Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Minister urges Ring of Fire patience in Sudbury trip – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – June 30, 2016)

Recommendations due any day from four first nations involved in the community corridor study will “inform” decisions the province will make about a transportation route to the Ring of Fire.

The $785,000 study is being led by Webequie First Nation, in partnership with Eabametoong, Neskantaga and Nibinamik First Nations. It is being funded by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and Natural Resources Canada.

Among other issues, the study was to look at the cost and viability of moving ore and people by both freight and road in the chromite-rich area about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said Wednesday the study will look at the best way to access ore deposits. Continue Reading →

Plan to pressure the province for action on Ring of Fire – by Gord Young (North Bay Nugget – June 15, 2016)

Rising electricity prices topped the agenda of a meeting of the mayors of Northern Ontario’s largest cities in North Bay Wednesday.

The Northern Ontario Large Urban Mayors group – consisting of North Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay – has agreed to request a meeting with Ontario’s new energy minister during an upcoming municipal conference in August. The group hopes to lobby Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault, who was recently appointed the the portfolio, for changes that will provide some hydro relief for homeowners and businesses.

“It is the topic around the table from all of the mayors,” said Mayor Al McDonald, noting there is growing concern that rising electricity prices are driving industry out of the province and making it increasingly expensive for residents to live in their own homes. “We believe it’s becoming a crisis in the province.”

McDonald said the high cost of power is a dilemma for municipalities trying to attract industry. Continue Reading →

Showdown at the Ring: Which route will win out: north-south or east-west? – by Don Wallace (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – June 11, 2016)

With visions of the steely calm of a dusty Burt Lancaster, there now emerges a tense showdown regarding the future (or lack there of) of the Ring of Fire. On the one side we have Noront’s east-west nickel/copper government-paid-for tote road to CNR Savant Lake. On the other is KWG’s, Chinese-built-and-paid-for north-south chromite rail line to CNR Aroland.

As usual the regulator, from whom the two adversaries seek approval, remains in hiding. Consequently, the public, lacking full details of the proposals, can only make guesses based on the public pronouncements by the two proponents.

Beginning with the timing issue, with the east-west road completed with government funds, Noront could commence operation within two years. Whereas KWG chromite production requires north-south rail, which is to be built and paid for by the very experienced Chinese. Nonetheless the wetland route offers some daunting engineering challenges and could take longer. Continue Reading →

Does Ontario need a cohesive national plan for northern infrastructure? – by John Michael McGrath ( – June 07, 2016)

Ontario’s north is vast, underpopulated, and crying out for infrastructure spending, as communities and First Nations in the north do without reliable energy, road, and water connections. But a new paper from the University of Calgary says Ontario and all other provinces have been building north-south connections to their hinterland when they should have been thinking east-west—and bigger.

It’s variously called the northern corridor, the mid-Canada corridor or simply the corridor, but the concept is relatively straightforward, if a bit grandiose: a new east-west road, rail, and energy artery in the country’s north. It would reach from the Pacific coast, across the west, through Ontario’s James Bay lowlands, and east to Atlantic ports.

Proposed in various forms since the 1960s [mid-Canada corridor], the corridor idea got more prominence in an article in The Walrus in 2014 by John van Nostrand of the Toronto planning and design firm SvN. Now, a new paper from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy agrees with van Nostrand, saying it’s time to give the idea serious study again. Continue Reading →

Noront open to KWG’s idea of rail into Ring of Fire – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – June 4, 2016)

TIMMINS – A few dozen people gathered in the ballroom of the McIntyre Arena on Thursday for the Billions in the Ground investment seminar on Thursday. The seminar was part of the Big Event Canadian Mine Expo’s new focus on attracting investors for new mining projects to the trade show.

During the seminar, there were presentations made by several mining industry companies about their plans for the future and investment potential, backed up by reams of statistics, geological surveys and share price histories.

But the presentation that elicited the most curiosity and questions from the group of people at the seminar was that of Noront Resources chief executive officer, Alan Coutts. The topic was the Ring of Fire and the reasons why starting development of the Ring of Fire is taking so long. Continue Reading →

About the Ring’s chromite: Wanted — Smarts, determination and a Northern Ontario refinery – by Don Wallace (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – June 4, 2016)

As time passes and we approach the 10th anniversary of the discovery of the Ring of Fire, there still remains a void of information about the intentions of senior government. Rather than celebrating a bonanza, both levels of government seem to be avoiding critical decisions regarding what to do about some $60 billion worth of chromite lying deep in the wilderness of Northern Ontario.

The feds and Queen’s Park blame one another and the continued silence is exasperating and provokes one to ask why pay taxes for governance when it doesn’t exist? Chromite, or chromium oxide, is the only ore of chromium. It is mined, concentrated and then transformed by smelting into ferrochrome. Then it is added to molten iron (one part of ferrochrome to six parts of iron) to produce a hard, lustrous, corrosion-resistant metal known as stainless steel.

Given its rare distribution and limited supply, most experts feel that the high-grade Ring of Fire chromite deposit will, sooner or later, find room in the world market. However, to derive full value requires a complex multi-stage process managed by skilled and experienced people. Continue Reading →

China willing to pay for rail into Ring of Fire – KWG – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – June 1, 2016)

TIMMINS – KWG Resources expects it will have a deal with the state-owned Bank of China to fund the entire cost of their proposed railway corridor to the Ring of Fire by the end of this year.

The company’s vice-president of development, Moe Lavigne, told The Daily Press negotiations are well underway that could see the project – which some estimates say could cost $1.5 billion – entirely paid for by the Chinese in exchange for a secure source of chromite to support their country’s stainless steel industry.

“China understands the totality of this project and is interested in getting guaranteed delivery of chromium for the next few decades, and they’re willing to put up some money to make that happen. And in this case, the Bank of China appears to be willing to finance the building of the railroad,” said Lavigne. Continue Reading →

Development restrictions around old mine site ‘unacceptable,’ says Pickle Lake mayor (CBC News Thunder Bay – May 31, 2016)

The mayor of Pickle Lake, Ont., says the future of his town is being threatened by development restrictions imposed by the province, related to an abandoned mine site. Development has long been restricted in some areas because of contaminated tailings containing arsenic, left behind by the Central Patricia Mine, which closed in the early 50s, said Mayor Karl Hopf.

But the draft of a new official plan for the township would further block new development within a thousand metres of a mine headframe (the structure built above a mine shaft), he said.

“Now, the old headframe from 1952 is roughly 50 metres off our main highway corridor that goes to our commercial and industrial area,” he said, adding that about 700 acres of land could be included, and the province would also put further conditions on development on land bordering the restricted area. Continue Reading →

Railway eager to have ties in Ring of Fire – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – May 26, 2016)

TIMMINS – If and when the Ring Of Fire mining development takes off, Ontario Northland is ready to get the wheels rolling and show them how to run a railway. That was the message from Ontario Northland president and CEO Corina Moore, who spoke in Timmins at the FONOM conference earlier this month.

Moore was in Timmins to give municipal leaders an update on the provincially-owned transportation company, which provides rail freight service, limited rail passenger service and bus passenger service across Northeastern Ontario.

The Ring Of Fire is a mining prospect located near Webequie and McFaulds Lake about 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins. The venture is identified mainly as a chromite project, valued in the tens of billions of dollars. There are huge deposits of other metals there too, but so far none of the significant mining companies involved has moved forward with any sort of a mining operation because market prices are too low. Continue Reading →

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 →