Hudak promises change for the North – by Wayne Snider (Timmins Daily Press – July 15, 2011)

Wayne Snider is the city editor for The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at

“I understand why people would be cynical. For years the government has put
the wish list of Southern Ontario special interest groups ahead of Northern
Ontario….We need to demonstrate to all Ontarians the vital need to develop
the Ring of Fire….This is a once in a century opportunity.”
(PC Leader Tim Hudak – July 15, 2011)

Tory leader says Kidd Creek smelter shutdown was avoidable

Tim Hudak says the closure of the smelter at the Kidd Creek Metallurgical Site was completely avoidable. It was a matter of government priorities.

The provincial Progressive Conservative Leader unveiled his election platform for Northern Ontario this week. Dubbed changebook North, Hudak claims his party will create an environment that will allow the region to prosper.

High hydro costs and taxation, he said, are two of the reasons that companies like Xstrata Copper take jobs out of province. “(Premier Dalton) McGuinty failed to provide the leadership necessary to keep those jobs,” Hudak said in an interview with The Daily Press on Friday. “This was a catastrophic loss for not only Timmins, but for all of Ontario.

“We want to make Northern Ontario attractive for investment. High taxes and hydro rates have moved Ontario to the bottom of the list for investment.” Continue Reading →

The [global] race for rare metals – by Geoffrey York and Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – July 16, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media. Brenda Bouw is the Globe’s mining reporter.

VANRHYNSDORP, SOUTH AFRICA, VANCOUVER – Filled with radioactive waste, its buildings gutted and crumbling after 48 years of disuse, the abandoned Steenkampskraal mine would seem to hold little value to anyone.

Until recently, the decaying apartheid-era mine in a remote patch of South African desert was mainly of interest to scientists studying the effects of high radiation on the thousands of bats that hibernate in the empty mine shaft.

But soon the bats will be evicted, the radioactive waste will be buried and the shaft refurbished. The Canadian owners of this mine are scrambling to tap the mine’s rare-earth minerals – possibly the hottest commodity on the planet these days, with immense strategic and technological significance, and pivotal to a global geopolitical rivalry.

As prices soar, there is a frantic global rush to develop new sources of rare earths. These obscure minerals – 17 different elements with futuristic names such as neodymium, samarium, yttrium and lanthanum – are crucial for everything from guided missiles and hybrid cars to flat-screen televisions, iPods and BlackBerry phones. Continue Reading →

Tories roll out Northern Ontario platform – Star Staff (Sudbury Star – July 15, 2011)

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

A Progressive Conservative government would hold one cabinet meeting a year in Northern Ontario and fork over a portion of the taxes generated by new mines to northern municipalities.

A PC government would also let Northern Ontario’s towns and cities decide how they should develop and grow, the party’s candidate for Nickel Belt said Thursday.

“I’m hoping that every Northerner will read what the (Tim) Hudak government has planned for the future of the North,” Peroni said in a release.

“They will clearly see that changebook North is the result of listening to thousands of northerners in our Have Your Say Ontario survey, that it protects the Northern way of life and that it keeps wealth in the North. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Tim Hudak and Ontario PCs Only Party Listening and Delivering for Northern Ontario Families

July 14th, 2011


THUNDER BAY — Today, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak released changebook North – the Party’s specific commitments to Northern Ontario families to build stronger communities and create Northern jobs. While Dalton McGuinty listens to Southern Ontario special interests to create policies that simply don’t work in the North, only Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party have been listening to and delivering for Northern Ontario families.

Any policy to create jobs and ensure a strong future for the North has three questions at its core: Does it originate in the North? Does it protect the Northern way of life? Does it keep wealth in the North? Only if the answer was “yes” to all three would we include it in changebook North. Continue Reading →

China growth spurs rebound in mining deals – by Brenda Bouw and Tamara Baluja (Globe and Mail – July 14, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media. Brenda Bouw is the Globe’s mining reporter.

China is reigniting the mining sector with its near double-digit economic growth, working through inventories and triggering a rebound in commodity prices that is inspiring a new round of deal-making in the industry.

The world’s largest commodities consumer reported robust second-quarter growth of 9.5 per cent on Wednesday, surpassing expectations and helping send both stock markets and metal prices higher.

Copper, considered an indicator of global economic activity, slumped below $4 (U.S.) a pound in May amid widespread worries that China’s moves to tackle inflation could derail the country’s breakneck growth. But copper prices have rebounded sharply, reaching $4.40 Wednesday and closing in on the record $4.62 reached in mid-February, as the Asian superpower confounds skeptics.

China’s latest growth figures “should dampen fears that the economy is heading into a hard landing and they suggest that policy makers can afford to stay focused on tackling inflation for a while longer,” said Mark Williams, senior China economist at Capital Economics. That is expected to keep driving demand for commodities used to help build infrastructure and everyday goods such as appliances and automobiles. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: [Ring of Fire] Matawa First Nations form United Front to Protect Natural Resources


Matawa First Nations is a Tribal Council of nine Northern Ontario First Nations located in Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN). The members are Aroland First Nation, Constance Lake First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation, Long Lake #58 First Nation, Eabametoong First Nation, Marten Falls First Nation, Nibinamik First Nation, Webequie First Nation.

July 14th, 2011– Today all nine Chiefs from Matawa First Nations communities signed a historic declaration, making the commitment to stand together to protect the natural resources and territories of member First Nations. The Mamow- Wecheekapawetahteewiin- “Unity Declaration”, states that the nine Matawa communities agree that they “must stand together in order to ensure our nation is protected. Therefore, we assert our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights to the land, water and resources by requiring our written consent before any development activity may proceed.” The “Unity Declaration” further states that; “Failure to consult, accommodate and receive the consent of the First Nation(s) to proceed with any work or activity is an unjustified infringement upon our Aboriginal, Treaty and Custodial rights as First Nations.”

The declaration that was unanimously supported comes after a Matawa summit that was held in Neskantaga First Nation in early June, 2011, that focused on the development of a unified strategy to move forward on future developments and the protection of the First Nations lands, waters and resources. Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation says; “With this declaration, we hope to send a very powerful message to industry and government- Matawa First Nations are working as one. Any development occurring around any of our First Nations communities will impact us as one and this needs to be recognized”. Continue Reading →

Support for ON [Ontario Northland jobs] ‘incredible’ – by PJ Wilson (North Bay Nugget – July 13, 2011)

The North Bay Nugget, established in 1907, is the daily newspaper for the northeastern Ontario community of North Bay.

Northern Ontario communities are banding together to protest the awarding of a rail car refurbishment contract to a Montreal firm over the Ontario Northland shops in North Bay.

Sudbury and West Nipissing mayors have offered their support for the North Bay-based Crown corporation’s bid to refurbish GO Transit cars in a five-year deal worth in excess of $120 million. Ontario Northland’s bid was about $2 million greater than the bid from a Quebec-based company.

“I want you to know that you have my full support in that the tendering process must be looked at as it is crucial that these jobs remain in our province,” Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk said in a letter to North Bay Mayor Al McDonald dated Tuesday.

“These contracts are critical to the growth and sustainability of our communities and it is imperative that this government (Metrolinx) rethink their decision. We must fight to keep jobs, not only in the North but in our province.” Continue Reading →

Hudak vows to review Metrolinx deal – by Antonella Artuso (North Bay Nugget – July 13, 2011)

The North Bay Nugget, established in 1907, is the daily newspaper for the northeastern Ontario community of North Bay.

TORONTO — PC Leader Tim Hudak is promising to review the controversial Metrolinx decision to hand a lucrative contract to refurbish GO Transit coaches to a Quebec-based company over a North Bay competitor.

“This July, a McGuinty government agency — Metrolinx — selected a Quebec-based company to refurbish GO Transit rail cars even though the (Ontario Northland Transportation Commission) has been doing high quality work for years,” says Changebook North, the party’s northern Ontario platform. “Yet Dalton McGuinty allowed this decision to stand, costing 100 good jobs.”

Hudak will release Changebook North Thursday in Thunder Bay.

While Changebook North calls on McGuinty to review the Metrolinx decision prior to the fall election, Hudak said he’s prepared to do so after Oct. 6 if his party forms the next government. Continue Reading →

Gold on a record-breaking roll – by Lisa Wright (Toronto Star – July 14, 2011)

Lisa Wright is a business reporter with the Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion.

Gold prices have reached a new record high and are expected to top $2,000 U.S. an ounce later this year amid the recent flurry of anemic U.S. economic data and new fears that Europe’s debt crisis will spread.

“It’s pretty amazing. Gold is really the ‘it’ thing,” said mining analyst Barry Allan of Mackie Research Capital in Toronto. “I remember not long ago when it hit $500 and people were cheering about that,” he said.

After a steady climb from $1,495 on July 4, bullion shot up another $23.30 U.S. an ounce to close at $1,585.20 in New York Wednesday. And the gold bugs say it’s just a preview of more good times to come for the often fickle precious metal.

The last record high of $1,577.40 was set on May 2 before an abrupt pullback in precious metals that dragged gold below the key $1,500 benchmark. Continue Reading →

People before profit, Vale CEO Murilo Ferreira says – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – July 13, 2011)

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

“I want to make it undoubtedly clear that safety comes before production at this company. People are always more important than any results or material goods. … If you see a risky situation or unsafe behaviour, it is your duty to intervene.”
(Vale CEO Murilo Ferreira – July 13, 2011)

Editor’s note: The names of Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier are incorrect in today’s print edition of The Sudbury Star. We apologize to the families and to our readers for the error.

Safety comes before production and people are more important than profit, Vale’s chief executive officer Murilo Ferreira told his company’s 119,000 employees Tuesday. The comments came in a statement from Ferreira issued after eight Vale employees were killed in six accidents in the last three months.

Ferreira sent the letter to Vale employees on five continents, reminding them that mining can be dangerous and involves risk, but that safety is sacrosanct for the Brazil-based company. Two Sudbury miners, Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, died June 8 on the 3,000-foot level of Stobie Mine after a load of crushed ore fell on them.

That accident is under investigation by the Ministry of Labour, Vale and United Steelworkers Local 6500, the union to which the men belonged. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Detour Gold Holds Ground Breaking Ceremony for its New Regional Office in Cochrane with Provincial and Local Officials

July 12, 2011

TORONTO, ONTARIO — (MARKET WIRE) — 07/12/11 — Detour Gold Corporation (TSX: DGC) (“Detour Gold” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it will be breaking ground today for the construction start of its new regional office in Cochrane, Ontario. The ceremony will also mark Detour Gold’s $1.3 billion investment in the region to build the Detour Lake mine, which will be Canada’s largest gold mining operation. This special event will be attended by Hon. Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry; Hon. Chris Bentley, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Attorney General; Peter Politis, Mayor of the Town of Cochrane; Chief Hardisty and representatives from the local First Nations and Metis groups.

Hon. Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry said: “I am delighted to participate in today’s groundbreaking ceremony. The building of this new office is but a small part of a very large mine development project. The Detour Lake project is having a significant impact on the economy of the Town of Cochrane and all of northeast Ontario. I am appreciative of the commitments that Detour Gold has made to the Aboriginal communities in the area and that they will continue to work closely with them and the surrounding communities as they bring this project to fruition. Congratulations to everyone, I know this project will benefit the region for generations to come.” Continue Reading →

Dubreuilville sawmill operator frustrated by wood competition – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July, 2011)

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

Community struggling

Dubreuil Forest Products (DFP) is facing a future without a Crown wood supply. One of Canada’s last great company towns will not go down without a fight, said its sawmill general manager.

Dubreuil Forest Products (DFP) mill manager Dave Jennings said despite the government’s rejection of his company’s application for Crown fibre in the provincial wood supply competition, the dimensional lumber producer will find a way to carry on.

“We’re going to fight on, we’re not going to quit, we’re not going to go away and we’re going to do whatever it takes to ensure that the community and the mill survives.”

Jennings called the province’s plan to put Crown wood back to work “anything but fair” and said the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry’s (MNDMF) decision to strip his mill of wood supply will “imperil the town” and affect future livelihoods. Continue Reading →

Along the Blacktop of Riches: The Abitibi-Greenstone Belt – by Charlie Angus (1999)

Excerpt from Industrial Cathedrals of the North written by Charlie Angus and photographed by Louie Palu (1999)

To order a copy of Industrial Cathedrals of the North, please go to Between the Lines press.

Take a drive along the blacktop as Highway 66 turns into 117 and you’ll be taking a drive over one of the richest geological treasures in the world. The highway forms the lower part of a belt of riches known as the Abitibi-Greenstone belt. Over 140 million ounces of gold have been mined from the belt, a feat unparalleled anywhere except in the gold fields of South Africa. The belt is made up of two parallel fault lines running east-west from Ontario into Quebec. The northern edge of the belt – the Porcupine-Destor Fault – runs from the Porcupine along Highway 101 to Destor, Quebec, while the lower fault – the Larder-Cadillac Break – runs from Matachewan, Ontario along 66 towards Val d’Or, Quebec. The fault lines have been the source of some of Canada’s biggest gold mines. The ground between the faults is host to numerous base metal deposits.

The Larder-Cadillac Break is as much a social line as it is a geological formation. The fault runs straight through the heart of many historic gold camps: Matachewan, Kirkland Lake, Larder Lake, V-Town, Rouyn-Noranda, McWatters, Cadillac, Malarctic and Val d’Or. The Abitibi-Greenstone belt has created a natural east-west link across the two provinces. Communities along the fault lines share common links of history, work and identity. Indeed the whole opening up of Northwestern Quebec to mining is a direct result of the movement of prospectors and miners along the lines of the Abitibi-Greenstone belt.

Prospector Ed Horne played a pivotal role in this early development. Before the first World War he was prospecting in Gowganda, Kirkland Lake and the Porcupine. He then moved along the westerly axis from the Kirkland-Larder camps into the Lake Osisko region of Rouyn Township, Quebec. Continue Reading →

Aboriginals tap into oil sands – by John Shmuel (National Post – July 12, 2011)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

As major Canadian resource projects across the country expand in the wake of rising commodity prices, a less noticed business boom in Canada’s Aboriginal communities is also taking shape.

Economic development corporations, which can loosely be described as businesses started and backed by regional First Nations, Métis or Inuit groups, are helping to grow Aboriginal incomes in communities throughout Canada.

Their benefit is reflected in a recent report by TD Economics. TD estimated that economic development corporations will help the combined income of Aboriginal households, businesses and governments reach $24-billion in 2011, and ballooning to $32-billion in 2016.

“We’re seeing more Aboriginal communities looking to business as a shining light to create opportunity for their young people,” Clint Davis, chief executive of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, said. “So we’ve seen some rapid creation of economic development corporations in the last, probably five to 10 years.” Continue Reading →

Flurry of metal deals signals bold outlook – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – July 12, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media. Brenda Bouw is the Globe’s mining reporter.

Miners bet commodities boom has legs by unveiling a handful of takeovers

A sudden rebound in mining acquisitions signals a return of confidence in the industry after weeks of uncertainty and volatile prices that froze deal activity in the sector.

As commodity prices begin to bounce back from a recent fall, miners are betting once again on strong and steady demand from fast-growing nations such as China, India and Brazil to prevent another severe global economic downturn.

The positive outlook driving these new deals comes despite worries that inflation and debt problems around the world will weigh on the economy and metal prices down the road. Stock markets dropped sharply Monday on renewed concerns about solving Europe’s debt crisis.

The largest deal announced Monday was Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal SA’s joint $5-billion (U.S.) bid for Australia’s Macarthur Coal Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of pulverized coal, a type of metallurgical coal, amid strong demand forecasts for the steel-making ingredient. Continue Reading →