Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

National business leader blasts ferrochrome approval process – by David Helwig (Northern Ontario Business/Soo – October 10, 2019)

Saultites are suffering because of the tangled web of overlapping government approvals needed for Noront’s proposed ferrochrome smelter, a veteran federal politician and business leader told members of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 8.

“I want to be clear: civic engagement is important and communities must have a voice in project development,” said Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

During a 21-year political career, Beatty served as Conservative minister of national revenue, solicitor general, minister responsible for Canada Post, minister of communications, minister of national defence, minister of state for the Treasury Board, minister of national health and welfare, and secretary of state for external affairs. Continue Reading →

[Webequie FN] First Nation takes the lead on the supply road to the Ring of Fire – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 9, 2019)

A First Nation community is breaking new ground is leading the environmental assessment and consultation process on a proposed short supply road to the Ring of Fire.

Webequie First Nation, the closest fly-in community to the James Bay mineral belt, is hosting a series of public information sessions in Thunder Bay this week to share information with the public about the road project and to gather feedback.

It’s part of the early stages of a larger environmental assessment (EA) process that’s underway for a planned 107-kilometre all-season road between the Webequie Airport and the area around McFaulds Lake, better known as the Ring of Fire, 535 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. Continue Reading →

Column: Decide now on ferrochrome plant – by Tom Mills (Sudbury Star – October 5, 2019)

In this column, I’m not going to get into specifics about the possible health and environmental impacts of Sault Ste. Marie’s planned Noront Resources ferrochrome plant.

That makes me a lot like city council. They won’t discuss those things right now either. Now is not the time, argues Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano. Let the “process” unfold.

Eventually, there will be an environmental assessment, which apparently could take about five years, and public consultation. Provenzano said he has made it clear to Noront that, “There’s no way I’m signing up for something that will hurt anyone in our community.” Continue Reading →

OPINION: The Ring of Fire bulldozer is here. Will it work? – by Charles Cirtwill (Northern Ontario Business – October 2, 2019)

It is possible, after all, to see the Ring of Fire as the only option for a new future for many communities.

During the provincial election, then candidate (now Premier) Doug Ford famously promised to come to the Ring of Fire and drive a bulldozer if that was what was needed to get the development moving. With the abandonment of the Framework Agreement and the return to individual nation-to-nation arrangements, he has done just that.

It is clear that the province has determined, after years of effort by at least three different governments, that the way forward is in working with willing partners. In this way, key pieces of infrastructure can be put in place while negotiations continue in other parts of the region. In the end, the hope would be that the pieces fit together into a cohesive whole.

It is equally clear that at least some of the First Nations in the region share this view. This may be because of their relative need for new investment. It is possible, after all, to see the Ring of Fire as the only option for a new future for many communities. Continue Reading →

[Noront/Sault Ste. Marie] Ferrochrome facility must first pass rigorous tests: City – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – September 27, 2019)

Group of Sault MDs objects to development

The City of Sault Ste. Marie will not provide support for a ferrochrome plant in the city if due diligence shows that it will be harmful to its residents.

But any environmental assessment will take about five years to complete, along with a complete community engagement process that will outline processes to residents and answer their questions, says Mayor Christian Provenzano. And the process hasn’t even begun yet, he said.

Provenzano is concerned that there is much misinformation being spread across the community about the process that hasn’t even begun. He suggests that residents let the process unfold and the information be disseminated about what a ferrochrome plant would look like in Sault Ste. Marie, the technologies it will employ and any risks that may or may not exist. Continue Reading →

Basic Facts About the Ring of Fire Including FNs Traditional Territories – by Stan Sudol

This post was originally published last year. A lot has happened in the Ring of Fire since then so I thought I would repost with some updates and interesting links. Some of the most significant developments have been the cancellation of the March 26, 2014 Regional “Framework Agreement” and the election of a new Chief for Eabametoong. On June 17th of this year, Harvey Yesno, former Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation was elected replacing former Chief Elizabeth Atlookan.

Eabametoong is the largest populated community among the five isolated FNs in the Ring of Fire and is also one of the original signatories to Treaty 9 in 1905 along with Marten Falls. I will elaborate on the importance of Treaty 9 in a future update.

Chief Yesno seems to be a very pragmatic, pro-business individual who sees economic development on Eabametoong’s tradiational territories as a way of improving the standard of living in his community. This link brings you to a previous keynote speech he gave in 2014 while this link is a recent profile in Northern Ontario Business . Continue Reading →

Hitting Reset on the Ring of Fire – (TV Ontario’s The Agenda With Steve Paikin – September 24, 2019)

The Agenda’s Steve Paikin interviews Marten Fall’s Chief Bruce Achneepineskum, Noront Resources President and CEO Alan Coutts and former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci who is now Senior Councel at Torys Law Firm in Toronto. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Two of Ontario’s Largest Industrial and Engineering Firms Partner With Noront to Advance Ring of Fire Development (September 20, 2019)

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario, Sept. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront”) (TSX Venture: NOT) announced agreements with Algoma Steel Inc. and Hatch Ltd. today to facilitate development of the Ring of Fire mineral district and the associated Ontario-based processing facilities.

“Noront is partnering with two Ontario-based industrial and engineering giants to advance Ring of Fire development,” said Alan Coutts, President and CEO of Noront Resources. “This is truly a ‘made in Ontario’ collaboration on one of the most economically and socially important projects our province has seen.”

The agreement with Algoma provides Noront with a 5-year, renewable option to lease a brownfield property in Sault Ste. Marie for a period of 99 years. Noront plans to design, construct and operate a ferrochrome production facility which will service the company’s Ring of Fire chromite deposits. This agreement provides Noront and Algoma with an opportunity to re-purpose an existing brownfield location with a view to sharing infrastructure. Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire ‘absolutely critical’ to his administration, premier says – by Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles (North Bay Nugget – September 18, 2019)

The development of the Ring of Fire remains a top priority for the Conservative government, said Premier Doug Ford. Ford was in Verner Tuesday attending the opening ceremonies at the International Plowing Match when he addressed questions from the media relating to everything from broadband service for rural Northern communities and education to autism and the Ring of Fire.

“The Ring of Fire is absolutely critical for our administration,” Ford said. “You will see me on that bulldozer, it’s one of our highest priorities for the government and the province.”

When asked if Ontario Northland will play an integral part in that development, Ford referred the question to Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford. Continue Reading →

First Nations need to take the lead on Far North development: Yesno – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 12, 2019)

Eabametoong chief regards “nation building” as key to developing local economies

Harvey Yesno wants Eabametoong to take the initiative when it comes to development in their traditional territory instead of constantly reacting to it. The respected former grand chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) was elected chief of the remote Far North community in mid-June, succeeding Elizabeth Atlookan.

“What has happened in our region is we’ve just been responding to what’s going on,whether it’s one permit and one explorer, or the Ring of Fire,” said Yesno. “I’d like to be in a position where we are engaging.”

Eabametoong, a remote Ojibway community of 1,500, is located 350 kilometres north of Thunder Bay on the Albany River system. It’s one of the nine-member Matawa First Nations tribal councils and one of the five remote communities closest to the Ring of Fire mineral belt. Continue Reading →

Ontario to work with First Nations to unlock Ring of Fire – by Jean Lian (Northern Miner – September 2019)

Global mining news

Rick Gregford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, announced in August that the province would work directly with First Nation communities to develop infrastructure that unlocks the mineral-rich region in northern Ontario.

Establishing bilateral agreements with individual First Nation communities to replace the previous Liberal government’s collective-negotiations approach under a 2014 framework agreement with nine Matawa First Nation communities will expedite the building of a north–south corridor to the Ring of Fire.

Noront Resources (TSXV: NOT) — which says it holds 85% of all claims staked in the Ring of Fire — and Marten Falls First Nation released a statement in late August applauding the provincial government’s move. Continue Reading →

The Tories are dissolving the Ring of Fire agreement. So what comes next? – by Jon Thompson ( – September 3, 2019) speaks with people close to the issue about why it’s proved so divisive — and what the future may hold for Indigenous-government relations in the north

Greg Rickford, Ontario’s minister of northern development, mines and energy, and Indigenous affairs, last week issued a 90-day notice to Matawa chiefs that the province is dissolving the Ring of Fire regional-framework agreement.

“Frankly, to this point, it’s been a little complicated and lengthy,” Rickford told reporters in Sault Ste. Marie. “It has not necessarily met the timelines that the market should expect a project to come on board.”

The Ring of Fire, a large mineral belt discovered in 2007, comprises 5,000 square kilometres in the James Bay lowlands. According to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, establishing a mining development there could create as many as 5,500 jobs and more than $9 billion in economic activity over the course of a decade. Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire negotiation model has failed – by Ian Pattison (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – September 1, 2019)

THIS TIME nine years ago the potential of the Ring of Fire mineral belt in Northwestern Ontario was being realized. More than 30 mining exploration companies were digging around the James Bay lowlands and finding immense evidence of mineral deposits, chiefly chromite — the main ingredient in stainless steel.

People salivated over the economic impact and potential job creation. Then-premier Dalton McGuinty called the project key to Ontario economic recovery. His northern development minister, Thunder Bay’s Michael Gravelle, began the first of many meetings with First Nations in the region.

Initially, few in the business world took seriously the need to consult with First Nations before putting development plans in motion. This led to protests by those communities and eventually to a whole new legal framework ensuring such consultation would precede any development. Continue Reading →

Ontario government ends Ring of Fire regional agreement with Matawa First Nations – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 27, 2019)

Funding for regional talks between province, 9 Matawa First Nations ran out in late 2018

The provincial government has officially ended the regional framework agreement between Queen’s Park and the First Nations closest to the Ring of Fire, pledging to move forward with a series of bilateral agreements that the province’s Indigenous Affairs minister says will remove delays to completing projects that communities themselves want to see.

At the top of that list, Greg Rickford said in an interview with CBC News, is a north-south corridor that, not only could lead to road access to the mineral-rich James Bay lowlands, but can also connect by road, as well as add to the provincial power grid and expand modern telecommunications to, “at least four, five Indigenous communities.”

“That has additional health and social and economic benefits that move beyond the more obvious opportunities of creating mines,” he said. “To the extent that Noront [Resources] or other mining companies could build mines on that corridor, then we have a great value proposition.” Continue Reading →

Pitting communities against each other won’t work in the Ring of Fire: Horwath – by Leith Dunick ( – August 29, 2019)

Ontario NDP leader wraps up three days of caucus meetings in Thunder Bay with a question-and-answer luncheon with local community leaders.

THUNDER BAY – Ontario Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath doesn’t believe the Conservative government’s approach to develop the Ring of Fire is a workable solution.

Earlier this week Greg Rickford, the mines minister, said the province would end a framework agreement signed five years ago with nine Matawa First Nations communities, and instead work with communities “willing to work at the speed of business.”

Horwath said Ontario has a responsibility and an obligation to consult with First Nations communities about the potentially multi-billion dollar mineral extraction project in the province’s far north. Continue Reading →