for judgment.

The first appeal set aside a decision by the Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner (MLC) on Sept 10, 2013.

Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources is proposing to mine chromite from its Black Thor deposit, which is located about 535 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay in the McFaulds Lake area. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th August 2014

Mining must strengthen community engagement, public confidence – Minister Rickford – by Dorothy Kosich (Mineweb.com – August 28, 2014)

http://www.mineweb.com/

Instead of debating whether Canada should develop its resources, Minister Greg Rickford advises the discussion should focus on responsible resource development.

RENO (MINEWEB) - While Ontario’s Ring of Fire holds great promise for the province’s north, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford stressed the importance of engaging with all communities in the region to work effectively with the province and the mining industry.

In a speech to 2014 Energy and Mine Ministers Meeting in Sudbury Tuesday, Rickford said, “I believe the Ring of Fire holds great promise for this region—a legacy resource development that will require substantial investment, new roads and essential infrastructure to ensure that our communities will have road access and electrification at a competitive value point for industry and communities in Northern Ontario to thrive.”

However, he observed, “To build local confidence, communities must trust what governments and industry say and what government and industries do. We must listen and address local concerns.”

“Building trust in public confidence comes from transparency,” said Rickford. “One of the reasons we’re pursuing initiatives like mandatory reporting for the extractive sector … is to get us to a point of some consensus.” Read the rest of this entry »

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28th August 2014

News Release: Ontario Establishes Ring Of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation Province Supporting Growth in the North

August 28, 2014 11:10 A.M.

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines

Ontario has taken another step to drive progress in the Ring of Fire region, delivering on its July 3, 2014 commitment to establish a development corporation within 60 days.

With headquarters to be located in Thunder Bay, the ROF Infrastructure Development Corporation will work to bring First Nations and the public and private sectors together to create partnerships and facilitate investment decisions in strategic transportation infrastructure.

The not-for-profit corporation has an interim board of four Ontario public servants. The board will put the necessary structures in place in order to allow for partners to determine their participation in the corporation. This includes working with key partners including First Nations, industry, communities, and the federal government, to formalize partnerships through the corporation, and overseeing an economic and technical baseline feasibility report on transportation infrastructure.

As participation in the corporation evolves, the Board of Directors will be broadened to include membership from First Nations and industry partners. In its mature state, the corporation will be in a position to advise on crucial infrastructure investment decisions, including how to best utilize Ontario’s $1 billion dollar commitment to Ring of Fire infrastructure. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th August 2014

Clock ticking on Liberals to meet [Ring of Fire] promise – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – August 27, 2014)

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

Federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford is among those waiting to see how the province’s Ring of Fire development corporation will unfold in the next week — if the Ontario Liberals are to keep one of their election promises.

Rickford said Tuesday he and his government, as well as mining sector representatives and first nations, would like to know more about the development corporation Gravelle announced 10 months ago — then reannounced in the spring.

Gravelle announced last November the “devco” would be established to design, engineer, construct and maintain infrastructure to bring mines into operation in the Ring of Fire, 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

Gravelle and Rickford spoke at a news conference Tuesday at College Boreal, wrapping up the two-day Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference. Both stayed on message about the Ring of Fire, repeating what they had told provincial and territorial ministers and reporters earlier.

Gravelle said repeatedly that Ontario, which has pledged $1 billion to build infrastructure in the Ring, is looking for the federal government to become a full partner in developing the area.

Rickford said his government has money available through the Build Canada Fund for specific projects if and when the province makes decisions on key issues such as revenue sharing with first nations and the direction of a transportation corridor. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th August 2014

Gravelle mum on Ring of Fire development corporation – by Jonathan Migneault (Sudbury Northern Life – August 26, 2014)

http://www.northernlife.ca/

Mines Minister says province will meet early September deadline to establish corporation

Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said the province is not yet ready to announce a development corporation to lead infrastructure decisions around the Ring of Fire, despite a nearing self-imposed deadline.

Gravelle was not able to share new information regarding the long-awaited development corporation at the 2014 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference in Sudbury. The annual gathering of Canada’s provincial, territorial and federal mines and energy ministers is an opportunity for them to share best practices and build partnerships.

During her Speech from the Throne on July 3, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said the government would establish a Ring of Fire development corporation within 60 days.

“Your government commits $1 billion for transportation infrastructure to help access the Ring of Fire,” she said during the speech. “Your government will continue its efforts to bring the federal government to the table as a willing and active partner, and will seek a matching federal commitment to seize the opportunity for Ontario and Canada that lies in the Ring of Fire.” Read the rest of this entry »

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26th August 2014

Cliffs CEO: Non-Core Assets For Sale ‘at Right Price’ – by John W. Miller (Wall Street Journal – August 26, 2014)

http://online.wsj.com/home-page

Company Prefers to Sell Assets Rather Than Separate Into Two Firms

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. CLF +1.19% ‘s new chief executive wants to sell less-profitable mining assets at the right price rather than separate into two firms.

“I’ve made it clear, I don’t support splitting up the company,” said Lourenco Goncalves, a steel industry executive recently installed as chairman and chief executive following a boardroom coup orchestrated by hedge fund Casablanca Capital LLC.

One option floated by the fund had been to divide Cleveland-based Cliffs, the U.S.’s largest iron-ore miner, and refocus the company around its most profitable business segment: five iron-ore mines in Minnesota and Michigan. Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton BHP.AU -0.08% and Canton, Ohio’s steel and steel parts maker Timken Co. TKR +0.40% recently carried out similar restructurings.

Iron ore is the main ingredient in the making of steel, and Cliffs’s U.S. mines have benefited from the resurgence of the Detroit auto industry, drill-pipe demand for natural-gas wells and a geographical advantage over iron-ore superpowers Brazil and Australia.

Other Cliffs assets, such as coal mines in the U.S., iron-ore assets in Australia and Canada and a suspended chromite project in Canada, have been less profitable. Cliffs, one of the worst performers on the S&P 500 index in the past two years, has been hurt by declining iron-ore prices, which have fallen 20% in the past year, mostly because of oversupply. Cliffs reported a $1.9 million loss in the second quarter, compared with a $133.1 million profit a year earlier. Revenue dropped 26%. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th August 2014

Feds say: Province needs to decide – road or rail – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – August 26, 2014)

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

The Ontario Government should stay focused on deciding on a transportation corridor to get to the Ring of Fire and reaching revenue agreements with first nations before worrying about striking deals with the federal government on infrastructure projects.

Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford says the federal government is already involved in training and local infrastructure programs on first nations that will get people and communities ready when the area is opened to development.

Rickford is in Sudbury this week, attending the 2014 Energy and Mines Ministers Conference. Discussion is expected to focus frequently on developing the rich chromite deposits located 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has pledged $1 billion to build infrastructure in the Ring of Fire, and is seeking a matching commitment from the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Rickford has said, and he repeated it Monday in Sudbury, that the federal government has Build Canada Fund money available to share the cost of infrastructure, but only after the province makes decisions about what those specific projects will be. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th August 2014

We can work with feds on Ring of Fire: Gravelle – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – August 26, 2014)

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

While Michael Gravelle wasn’t ready to unveil a development corporation for the Ring of Fire yesterday, the Northern Development and Mines minister did tell an audience of policymakers and industry leaders from across Canada that action on this front is looming.

“We are working very hard, right now, to get a corporation established and I will have an update on that very, very soon,” said Gravelle, during a keynote address at the Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference at College Boreal.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne earlier promised her government would create a corporation to guide development of the James Bay chromite deposits within 60 days of the July 3 throne speech — in other words, by early September — and Gravelle said this remains the plan.

“We will meet the commitment,” he pledged. Addressing federal colleague Greg Rickford, the Natural Resources minister and minister for FedNor, Gravelle said he looked forward “to having a more substantive conversation with you once we have the details in place on a development corporation.”

Such a creation “is of vital importance,” said Gravelle, “because it will bring partners together to make the infrastructure decisions — partners who live in and around the region who are closely affected, like the Matawa member First Nations.” Read the rest of this entry »

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25th August 2014

Environmental Training Focus on Ring of Fire – by James Murray (Netnewsledger – August 25 2014)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

WAHNAPITAE FIRST NATION — This week, over 35 delegates from the Matawa and Mushkegowuk Nations will gather in Wahnapitae First Nation. The delegates are participating in a workshop organized by the Chiefs of Ontario (COO) and Four Rivers, Matawa’s environment office.

The environmental training builds on the Chiefs of Ontario’s 2013 Environmental Assessment toolkit which offers high-level technical staff the opportunity to work with leading industry professionals and enable community experts to learn more about mining and environmental assessment processes. Participants will visit several mining sites in the area, attend workshops focused on negotiating skills and learn more about the job opportunities, training, and environmental considerations central to development in the Ring of Fire region.

“This training is a direct response to the questions and concerns we heard from participants at the last Chiefs of Ontario training session in Constance Lake First Nation,” commented Regional Chief Stan Beardy. “The last training session was a starting point where we learned that people wanted to see on the ground what these mines look like and also to further build their understanding of the implications, both positive and negative, of mining development in their territories.”

Through the land excursions, in-depth group discussions and technical presentations, training participants will build on what they have learned in the first round of training to further enhance their ability to respond to companies seeking to develop minerals on their land. Read the rest of this entry »

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25th August 2014

Wynne, Couillard to push national energy strategy at premiers conference – by Jane Taber (Globe and Mail – August 25, 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.

Bolstered by the new partnership with her Quebec counterpart, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is eyeing Quebec’s abundant hydro power to light up Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire development and reinvigorate talks for a national energy strategy.

She and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, both rookie premiers with majority mandates, recently forged a central Canadian alliance to co-operate on issues and bring prosperity back to their provinces.

Beginning on Aug. 26, all of the premiers will meet at the Council of the Federation in Prince Edward Island, and she and Mr. Couillard hope to come to the table with a “shared position” on a Canadian energy strategy. Under the previous separatist government – Mr. Couillard defeated Parti Québécois premier Pauline Marois in the spring provincial election – Quebec refused to participate in a Canada-wide strategy.

“It’s a different situation when there’s a strong federalist premier in Quebec,” Ms. Wynne said in an interview.

In addition, their new alliance calls for potentially increasing electricity trade between the two provinces. Northern Ontario is in dire need of infrastructure to help develop the Ring of Fire, which could provide thousands of jobs to the province and about $60-billion to its economy, according to the provincial government’s estimates. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st August 2014

First Nations poised to emerge as leaders in Ring of Fire development – by Suzanne Leclair (Mining Markets – August 21, 2014)

 http://www.miningmarkets.ca/

Suzanne Leclair LL.B is the founder of Connect Counsel, a Canadian professional multi-disciplinary business advisory firm dedicated to developing major aboriginal and non-aboriginal partnerships in energy and natural resource related infrastructure projects. She is an infrastructure advisor to Mushkegowuk Council.

In July, on the day after the Ontario Court handed a victory to Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) against KWG Resources (TSXV: KWG) regarding a potential road into the Ring of Fire, Cliffs’ legal representative flew to Marten Falls, an aboriginal community in the Ring of Fire region to explain the implications of the decision to the chiefs at their annual general meeting.

After his presentation, Cliffs’ representative fielded his first question from one of the chiefs: “How can two mining companies fight in a Toronto court over land that is simply not theirs?” With that simple question, the chief underscored the challenges as to who can lead the development of a transportation corridor into the isolated but mineral-rich region.

Also last month, another potential challenge arose with the Supreme Court of Canada’s Tsilhqot’in Nation decision. It’s the first time that aboriginal title has been granted in Canada, and it could have implications for resource development in Ontario. So, what’s changed with respect to the Ring of Fire since Canada’s highest court handed down a major victory for aboriginal communities in the form of the Tsilhqot’in ruling? Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st August 2014

Mushkegowuk Council Sets Ring of Fire Business Case – by NNL Staff (August 20, 2014)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

Mushkegowuk MUSHKEGOWUK HOMELANDS – The Mushkegowuk Council has announced they will coordinate the development of their business case in support of a Ring of Fire rail, sea port, fibre-optic, and energy transportation corridor through an Aboriginal-led-alliance. “We now have the experience, people, credibility and knowledge to take an active role in leading the development of infrastructure corridors. We have learned from our mistakes and we have the confidence from our successes” said Deputy Grand Chief Leo Friday.

Deputy Grand Chief Leo Friday, on behalf of Mushkegowuk Council, announced to the Matawa Council of Chiefs at their annual general meeting on July 31st, 2014 that Mushkegowuk is fully supportive of Matawa’s interests in the Ring of Fire.

Mushkegowuk Seeks Matawa Agreement

In the spirit of our joint declaration between Matawa and Mushkegowuk Chiefs, Mushkegowuk Council offered the Matawa Council of Chiefs to jointly develop sustainable infrastructure opportunities to unlock the economic potential of the Ring of Fire while safeguard ing the historic rivers of the Matawa and Mushkegowuk homelands.

For example; Mushkegowuk’s Moose Cree First Nation and Taykwa Tagamou Nation have negotiated equity partnerships in power generation stations. 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

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