TIMMINS – Some key players in the Ontario mining industry said they’re getting sick and tired hearing about the Ring of Fire. That’s mainly because for all the talk about the mining prospect, nothing is being been done about it.
That was part of the discussion that came out Thursday during the Investor’s Forum at the Big Event Canadian Mining Expo that was on this week in Timmins. Part of the forum included an open discussion on what might be done to get the higher levels of government to get moving to develop the area.
The Ring Of Fire refers to a massive deposit of chromite and nickel located in the McFauld’s Lake and Webequie area, about 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins. Chromite is an important element for manufacturing stainless steel. The Ring of Fire area could become the largest chromite mining site in North America, a venture that is often measured in the tens of billions of dollars.
One of the key speakers was Moe Lavigne, the vice-president of exploration and development for KWG Resources. It is one of two Canadian mining companies holding significant properties in the mining area known as the Ring of Fire, about 600 kilometres northwest of Timmins.
Lavigne said his company wants to develop a low-cost rail link into the area, but that cannot be done without a huge capital investment. He said the only entity that can do that right now is China.
“We will never maximize the benefits of developing the Ring of Fire chromite deposits unless we have an agreement and partnership with the largest consumer, which is China,” said Lavigne.
He said China is a world leader for stainless steel production and right now China is in “desperate need” for a new supply of chromite. He added that China also has proven expertise in providing rail infrastructure into remote wilderness areas.
Despite that, nothing is being done, because the venture will need partnerships of all levels of government and the First Nations that live in that area, said Lavigne.
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