Federal Natural Resources Minister looks to speed up Canadian critical minerals production – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 26, 2022)


Jonathan Wilkinson wants to get on the same regulatory page with Ontario to advance mining projects

With a global critical minerals supply gap coming, federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson admits Ottawa has some work to do toward expediting approvals to put more critical minerals mining projects into production sooner.

In his Oct. 25 remarks to Canadian Club of Toronto, Wilkinson said Ottawa is looking to get on the same page with the provinces and territories in working smarter in advancing energy and natural resource projects along in a timely manner.

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Told ‘no’ 37 times, this Indigenous-owned company brought electricity to James Bay anyway – by Fatima Syed (The Narwhal – October 20, 2022)

The Narwhal

Twenty-five years ago, five First Nations brought power to their remote, underserved communities, defying skepticism, scorn and swampy terrain

For the Indigenous communities along northern Ontario’s James Bay — the ones that have lived on and taken care of the lands as long as anyone can remember — the new millenium marked the start of a diesel-less future.

While the southern part of the province took Ontario’s power grid for granted, the vast majority of these communities had never been plugged in. Their only source of power was a handful of very loud diesel-powered generators. Because of that, daily life in the Attawapiskat, Kashechewan and Fort Albany First Nations involved deliberating a series of tradeoffs.

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The Drift: 15 years after Ring of Fire discovery, mining timeline no clearer – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 24, 2022)


Ring of Fire Metals prepares for big exploration push as critical minerals supply crunch looms

There’s new ownership, new branding and a new name for the former Noront Resources in the Ring of Fire. But the path to start mining in Ontario’s Far North doesn’t look to be getting any shorter.

After being shuttered for more than a year, field exploration activity is picking up again at the remote Esker camp of Ring of Fire Metals, the new name on the marquee as chosen by Wyloo Metals of Australia following its acquisition of Noront last April.

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Moe government could end up in court with First Nations over resource development – by Jeremy Simes (Regina Leader Post – October 22, 2022)


As Premier Moe aims to assert provincial jurisdiction over resources, First Nations say he is missing a key piece of history.

Standing at a podium inside the Saskatchewan Legislative Building earlier this week, Onion Lake Cree Nation Councillor Bernadine Harper held up a feather and shared a piece of history.

Oral teachings, she said, have long stated that traditional lands were never meant to be surrendered once the treaty was signed. Instead, they were to be shared, to the depth of a plow, in exchange for assistance when in need.

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Australian miner bails on Quebec rare earth projects amid First Nation resistance – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – October 13, 2022)


Vital Metals bills itself as Canada’s first rare earth producer and decision to ditch projects could be significant

Australia’s Vital Metals Ltd. walked away from two Quebec-based projects earlier this week due to objections from the Kebaowek First Nation, the latest evidence that maximizing Canada’s potential to be a player in the energy transition will require a more sophisticated relationship with Indigenous communities.

The Sydney-based company had signed an $8-million agreement with Montreal-based Quebec Precious Metals Corp. (QPM) in August last year to acquire 68- and 100-per-cent interests in the Kipawa and Zeus rare earth projects situated in Quebec’s Témiscamingue region, about 90 kilometres northeast of North Bay, Ont.

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The quest to protect Hudson Bay’s unique coastline, one of Canada’s last, best wild places – by Ivan Semeniuk (Globe and Mail – October 11, 2022)


This spectacular landscape is also a lens through which to view Canada’s conservation challenge

Sam Hunter was not prepared for what he saw one morning this past July when he stepped out of his cabin near the shore of Hudson Bay. It was a living tide of caribou – more than 3,000 large animals moving, grunting, foraging and otherwise fully occupying the landscape.

“There were so many. … They were so loud,” said Mr. Hunter, who lives in Peawanuck on northern Ontario’s Winisk River and has worked as a guide in the area for years. “It’s something that I haven’t seen since I was about 10 years old.” The timing could not have been better.

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Opinion: Climate extremists don’t speak for Indigenous groups – by Zachary Authier (Financial Post- October 7, 2022)


They behave like modern-day colonialists when they impose their agendas on communities

Enbridge recently announced that 23 First Nations and Métis communities plan to invest $1.12 billion to acquire an 11.57 per cent interest in seven Enbridge pipelines in Alberta’s Athabasca region, the largest-ever energy-related Indigenous partnership transaction in North America.

This is a giant step towards economic reconciliation and a significant improvement for these communities on their path to self-determination and better material circumstances.

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Baffinland gets a green light to continue mining in Nunavut, saving more than 1,000 jobs – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – October 5, 2022)


The federal government approved Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s request for a bigger extraction limit at its mine on Baffin Island, avoiding the firing of more than 1,000 workers who had been told they would lose their jobs this month unless their employer was given permission to ramp up production.

Baffinland, owned by private equity firm Energy and Minerals Group and steel giant ArcelorMittal SA, sent the termination notices at the end of July, putting pressure on regulators to make a decision on its request to increase its extraction limit of iron ore to six million tonnes from the original allowance of 4.2 million tonnes.

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New Indigenous forum connects leaders on major infrastructure projects – by Jonathan Migneault (CBC News Sudbury – October 4, 2022)


Over the last five years, Michael Fox has noticed Indigenous communities have become more involved in major infrastructure and natural resource projects in Ontario.

Fox, the president of a professional services company called Indigenous and Community Engagement, helped organize the first Indigenous-led Projects Forum in Toronto last week.

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Foot-dragging on Baffinland mine approval emblematic of a government that doesn’t take Northern workers seriously – by Peter MacKay (National Post – October 4, 2022)


The fact that over 1,000 families could have had their main source of income taken away is bad enough, but what makes it worse is that it didn’t seem to even register in Ottawa or the rest of Canada

Nunavut’s biggest contributor to its overall gross domestic product just narrowly missed terminating more than 1,100 of its employees due to one thing: a lack of regulatory approvals.

The company, Baffinland Iron Mines, runs an open pit mining operation on North Baffin Island in the Arctic, which provides jobs to the local Inuit and is a significant contributor to the territory’s economy.

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Feds slammed at Nunavut land use hearing, critics say it favours development over caribou protection – by Jane George (CBC News North – September 28, 2022)


‘These grounds are sacred and need to be respected and protected,’ says Katie Rasmussen

The federal government received pointed criticism for its position on caribou protection under the draft Nunavut Land Use Plan during its presentation Tuesday in Thompson, Man.

Questions from those at the Nunavut Planning Commission hearing saw Spencer Dewar, director of resource management for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, defending the federal government’s position on mineral development, existing rights and conservation under the land use plan.

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Indigenous Leaders: First Nation partnerships will lead the way north – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 28, 2022)


Marten Falls and Webequie pursue their socio-economic development goals in shepherding Northern Road Link environmental impact process

If your First Nation community harbours great ambitions to become a major project proponent, Gordon Wabasse offers some sage and simple advice. “Be prepared.” Wabasse, the lands and resources director of Webequie First Nation, participated in a panel discussion on the Ring of Fire at the inaugural Indigenous-led Projects Forum in Toronto, Sept. 27.

Wabasse and other James Bay regional leadership spoke of his community’s groundbreaking journey as one of the two Indigenous proponents overseeing the design and environmental impacts of a proposed all-season road into Far North, an Ontario first.

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We’ll ‘set the bar high’ on Ring of Fire environment assessment, First Nation chief says – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – September 27, 2022)


Ontario government has described the Ring of Fire as one of the ‘most promising’ regions for developing critical minerals

Indigenous groups who support building an all-season pathway into Ontario’s mineral-rich Ring of Fire region say they hope to allay concerns of neighbouring First Nations by conducting strong environmental assessments (EA).

The First Nations of Marten Falls and Webequie are currently conducting EAs for three proposed roads that would provide access to the region situated in northern Ontario’s James Bay Lowlands, about 500 kilometres from Thunder Bay.

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Baffinland jobs safe for now – by David Venn (Nunatsiaq News – September 22, 2022)


Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has pushed back the date it was to start letting go its Mary River mine employees. The move came Thursday after the Nunavut Impact Review Board issued a positive recommendation on the company’s application for a higher iron ore shipping limit.

The mining company can prevent “potential significant adverse ecosystemic and socioeconomic effects” if it improves adaptive management and monitoring programs, board chairperson Marjorie Kaviq Kaluraq wrote in a letter to federal Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal Thursday.

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Newmont’s Musselwhite Mine celebrates 25 Years of First Nations agreement – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 23, 2022)


Musselwhite Agreement set targets for First Nation employment, business spinoff opportunities and environmental protection

One of the first mines in Canada to enter into a comprehensive agreement with First Nation communities is celebrating the 25th anniversary of that pact.

On September 20, Newmont commemorated the signing of the Musselwhite Agreement that involved Musselwhite’s original owners, Goldcorp, and the mine’s neighbouring signatory communities of Cat Lake First Nation, North Caribou First Nation, Kingfisher Lake First Nation, Wunnumin Lake First Nation, Windigo and Shibogama Councils. The mine also has an agreement with Mishkeegogamang First Nation.

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