There’s a heightened excitement about the Ring of Fire and the company in the center of the crosshairs is elevating its cautious optimism. That optimism is fueled by the Ontario government’s decision to appoint a Mines Minister, George Pirie, with a specific mandate to develop the Ring of Fire.
Ryan Weston, VP of Exploration at Wyloo Metals – the biggest player in the Ring of Fire, says the mandate is not a huge surprise. “Obviously, when you hear Doug Ford campaigning in this most recent election and talking a lot about the Ring of Fire and critical minerals, he wants to go from mines to electric vehicle batteries. He’s got two major investments coming on the battery production side that have been announced in the last six months. So, he wants the full spectrum of value there from mining.”
Weston points out that there’s a lot of nickel that is produced in the Sudbury Basin and a lot of that goes to different markets. “And so, it’s questionable how much will go to the battery metal space, right? There are a lot of critical minerals in the Ring of Fire. And when you look at the United States and the Canadian lists, I think we’ve got seven different metals. But nickel is the important one because that’s the metal that gives the density to battery electric vehicles.”
Weston says getting the metal from the Ring of Fire through the value chain into battery vehicles is a vision Noront Resources (which was purchased by Wyloo earlier this year) has had for some time. “It’s quite something that the province now has the critical minerals strategy.
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