Some Random Thoughts About Public/Media Pessimism About Ring of Fire – by Stan Sudol

The pessimism about the Ring of Fire is extraordinary. With two multi-billion-dollar Australian mining corporations fighting tooth and claw over this valuable mineral-rich camp, with one confirmed nickel/copper mine and one of the largest chromite deposits in the world, it is unjustified.

Many of the most prominent geologists in the country privately say that this is Sudbury Basin 2.0. For those outside the mining world, Sudbury’s polymetallic mineral deposits – nickel, copper, platinum group metals, cobalt, gold and silver – is the richest, multi-generational ore body in Canada and one of the most important integrated – mine, mill, smelter, refinery – mineral complexes in the world.

For much of the history of the last century, the city’s mines were the main source of nickel to the western world, a strategic metal vital for military weapons. In fact, the old Inco had long-standing connections to key people in the American Military Industrial Complex.

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Road to Ring of Fire is Green National Priority for Ontario and Canada – by Stan Sudol

The thunder from down under has been reverberating through Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining camp – located roughly 500 kms northeast of Thunder Bay – as Australian mining giants BHP and Wyloo Metals are fighting a bruising bidding war for Noront Resources. The junior exploration company owns the Eagle’s Nest nickel/copper potential mine as well as extensive world-class chromite deposits and other mineral-rich promising ground.

BHP is the largest mining company in the world, whose current CEO, Mike Henry, is a Canadian, while Wyloo Metals is owned by Fortescue Metals, founded by mining billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, and is the world’s fourth largest iron ore miner.

“Noront’s ROF land package hosts some of the most prospective mineral deposits in the world. These deposits have the potential to become Canada’s next great mineral district, supporting the production of future-facing commodities for multiple generations”, claimed a Wyloo Metals news release in August.

The entry of multi-billion-dollar mining corporations signals a proverbial “game-change” in the stalled Ring of Fire mining camp. Noront Resource was a struggling junior company that did manage to consolidate almost half of the valuable mineral claims in the camp but did not have the funds to do significant further exploration or to build their existing mine. Newly established and well-funded explorer Juno Corporation is the largest claim holder who after extensive aerial geo-physics surveys that showcased promising anomalies, is hoping to add to future discoveries.

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Inside the Indigenous-led power line deal that put 17 First Nations on the grid – by Wendy Stueck (Globe and Mail – October 14, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

By the time Wataynikaneyap Power announced, in October, 2019, that it had locked in financing to start building an 1,800-kilometre transmission line to connect 17 First Nations communities to the Ontario power grid, Margaret Kenequanash had earned a chance to catch her breath.

A member of the North Caribou Lake First Nation, Ms. Kenequanash had been pursuing the transmission project for more than a decade, first as a community leader and, since 2017, as Wataynikaneyap’s chief executive officer.

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Environmental assessments start for Ring of Fire roads – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 8, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Webequie Chief cautions his community has yet to show its support for critical link of mine supply road

The provincial environmental assessment (EA) process is starting for two stretches of the proposed Ring of Fire road network. Late on Oct. 8, Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister David Piccini announced approval has been given for the terms of reference for the Marten Falls Community Access Road.

That coincided with separate news from Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation that his community has also given approval for the terms of reference of the Webequie Supply Road.

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Attawapiskat First Nation seeks court injunction against Ring of Fire exploration – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – October 5, 2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/

A court hearing this week sparked by Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario could have big implications for the development of the Ring of Fire.

The First Nation says it wasn’t properly consulted about exploration by mining company Juno in its traditional territory and is seeking an injunction. “The conflicting forces at work loom large over the fate of climate change, the environment, the economy, Attawapiskat, its rights and its culture,” the First Nation’s lawyer, Kate Kempton, told the court Tuesday.

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Nunavut mine created legacy of partnership – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – September 30, 2021)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

Found within the newest territory of Canada, Nunavut may seem barren and inhospitable, yet it has provided resources and succor to its First Peoples for thousands of years.

While European colonizers and the indigenous peoples in their ancestral home suffered many differences, it was the shared efforts of the two groups in trade and labor that bridged this gap, eventually leading to the formation of Nunavut itself.

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Mining giant Rio Tinto’s control of Nechako River waterflow in B.C. challenged by local First Nations – by David Carrigg (Vancouver Sun – October 3, 2021)

https://vancouversun.com/

Mining giant Rio Tinto’s control over the Nechako River watershed in Northern B.C. is being challenged by three impacted First Nations and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the regional district and the Saik’uz, Stellat’en and Nadleh Whut’en First Nations, the parties want to see a new water flow regime for the river “that benefits all people within the watershed,” plus the establishment of a new river governance regime.

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OPINION: The dirty secrets behind Sudbury’s regreening – by Joan Kuyek (The Narwhal – September 30, 20210

The Narwhal

Joan Kuyek is co-founder of MiningWatch Canada and the author of Unearthing Justice.

A recent op-ed in The Narwhal said that Sudbury, Ont. offered proof that a “[post-mining] re-greening road map exists,” and indicated that Sudbury provides a model to the world. However, any community attempting to replicate the Sudbury model has to know its dirty, and often untold, stories.

The mines and smelters in Sudbury — Canada’s largest mining community — were built on and destroyed the lands of the Atikameksheng Anishinaabek. The boundaries of their tiny reserve were deliberately drawn to exclude mineral rich lands. Although over $1 trillion has been taken from the Sudbury region, the First Nation has received no compensation and no apology.

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Agnico’s low-premium Kirkland deal propels stock drop – by Yvonne Yue Li (Bloomberg News – September 28, 2021)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

Shares of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. and Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. fell after the two Canadian miners announced a “merger of equals” that offered investors a lower deal premium than other gold combinations.

The $13.4 billion (US$10.6 billion) transaction creates one of the world’s biggest bullion producers and follows other large takeovers in recent years that reshaped the industry.

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Agnico Eagle buying Kirkland Lake Gold in $13.4-billion deal – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 28, 2021)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Companies seek to find operational, exploration synergies in Abitibi gold camp of northeastern Ontario, western Quebec

Agnico Eagle and Kirkland Lake Gold are merging to create a Canadian and global mining powerhouse.

The gold mining companies are framing this proposed $13.4-billion all-share acquisition by Agnico Eagle as creating a “merger of equals” to establish a “best-in-class gold mining company” built around each other’s mining assets and the considerable exploration potential in the historic and fertile Abitibi Greenstone Belt in northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec.

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Are mining companies hiding Indigenous opposition from their investors? – by BY Dayna Nadine Scott and David Peerla (Corporate Knights – September 27, 2021)

https://www.corporateknights.com/

It’s time for companies and securities regulators to make sure the whole truth of Indigenous rights claims are brought to light through corporate risk disclosures

There was once a time when the worst thing that could happen to investors in Canadian junior mining companies was that their windfall could turn out to be so-called moose pasture (i.e., worthless from a minerals perspective).

Junior mining companies search for new deposits of minerals and are known to be high-risk, high-return investments. Today, however, a significant risk for investors is the fact that their claims are often located on the homelands of Indigenous Peoples with inherent governing authority.

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Indigenous engagement progressing in Australian mining: Drummond – by Tom Parker (Australian Mining – September 23, 2021)

Home

The effort to better acknowledge and include First Nations peoples in the Australian mining industry is advancing as more Indigenous initiatives are introduced and more Indigenous contracts awarded.

While some mining companies can still improve their Indigenous engagement, there are instances that indicate a concerted effort to prioritise First Nations recognition and involvement.

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Chile indigenous group asks regulators to suspend lithium miner SQM’s permits – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters – September 13, 2021)

https://www.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Indigenous communities living around Chile’s Atacama salt flat have asked authorities to suspend lithium miner SQM’s operating permits or sharply reduce its operations until it submits an environmental compliance plan acceptable to regulators, according to a filing viewed by Reuters.

Chile’s SMA environmental regulator in 2016 charged SQM with overdrawing lithium-rich brine from the Salar de Atacama salt flat, prompting the company to develop a $25 million plan to bring its operations back into compliance. Authorities approved that plan in 2019 but reversed their decision in 2020, leaving the company to start again from scratch on a potentially tougher plan.

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Two First Nations challenge Ottawa’s rejection of Grassy Mountain coal mine – by Emma Graney (Globe and Mail – September 8, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Two Southern Alberta First Nations have filed for a judicial review of a federal decision rejecting a new open-pit coal mine in the Rocky Mountains, arguing that the government failed in its duty to consult them about the project.

Riversdale Resources Ltd., a subsidiary of Australian mining giant Hancock Prospecting, wanted to build its Grassy Mountain project in Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass.

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Mining company ‘caught in the middle’ between Ginoogaming First Nation and Ontario – by Gary Rinne (TBnewswatch.com – September 7, 2021)

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/

TORONTO — A Superior Court judge has extended an interim injunction against mineral exploration in the non-reserve portion of Wiisinin Zaahgi’igan, an area that Ginoogaming First Nation has described as a sacred and cultural part of its traditional territory.

Justice Susan Vella has ordered Ontario to engage in “meaningful consultation” with Ginoogaming, and to appear before her again in six months. The decision leaves the future of Greenstone businessman Michael Malouf’s mining claims up in the air. Malouf owns Quarternary Mining & Exploration Inc. and Hardrock Extension Inc.

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