Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

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

Discovered in 2007 and located roughly 540 kms. northeast of Thunder Bay, the isolated Ring of Fire mining camp is considered one of the most important mineral discoveries in Ontario over the past 100 years.

In 2010, Richard Nemis and John D. Harvey (Noront Resources) Mac Watson and Donald Hoy (Freewest Resources Canada) and Neil D. Novak (Spider Resources) were credited for the discovery by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.

It is estimated that the value of currently discovered mineral deposits – primarily chromite, nickel and copper – are worth about $60 billion in economic activity over a 30-year period.  Jim Franklin, the former chief geoscientist at the Geological Survey of Canada, predicted at least $140 billion worth of chromite and base metals will be discovered in the Ring of Fire, and an additional $140 billion to $190 billion of gold are lying in the many greenstone belts to the west of the camp.

First Nations in northern Ontario are composed of a reserve, where the community is located, and a wider area known as their “traditional territories” which generally include traditional trap lines, burial sites and historic regions of economic activity.

Continue Reading →

Sudbury MP to run again; says there’s work to do – Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – November 29, 2018)

Paul Lefebvre has more goals he wants to accomplish, including progress on the Ring of Fire. The Sudbury MP, elected for the first time in 2015, was recently acclaimed to run again for the Liberals in 2019.

Since September, Lefebvre has also been acting as parliamentary secretary to Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi, who has now tapped him to handle a file of major significance for both Sudbury and the region.

“The minister last week asked me to take the lead role from the Department of Natural Resources on the Ring of Fire,” the MP said Wednesday. “I’m very excited about that challenge because the Ring of Fire stands to help the economy in Northern Ontario and benefit so many individuals.” Continue Reading →

‘Overwhelmed’: Ontario’s Ring of Fire development is far from a top priority for Eabametoong First Nation, as it struggles with a housing crisis and addictions – Jorge Barrera (CBC News – November 27, 2018)

Wally and Margaret Slipperjack moved into the shack because there was no longer enough room in their Eabametoong First Nation home for their children and grandchildren. There is no running water here and the couple, who are in their 70s, need to cross the small backyard to the house to use the bathroom. The shack does have electricity and a wood stove for heat.

The couple speaks only Ojibway and Andy Yesno, a senior advisor to the band council, translates. Wally Slipperjack said he’s heard about the Ring of Fire, a mineral-rich zone in Ontario’s James Bay lowlands eyed by the provincial government as a potentially $60 billion bonanza.

He’s been invited to meetings about it and he’s heard it’s also supposed to bring jobs, but that’s not what he wants to talk about. He’s concerned about the legalization of marijuana. The band council is still weighing whether to ban or allow it. Continue Reading →

Rickford in hot seat over Northern pro-development stance: Neskantaga, Eabemetoong want more discussion, greater say on Ring of Fire process – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 23, 2018)

Greg Rickford took considerable heat from leaders of two remote First Nation communities that feel they’ve been left out of the loop in discussions to industrialize the Far North.

At a Nov.21 assembly of Ontario Chiefs, Neskantaga’s Wayne Moonias and Eabemetoong’s Elizabeth Atlookan scolded the minister of energy, mines, northern development and Indigenous affairs for isolating them from talks surrounding the construction of roads into the Ring of Fire.

Rickford’s remarks about building a “corridor for prosperity” with road and hydro corridors to spin off regional economic development opportunities raised the anger of Atlookan, who felt the government isn’t taking into account her community’s concerns about the impact of mining on the land. “You can’t say here it’s not about the Ring of Fire. Ultimately, that’s what this (north-south) road is all about,” she said. Continue Reading →

Ontario playing favourites with First Nations on Ring of Fire, say chiefs – by Jorge Barrera (CBC News Indigenous – November 23, 2018)

“How can we stop young people’s ambitions … for a better life if we don’t start
taking steps to making the economic opportunities that lie there at the Ring of Fire?”
said Achneepineskum. “We have to create hope.” (Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum.)

Bob Rae memos warned Matawa First Nations that Ford government would change talks on Ring of Fire

Shortly before the 2018 Ontario election, Bob Rae sent a memo warning the nine Matawa First Nations chiefs to resolve internal differences or face the collapse of collective negotiations to develop the mineral rich zone in the James Bay lowlands known as the Ring of Fire.

Rae, the tribal council’s lead negotiator, said the next provincial government would likely abandon the main negotiating table created by a landmark 2014 regional framework agreement. “[Ford] has not said anything positive about engaging First Nations in any processes only that he would ‘drive the bulldozer himself’ to get road construction started,” wrote Rae in the memo.

Rae said in the memo the new government would likely favour striking deals with individual member First Nations to get a road built into the chromite, gold and vanadium-rich region which has an estimated value of about $60 billion. Rae turned down a request for comment from CBC News. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Marten Falls First Nation Selects AECOM to Conduct Road Study and Environmental Assessment for new All-Season Road

THUNDER BAY, ON, Nov. 22, 2018 /CNW/ – Marten Falls First Nation and Ontario announced the agreement to study a long-awaited community access road on August 21, 2017. Since then, Marten Falls has entered into a voluntary agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to conduct an Individual Environmental Assessment (EA) and Preliminary Design (PD) for the proposed community access road from Marten Falls First Nation going south to existing provincial highways.

The First Nation has established a project team and conducted one field season of baseline surveys; but to carry out the full suite of technical services and studies, and other steps within the EA process, Marten Falls has brought on AECOM.

This global engineering firm provides design, consulting, construction, and management services. AECOM will consult with Marten Falls and neighbouring communities, perform data collection, prepare technical studies and all documents associated with the project, to complete the EA process. Continue Reading →

Sault MP Terry Sheehan meets with Noront execs in Ottawa during Mining Days – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – November 22, 2018)

‘Mining days’ on Parliament Hill gave Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan another chance to meet with Noront Resource executives. Sheehan’s Twitter posts show he met with president Allan Coutts in Ottawa to get an update on what the mining company with the largest stake in the Ring of Fire is doing.

“We do meet or keep in touch regularly, but certainly it was another opportunity for me to push Sault Ste. Marie’s advantages for a ferrochrome facility,” Sheehan said in a telephone interview.

Noront Resources is continuing to conduct its due diligence into the two final cities wanting to host its proposed ferrochrome facility – Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins. “I don’t expect any announcement for a bit,” Sheehan said. “But I continued to put forward our position that we have advantages like the port for transportation and strong electrical hookups because it’s already an industrial site and our skilled workforce and training facilities.” Continue Reading →

Cutting red tape extends to the Ring of Fire: Ford government committed to Far North mine projects – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 16, 2018)

The Ford government is determined to throw some fuel on the Ring of Fire. But how mining development will unfold in the Far North still appears to be a work in progress.

In his Nov. 16 Fall Economic Statement, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli reaffirmed the government’s commitment to cut regulatory red tape that’s hindered advancement of the projects in the James Bay region.

Fedeli spoke about extending prosperity to “every corner of our province,” and clearing the hurdles to develop the Ring of Fire. “No more platitudes, no more delays. Instead, our government will work directly with our First Nations partners in order to realize the long-awaited benefits.” Continue Reading →

Economic Statement ignores Highway 69: Fedeli promises: ‘We’re going to deal directly with the First Nations communities to unleash the wealth in the Ring of Fire’ – by Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles (Sudbury Star – November 16, 2018)

A new mining working group to streamline the regulatory approvals process and attract new investment to Northern Ontario is one of the projects highlighted in Thursday’s Fall Economic Statement to benefit Northern Ontario.

Finance Minister and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli notes the statement includes a few pages that address Northern issues directly. Four sections of the 155-page document relate to the Ring of Fire, Review of the Far North Act 2010, the mining working group and Northern transportation improvements.

Fedeli says the previous government delayed development of the Ring of Fire for 10 years, “and now we’re saying, ‘no more.’ “There isn’t going to be any more delays and putting things off, as we’re going to deal directly with the First Nations communities to unleash the wealth in the Ring of Fire,” he says. Continue Reading →

Former Timmins mayor wanted to buy the Ring of Fire – by Maija Hoggett (Northern Ontario Business – November 15, 2018)

Steve Black investigated city acquiring Far North deposits after Cliffs departure

In his first week in office, Timmins Mayor Steve Black wanted to buy a mine. Sharing the story of how he wanted to purchase the Ring of Fire is one of the memories he shared about his time in office as he chaired his final council meeting Nov. 13.

Being elected as a councillor in 2010 was a life-changing moment for Black. When the next election rolled around, he won the mayor’s seat. Back in 2014 in his first week on the job as mayor, he recalled going to the CAO and announcing his desire to buy a mine.

At the time, former owner Cliffs Natural Resources was looking to pull out of the project. Knowing the importance of having what is now Noront come to Timmins, Black wanted the city to have control of its destiny. Continue Reading →

Environmental groups call on federal government to protect caribou in northern Ontario – by Nicole Thompson (Canadian Press/Global News – November 14, 2018)

TORONTO — Three environmental groups are calling on the federal government to protect boreal caribou in northern Ontario, saying a decade of mismanagement by the province has put the animals increasingly at risk.

The David Suzuki Foundation, Ontario Nature and the Wildlands League issued a petition to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna this week, requesting that she recommend federal cabinet issue what’s known as a “safety net order” under the Species at Risk Act for two boreal caribou populations about 120 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay.

The move would prevent damage to or destruction of 65 per cent of the caribou populations’ habitats — the amount of undisturbed land that the federal government said in a 2012 report would give the animals a 60 per cent shot at becoming self-sustaining. Continue Reading →

Provincial money ends for Ring of Fire talks as Matawa chiefs await response, negotiator says – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – November 9, 2018)

Matawa chiefs negotiator Bob Rae says First Nations ‘ready to move ahead’

The lead negotiator for the chiefs of Indigenous communities closest to the Ring of Fire says they’re still waiting to hear back from the provincial government about how talks will look going forward.

That comes as Bob Rae says money committed by the province since 2013 that funded a number of initiatives through the regional framework agreement between Ontario and the nine member communities of the Matawa Tribal Council ran out at the end of October.

“We’re ready to move ahead with discussions on the key elements of the regional framework which has been agreed to,” Rae said. “We’re ready to sit down with the province and the federal government whenever they’re ready to respond.” Continue Reading →

Lack of consultation on Ring of Fire development frustrates First Nation communities – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 9, 2018)

Neskantaga, Eabametoong want negotiated settlement with Queen’s Park, threaten legal action

The lack of an all-inclusive provincial strategy to advance development in the Ring of Fire is frustrating two remote First Nation communities in the area of the Far North mineral deposits.

In a Nov. 9 news release, the communities of Neskantaga and Eabametoong called out the Ford government for suspending a provincially-sponsored consultation process, known as the Regional Framework Agreement, and not replacing a fired negotiator.

“This will slow the process of reaching agreement and, potentially, delay future developments in the Ring of Fire. However, we remain committed to the process and the principles already agreed,” said Neskantaga First Nation Chief Wayne Moonias in a statement. Continue Reading →

NDP mining critic concerned Ford government stalling on Ring of Fire development – by Angela Gemmill (CBC News Sudbury – November 1, 2018)

Michael Mantha says he’s asked but has yet to receive updates from Minister of Northern Development and Mines

It’s been more than a decade since chromite ore was first found in remote Northern Ontario, yet development of the Ring of Fire mining project seems to be slow. A year ago, the previous Liberal government announced an agreement with three First Nations communities to build a road to the mineral-rich site.

It involves many partners: mining companies, municipalities, First Nations and the provincial government. The new face at the table — the Ford Progressive Conservative government — hasn’t made its intentions clear, said Algoma-Manitoulin MPP, Michael Mantha. Mantha is also the New Democratic Party critic for Northern Development and Mines.

He says over the years, the other partners have been working to build better relationships with each other. “Industry has done a lot of the work, and First Nations have done a lot of work. It’s time for government to step in now and that they be held to their role in moving some of the development that we want to see happen in Ontario.” Continue Reading →

How Ontario can get the Ring of Fire back on track – by Josh Dehaas (TV Ontario – October 4, 2018)

ANALYSIS: Doug Ford says he’ll hop on a bulldozer if necessary — but a recent court decision about the Trans Mountain Pipeline shows there’s an easier way, writes Josh Dehaas

In 2013, Tony Clement, then the federal minister responsible for northern Ontario’s economic development, described a smattering of chromite and nickel deposits in the far north as Ontario’s answer to the Alberta oilsands. Ever since, people everywhere from Timmins to Sault Ste. Marie have been buzzing about the possibility that new mining and smelting jobs will spring up in the economically depressed region.

But the location makes things complicated. The deposits are more than 300 kilometres from the nearest highway or rail line, and they’re also on or near the traditional territory of nine First Nations communities, which have to be consulted before any project can proceed.

Some are worried that the Federal Court of Appeal’s August decision about the Trans Mountain pipeline, which emphasized the importance of such consultations, will slow progress on the Ring of Fire or give First Nations a de facto veto over resource projects — but legal experts say that’s not the case. In fact, they say it may actually provide a roadmap for the Ford government to get the stalled project back on track. Continue Reading →