Mining firms growing frustrated with delays in Ring of Fire – by Benjamin Aubé (Timmins Daily Press – November 11, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – MPP Gilles Bisson (NDP – Timmins-James Bay) says mining companies are getting impatient with the province when it comes to getting approvals to proceed with mineral developments in the Ring of Fire.

Ontario Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle (Liberal – Thunder Bay-Superior North), announced on Friday the creation of a development corporation formed of all three provincial parties, the federal government, and other stakeholders, to better identify the various things needed to develop the region.

Notably, Gravelle stated there’s a need “to lay the necessary groundwork” in the sectors of training, capacity and infrastructure building, and strengthening bonds with the chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council, led by Bob Rae and Justice Frank Iacobucci.

Gravelle’s statement read that “recent developments, and divergent private sector interests, have impacted our ability to move forward on vital infrastructure required to develop the region located within the James Bay lowlands.

“We need to get people in to work and goods out to the global market. Currently there are a variety of proposals for infrastructure development. They propose different corridors and different modes of transportation, but in the end, they all lead to the same place. In recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear to me, that we need to determine exactly what those infrastructure needs are, and we need to do it now. What will serve development of the region best, what will serve the people of Ontario best.”

Bisson also said there’s a need to identify and act on issues related to the Ring of Fire. But he said the province has been taking too long to act. He worries companies might start getting cold feet.

“It’s been seven years now that the government has announced in almost every budget and Throne speech that they’re going to do something with the Ring of Fire,” Bisson said on Friday. “Each and every time they do it, they have some kind of announcement like we’re seeing today, and we’re never any closer to the Ring of Fire getting off the ground.

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