The so-called ‘Ring of Fire’ in Ontario’s far north is expanding in size as mining claims spike in the area. More than 31,000 mining claims have been registered to date, an increase of 28 per cent in a year, according to analysis by Wildlands League, a non-profit conservation group.
The rise in the number of mining claims coincides with more land being taken up by surface rights owners. The claims now cover 626,000 hectares of the remote northern landscape, up 30 per cent from September 2022. The area is now nearly 10 times the size of the City of Toronto or double the Greater Sudbury area, the group says.
“I flew over the Ring of Fire again this summer and the footprint is sprawling,” said Janet Sumner, the executive director of Wildlands League. The Ring of Fire is the name for a circular mineral deposit located 540 kilometres north of Thunder Bay in the heart of Treaty 9 territory.
The majority of the mining claims fall within a vast wetland called the Hudson Bay Lowlands. It contains the largest intact peatland expanse in North America and the second largest in the world, estimated to store more than 35 billion tonnes of carbon.
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