Canada’s environment and climate change minister is under renewed pressure from a group of First Nation leaders in Treaty 9 to “start afresh” with the draft terms of reference for a regional impact assessment into the mineral-rich Ring of Fire.
Development interest is heating up in the remote area located more than 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, with an Australian mining giant recently purchasing the majority of mining claims in the area and the Ontario government pushing ahead with plans to develop all-season road infrastructure in hopes of positioning the province as a future electric vehicle manufacturing hub.
Yet there is firm opposition from some First Nations leaders, who say their sovereignty and concerns about mineral development-related harms to the land and their way of life are being ignored.
The Ring of Fire holds a range of minerals, including those used in electric vehicle batteries and energy storage systems, but is also situated under a vast expanse of peatlands, which act as a significant carbon store for the planet.
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