Feds call for assessment of Ring of Fire road link – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – May 29, 2023)


Fort Albany rises questions, concerns about downstream impacts of Far North road building and mining activity

The Northern Road Link, the middle stretch of the proposed Ring of Fire road network, will undergo a federal environmental assessment, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IACC) announced last week.

The determination by IAAC that an assessment is required was based on the possibility that the road could cause negative impacts to fish, birds and the socio-economic well-being of the Indigenous people in the area. Feedback on the project came forth from the public, Indigenous groups, various federal agencies and others, IACC said.

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Indigenous Leaders: Kristan Straub looks to find common ground in the Ring of Fire – Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – May 26, 2023)


New Ring of Fire Metals boss brings an Indigenous perspective and project smarts to advance Far North mine

Dialogue and transparency. Those words have served Kristan Straub well over his 22-year career with Glencore and the postings that have sent him across Canada and around the globe.

Earlier this year, the Sudbury-born Straub, the now-former vice-president of exploration with Glencore’s nickel team, was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to advance one of the world’s new and untapped sources of critical minerals.

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Ring of Fire project at risk due to red tape and cumbersome consultation process, billionaire owner says – Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 24, 2023)


Andrew Forrest, the Australian billionaire owner of the most promising mining assets in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, says the viability of the critical minerals project is at risk because of Canada’s regulatory burden, its cumbersome consultation process and persistent delays in building crucial infrastructure.

The Ring of Fire, in the province’s far north, is a key part of Ontario’s and Canada’s plans to become a player in metals for electric-vehicle batteries, but it has sat undeveloped for the better part of two decades owing to unproven economics, tension with Indigenous communities, a lack of political consensus and the gigantic capital cost requirements.

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Federal government pledges new funding for Ring of Fire and proposes working group with Ontario – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 19, 2023)


The federal government is proposing to advance up to $40-million in new funding for Ontario’s Ring of Fire, in an effort to boost development in one of the highest profile critical-minerals projects in the country.

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, in a May 17 letter to George Pirie, Ontario’s Minister of Mines, said that Ottawa is prepared to advance the funds to help the province and First Nations conduct feasibility and sustainability initiatives, economic analysis and other predevelopment work.

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Ontario doesn’t need Ring of Fire to achieve EV ambitions: experts – by Alan S. Hale (Politics Today – May 18, 2023)


Amid growing objections from First Nations, Premier Doug Ford remains dead set on developing the Ring of Fire to fuel Ontario’s goal of becoming a major player in the EV industry. But three mining industry experts Queen’s Park Today spoke to said Ontario can become a major global EV hub without the Ring of Fire.

However, they said giving up on the project would be a drastic measure that could significantly set that goal back for a long time and would also have geopolitical implications. Geologist and mining consultant Jim Franklin helped Spider Resources — the company that discovered mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire while searching for diamonds — understand what they had found.

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Premier’s pledge to ‘build’ the Ring of Fire questioned at Queen’s Park – by Staff (NWO News Watch – May 15, 2023)


Minister Greg Rickford accused MPP Sol Mamakwa of pitting communities against each other

QUEEN’S PARK — Premier Doug Ford’s recent commitment to ‘building the Ring of Fire’ generated criticism in the legislature Monday from the NDP. Kiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa suggested the premier was making a mistake in relying on advice from Greg Rickford, the minister of Indigenous Affairs and minister of Northern Development.

Last week, Ford said building a road to the Ring of Fire and developing a mine there will elevate the standard of living in remote First Nations communities. During Question Period Monday, Mamakwa called the premier’s statements “very concerning.”

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BULLETIN: Treaty 9 First Nations To File Claim Against Canada and Ontario Seeking Co-Jurisdiction Over Treaty 9 Lands – by Tracy A. Pratt and Sophie Langlois (Fasken – May 16, 2023)


Recently, several Treaty 9 First Nations[1] announced their intention to commence litigation against the governments of Ontario and Canada challenging the Crown’s exclusive jurisdiction over Treaty 9 lands. Among other things, they assert that Treaty 9 provided that the signatory First Nations would maintain their “way of life”,[2] including co-jurisdiction over, and shared decision-making responsibilities with, the Crown.

Through this action, these Treaty 9 First Nations also will seek to prohibit the governments from granting permits, licences or other approvals respecting land and resource development within the Treaty 9 lands without their consent until a framework for co-jurisdiction is established.

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OPINION: Volkswagen, then Stellantis: Billions for battery plants, but little on mines for raw material – by Giancarlo Da-Re, Matthew Funk and Rachel Ziemba (Globe and Mail – May 16, 2023)


The federal government and many provincial governments have taken some big steps to seize the potential of the green transition, most recently with the $13-billion subsidy, multiyear subsidy for the St. Thomas, Ont., Volkswagen electric-vehicle battery plant. However, this is not a financially sustainable approach.

Less than a month after that subsidy’s price tag was revealed, news emerged that Ottawa is under pressure to match it for Stellantis and LG Energy Solution’s Windsor, Ont., battery plant, with construction at the site halted. And for all their hefty price tags, there is a key ingredient missing from these subsidies.

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‘We’re building that Ring of Fire,’ says Doug Ford – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – May 12, 2023)


Premier said Far North mine and road development will elevate standard of living in remote communities

Threats of litigation and conflict aside, Ontario Premier Doug Ford isn’t backing down from his government’s commitment to develop mines in the James Bay lowlands. “We’re building that Ring of Fire as sure as I’m talking to you,” said Ford in a media scrum in Brampton on May 11 for an unrelated announcement.

Ford responded after one Queen’s Park reporter asked him if his government will rethink its development plans in the Far North and if he’s “prepared to get on that bulldozer?” after absorbing much criticism and protests by Indigenous communities and leadership, and environmental activist groups, over his government’s approach to introducing Bill 71 in early March.

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Ottawa clamps down on China’s critical-minerals foray, but not prospecting – by Naill McGee (Globe and Mail – May 8, 2023)


Lone wolf Mike Tremblay is one of Canada’s most successful mining prospectors. In the 1980s, he discovered the Borden Lake gold deposit in northern Ontario, which was subsequently developed into a mine.

Over four decades, he’s headed into the Ontario bush on countless occasions, amassed about 10,000 mining claims and knows better than anyone there’s no guarantee of ever making a cent in the prospecting business.

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Indigenous company says battery recycling could ease mining tensions between First Nations, Ontario – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – May 3,2023)


Three Fires Group says recycling may eliminate need for mining and disturbing lands

An Indigenous company that inked a deal with a Toronto-based miner to recycle battery metals said a greater emphasis on recycling could help alleviate tensions related to mining claims between Ontario and First Nations.

Three Fires Group, a company that represents a number of First Nations in southwestern Ontario including Caldwell First Nation, the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, agreed May 2 to supply Electra Battery Materials Corp. with “black mass,” an industry term for expired lithium-ion batteries that have been shredded and have had their casings removed.

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Chief expects his First Nation will hit 30 years under boil water advisory – by Dennis Ward (APTN National News – May 02, 2023)


Twenty-eight years – that’s how long Neskantaga First Nation has been under a boil water advisory – 10,317 days to be exact. “It’s a sad situation,” says Christopher Moonias, the chief of the First Nation located roughly 450 km north of Thunder Bay.

Despite the ongoing work and testing at the water treatment plant, things don’t look good says Moonias, who believes his nation, already under the longest boil water advisory in Canadian history, will hit the 30-year mark. Already, an entire generation has grown up not trusting the water from their taps.

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First Nations $95 Billion proposed lawsuit could have sweeping implications for the mining industry – by Melissa (Mel) Sanderson (Investor Intel – April 30, 2023)


A consequential battle is shaping up in a place you may not know (Thunder Bay, Canada) over an issue you may never have heard of – Free, Prior, Informed Consent. (FPIC for short). The parties to the conflict are 10 of the Treaty 9 First Nations on one side and the Canadian Government on the other.

Why should you care? Here’s what’s at stake: $95 billion dollars that the indigenous nations say they will claim as compensation for past wrongs – and potentially much, much more because the argument essentially is about how mines will be approved in Canada going forward.

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Without First Nations’ consent mining critical minerals is cultural genocide, leader tells Ontario, Canada – by Shari Narine (Windspeaker – April 26, 2023)


Ten Treaty 9 First Nations in Ontario have delivered a message to the federal and provincial governments and industry: Without practicing co-jurisdiction there will be no more resource development in their traditional territories.

“We have a right to be at the helm with the Crown because you’re affecting our way of life, our way of being. I dare say, we are protecting our culture, so any development without our consent is cultural genocide and you need to recognize that,” said an impassioned Ramona Sutherland, chief of Constance Lake First Nation in an address to Canadians.

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First Nations suing provincial, federal governments over broken treaty promises – by Aidan Chamandy (Northern Ontario Business – April 27, 2023)


Once a 60-day notice period is up, the claimants may seek injunctions against resource extraction projects

Several First Nations launched a lawsuit against the federal and provincial governments that could have massive implications for the future of resource extraction and Crown-Indigenous relations in Ontario and Canada.

The 10 First Nations are all from Treaty 9 territory, also known as the James Bay territory, which covers a huge swath of Ontario from Timmins north to Hudson’s Bay and west to northern parts of the Manitoba border. They’re looking to end the government’s “unilateral jurisdiction and decision-making control” throughout the region, according to a statement by the law firm Woodward and Company.

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