Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Ontario Premier pushing for quick action on Ring of Fire project – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – May 26, 2017)

“Very soon.” That’s the best answer Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne gave while commenting on when Ontario might see some progress on the Ring of Fire mining development, located in the James Bay Lowlands.

Wynne made the comment in Timmins Thursday morning where she was speaking at the Timmins Family YMCA and meeting with community leaders. While the premier was promoting her government’s Children and Youth Pharmacare Program, she also met with reporters to talk about her tour across Northern Ontario.

In responding to a question about the fact that Timmins is a mining supply community, as well as being a mining town, the premier was asked when the government might be expected to be more proactive in helping the Ring of Fire project to move forward. Continue Reading →

Innovation, First Nations key to resource development – by Ben Leeson (Sudbury Star – May 26, 2017)

The Ontario government’s goals of fostering a culture of innovation and enhancing relationships with Indigenous people and communities are key to its mineral development strategy, including development of the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario, Christine Kaszycki said on Thursday.

Kaszycki, the assistant deputy minister for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines mines and minerals division, also spoke about opportunities for the Sudbury region during a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Copper Cliff Italian Club.

“I think most folks would agree that innovation to improve productivity, decrease costs, will be key to the long-term sustainability of the mining sector,” Kaszycki said. “In order to foster the innovation that’s required, requires an environment of collaboration.” Continue Reading →

Premier expects Ring of Fire progress ‘within weeks’ – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – May 24, 2017)

Movement on a Ring of Fire infrastructure plan should come “within weeks, not months,” Premier Kathleen Wynne told a gathering hosted by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday. “I think we’ll find a way to move forward,” she said. “Nobody in the province wants a shovel in the ground more than I do.”

The premier was responding to a question from a Laurentian Mining Innovation and Technology representative, who pointed out promising times lie ahead for the industry.

“Mining is a very cyclical sector and we’re heading into a boom now,” he said. “But mining does need some support and there’s an amazing opportunity for us, with $60 billion in the Ring of Fire that’s locked up.” Continue Reading →

How to finally ignite Ontario’s Ring of Fire – by Heather Hall and Ken S. Coates (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – May 23, 2017)

Premier Kathleen Wynne has jumped into the long-standing debate over the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario. Last week, she called on northern chiefs to seize the province’s offer to spend $1 billion on crucial road development and to not “squander” the opportunity for economic development in an area desperate for work and social improvements.

The premier’s blunt intervention is a sign of the pent-up frustration among governments, companies and indigenous communities about the slow progress and endless negotiations surrounding the region’s vast deposits of chromite, nickel and other minerals.

While the premier may feel frustration, in Northern Ontario there is a widespread feeling in many indigenous communities that the infrastructure needs of resource firms get more attention from government than the serious community infrastructure deficits that have existed for years. Many indigenous communities in Northern Ontario, especially in the Far North, have to deal with a variety of deplorable conditions, including over-crowded housing, a lack of clean drinking water, limited or non-existent road access, and a myriad of social, economic and cultural challenges. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: HOW TO REIGNITE THE RING OF FIRE AND MINING IN NORTHERN ONTARIO – by Heather Hall and Ken Coates (Macdonald-Laurier Institute – May 18, 2017)

To read the full paper, titled “Missed Opportunities, Glimmers of Hope: Aboriginal communities and mineral development in Northern Ontario”, click here.

MLI paper charts a path through the conflict between First Nations, business and government in Northern Ontario’s mining sectors

OTTAWA, May 18, 2017 – The potential of the Ring of Fire, a large-scale mineral deposit in Northern Ontario, to bring prosperity to Indigenous communities remains trapped under a simmering conflict.

First Nations, governments, and mining companies continue to debate issues such as the responsibility for infrastructure development, support for First Nation communities across much of Northern Ontario, and conflict between the governments of Ontario and Canada.

How can we push through the stalemate to create viable solutions that permit development to proceed?

Heather Hall and Ken Coates, in a paper for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, chart a path forward for the Ring of Fire and mining in Northern Ontario. Continue Reading →

Missed Opportunities, Glimmers of Hope: How to move forward with the Ring of Fire (CBC News Sudbury – May 18, 2017)

A new report out today is taking a closer look at the relationships between mining companies, the government and First Nations communities when it comes to development of the Ring of Fire.

The report, called Missed Opportunities, Glimmers of Hope was written by Heather Hall and Ken Coates. Coates is a senior fellow with the MacDonald-Laurier Institute and Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation.

He calls the project one of Canada’s most remarkable mineral deposits. The Ring of Fire is a huge mineral deposit of chromite, nickel, gold, copper and platinum discovered in 2007. It’s located in a remote area in northern Ontario with limited access. Even though it was discovered a decade ago, Coates says not much has happened so far in developing the project, beyond talks between First Nations communities and mining companies. Continue Reading →

Laying the groundwork for a Ring of Fire road – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – May 15, 2017)

Northwest communities, industry study freight, ore-haul transload facility

With no funding or direction coming from Queen’s Park on Ring of Fire transportation infrastructure, Sioux Lookout is taking the lead in promoting a road-to-rail transload facility to move material and supplies in and out of the largely dormant mineral belt.

The northwestern Ontario town has pulled together a “working group” of like-minded business leaders, community and First Nation partners to craft a logistics concept called the Integrated Transportation System (ITS). It binds together the town’s local highway, rail and air connections, and creates much-needed brownfield space.

To Vicki Blanchard, the town’s economic development manager, Sioux Lookout is the “place to start” to stage, ship and transfer raw materials, industrial supplies, fuel and goods to remote communities and the potential Ring of Fire mining camp through an east-west road corridor. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario cities try to ‘sell’ themselves as best place to put Ring of Fire smelter (CBC News Sudbury – May 15, 2017)

There is not even a road leading to the Ring of Fire. Yet four northern Ontario communities are vying for the chance to possibly become home to a ferrochrome smelter for the giant future mining operation. “Every one of those locations has some pluses and some minuses,” said Alan Coutts, CEO of Noront Resources — the largest mining company remaining in the Ring of Fire.

“Some are closer to markets. Some are further. Some have better elliptical infrastructure. Some have poorer. “A big aspect of what our decision-making will be around is community acceptance, understanding the role First Nations want to play, having a skilled workforce.”

Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Sudbury are being considered as locations for the facility, which could bring with it hundreds of well-paying jobs whenever the chromite deposit in the James Bay lowlands goes into production. Continue Reading →

Ontario Premier warns First Nations about delays in Ring of Fire talks – by Allison Jones (Global News – May 12, 2017)

The Canadian Press – TORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne signalled this week to First Nations in the province’s north that she’s willing to abandon joint talks with them over building roads into the Ring of Fire region.

The provincial government has been talking with the chiefs of the nine Matawa First Nations for years, since it pledged $1 billion in 2014 to fund infrastructure into the chromite-rich area.

That funding promise was repeated in the government’s budget for the next two years, but was not in this year’s budget. Wynne said in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., earlier this week that commitment stands, but she told the chiefs that if Ontario is going to deliver on it, there can’t be any more delays. Continue Reading →

Premier feeling the heat from Ring of Fire – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 12, 2017)

Wynne reportedly upset over lack of First Nation consensus on access road

Premier Kathleen Wynne is reportedly getting tough with northern First Nation chiefs over hold-ups in the construction of a Ring of Fire road.

The Globe and Mail obtained a recent letter from an impatient Wynne to the nine Matawa chiefs indicating her government can’t afford any more delays and is prepared to start one-on-one negotiations with individual communities that do want development, if consensus can’t be reached.

For three years, the Ontario government has promised to invest $1 billion for mining-related transportation infrastructure but the money hasn’t been released in three successive budgets, including this past April’s spring budget. Continue Reading →

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Letter to the Ring of Fire First Nations Chiefs About Transportation Infrastructure (May 10, 2017)

May 10, 2017

Chief Dorothy Towedo (Aroland First Nation); Chief Elizabeth Atlookan (Eabametoong First Nation); Chief Veronica Waboose (Long Lake #58 First Nation); Chief Wayne Moonias (Neskantaga First Nation); Chief Cornelius Wabasse (Webequie First Nation); Chief Rick Allen (Constance Lake First Nation); Chief Celia Echum (Ginoogaming First Nation); Chief Bruce Achneepineskum (Marten Falls First Nation); Chief Johnny Yellowhead (Nibinamik First Nation)

Dear Chiefs,

I wish to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to meet with you on Monday, May 1, 2017.

We have worked together since signing the Regional Framework Agreement (RFA), including three meetings since October 2016, to advance Ring of Fire developments in a collaborative way that will bring benefits to all of us.

As I have emphasized to you in all three meetings, we want to be positioned to take advantage of Ontario’s proposals of financial support for infrastructure and related development in the Ring of Fire region. Three years after signing the RFA, the time has now come to make some decisions that will move us forward. This is especially true when it comes to connecting remote communities to all-season road infrastructure. Continue Reading →

All candidates want ferrochrome plant in the Sault – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – May 12, 2017)

A presentation by NorOnt Resources top brass have created a stir with candidates running in the provincial byelection. NorOnt is to decide by the end of summer which of four Northern Ontario communities – Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins or Thunder Bay–Fort William – will become home to the first ferrochrome plant in North America to process the minerals from the far north Ring of Fire development.

NorOnt President and CEO Alan Coutts and Chief Development Officer Stephen Flewelling were in Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday making a presentation to Chamber of Commerce members and meeting with local officials.

Liberal candidate Debbie Amaroso, who met with the representatives, urged them to locate the smelter in Sault Ste. Marie. “I strongly encouraged NorOnt to locate their smelter in the Sault,” Amaroso said. “Based on the southern tip of Lake Superior, Sault Ste. Marie is the ideal location.” Continue Reading →

Premier wants ‘shovels in the ground’ at Ring of Fire – by Gord Young (North Bay Nugget – May 12, 2017)

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne committed Thursday to consult with Northern Ontario municipal leaders on economic development strategies for the region.

Wynne told delegates at the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) conference that’s she’s “absolutely open” to a suggestion brought to her during the event that she sit down with the mayors of Northern Ontario’s five largest municipalities, as well as the heads of FONOM and the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, to discuss economic development.

Although the province is already working on an economic development plan, Wynne said she wants to hear from the groups in order to get an immediate take on what some of the opportunities may be and to discuss ways to improve what’s being done. Continue Reading →

Wynne pushes Ring of Fire chiefs for decision on regional road – by Gloria Galloway (Globe and Mail – May 12, 2017)

OTTAWA – Premier Kathleen Wynne is warning fly-in First Nations in Northern Ontario they must quickly agree on the construction of a road into their region – one that would also serve mining interests in the so-called Ring of Fire – or she will negotiate unilaterally with those communities that want the project.

It has been three years since the Ontario government said it would spend up to $1-billion to create an all-season road that would make development possible in the massive cache of chromite and other minerals as it connects to some reserves that are not currently accessible by car.

But little progress has been made, in part because the First Nations do not agree among themselves on how to proceed and are concerned about losing jurisdictional rights in the process. Negotiations with provincial officials have not always been productive. Continue Reading →

Province pushed to make roads decision holding up Ring of Fire and $1-billion ferrochrome facility – by Elaine Della-Mattia (North Bay Nugget – May 11, 2017)

At least four communities are in the running to host a $1-billion ferrochrome facility to process ore from the Ring of Fire, located in northwestern Ontario. Top executives with Noront Resources were in Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday and said they will decide by the end of summer where the company will build its ferrochrome facility, which is expected to create up to 350 jobs.

Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay-Fort William are competing for the plant. The Noront executives met with community leaders and chamber of commerce members in the Sault, outlining their plans and how the Ring of Fire development can provide an economic boost to Northern Ontario.

Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources, said he wants communities to understand the company and its capabilities, and have the supports in place if that community is chosen to host the first ferrochrome facility in North America. Continue Reading →