This article was originally published in the Timmins Daily Press on January 11, 2011. Timmins is the second largest mining community in Ontario with a population of about 45,000.
For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery
“We consider it an absolute priority that the greatest value-added opportunities take place with the Ring of Fire development. That very much includes the processing facility be in the North.” (MNDMF Minister Michael Gravelle – Jan/11/2011)
“We are very, very concerned about plans for the Ring of Fire because, quite frankly, there doesn’t seem to be any plan. There doesn’t seem to be a plan that involves Northern communities or the First Nation people who live up in the region.” MP Charlie Angus (NDP — Timmins-James Bay – Jan/11/2011)
Vows ore won’t go to China
The Far North’s Ring of Fire project has been hailed as the next great thing in mining, bigger than the Porcupine Camp and Sudbury’s ore body combined.
But there is fear among those wanting to benefit from the project that Northern Ontario, more specifically the Northeast and Timmins, will be left out, while foreign countries reap the rewards.
A recent comment from Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Maintenance of Way Employees president William Brehl that ore mined from the Ring of Fire could be shipped to China for processing has political leaders saying discussion on the subject needs to take place now.
“We are very, very concerned about plans for the Ring of Fire because, quite frankly, there doesn’t seem to be any plan,” said MP Charlie Angus (NDP — Timmins-James Bay). “There doesn’t seem to be a plan that involves Northern communities or the First Nation people who live up in the region.”
Up for debate is whether or not the companies involved with the project will decide to have a processing plant in the North. Stating Ontario’s lack of competitiveness versus other provinces as well as other countries, there is concern that a processing plant could be built elsewhere, most specifically China.