Wyloo Metals CEO gives update on Ring of Fire mining projects, though First Nations resistance continues – by Michelle Allan (CBC News Thunder Bay – January 23, 2024)


Some First Nations still opposed to development as need for critical minerals grows

As the demand for critical minerals grows, the CEO of the main company involved in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire says it’s developing a nickel deposit that could be producing minerals for two decades.

Wyloo Metals CEO Kristan Straub gave the update Tuesday in a speech to business leaders in Thunder Bay, where he outlined the company’s plans for the Ring of Fire and discussed how his company is engaging with First Nations in the region now and into the future. “[Eagle’s Nest] is Canada’s best opportunity for a new nickel sulphide deposit,” Straub said.

Read more

South Africa’s mining output falls further belowpre-pan demic levels – by Nelson Banya (Reuters – August 7, 2023)


Aug 7 (Reuters) – South Africa’s mining output has fallen further below pre-pandemic levels due to persistent electricity outages and rail disruptions, industry data shows, threatening dividend payouts to investors.

South Africa is the world’s biggest producer of platinum and chrome and a leading producer of gold and diamonds. But the industry has been shrinking for years as ore grades decline and output was disrupted in 2020 when COVID-19 lockdowns impacted operations.

Read more

The Stainless-Steel Boom Is Tearing a South African Mining Region Apart – by Kimon de Greef (Bloomberg News – July 24, 2023)


Areas with massive chrome ore deposits have become scarred, dystopian free-for-alls.

Twenty-five years ago, to get to school in the morning, Godfrey Molwana would walk 2 miles from his home in Witrandjie, a small village in South Africa. His route passed through communal grazing lands for cattle and goats—a rolling expanse of acacia trees and hardy shrubs, interspersed with the corn plots of subsistence farmers. Some families had graves on the land. “This area was for everyone,” Molwana recalled.

Close to the village lay the remains of a chrome mine, with derelict buildings and dumps of discarded ore where children from the community would play. Chrome is essential for manufacturing stainless steel. South Africa has the largest deposits in the world, but this mine, no longer profitable, had been shuttered for decades. Some older men in the community had worked there as laborers, earning the low wages designated for Black people during apartheid.

Read more

India sets sights on home-mined minerals to boost its clean energy plans – by Anupam Nath and Sibi Arasu (Associated Press – July 18, 2023)


KALIAPANI, India (AP) — In the dusty mountains of eastern India, workers at the country’s largest chromium deposit have mined for the essential ore, rain or shine, for around 60 years.

The industry is fruitful in some ways — hundreds of trucks stacked with mineral-rich soil journey back and forth regularly between the mine and processing plants — but it is damaging in others. Farmers say their fields are stripped of fertile earth and livestock desperately comb through now-barren lands for feed.

Read more

[Ontario Ring of Fire] The natural resources project that the Liberals can’t be allowed to fumble – by Conrad Black (National Post – July 15, 2023)


One of the world’s largest chromium deposits gives the Western Alliance a tremendous advantage

Regular readers will recall that from time to time I inveigh in this space against the uncompetitive economic performance of this country as we slip steadily down the list of the world’s most prosperous per capita incomes and we suffer every year from negative capital flows: more Canadian capital invested outside Canada than Canada attracts from foreigners.

The present federal government seems to wish to discourage our primary industry sector, that is all natural resources, though particularly the oil and gas industries. What the world envies about and most needs from Canada is that it is a treasure house of almost all forms of energy, forest products, base and precious metals and non-tropical agriculture.

Read more

Let’s Not Forget the Extraordinary, World-Class Chromite Deposits in Ontario’s Ring of Fire – by Frank Smeenk (Originally Posted on June 18, 2020)

With practically all of the attention in the Ring of Fire focused on nickel and copper, I thought it might be important to repost Mr. Smeenk’s excellent column on the globally significant chromite resources in this extraordinary mining camp. Roughly half of chromite production is mined in South Africa which is becoming more politically unstable with electricity shortages and rail transportation problems becoming more frequent. The importance of reshoring manufacturing to North America as well as developing more critical mineral mining makes Mr. Smeenk’s column very timely. – Stan Sudol

Frank Smeenk is the President and Chief Executive Officer of KWG Resources Inc.


Stainless steel is approximately 18% chrome and 8% nickel with iron constituting most of the remaining 74%. A decade ago, the private Chinese enterprise Tsingshan Group, started to establish facilities in Indonesia to produce large quantities of nickel pig iron to make stainless steel there by adding ferrochrome melt made with coal-generated electricity.

Read more

S.Africa’s Tharisa driven to truck its chrome as rail fails (Reuters – May 19, 2023)


May 19 (Reuters) – South Africa’s rail freight problems mean Tharisa Plc (THST.L) has to truck 85% of its chrome export volumes to ports, the diversified miner’s CEO Phoevos Pouroulis said on Friday, adding he saw no prospect of a swift solution.

State-owned logistics utility Transnet is failing to meet demand for freight rail services because of a shortage of locomotives and spare parts, as well as cable theft and vandalism of its infrastructure.

Read more

Business leaders fear that South Africa could become a failed state (The Economist – May 22, 2023)


CEOs have realised that running the country cannot be left to the ANC

Business leaders were ecstatic when Cyril Ramaphosa became South Africa’s president in 2018. Here was one of their own: a pragmatic tycoon to fix the incompetent kleptocracy of Jacob Zuma. Yet five years on, those running large businesses are exasperated.

Bosses from several different industries—such as Neal Froneman of Sibanye-Stillwater, a mining company; Daniel Mminele, the incoming chair of Nedbank; and Ralph Mupita, of mtn, a telecoms firm—have sounded the alarm. Could South Africa become a failed state?

Read more

Ontario mines minister says Ring of Fire could be worth $1 trillion, a figure critics call exaggerated – by Logan Turner (CBC News Thunder Bay – March 17, 2023)


Wyloo Metals, which owns majority of known claims in area, estimates value of ‘defined ore bodies’ at $90B

From the time the Ring of Fire was discovered in 2007, politicians and industry leaders have emphasized the potential economic value of the remote, mineral-rich area in northern Ontario. That has intensified in recent weeks, with Ontario Mines Minister George Pirie saying recently: “Anecdotally, mining people are saying this is a trillion-dollar project.”

Pirie told Global News in a recent documentary that the $1-trillion amount was “not a formal valuation,” but was “based on the increased value of critical minerals that are already established being in the ground.”

Read more

A Modern Klondike: Northern Ontario’s fiery ring – by David Marks Shribman (Literary Review of Canada – April 2023)


To purchase Ring of Fire book: https://www.amazon.ca/Ring-Fire-High-Stakes-Lowlands-Wilderness/dp/1770416749

Consider the major collisions of contemporary life in North America: the tensions between financial investments and social ideals; the threat of climate change in conflict with the thirst for energy sources; the rights of Indigenous people versus the prerogatives of elected governments; the rivalries with trading partners in competition with the hunger for goods from abroad; and the impulses of the regulatory state in full combat with the appeal of free markets.

Then consider that all of these clashes — the stuff of debate in Ottawa and provincial capitals, the topics of animated conversation in universities and coffee shops across the country — are playing out, every one of them and all at once, in a remote 5,000-square-kilometre swath of northern Canada. It’s a place that’s home to the second-largest temperate wetland in the world, that’s packed with nickel and copper, and that’s known as the Ring of Fire.

Read more

NEWS RELEASE: New Leadership Team Heralds New Era at Ring of Fire Metals (Ring of Fire Metals – March 1, 2023)

(L to R) Annie Sismanian, Chief Financial Officer; Kristan Straub, Ring of Fire Chief Executive Officer; Luca Giacovazzi, Wyloo Metals CEO.


A new leadership team including new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kristan Straub, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Annie Sismanian, has been appointed at Ring of Fire Metals, bringing with them decades of mining industry experience at a critical time in the company’s history.

The new appointments follow the recruitment of Stephen Crozier, Vice President Sustainability in August last year and long-standing employee Glenn Nolan’s transition to the newly created role of Vice President Indigenous Enterprises. Ryan Weston continues as part of the leadership team in the role of Vice President Exploration.

Read more

Federal government has resumed talks with Ontario about the Ring of Fire: document – by Emma McIntosh (The Narwhal – February 27, 2023)


Internal emails obtained by The Narwhal appear to show a shift in relations between the two governments on the Ring of Fire. But some First Nations leaders say they’re still being left out

After a years-long stalemate over the far northern Ring of Fire, the federal government appears to have extended an olive branch to Ontario, resuming talks over the region’s future.

The province has asked with increasing impatience for the federal government to chip in about $1 billion for a road to the remote and environmentally-sensitive Ring of Fire region, 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont. — a move that could enable mining there.

Read more

Government regulatory duplication slowing progress in the Ring of Fire – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – January 27, 2023)


Ring of Fire Metals CEO Steve Flewelling seeks balanced, faster approach to advance Far North nickel project

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson wants to avoid government duplication with the provinces in regulations and permitting in order to bring new critical mineral mines into production quicker. So does Ring of Fire Metals CEO Steve Flewelling.

But when it comes to proposed mine development in the James Bay region, Wilkinson insisted last month that no shortcuts will be taken in safeguarding the environment, protecting fragile peatlands, and in respecting the rights of Indigenous people and communities near any proposed mine site.

Read more

Location of ferrochrome smelter still up in the air, says Ring of Fire Metals CEO (CBC Sudbury – January 27, 2023)


‘One thing I can say for sure is we are committed to placing that facility in northern Ontario’

While Sault Ste. Marie was identified in 2019 as the preferred site for a ferrochrome facility, Ring of Fire Metals, which owns several of the mineral deposits about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, says its still considering its options.

We first heard the words ‘Ring of Fire,’ connected to mining back in 2010. Now, 13 years later, the project hasn’t made much progress and has instead been marked by delays. The company that owns several of the mineral deposits northeast of Thunder Bay is now called Ring of Fire Metals.

Read more

Ring of Fire development begins with a road, Sudbury audience is told – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – January 26, 2023)


CEO of Ring of Fire Metals also says mineral-rich area contains minerals coveted for the growing electric vehicle market

While chromite for the steel industry has been a major focus of developing the Ring of Fire in the province’s far north, the area is also rich in other minerals coveted for the growing electric vehicle market.

“We’re a firm believer that the Ring of Fire hosts multiple nickel deposits, not unlike Sudbury,” said Stephen Flewelling, CEO of Ring of Fire Metals, in a virtual presentation to a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday.

Read more