Bands go to bat for Ring of Fire road – by Staff (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – April 15, 2014)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

Two First Nations that stand to benefit economically from the development of the Ring of Fire mining belt have “reaffirmed” their commitment to support a north-south road into the mineral-rich region.

“The development of the Ring of Fire requires infrastructure, and the first priority is to build a road that will allow people and goods to move,” Marten Falls and Aroland said Monday in a joint news release.

The two bands also expressed a willingness to “work with mining companies, governments and other partners” to ensure First Nations benefit form any development.

Potential chromite and nickel mines are located in the Ring of Fire about 550 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. Chromite is an ingredient in stainless steel.

A 340-km north-south road into the Ring of Fire proposed by Cliffs Natural Resources was kiboshed last fall when Ontario’s Mining and Lands Commission ruled it would infringe on mining claims held by other companies.

The province had earlier agreed to pay half the cost of building the road. Cliffs is appealing the commission’s ruling.

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