17th December 2014

Ring of Fire Bogging Down? – by James Murray (Netnewsledger.com – December 17, 2014)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

Ring of Fire Being Frozen in Ontario Ottawa Ice Storm?

THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – The Ring of Fire is a major mining project that has the potential to make a massive impact across Northwestern Ontario. That potential has taken a number of hits over the past several years. Initially, Cliffs Natural Resourses, KWG Resources, and Noront Resources were the large players in the region. The Ring of Fire often is discussed for its huge chromite deposit potential. There are of course other minerals in the Ring of Fire, nickel being one of those minerals.

Last January, Cliffs Natural Resources pulled their camps out and left the Ring of Fire in a physical presence. More recently, Cliffs is stating that they don’t think it is possible for the project to actually happen in the next half century.

The Ring of Fire presents an opportunity for Canada, for Ontario, and for First Nations. Right now that project is in effect moving far slower than business would like it to move.

Relations Between Ontario and Ottawa Chilly at Best

Part of this appears to be an ongoing impasse between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. A few weeks ago, the Premier wrote the Prime Minister expressing that December 5th marked the one year anniversary of their last meeting. There appears to be a level of ice in the relationship between the PM and the Premier thick enough to safely drive a transport truck over. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th December 2014

Greg Rickford responds to province’s latest Ring of Fire request – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – December 17, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay

Ontario wants $1B from Building Canada Fund for roads and power to remote mineral deposit

Ontario’s plan for the remote Ring of Fire mineral deposit has “serious structural problems” according to the federal Natural Resources Minister, and that’s why Greg Rickford says Canada is cautious about partnering with the province to build roads and power lines.

Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines wrote to Rickford last week, asking for a meeting to discuss the province’s proposal for $1 billion under the Building Canada Fund.

“We need you to be actively engaged in these discussions as we chart a path forward,” Michael Gravelle wrote in a letter dated Dec. 11. “Your government’s acknowledgement of a matching $1 billion commitment to support infrastructure development is key.”

Rickford said he is happy to meet with Gravelle but is not so happy with the way the province is approaching development of what both levels of government see as a key resource.

“We’re waiting for the province to maybe move beyond the letter-writing and get a submission to us, technically, about a priority and a priority project and we’ll move forward on that,” Rickford said.

He outlined what he describes as three key structural problems with Ontario’s approach that “only the province can resolve.” Read the rest of this entry »

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15th December 2014

Transparency Act : Resource company payments to First Nations unveiled (CBC News Sudbury – December 14, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury

Most First Nations in northeastern Ontario receive funds from a mining, forestry or power company

For the first time, the amount of money northeastern Ontario First Nations receive from agreements with private resource companies has been made public. The figures were included in financial documents posted under the new First Nations Transparency Act.

Many bands have been reluctant to discuss specific figures in the past and the impact benefit agreements often prohibit the companies from discussing payment to neighbouring First Nations without band permission.

Some of the most surprising numbers in the newly released financial records are for Moose Cree First Nation on the James Bay Coast.

Its balance sheet shows $1.5 million coming from Detour Gold last year. Also listed under First Nation revenue is $3 million in company stock. But it also shows Moose Cree losing $6.2 million last year in the sale of Detour Gold shares.

Repeated phone calls and emails to the First Nation’s elected officials and administrative staff were not returned. Most First Nations in northeastern Ontario do get some amount of money from a mining, forestry or power company.

All of the bands along the James Bay Coast receive money from DeBeers, for its Victor diamond mine near Attawapiskat. Read the rest of this entry »

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12th December 2014

Noront Resources A Little Giant in the Ring of Fire – Interview by James Murray (Netnewsledger.com – December 12, 2014)

 

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

Noront Resources Ltd. Working to Get the Ring of Fire Moving

THUNDER BAY – Noront Resources Limited President and CEO Al Coutts is looking to get mining. The Noront President says that getting moving on the Ring of Fire is important for Ontario.

Coutts shares in an interview with NetNewsLedger, what is key is for Ontario to move forward on the permitting process, while it is working on the Regulatory Framework Agreement.

The Ring of Fire chromite discovery in Northwestern Ontario offers opportunity for the region. “Getting the Ring of Fire right,” has been the message from the province of Ontario and Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle. Read the rest of this entry »

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9th December 2014

Ontario Tories look to appease Northerners – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – December 9, 2014)

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

Four provincial Progressive Conservative leadership candidates didn’t outright apologize to Northerners two weeks ago at a Sudbury debate. But they did express affection and demonstrated a knowledge of northern issues at the first of six PC leadership debates.

Whitby-Ajax MPP Christine Elliott, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod and Barrie MP Patrick Brown said all the right things at the Nov. 24 event at College Boreal in Sudbury.

They came bearing olive branches, and that the first of six leadership debates was held in the Nickel City was no accident. It was a mea culpa meant to undo a snub by former PC leader Tim Hudak for not participating in a May 26 northern debate before the June 12 election.

Hudak’s failure to attend and his party’s dismal showing are probably just coincidence, but would-be leaders and their party aren’t taking any chances. They have four years to rebuild a party in ruins and gain ground in

11 northern ridings. They represent a small portion of the province’s 107 electoral districts, but they’re important nonetheless to any party wanting to govern. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th December 2014

Getting Ontario Mining Opportunities Right – Critical – Gravelle (Netnewsledger.com – December 5, 2014)


Mining Status in Ontario – Minister Gravelle by netnewsledger 

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

THUNDER BAY – Mining – Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle shares the latest information on mining in Ontario. The Minister was in London England this week at a mining conference sharing the news on the opportunities in Ontario for mining, and economic development.

Minister Gravelle stated that in London he was a little surprised that not as many people in the conference were fully aware of the opportunities in Ontario for mining. “One of the keys is to be selling the province of Ontario,” stated Gravelle.

The Minister states that the opportunities in the mining field in Ontario are large and that there are 70 million hectares in the Northwest which are open for stalking.

On the Ring of Fire, the Minister shared how critical it is, for Ontario to “Get the Ring of Fire right”, and the steps are being taken to do just that. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th December 2014

Show us the Ring of Fire plan, says Rickford to province – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – December 4, 2014)

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 ianross@nob.on.ca.

Federal Natural Resources and FedNor Minister Greg Rickford remains optimistic about the future prospects for the Ring of Fire despite the slow exit of Cliffs Natural Resources from Ontario.

But the Kenora MP stuck to the federal government’s line that the province must identify “focussed infrastructure projects” before Ottawa is prepared to spring for any dollars to help the Wynne government develop a transportation corridor to reach the stranded chromite and nickel deposits in the James Bay region.

“I remain confident that the province will come to understand that that’s what Northern Ontarians expect on this legacy resource development project.”

Rickford was in Sudbury Dec. 4 to announce the Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario, a FedNor program that sets aside $3 million for small towns and remote First Nations to hire economic development officers to advance local projects in their communities. Read the rest of this entry »

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4th December 2014

Ring of Fire needs urgency, warns Ontario Chamber of Commerce – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – December 4, 2014)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Preliminary report card on the stalled mineral belt in Northern Ontario says “progress on development has been slow” and “major steps” are required soon to reap economic benefits.

Ontario needs to move quickly on development of the stalled Ring of Fire mineral belt or risk losing huge economic benefits for the province when metal prices bounce back again, warns a preliminary report card by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

“Despite the tremendous economic and social opportunities the Ring of Fire affords Ontario, progress on development has been slow,” says the consultation paper obtained by the Star Wednesday.

The future of the highly-touted, mineral-rich region in the James Bay lowlands has been put in doubt by a severe downturn in the global mining industry. And Cliffs Natural Resources, the largest land claim owner in the Ring, has pulled out of the area, and its new chief executive says there is “zero chance” a mine will ever be built there with all the red tape in the way.

“Unfortunately, in the last few months, the tone of the conversation surrounding the Ring of Fire has turned net negative,” says the document, which provides a preview of the chamber’s official report card on the Ring’s progress expected in February. Read the rest of this entry »

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3rd December 2014

Cheap Quebec power proposed for Ring of Fire – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – December 1, 2014)

This article was originally published in the December 2014 issue of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal.

Mushkegowuk Council First Nations study rail, energy and seaport corridor to James Bay

The eight First Nation communities of the Mushkegowuk Council in Ontario’s Far North are proposing a rail, energy and seaport infrastructure corridor connecting the province’s massive Ring of Fire chromium deposits to James Bay.

The idea is still in the very earliest stage of development, and hinges on importing cheap electricity from Quebec on a First Nation-owned grid free from having to charge Ontario’s much higher regulated electricity rates.

Three of the Mushkegowuk Council’s member First Nations are already in the electrical transmission business as owners of Five Nations Energy Inc.’s 270-kilometre Western James Bay Transmission Line, which runs from Moosonee to Attawapiskat and supplies energy to De Beers’ Victor Mine.

The proposed infrastructure corridor would include a seasonal seaport on James Bay, a transmission line to the Ring of Fire and an electrified rail line.

The transmission line would also be extended to supply electricity to the isolated Matawa First Nations most immediately affected by the Ring of Fire development and currently dependent on diesel power. Read the rest of this entry »

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3rd December 2014

KWG lays out new vision for Ring of Fire – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – December 1, 2014)

This article was originally published in the December 2014 issue of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal.

Proposal includes a slurry pipeline, a gas reduction reactor in Nakina, and a stainless steel mill in Sorel

What’s the ideal development scenario for the Ring of Fire? Not what most of the protagonists in the long drawn out saga have proposed to date, according to Frank Smeenk, president and CEO of KWG Resources.

Forget about Cliffs Natural Resources and the $1.8 billion electrically-powered ferrochrome smelter in Sudbury. Ditto for the billion dollar plus railroad from the CN line to the chromite fields of the Ring of Fire, as proposed by Smeenk himself.

The KWG president’s latest grand scheme for the Ring of Fire hinges on a new gasfired production method for chromite, a slurry pipeline bringing the ore south to a gas reduction reactor in Nakina and a second parallel pipeline bringing natural gas north to two gas-fired electrical generating stations.

Also proposed are a single underground shaft to access both Noront Resources’ Eagle’s Nest base metal project and the adjacent Black Horse chromite property, an east-west “forestry road” to Pickle Lake, an extension of the Ontario Northland Railway (ONR) from Hearst to Nakina, and a stainless steel production facility in Sorel, 80 kilometres northeast of Montreal on the St. Lawrence River. Read the rest of this entry »

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

28th November 2014

NEWS RELEASE: David Suzuki Foundation supports call for moratorium on mining permits in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire November 27, 2014

TORONTO — The David Suzuki Foundation has told the Ontario government it supports First Nations’ requests for a moratorium on mining exploration permits in the Ring of Fire. The Neskantaga and Nibinamik First Nations have asked the provincial government to enact an immediate moratorium on mining exploration permits in the region — the biodiversity-rich boreal forest and Hudson’s Bay Lowlands, more than 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

The David Suzuki Foundation is working with the communities to help strengthen their capacity to engage in present and future policy, planning and land use decision-making processes, based on the shared objective of maintaining healthy landscapes that support traditional ways of life and provision of ecological services.

In September, Neskantaga and Nibinamik were two of nine Matawa communities calling for a moratorium on granting future and pending permits until First Nations and the Ontario government develop a regional protocol to address the issue, as they believe adequate consultations are not taking place.

“We agree that proceeding with development decisions while negotiations are under way is counterproductive,” said Rachel Plotkin, Ontario science projects manager at the David Suzuki Foundation. “The David Suzuki Foundation strongly believes that before mineral exploration begins, sufficient investments must be made in the social capital of the affected communities, such as investments in community services, so they can successfully engage in government-to-government decision-making processes.” Read the rest of this entry »

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28th November 2014

David Suzuki Foundation wants “social capital” invested in the Ring of Fire – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 27, 2014)

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.

The David Suzuki Foundation is siding with two northern First Nation communities in requesting a moratorium on mining exploration permits in the Ring of Fire.

The Toronto and Vancouver-based environmental organization has been working with Neskantaga and Nibinamik to build the remote communities’ policy and decision-making capacity toward making planning and land-use decisions that are in keeping with their traditional way of life.

Last September, Neskantaga and Nibinamik were two of nine Matawa tribal council communities that called for a moratorium on granting permits for mineral exploration until First Nations and Queen’s Park finalized a regional consultation protocol to address development in the James Bay lowlands.

The chiefs accused the province of moving forward on permitting companies which have not consulted with area First Nations. They insist it breaks the spirit of a regional framework signed last March that was supposed to guide future mining and infrastructure development in the Far North. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th November 2014

‘Significant progress’ on Ring of Fire: Gravelle – by Darren MacDonald (Sudbury Northern Life – November 26, 2014)

http://www.northernlife.ca/

Responding to a sea of criticism over its handling of the Ring of Fire, the province’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines insisted Tuesday his government’s strategy will make the chromite discovery a success.

Michael Gravelle said he’s pleased with the progress his government has made, despite comments from opposition politicians and business that the $60-billion project is languishing under the Liberal guidance.

“We have a clear plan and we’re implementing it,” Gravelle said, who said they have made significant progress in recent weeks.

But the biggest stakeholders in the project is considerably less optimistic. In an interview last week, Cliffs Natural Resources CEO Lourenco Goncalves told the ‘Financial Post’ there’s “zero” hope infrastructure and other issues plaguing the deposit will be resolved in his lifetime. He said had he been in charge at the time, the company never would have gotten involved with the project.

“And I plan to stay (alive) another 50 years,” he said in the article. “The Ring of Fire is a remote land with no railroad, no road, nothing … Without the infrastructure, there’s nothing we can do.”

Gravelle said Goncalves’ comments were “startling … and just plain unhelpful,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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

26th November 2014

Ontario lecturing Harper on good government is laughable 133 – by Christina Blizzard (Toronto Sun – November 25, 2014)

 http://www.torontosun.com/

TORONTO – They’re the terrible twins of Confederation: Ontario and Quebec. Yet like two wayward, know-it-all teenagers, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Quebec counterpart, Philippe Couillard, have taken to lecturing the grown-ups about what they’re doing wrong.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, like a bemused dad, rolls his eyes and ignores them — which as any parent will tell you is the best way to deal with kids who act out.

Except these two aren’t just seeking attention. They want his money. Quebec and Ontario are the two most indebted provinces. It’s almost as if they’re competing with each other. Who can dream up the costliest program to drive their province deeper in the red? Quebec comes up with $7-a-day daycare? We’ll raise that — and see you with full-day kindergarten.

Wynne and her government use any opportunity they can to slam Harper. Clearly, they’re trying to help federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau as we head into next year’s federal election. Don’t forget, some of Trudeau’s advisers are the people who brought former premier Dalton McGuinty to power. Read the rest of this entry »

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

25th November 2014

Leadership race: Ring of Fire ignites PC debate – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – November 25, 2014)

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

It was the last question at the first Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership debate, submitted online by a man from Huntsville. But it fired up candidates and an audience of about 150 people, most party faithful, at College Boreal on Monday night.

Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod and Barrie MP Patrick Brown were asked what their plans were to spur development of the Ring of Fire.

“We’ve heard a lot of talk and promises from the Liberals,” wrote the Huntsville resident, “but no real plan to move forward.” All four candidates couldn’t have agreed more with that statement.

Fedeli summed up the frustration of northerners with the lack of development of the chromite deposits 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay at the first of six debates before a new party leader is named May 9.

A former two-term mayor of North Bay, Fedeli said he remembered the Liberals’ Northern Development and Mines minister visiting his town to talk about this “great, vast find.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Cliffs Natural Resources, Northern Ontario Politics, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

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