22nd October 2014

Hopes for Ontario’s Ring of Fire doused as mining companies grow wary – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – October 22, 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.

Ontario’s “Ring of Fire” mineral belt was supposed to be a $60-billion natural resources treasure trove that would bring employment and economic prosperity to a remote part of the province’s north. It hasn’t worked out that way.

The project’s key player has given up, leaving the future of the deposit in question and hurting prospects that it will ever reach the lofty expectations of politicians.

Today, not much is happening in the Ring, a 5,000-square-kilometre crescent of mostly chromite in the boggy James Bay lowlands, 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

The region was said to be so rich in resources that it would rival Sudbury’s nickel basin and Alberta’s oil sands. Instead, the area remains undeveloped, a victim of the global slump in commodity prices and bureaucratic red tape.

“I’m disappointed that it hasn’t advanced more. It’s a long time, seven years after discovery,” said Neil Novak, the geologist who made the first discovery in the Ring and is now exploring for other metals as the chief executive officer of Black Widow Resources Inc.

In addition to the complete lack of infrastructure – there are no roads or power in the area – there is no real plan on how to mine the chromite, which is used to harden steel. Read the rest of this entry »

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

17th October 2014

Renewable energy a tough sell for prospective RoF developers – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – October 16, 2014)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

RONTO (miningweekly.com) – Among the many challenges facing as many as 20 mining companies holding claims in the Ring of Fire (RoF) mineral region of Northern Ontario, the most significant might be the limited infrastructure.

However, besides having to deal with exploration, project planning, First Nations negotiations and local capacity building, project proponents were under mounting pressure from stricter legislation, environmental lobby groups and locals to include renewable-energy sources in their future project plans.

Ontario government RoF Secretariat senior policy adviser Blaine Bouchard on Thursday told delegates at the Renewables and Mining Summit and Exhibition, in Toronto, that the nine-member group of Matawa group First Nations, who inhabit the province’s Far North, had made it clear in multilateral discussions that current diesel-based electricity generation was prohibitive of economic development and posed serious environmental impacts.

The First Nations living in the remote region were completely dependent on diesel electricity generation for their energy needs, owing to the province’s energy grid only reaching as far north as the Dryden region. Read the rest of this entry »

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

15th October 2014

Three big ‘whoppers’ told about the Ring of Fire – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – October 15, 2014)

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

‘Ridiculous’ to compare northern Ontario mineral find to the Alberta oil sands, expert says

Once called Canada’s ‘next oil sands’, the Ring of Fire mining development area in northern Ontario has yet to live up to its promise.

Federal Treasury Board Chair Tony Clement called the Ring of Fire “a game-changer for Canada” with “potential impact…akin to what the oil sands did for Alberta and Canada” just last year.

But that was before Cliffs Natural Resources halted its plans for a chromite mine in November 2013. Now the future of the Ring of Fire is far less certain, and even less likely to live up to what some say were always overinflated claims of its potential.

Here are three big ‘whoppers’ told about the Ring of Fire.

1. Chromium is a rare and valuable mineral.

From the Ontario Chamber of Commerce 2014 report ‘Uncovering the economic potenital of Ontario’s Ring of Fire : “The most promising discovery [in the Ring of Fire] is the first commercial quantities of chromite in North America. Based on current projections, the deposit is significant enough to sustain activity for a century.” 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

9th October 2014

Cliffs Natural Resources Sees No Deadline to Sell Noncore Assets – by John Miller (Wall Street Journal – October 8, 2014)

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

Despite Continuing Talks Over Shedding Some Mines, CEO Says ‘There Is No Ticking Clock’

Under fire as his company’s stock plummets, the chief executive of Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc. said that despite continuing talks to sell some mines at home and abroad, he isn’t under any deadline to sell noncore assets and urges patience.

“There’s no ticking clock,” said Lourenco Goncalves, whose company’s share price has fallen by more than half since he took over in August.

S&P has lowered the Cleveland-based miner’s credit rating to BB- from BBB- with a negative outlook, mostly because of falling iron ore prices. “They’re predicting the past,” referring to Cliffs’ poor performance in the recent few years, Mr. Goncalves said of the rating firm. Of the stock-price decline, he said, “I haven’t sold a share,” adding, “I can’t control stupidity” in the market.

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 over 40% this year, due to oversupply and slumping Chinese demand. Cliffs suffered a net loss of $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2014, versus a $133.1 million profit over the same period a year ago. Its revenue dropped 26%.

Cliffs isn’t alone in being hit by falling iron ore prices. The iron-ore industry is on the verge of a potentially massive shake-up. Rio Tinto Group, one of the world’s top three producers, disclosed this week that it had received a takeover offer this past summer from Glencore GLNCY -2.06% PLC. Such an offer is expected to become attractive to Rio Tinto shareholders if iron ore prices fall further and the company’s financial performance slackens. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Cliffs Natural Resources, International Media Resource Articles, Iron Ore, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

9th October 2014

Make no little plans, my son [Economic planning northern Ontario] – by David Robinson (Northern Ontario Business – October 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.  

Dave Robinson is an economist with the Institute for Northern Ontario Research and Development at Laurentian University.drobinson@laurentian.ca 

As an economist, I often get calls from the media about national and provincial issues. As an economist who studies economic development in Northern Ontario, I don’t get many calls. Most of those are asking for a speaker and almost none want my advice on economic development. I have only had a few calls from First Nation communities. I’d like to think I know something about development, so why am I left sitting in a corner sad and lonely?

It could be because everyone knows that academics, including me, are pretty useless. I’d hate to think so, but it could be. It could be the economic development people in Northern Ontario are so good they don’t need academic advice. It could be that the province is doing such a good job that that no one needs independent research and advice from the ivory tower.

My guess is that that because Northern universities have never focused on economic development issues for the North, media people and economic development officers simply don’t think about heading to the campus for help. The exception is the Community Economic and Social Development program at Algoma University. More recently, Laurentian University has established a new School of Northern Development that will do research and provide courses on Northern Ontario development. Things are getting better, however slowly. 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 | 0 Comments

8th October 2014

Ring of Fire junior: “When will this horse drink?” – by Jonathan Migneault (Northern Ontario Busisness – October 8, 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. 

Critics of the province’s announcement in late August to establish an interim board for a Ring of Fire development corporation said it’s too little, too late.

Political adversaries of the Wynne government said the announcement will not result in any momentum at all in developing the $60-billion mining camp.

“We’re no further ahead today than we were four or five years ago,” said Sudbury MPP Joe Cimino of the NDP. “There’s been work in the last few years to communicate with the First Nations, but not from day one.”

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, the Progressive Conservatives’ finance critic, said the announcement marked “the sixth time in nine months the government has announced the Ring of Fire development corporation. Yet despite that considerable length of time, key industry, First Nations and Ontario Northland still haven’t been invited to the table.”

Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said the government met its commitment to establish a development corporation for the dormant Far North mining camp 60 days after the premier’s July 3 throne speech. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

6th October 2014

NDP critic knocks Liberals over Ring of Fire – Michael Mantha Letter to the Editor (Sudbury Star – October 4, 2014)

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

Michael Mantha is the MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin and the NDP Critic for Northern Development and Mines.

Re: Minister defends record on Ring of Fire

Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle’s letter to the editor criticizing NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on the Ring of Fire demonstrates the Liberal government’s failure to develop the project and Premier Wynne’s lack of leadership for Northern Ontario.

The minister claims his government is leading the way to drive development in the Ring of Fire and that significant progress has been made despite his government’s widely reported failures on the project. Ask Northerners what they think about the Liberal record on Ring of Fire.

After lack of action on the Ring of Fire over the last seven years and a vague announcement of creating a development corporation, the Wynne government gave itself a deadline of 60 days to create that corporation that was to include partners in industry and First Nations. What the Wynne government produced, in order to meet its self-imposed deadline, was a board comprised of four government bureaucrats sitting at the table by themselves.

The Wynne government failed to bring industry together. Premier Wynne and Minister Gravelle failed to bring First Nations together. Read the rest of this entry »

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

6th October 2014

Ontario Premier Wynne Mandates Environmental And Energy [and Ring of Fire] Priorities – by Marc McAree and Julie Abouchar (Mondaq.com – October 6, 2014)

http://www.mondaq.com/

Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released mandate letters to her cabinet ministers on September 25, 2014, outlining key priorities for each ministry. Premier Wynne’s marching orders include many environmental and energy priorities. Key environmental priorities relate to climate change, waste diversion and reduction, pollution prevention, drinking water quality for First Nations and invasive species. Notable among the Premier’s energy priorities are protecting Ontario’s interests in pipelines and advancing renewable energy policies.

Environmental Priorities

Climate Change the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) will lead the development of a new long-term climate change strategy for the province in 2015 that will look forward to 2050 and contain an action plan to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets for 2020. MOECC will work with other key ministries such as the Energy, Transportation and Natural Resources and Forestry, amongst others to implement the strategy and achieve targets. Other climate change efforts identified in the mandate letter include public and stakeholder engagement on climate change, developing a Canadian Energy Strategy that includes coordinated GHG emission reduction efforts, and developing new alternative fuel rules later this year to help energy-intensive industries reduce GHG emissions.

Pollution Prevention and Responsibility – the MOECC will place greater emphasis on pollution prevention and the “polluter pays” principle, focusing first on contaminated sites. Premier Wynne also encourages the MOECC to review the legislative framework to ensure a comprehensive approach to hold polluters responsible for decisions affecting the environment. 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

6th October 2014

Noront distributes hundreds of t-shirts designed by youth – by Rick Garrick (Wawatay News – October 3, 2014)

http://www.wawataynews.ca/

Noront Resources has printed and distributed hundreds of prize-winning t-shirts designed by two students from Long Lake #58 and Webequie.

“We had a t-shirt contest last year where we sent out to all the Ring of Fire communities the option for their students to create logos for our new t-shirts,” said Kaitlyn Ferris, Noront’s manager, corporate responsibility. “And we ended up with a tie between two designs. They won their design on the t-shirt for the next year. And then we also sent t-shirts to their schools so that their whole class would get their t-shirt.”

The t-shirts are also handed out “everywhere we go” by Ferris and the Noront staff. Noront is one of the mining companies working on developing mining operations in the Ring of Fire mineral exploration area in the James Bay Lowlands.

“If you look around the room, you will see hundreds of people are now wearing their designs,” Ferris said at the Working Together for Student Success student orientation, held Sept. 5 at the Victoria Inn in Thunder Bay. “We are really proud of them.”

Ferris said students at the orientation were “really impressed” with the winning t-shirt designs. The winning t-shirt design from Webequie was designed by a Grade 8 student. “We’ve had a lot of high school students say they are shocked that a young kid like that has such talent,” Ferris said. “And they are proud to be wearing designs by youth.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

3rd October 2014

KWG, Noront react to Cliffs shakeup – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 3, 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.

Frank Smeenk was direct in his appraisal of Cliffs Natural Resources ending up on the wrong end of an acrimonious proxy fight with a New York hedge fund. “I thought they deserved everything that befell them,” said the president-CEO of KWG Resources. “They haven’t been easy to get along with at all.”

There’s no love lost between the Toronto junior and the Ohio miner, but a change in leadership and corporate philosophy in Cleveland may signal the thawing of a frosty relationship.

The head of KWG wasn’t at Cliffs’ July 29 shareholders meeting to gloat over the demise of the old guard at the 167-year-old mining giant, but it was a get-acquainted opportunity to meet the new blood as Casablanca Capital seized control of the board of directors.

Casablanca has vowed to make good on its promise to carve off Cliffs’ costly international projects, including its mothballed Ring of Fire chromite properties, like the Black Thor deposit, from its core U.S. mines.

“I’m trying to persuade them that KWG can be the (development) vehicle,” said Smeenk, “that it might be opportune for (us) to be their partner of choice. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Cliffs Natural Resources, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

3rd October 2014

The North is the Future of Ontario – Dave Canfield (Netnewsledger.com – September 26, 2014)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

Northern Ontario is Ontario’s Future

THUNDER BAY – “We are the future of Ontario,” stated Northern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) President Dave Canfield. Speaking to the Northwestern Ontario Regional Conference, Friday morning Canfield updated the delegates,

“Getting our communities up and running is critical,” added Canfield, sharing with the delegates that at the recent AMO meetings, that the provincial government is listening. “Premier Wynne was present for the entire hour,” added Canfield, explaining that was the first time that had happened”.

Energy remains a focus for NOMA. Canfield explained that in talks with OPA, most of the time the elected officials, and communities are right. Getting the needed power in the region, not just for mining, but for forestry is important.

Infrastructure funding is a success for the north. There was $100 million announced in the budget. Canfield explained that it might take a bit of time to get it going, but the groundwork has been done.

Forging a New Path – NAN Grand Chief Yesno

Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Grand Chief Harvey Yesno addressed the delegates. One of the goals is building permanant infrastructure into our communities. The Grand Chief spoke on how high costs for transportation and food is impacting the region. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Mining Power Issues, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

3rd October 2014

Michael Gravelle on negotiations between mining companies and First Nations – interview by Markus Schwabe (CBC News Sudbury – October 2, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/morningnorth/

We contacted the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle, to talk about the difficulties in negotiations between mining companies and First Nation communities.

Click here for the interview: http://www.cbc.ca/morningnorth/past-episodes/2014/10/02/michael-gravelle-on-negotiations-between-mining-companies-and-first-nations/

posted in Canadian Media Resource Articles, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances | 0 Comments

2nd October 2014

Stainless Steel and the Ring of Fire – by Rick Millette (Northern Policy Institute – October 1, 2014)

http://northernpolicy.wordpress.com/

It would be hard to find an adult in Northern Ontario who hasn’t heard of the Ring of Fire or doesn’t know what it promises for the North’s future. Most believe that long term prosperity for workers, industry and First Nations people is at their doorstep.

That dream extends beyond the basics. Many northerners suffer a sense of loss with every trainload of raw ore they see heading down the tracks and out of Northern Ontario. There’s a long-held belief that full value is not being retained for those resources.

With the discovery of chromite in the Ring of Fire several years ago, it didn’t take long for the value-added dream to be dreamt again. The North now has all the ingredients in their backyard to make stainless steel, a uniqueness not found anywhere else in the world. How incredulous would it be for Canada to be the only G8 country not to have a stainless steel industry when the chromite, nickel and iron are all in one place?

Although the timeline for the eventual development of the Ring of Fire may be unknown, few would believe that $60-billion of known mineral wealth will stay in the ground for very long.

One way to accelerate that extraction and to start generating wealth on three fronts, would be for our governments to invest in the development of a stainless steel industry. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Steel and Stainless Steel Industries | 0 Comments

2nd October 2014

Minister defends record on Ring of Fire – Letter to the Editor (Sudbury Star – October 2, 2014)

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

Re: “’Nothing done on Ring” and “Ontarians have had it with Liberal inaction in Ring of Fire: Horwath,” Sudbury Star/Sun News, Sept 29, 2014

It is troubling to hear a leader of a major political party in Ontario speak with such a lack of understanding of the steps required in developing the Ring of Fire. What is specifically troubling, is that (NDP leader Andrea) Horwath does not seem to understand the complexity of this major economic opportunity for our province or respect the important work we have undertaken before ore extraction can actually begin.

Our government is leading the way to drive development in the Ring of Fire. There is no question that over the past year, significant progress has been made. We have provided a $1-billion commitment to develop transportation infrastructure in the region; established a Ring of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation within 60 days of forming our new government; and reached a historic agreement with the Chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council that lays the groundwork for future discussions. Our government is proud of the work that we have accomplished so far.

Let me be clear, Ontario Liberals have been — and remain — committed to developing the Ring of Fire and working with First Nation communities as partners, to ensure they have the opportunity to shape and provide input as development moves forward. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

29th September 2014

‘Nothing done’ on Ring of Fire: Horwath – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – September 29, 2014)

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

The Ontario Liberals may have won a majority in the June 12 election, but they don’t have a monopoly, says Andrea Horwath.

Ontario Liberals have failed Northern Ontarians time and time again — especially in their slowness to develop the Ring of Fire — and the Ontario New Democrats can capitalize on that, said the NDP leader.

Horwath spoke Sunday morning at NDP Northern Council 2014, a gathering of 60 or more MPPs, NDP candidates and party faithful.

New Democrats, herself included, made mistakes in the last election, but have four years to make up for them, especially if they focus on the values for which the party stands.

Ontario saw the “sad result” of Liberal inaction recently when Cliffs Natural Resources indicated it was looking to sell its assets in the Ring of Fire, Horwath told delegates.

“Instead of pulling out all the stops to build infrastructure, instead of getting revenue sharing agreements on track, instead of working with northerners, First Nations and industry partners to develop resources in the Ring of Fire, Premier Wynne’s government has taken a wait-and-see approach.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

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