Three James Bay chiefs jump on premier over Ring of Fire remarks – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 30, 2021)

Attawapiskat, Fort Albany, Neskantaga chiefs said mining should not come at expense of destroying Far North peatlands

Three First Nation chiefs from the James Bay region are collectively taking Premier Doug Ford to task for his ‘hop-on-the-bulldozer, myself’ enthusiasm to see industrial development in the Ring of Fire.

With the Ford government eager to show progress on the Ring of Fire prior to next June’s election, the leaders of Neskantaga, Attawapiskat and Fort Albany trotted out the bulldozer line from Ford’s 2018 campaign after the premier was recently hyping the Far North mineral belt earlier this month.

The isolated Ring of Fire, located 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is a key piece of the government’s plan to create a mining-to-manufacturing supply chain in establishing Ontario as a North American leader in electric vehicle assembly.

The Ring of Fire affords an opportunity to mine nickel and other critical minerals needed to make lithium-ion batteries for the car industry. Two Australian mining companies, BHP and Wyloo Metals, are negotiating over the right to bring the area into production.

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