[Hammond Reef] Gold project hampered by prices – by Bryan Meadows (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – August 3, 2013)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

Lower gold prices are impacting Osisko Mining Corp.’s plans for its Hammond Reef Gold Project near Atikokan.
In its second quarter report released Thursday, the company said that the Hammond Reef project requires higher gold prices to justify the investment on construction of a new mine there.

In addition, the company determined following a review of the project, that an impairment charge — a reduction on a company’s balance sheet that adjusts the value of a company’s goodwill — of $487.8 million was necessary. Accordingly, the project’s value recorded on the company’s books was reduced to nil, the report said.

Osisko acquired the Hammond Reef gold project, about 25 kilometres north of Atikokan in 2010, through the acquisition of publicly-traded Brett Resources Inc. for $375 million.

Hammond Reef is a large and growing development project with potential to become a substantial open-pit mine.
During the second quarter of 2013, Osisko invested $2.2 million, including working capital, on the property and focused efforts on the preparation of the feasibility study and the publication of the environmental assessment report.

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Ring of Fire bogged down by politics – by Brian MacLeod (Sudbury Star – August 1, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Can dousing the Ring of Fire with politicians rekindle the spark? All sides are betting it can.

The fate of the Ring of Fire, a 5,120-squarekilometre deposit rich in chromite (a metal hardener) and other minerals with a potential value of $100 billion and a lifespan of 30 or more years, has become murky during the last few months as falling chromite prices have dropped, shares prices of the lead developer — Cleveland-based Cliffs Natural Resources — have fallen, environmental and political processes have stalled and disputes among the mining companies developing the deposit remain unresolved.

Politicians have compared the Ring of Fire to Alberta’s oilsands, which highlights its wealth, but raises red flags among First Nations in northern Ontario about environmental issues.

It was always going to be a massively complicated deposit to develop. There was always too much money involved for this to go smoothly. Ontario stands to gain 1,200 jobs and millions in mining royalties, as well as billions of dollars in private investment to develop the area.

But in June, Cliffs announced it had halted its environmental assessment on its Black Thor deposit because nothing was happening on the political level.

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Miner’s family still positive as Wynne refuses meeting – by Heidi Ulrichsen (Sudbury Northern Life – July 31, 2013)

http://www.northernlife.ca/

Province may launch review of mining safety

The sister of a local miner killed two years ago said her family is trying to remain “as positive as possible” despite Premier Kathleen Wynne’s recent refusal to meet with Steelworkers Local 6500 about a mining safety inquiry.

The union called for the inquiry last year in their report into the deaths of Jordan Fram, 26, and Jason Chenier, 35, who died at Vale’s Stobie Mine June 8, 2011 when they were buried by an uncontrolled run of muck. So far, though, the province has refused to launch such an inquiry.

The Fram and Chenier families, along with other citizens who want a mining inquiry, formed a group last year called Mining Inquiry Needs Everyone’s Support (MINES).

A postcard campaign advocating for a mining inquiry was also launched in April 2012 by Gerry Lougheed Jr., and sent thousands of cards to Queen’s Park. The campaign was taken up by the Steelworkers and the families of fallen workers.

Briana Fram said her mother, Wendy Fram — the co-chair of MINES — met with Labour Minister Yasir Naqvi and Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle a few months ago.

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Steelworkers attack Wynne over mine inquiry – by staff (Sudbury Star – July 31, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Leaders of Ontario’s largest mining union are accusing Premier Kathleen Wynne of “callously” rejecting their calls for what they say is a long-overdue inquiry into mine safety.

“Premier Wynne appears unfazed by the fact that our mining communities have suffered scores of deaths and thousands of injuries since the government last examined mine safety in this province,” Marty Warren, United Steelworkers’ Ontario director, said in a release.

“We hoped the new premier would take this issue more seriously than her predecessor, but that is not the case,” Warren said. The Steelworkers have been calling for an inquiry since the deaths of two Sudbury miners, Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, at Vale’s Stobie Mine, in 2011.

“It’s disgraceful that the prem ier has no interest in discussing the pleas of the grieving families and co-workers of deceased miners, who know only too well that a mine safety inquiry in Ontario is long-overdue,” said Rick Bertrand, president of USW Local 6500, representing 2,600 mine workers in Sudbury. Bertrand and Warren said they sent a joint request to Wynne on May 16, asking to meet with the premier to make the case for a mine safety inquiry.

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ONTC solution must be built collaboratively – by Peter Politis (Timmins Daily Press – July 30, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

Peter Politis is the Mayor of the Town of Cochrane.

TIMMINS – In the latest CTV news piece around the Minister’s Advisory Committee on the ONTC, I again found myself feeling less than inspired about the future of this critical northern asset.

While the employees and families of the operation continue to express their desire to work with the province and the committee, the province strangely continues to be less than receptive.

Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle’s response to the employees, who are basically saying they understand that unusual changes are needed to the role employees play in the future of the ONTC, is to say thanks but you need to speak directly to the employer about that not me, or the committee.

Curiously though, Gravelle’s own ministry keeps telling the employees and the ONTC, their direction from the minister is to keep divesting and until that changes there is nothing to talk about.

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Serpent River First Nation establishing environmental review panel – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – July 2013)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

Serpent River First Nation (SRFN) is developing its own environmental review panel to vet community projects that would work in conjunction with the current provincial and federal environmental review processes.

Chief Isadore Day came up with the idea after the community expressed concern that there are no regulations in place for closed-cage aquaculture sites as they relate to First Nations territories.

The community signed a memorandum of understanding with AgriMarine Holdings in 2011 to undertake a prefeasibility study on a closed-cage aquaculture project on the First Nation.

Comprised of community members who will be appointed and trained as commissioners, the panel will invite provincial and federal representatives to the table to join the conversation. Funding has already been granted to the project.

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Quebec eyes partnership on Nunavik iron mine project – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – July 29, 2013)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

“We are very pleased to announce that the Ministry of Finance and Economy of the Government of Quebec has confirmed its interest”

Quebec wants in on a huge Nunavik iron mine project. Quebec says it’s ready to invest money as a minority partner in the Hopes Advance iron mine project near the tiny Nunavik community of Aupaluk on Ungava Bay.

Oceanic Iron Ore Corp. said last week that it had received a Letter of Intent from the Quebec’s ministry of Finance and Economy about its interest in becoming a minority partner in the Hopes Advance project, subject to additional future approval of the Quebec government.

The money that Quebec wants to plow into the project comes from the province’s mining and oil capital fund with $750 million for investment in the non-renewable natural resources sector. That fund was announced in November 2012 in Quebec’s 2013-2014 budget speech.

“Oceanic views the Quebec Government’s LOI as a critical step in securing a senior strategic partner and in obtaining future financing for the project’s initial capital expenditures estimated at $ 2.85 billion,” an Oceanic news release said.

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Province still mum on OPG plant’s long-term future – by Carl Clutchey (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – July 30, 2013)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

Those arguing in favour of keeping Thunder Bay’s power station open say the coal-burning plant got a shot in the arm thanks to an Ontario Energy Board ruling which says it must run at least for the duration of 2013.

But the province is remaining coy about the Ontario Power Generation station’s long-term fate, saying a proposed conversion to natural gas is still undecided.

“We have a responsibility to wait for the full assessment by the Ontario Power Authority before making any final decision on (an) conversion,” Energy Ministry spokeswoman Beckie Codd-Downey said Monday in an email.

The decision by the OEB was applauded by the Common Voice Northwest Energy Task Force, which until recently felt like “a voice in the wilderness.” Northwest co-chairman Iain Angus said the OEB decision reflects what the task force has said all along — that the region’s demand for electricity could be seriously compromised if the Thunder Bay station is taken off line.

“Back in January, during the cold snap, it was running at 150 megawatts,” Angus noted. About 125 people work at the Mission Island station, which has a maximum capacity of just over 30 mw.

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Women in Mining: Judy Baker – Challenges in junior exploration faced by both genders – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – August 2013)

(L to R) Judy Bake, CEO Superior Copper Resources; Delio Tortosa, Geologist; Morgan Quinn, Geologist.

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

http://www.superiorcopper.ca/

For Judy Baker, challenges in the junior exploration side of the mining industry aren’t necessarily linked to gender. It’s a formidable field that poses challenges for anyone who takes the work on. “The junior exploration and mining business is a tougher segment of the industry, because basically you’re taking the highest risk capital available to explore for mineral wealth, and the risk factor’s so high, it’s tough for anyone to be in, let alone women,” she said.

Baker, CEO at Superior Copper Resources, which is exploring at the former Coppercorp copper mine near Sault Ste. Marie, first developed an interest in the field while still in high school. Attending night courses in geology at Brock University, the theory of plate tectonics put forward by John Tuzo Wilson—the idea that the earth’s crust is comprised of a series of shifting plates—captured her interest and guided her into mining.

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My excellent plan for the Ring of Fire – by David Robinson (Northern Ontario Business – August 2013)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

David Robinson is an economist at Laurentian University. drobinson@laurentian.ca

Ontario’s northwest is one of the last great frontiers. It is a country-sized chunk of land still outside of the transportation network that links productive communities to the global economy. Ice roads, small planes and bureaucrats are all that tie the region to Canada.

But northwestern Ontario’s place in the global economy is changing. The trigger was finding enough ore near McFauld’s
Lake to justify building a road or rail link. With bulk transportation, 100 other potential mines become economic.

This comes when China plans to build urban homes for 250 million people by 2025 and will want Northern metals and wood.
And when economic recovery in the USA will help push resource prices back up. And when warming climate will make ice roads
impossible and another port on Hudson’s Bay inevitable.

A good plan starts by looking at best practices from around the world. The Finns, for example, would probably be planning an independent Aboriginal-dominated regional government for the northwest.

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Old diary used as leverage in court challenge [for ‘fair share’ from mines] – by Staff (Timmins Daily Press – July 29, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

MOOSE FACTORY – Mushkegowuk First Nations are hosting a three-day conference this week to discuss the future of Treaty No. 9. This comes on the heels of a court challenge that has been launched by Mushkegowuk council earlier this month.

The dispute is over Aboriginal land rights and traplines in the Cochrane area where there has been increased mining activity. Mushkegowuk is using as legal leverage a 108-year-old diary that belonged to Daniel MacMartin, the Ontario treaty commissioner who negotiated Treaty No. 9 in 1905.

Much fanfare was made by Mushkegowuk when the diary was discovered a couple of years ago. It was felt MacMartin’s diary reaffirms the view that Aboriginal leaders were duped into signing a written treaty which they did not fully understand.

“When my grandfather signed the treaty in Fort Albany in 1905, the terms as discussed and orally agreed to, were very clear,” said Grand Chief Stan Louttit. “It was a sacred oral agreement about living together and sharing the land.

“The Omushkego (people of Mushkegowuk) never surrendered the land or the natural resources but were told their rights would be protected.”

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Ring of Fire budget cut by $10M – by Carl Clutchey (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – July 29, 2013)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

Six weeks after it hit the pause button on its environmental assessment for its Ring of Fire project, Cliffs Natural Resources announced that its development budget for the proposed chromite mine has been trimmed by US $10 million.

The Cleveland-based company this spring earmarked $60 million for the work to take place this year, including a feasibility study. A financial report on the company’s second quarter performance released on Thursday shows the figure has been reduced to $50 million.

Regional Cliffs spokeswoman Jennifer Mihalcin confirmed Friday that the reduction is a reflection of the earlier decision to temporarily put the brakes on work on its environmental assessment for the Ring of Fire project. An additional $25 million set aside for overall exploration remains the same.

In June, Cliffs said it was frustrated by a lack of consensus among provincial, company and First Nations interests regarding how the environmental assessment should proceed. Cliffs has been trying to nail down the assessment’s terms of reference for two years. The mine’s proposed in-production year is 2017.

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Gold may be Dryden’s new economic generator – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 2013)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business ianross@nob.on.ca.

Mining and Dryden have not always been synonymous. But this area of northwestern Ontario is continuing to gain some profile with junior miners to continuing to advance gold projects despite challenges to raising exploration capital.

“There’s a lot of buzz around the mining sector and I’m getting more calls on that side of things from companies looking to jump in ahead of the curve,” said Nicole Gale, office manager at the Dryden Development Corporation (DDC).

For years, the community’s economy has always been impacted by the highs and lows of the forestry industry, namely the fortunes of the Domtar pulp mill. However, ongoing exploration work from area junior miners like Treasury Metals, Manitou Gold and Tamaka Gold has stirred up excitement in the small city of 7,600.

Located on the Trans-Canada Highway between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, Dryden has always been a retail shopping hub for neighbouring communities. Now it’s aiming to be a local service hub for mining outfits.

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Correction – Noront Resources Environmental Assessment NOT on hold – by Shawn Bell (Wawatay News – September 17, 2012)

 Northern Ontario’s First Nations Voice: http://wawataynews.ca/

The environmental assessment (EA) for Noront Resources’ Eagle’s Nest Ring of Fire project is nearing completion of its Terms of Reference.

In a Wawatay News article (Ring of Fire judicial review hits more delays, Sept. 13) it was reported that Noront’s EA has been put on hold. That is incorrect. In fact, the company is close to completing its Terms of Reference for the EA.
 
Noront President and CEO Wes Hanson submitted the following statement to Wawatay News following publication of the article:
 
“The Environmental Assessment for it’s flagship Eagle’s Nest project is in fact underway and NOT delayed due to the change in the road route proposed by Cliffs and the Ontario Government. The Company is currently completing the final copy of the Terms of Reference, which outlines the work that needs to be done in order to complete the Environmental Assessment.

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‘Misunderstanding’ [between Webequie and Noront]- by Jeff Labine (tbnewswatch.com – June 11, 2012)

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/

The chief of Webequie First Nation says the situation with junior mining company Noront Resources Ltd was all a misunderstanding.

Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse voiced his disappointment when Noront announced they would be delaying their feasibility study following Cliffs Natural Resources decision to move its ferrochrome plant to the Sudbury area.

Noront had been working on a feasibility study for its deposit containing copper and nickel. The company was proposing an east-to-west, all-season road that would run from Pickle Lake to the Ring of Fire area. But the company believes the province might be making an eventual commitment to the north-south road proposed by Cliffs.
That decision is a major factor in the delay.

While the series of events may have led to some friction between the First Nation community and Noront, Wabasse said they will remain open to development and continue to work with the company.

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