What’s one more Ring of Fire road study? – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – August 26, 2016)


As the Ontario government sifts through three separate Ring of Fire road proposals, mine and railroad developer KWG Resources has now posted a preliminary plan of its own.

The Toronto exploration firm has decided to make public a once-confidential east-west access road study, outlining a permanent road to the Ring of Fire that would link four remote First Nation communities along the way.

The 2013 report was prepared by Green Forest Management of Thunder Bay. Their proposed 305-kilometre gravel road begins northeast of Pickle Lake and tracks eastward toward the mineral deposits of the Ring. The projected costs range between $83.6 million to $99.9 million. Annual maintenance costs are pegged between $4.2 million and $6.1 million.

Branch roads would connect to the First Nations communities of Eabametoong, Neskantaga, Webequie and Marten Falls at a cost range of between $36.1 million and $73.1 million, depending on the road alignments selected. The annual costs to maintain approximately 200 kilometres of community roads would be between $1.4 million and $2.6 million.

“We had this report prepared in 2013 to scope out the most rational options available to supply our railroad construction and address local aspirations,” said KWG President Frank Smeenk in an Aug. 26 statement.

“While we shared it extensively on a confidential basis, it’s very practical approach has not yet found traction, so we thought it timely to make the study public now as we prepare to discuss railroad construction financing options. The road network considered here is a desirable, if not indeed an absolutely necessary first step to opening this area development cornucopia and starting to create quite a few ongoing local jobs throughout the entire region.”

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