Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

IN-DEPTH: The battle for the ‘breathing lands’: Ontario’s Ring of Fire and the fate of its carbon-rich peatlands – by James Wilt (The Narwhal – July 11, 2020)

The Narwhal

Northern Ontario’s muskeg serves as home to dozens of First Nations, stores immense amounts of carbon and sits on top of vast mineral deposits. Whose vision for the bogs and fens will win out?

Compared to the Amazon or Great Bear Rainforest, the sprawling peatlands of Ontario’s Far North might seem a bit, well, boring. “People don’t wake up and go ‘oh yeah, woohoo, decomposing organic material is the best!’ says Anna Baggio, the director of conservation planning for Wildlands League, in an interview with The Narwhal. “It’s not sexy. But it’s hugely valuable and we can’t even begin to get our heads around it.”

It’s true: Ontario’s peatlands — or muskeg, as the wetland ecosystem is often called — offer a mind-boggling range of ecological benefits.

Like tropical and temperate rainforests, the peatlands sequester a huge amount of carbon, storing an estimated 35 billion tonnes of carbon in Ontario’s Far North alone (that’s equivalent to annual emissions from seven billion cars). The peatlands also serve as critical habitat for wildlife including caribou, wolverines and many migratory birds. Continue Reading →

Ginoogaming First Nation Chief Celia Echum won back land owed to her community – by Willow Fiddler (Globe and Mail – June 18, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

At 5 foot 2, Ginoogaming First Nation Chief Celia Echum was below average in height. But despite her diminutive size, she held enormous influence in her community.

In 2016, Ms. Echum initiated a claim seeking compensation for land that Ginoogaming was entitled to under Treaty No. 9 but did not receive. Once settled, the claim will see the Anishinaabe community in northwestern Ontario gain almost 25 per cent more land.

Peter Rasevych, one of Ms. Echum’s nephews from Ginoogaming, was a boy when his Aunty Celia, as she was known to many, began serving the people of Ginoogaming. She received her community health representative (CHR) certificate from Laurentian University in the late 1970s. Continue Reading →

HOW MUCH BALONEY IS IN THE RING OF FIRE SANDWICH? – by Frank Smeenk (June 18, 2020)

In a recent Sudbury Star article titled Stalled Ring of Fire worth
more than $117 billion, Carleton University Geology Professor
Dr. James Mungall asked “How much is the Ring of Fire really worth?”

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.

In the first half of 2017 Indonesia produced no stainless steel. Now, Tsingshan produces up to 3 million tons per year there. This will increase to 4 million tons next year. That is about 8% of global production, from zero less than 30 months ago!

With that, Chinese companies currently generate more than 50% of global stainless-steel production. They intend to increase that as the world’s consumption of non-corroding steels continues to grow. This is a big boys’ game that Canada has just been suited-up for!

When chrome-containing chromite was discovered in an area of northern Ontario known as the Ring of Fire, China’s state-owned steelmaker, Baosteel, made a strategic investment in Noront Resources. It’s a Canadian exploration company with significant mining claims in the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

Northern link to Ring of Fire road inching along – by Grant Cameron (Daily Commercial News – May 29, 2020)

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The prospect of a road into the resource-rich Ring of Fire area in northern Ontario has been on the drawing board for 15 years, but the project appears to finally have some legs as the Conservative government is partnering with two First Nations communities to move a northern link of the project along.

“We’re working with First Nations partners to move this project forward and build legacy infrastructure that will bring economic prosperity to the region,” Energy, Northern Development and Mines Minister Greg Rickford said in a statement to Daily Commercial News.

“Our government made a commitment to open-up the incredible resources located in the Ring of Fire, and we’re keeping that promise.” He said the previous Liberal government’s approach to the project included a decade of talk, with more than $20 million invested and no shovels in the ground. Continue Reading →

Bold action needed to repair Canada’s economy – by Maddie Di Muccio (Troy Media – May 13, 2020)

https://troymedia.com/

In the post-COVID-19 era, government needs to invest in game-changing projects. Here are some good places to start

The clamour to reopen the economy has reached a crescendo in many parts of North America. But the global economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be far-reaching for years to come.

Canadian historians list 1935 as the year the worst of the Great Depression was over. But the nation really didn’t begin to return to prosperity until the Second World War was over in 1945.

So if history is any guide, we could expect a decade or longer, and significant public expenditure in the interim, before we return to some semblance of economic normalcy. Continue Reading →

The Impact Assessment Agency must consider meaningful engagement with First Nations and the public as regional assessment planning forges ahead. – by Brady Reid (Policy Options – May 22, 2020)

Policy Options – Institute for Research on Public Policy

Ontario’s “Ring of Fire” is a disputed deposit of minerals within Treaty 9 territory of Northern Ontario. Prior to the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic, on Feb. 11, 2020, Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced that a regional assessment of potential mining operations for the Ring of Fire will be undertaken.

A key aspect of the regional assessment will be to “work with the Province of Ontario, Indigenous groups, federal authorities, non-government organizations and the public to determine the appropriate activities, outcomes and boundaries of the regional assessment,” according to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, which posted the announcement on its website.

On top of the exacerbated risk that First Nations in Northern Ontario face from the spread of COVID-19, the ability of communities that may endure direct, devastating negative impacts from development near Ontario’s Ring of Fire to engage in future planning processes may now be further constrained. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Ring of Fire – Indigenous, municipal and business representatives support Federal Regional Impact Assessment of all access routes (March 6, 2020)

(Ontario Legislature, Toronto, March 2, 2020) Today, indigenous, municipal and business representatives from North-Western Ontario were at the Ontario Legislature to advocate consideration of all access routes to the Ring of Fire chromite deposit. The East-West Ring of Fire Road Coalition outlined their support for an Environmental Assessment (EA) of all access road alternatives, including one starting in their area.

The Coalition is supportive of the federal government’s recent announcement to initiate a Regional EA process. The Prospectors and Developers Conference (PDAC) in Toronto provides the opportunity to remind federal and provincial Ministers of the Environment of the importance of the undertaking as well as potential implications for land use, the region’s economy, culture and indigenous rights.

The Mayor of Sioux Lookout Doug Lawrance outlined the details of July 2019 correspondence between the Coalition and (then) Federal Minster of Environment Catherine McKenna and current Ontario Minister of Environment Jeff Yurek. “Our request was that all access routes to the Ring of Fire be considered.” Lawrance went on to say, “We are pleased to see the announcement of the Federal Regional EA process – and are here today to remind both senior levels government of the importance of considering all routes.” Continue Reading →

Rickford won’t stand for delays on delivering Ring of Fire infrastructure – by Ian Ross (March 6, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Queen’s Park pledges to work with Ottawa on advancing Far North development

Greg Rickford rejects any suggestion that the Ring of Fire might turn into Ontario’s version of Teck Frontier. “We build corridors, not mines,” answered Ontario’s Energy, Northern Development and Mines Minister, in an interview after his March 5 speech at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce lunchtime crowd. The minister was in town to outline his government’s accomplishments at the 18-month mark.

Rickford, who also serves as minister of Indigenous affairs, said the province’s focus is on building “legacy infrastructure” that improves the health, social well-being and the economies of First Nation communities, and creating the conditions for business and industry to thrive.

Teck Resources’ decision to withdraw from its Frontier oilsands mine proposal in February, after weeks of blockades in Alberta and prior to a federal decision on the $20-billion project, was attributed to the jurisdictional uncertainty in balancing resource development with climate change and Indigenous rights. Continue Reading →

Liberals ‘paved the path’ for Premier Ford’s Ring of Fire deal: Wynne – by Colin D”mello (CTV News – March 4, 2020)

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/

QUEEN’S PARK — Former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says the previous Liberal government “paved the path” for Premier Doug Ford’s newly announced road to the Ring of Fire region, and suggests the Progressive Conservatives should “recognize” the work of their predecessors.

In an interview with CTV News Toronto Wynne said the former Liberal government spent two years negotiating a framework agreement with three First Nations to build an all-season access road that would help unlock development in the resource-rich area, and suggested that the Ford government piggybacked off the relationship.

“I don’t begrudge the government coming to the next stage of an agreement,” Wynne said. “The fact is that the only reason he was able to get that agreement is because for two years we worked with all nine First Nations, we had difficult conversations, we wrangled things out and we came to a framework agreement.” Continue Reading →

Fort Albany ‘alarmed’ by Ring of Fire roads deal – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily News – March 3, 2020)

https://www.timminspress.com/

Chief says agreement made ‘behind the scenes’ without his community’s consent

The chief of Fort Albany First Nation says he was “alarmed” by an announcement made Monday by the Ontario provincial government.

Premier Doug Ford along with Indigenous Relations Minister Greg Rickford announced a partnership with Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation to develop a Northern Road Link that would create the first continuous all-season road from the provincial highway network to the Ring of Fire.

Fort Albany Chief Leo Metatawabin said under this agreement, the road would be constructed through his First Nation’s traditional territory without his community’s consent. Continue Reading →

Doug Ford cites unproven projections in touting Ring of Fire – by Jeff Gray (Globe and Mail – March 4, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says mining in the remote Ring of Fire region would add $9.4-billion to the province’s gross domestic product – just a day after saying his government had no reliable estimate of the mineral riches in the northern area.

Speaking in the legislature on Tuesday, Mr. Ford said development in the Ring of Fire would also create 5,500 jobs a year, $6.2-billion “for the mining industry” and $2-billion in government revenue.

His numbers appeared to be drawn from a 2014 Ontario Chamber of Commerce study that looked at the Ring of Fire’s potential economic impacts over 10 years and assumed that four massive projects to mine chromite – which is used to make stainless steel – would be built and operated at a profit. Continue Reading →

Ontario government supports north-south Ring of Fire link – by Gary Rinne (tbnewswatch.com – March 2, 2020)

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/

First Nations, however, are divided over the proposed “Northern Road Link.”

TORONTO — The provincial government is throwing its support behind a north-south link to the Ring of Fire mineral zone in northwestern Ontario. But its plan is already under sharp criticism from one First Nation, which insists there can be no construction without its permission.

Premier Doug Ford and Northern Development and Mines Ministers Greg Rickford on Monday announced a partnership to develop the road project with Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations.

They held a signing ceremony at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention with Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum and Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse. Continue Reading →

Doug Ford still chasing Ring of Fire mining dream – by Alastair Sharp (National Observer – March 4, 2020)

https://www.nationalobserver.com/

Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives are doggedly pursuing the dream of developing the Ring of Fire mining region in northern Ontario, despite a shaky economic foundation and likely tricky talks ahead with nearby First Nations.

Ford and his energy minister, Greg Rickford, were joined by the elected chiefs of two of those communities at the annual PDAC mining conference in Toronto this week. They were there to tout an agreement that will see those communities — the Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations — lead the environmental assessment for the middle part of a planned north-south road to connect the largely inaccessible region to highways further south.

“It’s historic news that is a real game changer,” said Ford, calling the agreement “a crucial step forward in unlocking the multi, and I say, multi-billion dollar opportunity that is northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.” Continue Reading →

Column: Historic Ontario road agreement puts First Nations in driver’s seat – by Brian Lilley (Sudbury Star – March 3, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

It’s been labelled a historic agreement, an actual memorandum of understanding, a commitment of funds and the launch of an indigenous-led environmental assessment to build a road into one of the most remote parts of Ontario. Premier Doug Ford signed the agreement alongside Chief Bruce Achneepineskum and Chief Cornelius Wabasse in Toronto on Monday.

The agreement will see the Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations lead an environmental assessment of the proposed building of a year-round, paved road linking the two communities to points further south.

It’s a brave move these days when people in cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver — far from the development — can hold protests to shut down major infrastructure while claiming they are standing in solidarity with First Nations. Continue Reading →

Province, First Nations sign critical road agreement – by Staff (Sudbury Star – March 3, 2020)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

It will help open up the Ring of Fire to development

The province says it is moving forward on the Ring of Fire. The government of Ontario, Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation took a major step forward Monday in unlocking jobs and opportunity in the Ring of Fire region by entering into what they called a historic agreement to advance the planning and development of a proposed road to the site.

The 5,000-square-kilometre Ring of Fire is a major mineral deposit in Northern Ontario approximately 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay. Currently, there are no roads to the area, rendering access to the site and transportation of goods difficult. Estimates “suggest multi-generational potential for chromite production, as well as the production of nickel, copper and platinum,” the government said Monday.

Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation and Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation joined Premier Doug Ford and Greg Rickford, minister of energy, northern development and mines and the minister of Indigenous affairs, at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention for a signing ceremony. Continue Reading →