‘Bad news for all of Ontario’ – Bisson on Cliffs – Benjamin Aubé (Timmins Daily Press – November 25, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – It was MPP Gilles Bisson’s (NDP – Timmins-James Bay) turn to direct scathing remarks towards the province surrounding its handling of the Ring of Fire.

Last week, Cliffs Natural Resources indefinitely suspended its proposed chromite mine in the James Bay lowlands, citing a lack of progress on the file on the provincial government’s behalf.

“It’s not a surprise,” Bisson said on Sunday. “We’ve been meeting with Cliffs and other players in the Ring of Fire. They are all complaining about how the provincial government has not been front and centre about how to deal with the key issues that will allow this project to go forward, so it’s not without surprise.”

Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle each stated development was ongoing in the region and that they were confident Cliffs would come back to the table in the future, citing the importance of getting the project done correctly.

Other companies investing millions and exploring the rich minerals in the Ring of Fire include Noront and KWG Resources.
“I think it goes all the way to Kathleen Wynne. Wynne’s comments were, ‘Oh well, this is not serious, Cliffs is gone and the minerals are still in the ground,’” said Bisson. “But who’s going to develop it? You’re talking about the better part of $2 billion to get a mine like this up and running. It’s not anybody who can just do that. I think it just points to the degree this government doesn’t get it, and probably doesn’t want to get it.”

Former Ontario Premier and NDP leader Bob Rae, now lead negotiator on behalf of the Matawa Chiefs Council, also alluded to the fact the minerals in the Ring of Fire are in no danger of disappearing anytime soon.

“For a government, or a negotiator such as Bob Rae to say, ‘Don’t worry, the minerals are still in the ground,’ I think flies in the face of what financing around mining is all about,” said Bisson. “Cliffs Resources can invest around the world. It’s not just as if they can only invest in the Ring of Fire, and this is the only place they can bring their money.”

A major stumbling block for the project in recent months was the Ontario mining and land commission ruled against Cliffs, which wanted to build an access highway across KWG-owned land.

The commission sided with KWG, which has already invested millions in mining its property with the hopes of using rail to transport resources.

When asked for an immediate solution to the problem, Bisson chose to focus on the bigger picture.

“This is not about one mine,” said Bisson. “This is about a multitude of mines that will be built in the Ring of Fire, so this is like a Sudbury or a Timmins – it’s going to be there for over 100 years. The mineralization in that area is pretty large. The province and the federal government have to be front and centre, and it’s a provincial jurisdiction, so we have to take the lead in figuring out how we develop infrastructure in that area.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.timminspress.com/2013/11/24/bad-news-for-all-of-ontario–bisson-on-cliffs




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