Canada, BC invest in Golden Triangle roads – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – July 16, 2024)

Governments commit C$195 million to improving highway infrastructure in critical minerals-rich Northern BC.

Heralded as a win for First Nations residents and the mining industry in Northern British Columbia, the federal and provincial governments are investing C$195 million (US$142.6 million) to upgrade highway infrastructure in the critical minerals-enriched Golden Triangle.

“The Northwest BC Highway Corridor Improvements Project will benefit a critical mineral region and First Nations partners,” said B.C. Minister of Transportation Pablo Rodriguez. “It will also improve transportation safety, reliability and access to essential services, and reinforce our government’s commitment to a net-zero future.”

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Sandy Lake celebrates the arrival of power and light – by Mike Stimpson (NWO News Watch – June 24, 2024)

The remote First Nation now has reliable electricity, thanks to the Wataynikaneyap Power line.

SANDY LAKE – Another First Nation celebrated Wataynikaneyap Power “bringing the light” on Friday, National Indigenous Peoples Day. “The Wataynikaneyap Power transmission system means more than reliable electricity for the community,” Sandy Lake Chief Delores Kakegamic said.

“It means we can build new homes and buildings, such as our new health centre, and connect them to power. It means we will no longer need to react, almost daily, to power outages.”

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Province, Aroland First Nation have traction on a Ring of Fire road agreement – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 19, 2024)

Northwest First Nations provided with road improvement, training dollars for future mine development

Greenstone has been long regarded as the gateway to the Ring to the Fire — the logistical crossroads, business and training hub for any future mine development in the James Bay region.

Premier Doug Ford made his second trip in eight months to the rural northwestern Ontario on June 19 to deliver training and infrastructure dollars, and smooth over relations with First Nations that may be on the fence about development in the Far North.

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4 First Nations sign deal with Ontario to build roads near Ring of Fire – by Liam Casey (Canadian Press/Global News – June 18, 2024)

Youtube Video From Office of the Premier of Ontario

Four First Nations have signed a deal with Ontario for new roads, other infrastructure projects and skills training as the province lays a foundation for plans to mine the mineral-rich Ring of Fire region.

The province said Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation, Ginoogaming First Nation and Long Lake #58 First Nation will see their roads that connect to the provincial highway system fortified and renewed.

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Ring of Fire road talks still in ‘early stages’ despite premier’s hints: Aroland chief – by Jack Hauen (The Trillium – April 29, 2024)

Chief Sonny Gagnon said he hopes to get a deal done in his two-year term, which began in November

While he’s “optimistic” about getting a deal done at some point in his two-year term, Aroland First Nation Chief Sonny Gagnon said the first part of the road to the Ring of Fire isn’t as close as the premier is making it out to be.

“We had great conversations with Aroland, the Chief of Aroland. We’re about that far away from signing a deal to get the first 80 kilometres of road,” Ford said last week, nearly pinching together his thumb and index finger.

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Baffinland hopes railroad to Steensby is built in next few years – by Jeff Pelletier Nunatsiaq News – April 24, 2024)


Application to temporarily continue increased iron ore shipments from Milne Inlet submitted to Nunavut Impact Review Board

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is applying to continue exporting six million tonnes of iron ore from Mary River Mine through Milne Inlet, its northern marine shipping corridor, until 2030 or its railroad to Steensby Inlet is built.

Megan Lord-Hoyle, the company’s vice-president of sustainable development, shared the news Wednesday during a presentation at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit. The company previously applied to ship 12 million tonnes of ore through Milne Inlet, but the federal government shot that plan down in 2022.

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Impassable winter roads create ‘dire’ situation for Ontario First Nations: NAN (Canadian Press – February 10, 2024)

Impassable winter roads are delaying vital shipments and threatening the safety of First Nations across northern Ontario, leaders warned as they pressed the provincial and federal government for support.

An unseasonably warm winter, intensified by human-caused climate change, has left many remote First Nations cut off from an essential road network built over frozen land, lakes and rivers. The situation has prompted recent state of emergency declarations by First Nations in Manitoba and Ontario, as well as repeated requests for support.

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Remote Manitoba First Nations declare state of emergency due to lack of winter road access – by Sarah Petz (CBC News Manitoba – February 06, 2024)

Chiefs say they’re not able to bring in hundreds of loads of essential supplies

The chiefs of four isolated First Nations in northeastern Manitoba say this year’s unusually warm weather has made it impossible to bring in hundreds of loads of essential supplies to their communities, via the province’s winter road system.

At a news conference Tuesday morning, the chiefs from the Island Lake region — which is comprised of the Wasagamack, St. Theresa Point, Red Sucker Lake and Garden Hill First Nations — said they are declaring a state of emergency as a result.

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Climate change threatens northern Ontario’s winter road system — so what can be done about it? – by Sarah Law (CBC News Thunder Bay – January 17, 2024)

Cat Lake First Nation has had to make its own snow this season

Tyler Tyance is all too familiar with the long days, cold nights and dangers of constructing northern Ontario’s winter roads, but this year, his crew faces a new challenge: not enough snow.

Winter roads are a lifeline for remote First Nations, which rely on seasonal routes to get essential supplies to their communities. Tyance, owner of the Rezneck Diesel Crew, has been building the road to Cat Lake First Nation, about 180 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout, over the past several weeks. “You’re pretty much at the mercy of Mother Nature,” Tyance said. “It’s really, really tough on your body and really exhausting.”

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These Ontarians rely on roads made of snow and ice. But what happens when winter is too warm? – by Joy SpearChief-Morris (Toronto Star – January 15, 2024)

Winter roads crucial for getting supplies to First Nations communities

OTTAWA — Higher than normal winter temperatures are sparking concern among remote First Nations communities in northern Ontario that rely on winter roads made of ice and snow to transport food, fuel and building supplies.

The Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents 49 First Nations communities across the province, includes 29 communities that depend on winter roads. As of Jan. 8, it said only one road was fully open to traffic — leaving some to use roads that haven’t been officially opened, and others scrambling to make their own snow.

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Federal funding set aside to build road through Ring of Fire – by Brian Kelly (Timmins Daily Press – April 5, 2023)

SAULT STE. MARIE — The federal government is in talks with Ontario about funding support for a road to the Ring of Fire, but Transport Minister Omar Alghabra isn’t committing to a specific date about when cash is coming to help gain access to the site’s critical minerals.

The Ring of Fire, located within the James Bay lowlands, contains chromite, copper, nickel and palladium. There is no road access. “Critical minerals are an integral part of the economy of the future and our government recognizes that,” Alghabra told The Sault Star following an announcement at PUC Services on Wednesday touting his government’s 2023 budget.

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Ontario calls on Ottawa to match $1-billion for Ring of Fire critical minerals in federal budget – by Laura Stone and Jeff Gray (Globe and Mail – March 25, 2023)

Ontario’s Finance Minister is calling on Ottawa to match $1-billion in investment in the Ring of Fire critical minerals sector in next week’s federal budget, urging Canada to send a message to visiting U.S. President Joe Biden that the province is a welcome place to invest in the mining industry.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, who released his $204.7-billion budget Thursday, said Ontario is looking to further collaborate with the federal government to develop the country’s critical minerals sector and promote it abroad.

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Change in federal assessment won’t slow pace in the Ring of Fire, says mines minister – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 10, 2023)

Federal environment minister wants more Indigenous involvement in Far North industry impact assessment

Ottawa’s decision to scrap plans for a Ring of Fire regional assessment process won’t interfere with the province’s intentions to get new mines into production faster.

Provincial Mines Minister George Pirie said they have guarantees from the federal government that assessments for the proposed roads into the James Bay region to connect two remote communities to the Ontario highway system will not impact any timelines to put new mines into production.

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NEWS RELEASE: Ontario Approves First Nations-led Plan for the Road to the Ring of Fire (Ontario Government – March 6, 2023)

TORONTO – The Ontario government has approved the Terms of Reference designed and submitted by Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation for an all-season, multi-use road connecting to the proposed Ring of Fire mining development area. The Northern Road Link will connect the two First Nations communities, and the critical mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire to the Ontario highway network, helping to secure a supply chain for electric vehicle manufacturing in Ontario. The province made the announcement today at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual convention in Toronto.

“I want to thank Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation for leading the Environmental Assessment for this essential road corridor. I value our partnership with these strong leaders who are central to our government’s mandate to develop the Ring of Fire,” said George Pirie, Minister of Mines.

“The Ring of Fire has the critical minerals we need to build our manufacturing supply chain, including nickel for electric vehicles and chromite for clean steel. Our government’s investments in innovation and infrastructure are creating jobs across the entire province, including northern and Indigenous communities.”

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In the remote communities of Northern Ontario, climate change has lit a fuse on reconciliation – by Tom Kehoe (CBC News Opinion – July 19, 2022)

These communities are already in a hole. Climate change is digging that hole deeper every season

Pickle Lake, Ont., is where the road ends. Put any community north of there into Google Maps and it returns “No Routes Found.” You are at the terminus of Highway 599 and the most northern point of the provincial highway system; almost 300 kilometres from where you turned off the Trans Canada Highway in Ignace. There is nowhere farther to drive. Except for one month of the year.

First the muskeg freezes, then the lakes and finally the many bridge-free rivers. At that point the province gives the green light and the ice roads open. It begins with light loads and, weather-dependent, increases as the ice thickens.

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