Proponents see northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire opposition melting like ice roads – Colin McCelland (Northern Miner – April 4, 2024)

Construction timelines remain fuzzy but proponents are still optimistic two and half years into studying roads to serve the Ring of Fire critical minerals region in northern Ontario.

Three all-season roads totalling 362 km are planned for the area 540 km northeast of Thunder Bay. The main highway would start at the end of a forestry road north of Aroland First Nation and the village of Nakina and head to the Ring of Fire. One branch would run to the Marten Falls First Nation to the east while another would connect to the Webequie First Nation to the west.

The most advanced of the three roads, the Webequie branch, is in the end stages of its environmental assessment, but it still needs community (and government) review, Webequie First Nation Chief Cornelius Wabasse said on Tuesday in Toronto.

“It’s not a long ways,” Wabasse said in an interview with The Northern Miner at the Indigenous Led Projects Forum. “I’m hoping that once we engage with our community about the environmental assessment findings and all that, then we move to the next phase which is hoping to start working on the road itself.”

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