6th March 2015

First Nations ready to be partners in development – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 3, 2015)

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.

“We want to participate in the new economy, particularly the natural resources sector.”
Protecting large tracts of boreal forest for wildlife eliminates the scope of
possibilities in mining, energy and possibly even oil and gas projects.

And the community land-use planning process is only concerned with surface issues, he
said. “If there’s a greenstone belt running across the territory, those are usually
good opportunities for mines. There’s no opportunity to examine those areas.”
(Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Harvey Yesno)

At an Aboriginal energy conference last December in Toronto, keynote speaker Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Harvey Yesno shocked delegates when he remarked that 21 of the 49 communities in his territorial organization were under boil-water advisories; eight of them for more than 10 years. “In Kenora or Hamilton, nobody would put up with that.”

These are some of the extraordinary challenges – including housing, health care and educational shortcomings – NAN communities struggle with daily as the second largest Aboriginal remote cluster in Canada, behind Nunavut.

Yesno had to cut his remarks short to fly back north. Ten diesel-dependent communities in northwestern Ontario were facing serious fiscal challenges in arranging fuel shipping and storage capacity for the winter. 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

4th March 2015

PDAC Interview: Michael Gravelle beats the drum for Ontario – (Northern Miner – March 3, 2015)

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

Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle, and Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, kicked off PDAC with an announcement of a joint investment of more than $785,000 to support economic development and community access in northwestern Ontario.

The government of Canada and the province of Ontario will each invest $393,814 to enable the Webequie First Nation, in partnership with the First Nations of Eabametoong, Neskantaga, and Nibinik, to complete a study on a regional community service corridor. The study will examine the benefits of developing an all-season transportation corridor connecting First Nation communities in the area with existing roadways, in order to capitalize on opportunities related to resource development in the region, including in the Ring of Fire, 540 km northeast of Thunder Bay.

In a further announcement on the second day of the mining conference, the provincial government said it plans to renew its 2006 Mineral Development Strategy, with fresh input from stakeholders. Over the next three months, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines will host workshops across Ontario to provide industry, Aboriginal communities, and other community partners the opportunity to respond to the proposed themes for a renewed MDS and set priorities to strengthen the sector.

The Northern Miner caught up with Gravelle on the sidelines of the conference. 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

4th March 2015

Mushkegowuk rail plan still on despite road study – by Len Gillis (Timmins Times – March 3, 2015)

http://www.timminstimes.com/

The federal and provincial governments announced on the weekend that more than three-quarters of a million dollars will be spent on a study for a new road in Northern Ontario.

The announcement was made Sunday at the annual Prospector’s and Developers Convention (PDAC) in Toronto. Federal Natural Resources minister Greg Rickford and provincial Northern Development and Mines minister Michael Gravelle said their governments are contributing 50-50 to a $785,000 expenditure through the FedNor Northern Ontario Development Program.

The money is for a joint venture to study the idea of building a road into the lucrative Ring Of Fire mining prospect.

“The study will examine the benefits of developing an all-season transportation corridor connecting First Nation communities in the area with existing roadways, enabling them to capitalize on opportunities related to resource development in the region,” said the joint news release.

Reaction to the announcement is generally good, but there doesn’t appear to be a lot of overwhelming excitement, based on comments from from at least two Northern leaders. “The word I am hearing is, there’s the announcement and some people are saying, what, another study?” said Lawrence Martin, the Grand Chief of the Mushkegowuk Council. Read the rest of this entry »

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

2nd March 2015

Ring of Fire road study needs wider lens, environmental group says – by Jody Porter (CBC News Thunder Bay – March 2, 2015)

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

“No one is saying, ‘Holy cannolis, what are all the plans for the region for the next 20 – 30 years?’”

Government funding for a $785,000 study of a road to the Ring of Fire is a “welcome move” for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, but the environmental group says more needs to be done to look at the region-wide impacts of the proposed mining development in northern Ontario.

The federal and provincial governments announced Sunday that they’ll jointly fund a study looking at a road that would connect the remote Webequie, Eabametoong, Nibinamik and Neskantaga First Nations to the provincial highway at Pickle Lake, Ont. about 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.

The environmental group hopes it acts as a “springboard” for further study and a comprehensive, region-wide development plan for the nickel and chromite deposits in northern Ontario’s James Bay lowlands.

“Once a road goes in, it has a whole cascade of effects,” said Anna Baggio, the Ontario planning director for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Wildlands League. “There are alternatives in terms of where these roads could go and that needs to be looked at and fully costed and accounted for in a transparent way.” 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

2nd March 2015

Ottawa, Queen’s Park fund Ring of Fire road study – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 01, 2015)

http://www.northernlife.ca/

Will spend $732K in a First Nations-led initiative

First Nations in Ontario’s Far North are being empowered to have a say on a future road to reach the stranded chromite and nickel deposits in the Ring of Fire.

Four Aboriginal communities in the vicinity of the isolated mineral belt in the James Bay lowlands received more than $732,000 from the federal and provincial governments to conduct a Regional Community Service Corridor study.

In championing it as a First Nation-led initiative, federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford and Ontario’s Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle kicked off the opening of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s annual convention in Toronto on March 1 with the joint announcement.

The partnership involves the remote communities of Webequie, Eabametoong, Neskantaga and Nibinamik. The money will cover the costs of satellite imagery and GIS mapping of the terrain in the James Bay region, combined with an extensive consultation process with the area communities that is expected to take four to six months. 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

2nd March 2015

Roads from riches in Ring of Fire – by Rick Millette (Timmins Daily Press – March 1, 2015)

http://www.timminspress.com/

Rick Millette is a Senior Executive Director/Ring of Fire at Northern Policy Institute.

What is the one thing that would make living in Ontario’s far North communities better? If you asked that question to seven people knowledgeable about the North, you might very well get seven different answers. Clean drinking water. Functional sewer systems. Quality education. Improved health services. Reliable electricity. Healthy food at affordable prices. Better housing.

To a large degree, this wish list stems from the fact that Ontario’s far North communities are accessible only by air for most of the year. These challenges rarely exist for communities with road access.

Astronomically high costs are attached to anyone or anything that has to fly to these places. If the weather cooperates, a winter ice road might provide a month or two of access in every year. There have been poor weather conditions in recent years attributed to global warming. If the pattern continues, winter road construction and use will be progressively problematic.

So what is the one thing that would make living in the far North better? Answer: a network of year-round roads. While there are correlations to improving the quality of life at all levels through road access, none illustrate the benefits more strongly or tangibly than food and fuel. 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

27th February 2015

Getting to Yes has never been tougher – by Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail – February 27, 2015)

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.

Mines and forest projects can face the same procedural snakes and ladders.
In Northern Ontario, the so-called Ring of Fire chromite deposits will be
tied up for years and years in environment reviews and aboriginal demands.
Already, the major U.S. company interested in developing the deposits has
walked away. Who could blame it? (Jeffrey Simpson – Globe and Mail)

Forget for a moment U.S. President Barack Obama’s doubts about the Keystone XL pipeline. Whether the President decides for or against the project shouldn’t deflect Canadians from asking within their own borders: How do we get to Yes?

Getting to Yes is becoming harder all the time. Fossil-fuel developments, pipelines, mines, dams, hydro-electric transmission lines and wind turbines are frequently contested, delayed or blocked.

Even when they’re approved, the process for getting to Yes can take so long that projects lose their economic rationale, as with the now-abandoned Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which shuddered to a halt after 10 years of review because the gas market had changed. Or, projects are postponed or killed because they face tough competition from overseas suppliers where approvals are not so protracted. Proposed liquefied natural gas projects in British Columbia face this very risk. 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

26th February 2015

Moosonee railway extension gaining momentum – by Len Gillis (Timmins Times – February 25, 2015)

http://www.timminstimes.com/

Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Lawrence Martin will be joining the chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council at the annual prospectors’ convention in Toronto next week to outline his plans for a new railway line running from Moosonee to the Ring Of Fire mining project.

Martin said he met with Neskantaga Chief Peter Moonias earlier this week to outline the idea, but Martin said Moonias could not make any sort of a commitment on behalf of the Matawa First Nations, which is claiming territorial jurisdiction over the mining area. Martin said however there is growing support for Mushkegowuk.

Regardless, grand chief Martin said the idea is gaining momentum and more people are willing to listen to the idea. He said he expects mining executives at the Prospectors and Developers Convention next week will be interested in hearing the proposal, given the overall interest in the mining project.

The Ring of Fire is the name give to a huge deposit of chromite located in the McFauld’s Lake and Webequie area, about 600 kilometres north west of Timmins. Chromite is an important mineral element in manufacturing stainless steel. The Ring of Fire area could become the largest chromite mining site in North America, a venture measured in the tens of billions of dollars.

In January, Martin revealed the idea of creating a rail link across Mushkegowuk territory into the Ring Of Fire area with a two-pronged objective; one to bring in a rail link and secondly to bring in a high-voltage energy transmission line. Read the rest of this entry »

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

24th February 2015

Fraser Institute, junior miners slam Ontario Mining Act – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – February 24, 2015)

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 uncertainty created by the Ontario government in its mishandling of First Nations consultation were cited by the Fraser Institute in its choice to drop the province down in its annual rankings of global mining-friendly jurisdictions.

Ontario placed 23rd, falling nine spots from last year’s survey. Much of the blame is being placed on the regulatory and policy confusion created within the resource industry stemming from the province’s amendments to the Mining Act and in dealing with First Nations issues.

“In Ontario, the new Mining Act amendments regarding First Nations consultation have resulted in complete incomprehensibility of rights on all sides,” said Kenneth Green, the institute’s senior director of energy and natural resources, in a Feb. 24 news release.

The Calgary-based think tank annually ranks 122 jurisdictions around the world based on geological attractiveness, government policy and investment.

The report included a survey and comments from mining companies on operating in Ontario. One respondent aid the act has resulted in “near-veto powers against exploration” by First Nations concerning their traditional lands, while other called it an “impractical regulation” that’s caused a “misinterpretation of rights on all sides.” 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

20th February 2015

Cliffs to return to core business – by John Pepin (Mining Journal – February 19, 2015)

http://www.miningjournal.net/

MARQUETTE – The top executive for Cliffs Natural Resources said Wednesday the mining company continues to pursue a “rock solid” revitalization strategy of shutting down and selling off its diverse assets elsewhere, reducing debt, and focusing on iron ore production in the Upper Great Lakes region.

“We are back to basics,” said Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs’ chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We are back to our business, to our real business, the business that made Cliffs a big company, the business that made Cliffs a powerhouse in the United States and abroad and that is producing iron ore in Michigan and Minnesota and that’s it. That’s our business.”

From coal to chromite, from Australia to Canada and the southeastern United States, under previous board management, Cliffs diversified and expanded.

“Everything else was done through a strategy that was not the best one for the company – that was not the best one for the community that the company serves,” he said. “Lots of money was spent and wasted in bad investments we’re correcting all that.”

Goncalves said Cliffs’ now realizes those “mistakes of the past.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

17th February 2015

Ottawa sends $2M in bottled water to First Nation – by Joanna Smith (Toronto Star – February 15, 2015)

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.

Marten Falls First Nation, a remote reserve that’s been under a boil-water advisory since 2005, relies on water bottles flown in by the government.

OTTAWA—The Conservative government has spent at least $2 million flying bottled water to a small aboriginal community in northern Ontario that has been without its own source of drinkable water for a decade.

“All of our landfill is filled with plastic bottles,” Linda Moonias, the band manager of Marten Falls First Nation, a fly-in reserve about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont., said in a telephone interview Friday.

“It’s totally ludicrous,” said Bruce Achneepineskum, the interim chief of the reserve near the proposed Ring of Fire mining development.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has been reimbursing Marten Falls for the cost of sending bottled water from Thunder Bay by airplane since Health Canada issued a boil-water advisory for the remote community of about 335 people on July 18, 2005. Read the rest of this entry »

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

9th February 2015

Cliffs terminates Ring of Fire assessment process – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – February 6, 2015)

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 federal environmental assessment of Cliffs Natural Resources’ chromite project in the Ring of Fire has been terminated.

The Cleveland-based iron ore miner notified the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) on Jan. 5 that it wanted to halt the comprehensive study process that began in September 2011. The CEAA posted the notice of termination on its website, Feb. 5.

Cliffs is now looking to sell its chromite properties in the James Bay lowlands, including its flagship Black Thor deposit. It’s been part of a slow retreat by Cliffs, once regarded as the star mining player in the Ring of Fire, to eventually pull up stakes in Ontario following a management shakeup last summer.

New Cliffs chairman and chief executive officer Lourenco Goncalves told national media outlets last fall that the Ring of Fire didn’t fit into their long-range strategy. The company, instead, is focusing on its core iron-ore assets in Michigan and Minnesota, and catering to its domestic customers.

Since 2010, Cliffs spent $500 million on outlining the mineral potential at Black Thor, but ran into a series of obstacles in securing agreements with the provincial government and First Nations on extending transportation infrastructure into the remote region. Read the rest of this entry »

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

3rd February 2015

Mushkegowuk Ring of Fire plan attracts railroader interest – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 3, 2015)

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.

The Mushkegowuk Council’s conceptual plan for a Ring of Fire railway, power corridor and James Bay port took a strange twist with possible partnership talk involving a private railway company with a keen eye on buying the Ontario Northland Railway.

Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Lawrence Martin caused a media stir at a Jan. 22 energy conference in Timmins when he told reporters that his northeastern Ontario tribal council was considering teaming up with TGR Rail to extend rail service to the coast and into the Ring of Fire.

TGR, a Toronto-based rail services company, claims it has the financing and the team in place to acquire and expand the rail assets of the North Bay-based Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC).

The company contacted Mushkegowuk last year when the tribal council on the eastern side of the Ring of Fire began floating the idea of an energy infrastructure corridor.

It calls for a multi-use easement corridor of power, fibre optic and rail links that would provide all-season access and grid-based electricity to isolated communities and the remote mineral deposits with a connection to a proposed saltwater port to move chromite ore to the coast. Read the rest of this entry »

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

3rd February 2015

Gravelle describes first formal Ring of Fire meeting with Rickford as “positive” step – by Matt Vis (tbnewswatch.com – February 2, 2015)

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/default.aspx

THUNDER BAY — Michael Gravelle says he is encouraged after a “positive” first formal meeting regarding the Ring of Fire with the federal Minister of Natural Resources.

The provincial Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Greg Rickford met last week in Ottawa where the two discussed the significance of the proposed northern mining development and the importance of the two senior levels of government to work together to make it a reality.

The ministers have communicated extensively but had yet to arrange a formal meeting. Gravelle described the sit-down as productive and said Rickford expressed some issues the federal government has had with the process up to this point.

“I think I allayed a number of those concerns in our meeting,” Gravelle said. “I reaffirmed how we think in order for the Ring of Fire to reach its full potential the federal government needs to be involved.”

“I had well over an hour with my deputy minister and senior officials with the Minister of Natural Resources and his senior officials. We agreed to actually have more formal discussions with our senior ministry and departmental staff.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

2nd February 2015

Province pushing forward on Ring of Fire, finance minister assures (tbnewswatch.com – January 30, 2015)

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/default.aspx

THUNDER BAY — The province is doing everything it can to make the Ring of Fire attractive and competitive for business, says Charles Sousa.

The Liberal finance minister was in Thunder Bay Friday for pre-budget consultations, hearing from around 40 groups throughout the afternoon. Sousa said people understand that there are fiscal challenges in Ontario and that the province needs find a balance between being competitive and compassionate when it comes to spending.

“It’s not about creating more government, it’s about creating more opportunity,” he said before consultation, which was closed to media, began. Noront Resources is one of only two companies left in the Ring of Fire, and its project is in limbo while it awaits provincial permits. The company argued recently that Ontario is at-risk of becoming a place that business wants to stay away from.

Despite this, Sousa said getting the Ring of Fire going is a priority for the Liberal government. He said the $1 billion in last year’s budget for the project is proof.

“We’re working hard with the federal government to try and match that,” he said. “It’s not just critical for the communities in the North that $60 billion opportunity is good for Ontario and it’s good for Canada.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

Advertising Info
Rated Top Mining Blog of 2011
The Northern Miner
Mining IQ
Canadian Mining Journal
Northern Life
IBA Research network
NetNewsLedger
Earth Explorer