Noront expects to see roads to Ring of Fire in the new year (CBC News Thunder Bay – December 11, 2017)

It’s no secret that the Ring of Fire development, located approximately 575 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont., is expected to generate a significant amount of minerals, including nickel, copper and chromite.

And while the project has been stalled for some time due to the lack of road access, this past summer Premier Kathleen Wynn announced that the provincial government is ready and willing to work with a handful of nearby communities to develop a year-round road access to the mineral-rich area. Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts said roads are needed in order to move this project forward as “assets are stranded there” otherwise.

He said when the Premier made her announcement in August of 2017, she chose a few nearby communities with road proposals in place — Marten Falls, Webequie, Nibinamik as well as Aroland — to facilitate an all-season road access into the region and connect the communities to Ontario’s highway system.

“So there’s two road proposals that are being advanced,” Coutts said, “the north-south road that’s being advanced by Marten Falls and Aroland, and the south-west road that’s being advanced by Nibinamik and by Webequie.”

Traditionally, according to Coutts, when a mining project is started the company is usually the proponent of the road development. However, in this case, the province has asked the communities themselves to be the proponents, which means they’ll be “deciding themselves what the road looks like, where it goes…and they will be doing the environmental assessments themselves,” Coutts said.

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