It’s one of Ontario’s last undeveloped regions, but First Nations say they’ve been given “token roles” in shaping its future
SUDBURY — It’s been 15 years since metal deposits were found in the so-called Ring of Fire. Now, the planned mining development, which spans 5,000 square kilometres in northern Ontario, has entered a new phase — and a group of First Nations wants to make sure its concerns are front and centre.
The new phase includes a regional impact assessment, a federal process that considers the effect that mining could have on one of Ontario’s last undeveloped regions. Five neighbouring First Nations are demanding that the government “start afresh with a commitment to have the [RIA] mutually and equally co-developed and co-led and co-enforced by an Indigenous governing body … that we Indigenous Nations will develop.”
TVO.org breaks down what a regional impact assessment involves, what the First Nations are hoping to achieve, and what comes next.
What is the Ring of Fire?
The Ring of Fire, roughly 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, contains nickel, copper, chromite, and platinum. The mining firm Noront Resources owns 85 per cent of claims in the area. In its public documents, Noront states that the Ring of Fire “will become the next great mining district in Ontario” and that the Eagle’s Nest deposit alone could produce 3,000 tonnes of ore per day. Premier Doug Ford has touted its importance to developing the electric-vehicle industry in the province.
For the rest of this article: https://www.tvo.org/article/who-gets-to-decide-the-future-of-the-ring-of-fire