Back Roads Bill: Red Lake, gold country and other gems – by Bill Steer ( – September 9, 2023)

This week Bill, as a tourist, takes us to Red Lake – like other Northern Ontario communities it has its share of gems

When you leave home and travel a short distance away from your usual routine you become a tourist. When you poke around you find interesting stops as you, yet again, visit another Northern Ontario community.

One example is Red Lake a long way to go almost at the end of the road. There is the natural and cultural heritage of the area, the real gems to be found and appreciated on the back roads and waters. There is more than a handful of “neat things” to discover.

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Nipigon-area lithium digger scouting for North American refinery site – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 8, 2023)

Rock Tech Lithium considering Ontario, northern U.S. to place lithium hydroxide conversion plant

Rock Tech Lithium, a future mine builder in the Lake Nipigon area, is scouting locations in Ontario and the northern U.S. to site a lithium processing plant.The company, with both Canadian and German ties, has already broken ground on its first lithium refinery in Guben, Germany, and is now planning for its second facility for North America.

On its plans for a second plant, Rock Tech hinted this week on its LinkedIn account – after meeting with provincial Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli at a conference in Munich – that news is coming, pertaining to its “home market in Ontario,” where its Georgia Lake lithium property is located.

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Sudbury mining firms work together on battery electric issues – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – September 7, 2023)

Mining companies and manufacturers meet to find solutions on achieving Net Zero emissions for underground mining by 2030

Several members of the Sudbury mining community will be collaborating next week to take part in a two-day forum on the best ways of moving toward battery electric mining. The event hosted by GMG (Global Mining Guidelines group) will take place at Science North, Sept. 12 and 13.

“Organizers from Vale, Agnico Eagle, Glencore, MacLean, and NORCAT have built a program to enable companies to work more closely together. They want you to participate and be part of the solutions that come out of these events,” said a statement from GMG.

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A champion for Elliot Lake, George Farkouh dies – by Staff ( – September 4, 2023)

Former mayor and businessman led an internationally lauded revival from down-and-out mining town to successful retirement community

George Farkouh, the former mayor of the City of Elliot Lake who helped shepherd the northeastern Ontario community from mining town to a wildly successful retirement community, died at his home on Aug. 29. He was 76. Farkouh was mayor from 1989 to 2006.

Born in Acre, Palestine in 1947, he moved with his family to Beirut, Lebanon and from there to Canada in the 1950s, reuniting with a sibling and eventually settling in the newly created uranium mining town of Elliot Lake. His wife of 50 years, Louise, was a neighbour.

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From ‘Ring of Fire’ to Mincor: Twiggy’s nickel dream drives Wyloo boss – by Simon Johanson (Sydney Morning Herald – September 3, 2023)

Ask Wyloo Metals boss Luca Giacovazzi, 31, if he’s a bit young to be four years into running a pure-play nickel miner that wrestled control of Canada’s fabled “Ring of Fire” basin from resources giant BHP, and he quips: “Don’t hold it against me.”

As head of Wyloo, Giacovazzi has the ear of mining magnate Andrew Forrest. The $1.5 billion mining and exploration company he has been building with strategic and capital creating deals since 2019 sits alongside Squadron Energy as a prize asset in Forrest’s private investment vehicle Tattarang.

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Almost there’: Ring of Fire talks expected between Ottawa, First Nations this fall – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – September 05, 2023)

Representatives expected to meet this month to discuss conditions to guide regional assessment

Long-delayed plans to mine the mineral-rich Ring of Fire region in Ontario have taken a step forward as representatives from First Nations and the federal government are expected to meet this month to discuss conditions to guide a regional assessment.

The regional assessment will include large studies to determine the environmental impact of large-scale development in the region. Currently, about 18 First Nations from the area are creating a structure for the assessment, which will form the basis for discussions with the government.

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The Drift: Timmins remains a hidden gem for gold discoveries – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 30, 2023)

Junior mining companies insist Timmins camp has millions of ounces to be unearthed

Exploration players are bringing fresh eyes and are testing out new geological theories in making gold discoveries in an outlying area of the Timmins gold camp. The area east of Timmins, toward Matheson, has attracted a cluster of junior mining companies that might unlock the next generation of gold production in the camp for years to come.

Executives from three companies — GFG Resources, Moneta Gold and Onyx Gold — rounded up with this week for a 6ix webinar, hosted by Junior Resource Investing, that highlighted their activity and their approach to exploration in the East Timmins part of the camp.

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Mining industry talks strategy in recruiting Indigenous workers – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – August 29, 2023)

Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum seeks answers on attracting new resource workers

As the mining industry contends with a shortage of skilled workers, Indigenous peoples have often been described as an untapped resource that could help fill the gap. But how do companies attract Indigenous workers to the sector?

That was the topic of discussion during an Aug. 25 webinar hosted by the Diversity Inclusion and Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM). Erinn Mah, the senior lead of Indigenous relations at Teck, said “human, boots-on-the-ground” interactions with people are far more effective than handing someone a pamphlet and expecting them to read a job description.

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Ginoogaming First Nation removes prospectors from lawsuit – by Gary Rinne (SN News Watch – August 24, 2023)

‘We have been stripped of our right to defend our livelihood in court,’ says Michael Malouf

GREENSTONE — A Geraldton-based prospector is upset after being removed from a lawsuit by Ginoogaming FIrst Nation over mineral exploration in its traditional territory.

The First Nation unexpectedly served a Notice of Discontinuance last month to halt its court case against Michael Malouf and another area prospector, while continuing the same action against the Ontario government.

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Municipal leaders talk future ‘billion-dollar’ lithium industry in Thunder Bay, Ont., at AMO conference – by Sarah Law (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 24, 2023)

Leaders in Thunder Bay, Ont., voiced some of the city’s top priorities at the Association of Municipalities Ontario’s (AMO) annual general meeting and conference this week. The conference gives municipal leaders the chance to meet with provincial ministers and raise local concerns at a larger level in the hopes of getting more support.

The city sent Coun. Kristen Oliver and Coun. Shelby Ch’ng — chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the intergovernmental affairs committee — along with mayor Ken Boshcoff and city manager Norm Gale to London, Ont., to participate in a marathon of meetings.

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Laurentian formalizes agreement for innovation cluster – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – August 25, 2023)

Sudbury university joins Lakehead, Nipissing and Trent in singing MOU

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been struck between four Ontario universities to lead innovation in the commercialization of critical minerals, cleantech, and battery electric technologies.

Announced in May, the innovation cluster is being led by Laurentian University in Sudbury, in partnership with Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Nipissing University in North Bay, and Trent University in Peterborough. The cluster is designed to help mining entrepreneurs move their products more easily from R&D to commercialization.

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Electra presses ‘pause’ on Temiskaming refinery construction – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 21, 2023)

Processing company calls on government and industry to come to the table with funding

Electra Battery Materials will looking to its industry partners and government funders for help in finishing the construction of its Temiskaming cobalt refinery. Trent Mell, CEO of the fledgling Toronto mineral processing company said it’s going to “pause or slow down” the project until there’s a clearer “capital solution” in place to complete the project.

The cost to finish the cobalt sulfate refinery is $161 million. More than $81 million has been spent to date, as Electra posted in its second quarter results in a conference call late last week.

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Marten Falls chief wants housing and water issues fixed ahead of Ring of Fire mining – by Angela Gemmill (Northern Ontario Business – August 22, 2023)

Bruce Achneepineskum and community won’t be satisfied with the ‘bare minimum’ in consenting to James Bay development

The chief of Marten Falls First Nation isn’t opposed to mine development, he’s just cautious about what should be included in any future agreement connected to the Ring of Fire.

Bruce Achneepineskum wants to ensure the provincial and federal governments uphold their side of the bargain and that his remote community in the James Bay region thrives because of its potential involvement. “We’re not against development, but there are issues that the government has to address.”

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Mining the Northwest: West Red Lake Gold Mines taking a deep dive at the Madsen Mine – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 18, 2023)

Frank Giustra-backed upstart company more than a year away from Red Lake mine restart

Shane Williams and West Red Lake Gold Mines are in no big rush to put the dormant Madsen Mine back into production. The Vancouver gold company intends to take a methodical approach to set things right and deep dive into the deposit before resuming production at the shuttered underground mine, southwest of the town of Red Lake.

Months and months of underground drilling is on the docket to get a more accurate picture of the ore body and a better impression of the area’s geology, before they’ll even entertain the thought of a restart.

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Wyloo will be mining more than nickel at Eagle’s Nest – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 17, 2023)

Underground aggregate extraction for Ring of Fire road will deliver both practical and environmental solutions

The proposed Eagle’s Nest mine will “set a new benchmark for what mining could look like” in the Ring of Fire, said its Australian developer.

Luca Giacovazzi, CEO of Wyloo Metals and a director with Ring of Fire Metals (formerly Noront Resources), revealed some of their innovative engineering solutions last week at the Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum, a leading industry bash held at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

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