TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Ring of Fire- (RoF-) focused explorer KWG Resources this week launched a social media campaign to promote its proposed RoF bill to Ontario election candidates and voters, drawing more than 240 signatures to a petition it intends to submit to the next Ontario government.
Ontarians will head to the polls on June 12 in the province’s 41st general election, after the Liberal provincial government was dissolved on May 2.
KWG president and CEO Frank Smeenk said that the company had taken a leadership-role in a bid to end the “political gridlock” surrounding development of the region, which is located in the remote northern reaches of the province.
He stressed that KWG’s proposals are “real and achievable solutions”. “The RoF is an economically and socially transformative project that will benefit every citizen and community of Ontario, especially in the North, as well as all Canadians, for many generations.
“I encourage all RoF supporters to participate in this process by having your voices heard and helping spread the message to every corner of this country. Together, we will get the RoF going,” Smeenk said on Monday.
The company holds a 30% interest in the Big Daddy chromite deposit and the right to earn 80% of the Black Horse chromite deposit, located in the RoF.
As part of its social media campaign that would run until election day, KWG launched a search engine programme targeting specific and relevant terms pertaining to the candidates, the RoF and Northern Ontario; an online petition through a petition platform; links to an online database of Members of the Provincial Parliament candidates by riding, containing their full contact information; and social media sharing tools.
KWG had devised a plan, backed by its own proposed bill, which would turn the Ontario Northland Transportation Corporation (ONTC) into the Northern Transportation Corporation. Residents of Northern Ontario and the development corporation would govern the ONTC, and project financing would be raised through capital markets to pay for transportation and other infrastructure needed to develop mining projects in the RoF, located about 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay.
The main operating asset of the ONTC is the Ontario Northland Railroad (ONR), which has become starved of freight haulage.
However, the discoveries of chromite and nickel in the RoF could create the potential for much heavy-haulage freight business with which the ONR might become economically viable.
According to the plan, the ONTC add to heritage infrastructure the facilities that the northern residents desire. This would ensure an inclusive approach of the communities it serves, many of which are First Nations, allowing them to participate in the region’s development.
“This would enable development to be undertaken with the necessary social licence, together with the discipline of the capital markets, rather than from the public purse,” KWG said.
KWG is asking residents to get involved and back its plan by calling or emailing candidates in the June 12 election, signing the KWG petition that would be presented to whatever party forms the next government and sharing the company’s plan through Facebook and Twitter.
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