Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

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 →

Ex-Ring of Fire consultation czar to oversee Trans Mountain Project – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 3, 2018)

Ontario’s former chief negotiator in the Ring of Fire consultation process has landed a new –but similar – position as Ottawa’s point person on the stalled Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

Retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci has been chosen as the federal representative to oversee consultation with the First Nation and Metis communities impacted by the project.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced the appointment of Iacobucci on Oct. 3 as Ottawa said it will not be appealing the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision from last August. Instead, the government will re-do the consultation process with a third round of talks with the 117 Indigenous groups along the pipeline’s path. Continue Reading →

Framework agreement between Matawa, Ontario ‘stalled’ MPP says – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – September 27, 2018)

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa called for resumption of meetings between chiefs, ministers

An agreement that was supposed to guide negotiations between Ontario and nine First Nations that surround the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario has “stalled,” according to an opposition member of the legislature.

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa spoke during Question Period on Thursday, and probed why the Progressive Conservative government “hasn’t engaged with the Matawa chiefs since [the] election.”

“Eabametoong First Nation chief [Elizabeth] Atlookan is here today,” the New Democrat member said. “Will the premier direct the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, not to get on the bulldozer, but to meet with Chief Atlookan today to begin the dialogue.” Continue Reading →

Consultation needed before any development in Ring of Fire: Grand Chief – by Joshua Santos (Timmins Times – September 18, 2018)

First Nations want to be involved not, not after the fact.

Mining companies and politicians shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves discussing development within the Ring of Fire, says the grand chief of a regional First Nations council.

While there has been much talk about its mineral riches, Indigenous communities within that area want more consultation before development begins, says Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon.

“We have talked about it in our council, the Mushkegowuk Council with the First Nations communities,” said Solomon. “The legal advice we got from our lawyers is, ‘You have a position now to demand a full involvement in the environment assessment (EA) processes.’” Continue Reading →

First Nations consent and environmental impact dominate concerns at Ring of Fire demonstration on Ramsey Lake Road – by Allana McDougall (Sudbury Northern Life – September 7, 2018)

The three-hour long demonstration that took place at the intersection leading to Sudbury’s university campuses on Ramsey Lake Road stopped traffic for just three minutes.

Two round dances were scheduled to take place. One at 10 a.m. and another at 11 a.m.; only the 11 a.m. round dance occurred. Greater Sudbury Police Services was present at that time to direct right-turning traffic and to ensure the safety of those who participated. Left-turning traffic was not able to proceed.

Organizer Bruce McComber said that he’s been a part of a broad network of activists, scientists and environmentalists for almost ten years. According to him, that network has been trying to force the government and corporations to provide more thorough environmental assessments and pay better taxes, among other things. For him, opposition to the project includes acknowledgement of issues that precede development. Continue Reading →

What’s the plan for the Ring of Fire?: Exit of province’s lead negotiator has Matawa chiefs waiting on Ford government’s next move – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 5, 2018)

The elimination of the province’s main negotiator in the Ring of Fire consultation process has the head of a northwestern Ontario First Nation tribal council waiting on the Ford government and Northern Ontario cabinet minister Greg Rickford to make the next move.

A Toronto media report claimed Justice Frank Iacobucci was axed by the Ford government in a purge of former government officials appointed under the previous Wynne government.

Iacobucci represented the province in the Regional Framework Agreement process initiated by the Wynne government in April 2014. David Paul Achneepineskum, CEO of Matawa First Nations Management, representing the nine Matawa First Nations, had a wait-and-see response in a statement released Sept. 5. Continue Reading →

Noront continues research into Sault, Timmins – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – August 27, 2018)

Negotiations are continuing between Noront Resources and Algoma to determine whether an agreement can be reached that would see the development of a ferrochrome facility on the steelmaker’s property.

The key now is for Noront to complete its due diligence to determine how a production facility would be situated on the Algoma property site. It also needs to determine what shared services it can cobble with Algoma and determine what the strategic advantages would be to do that.

NorOnt president and CEO Alan Coutts said both the Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins locations have really good sites and supportive municipalities. The decision will hinge on the commercial arrangement that can be negotiated with the property owners, Coutts said in a telephone interview. He said Noront has spoken to the secured creditors and that team has encouraged talks to continue with Algoma’s management team. Continue Reading →

“Ring of Fire Secretariat remains intact” – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 24, 2018)

Ontario Northland could have role in massive mining development, but government not saying much

A spokesman with the Ontario government anticipates no changes with the Ring of Fire Secretariat, the Crown agency charged with developing the infrastructure to reach the Far North mineral deposits.

Almost two months after a new cabinet was sworn in at Queen’s Park, there’s no indication what the Doug Ford government has in mind to “jump-start” industrial development in the James Bay lowlands, other than a bumper-sticker campaign promise to bulldoze new access roads into the remote region.

The responsibility of making it happen falls on the shoulders of Kenora MPP Greg Rickford, the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. Continue Reading →

The relationship builder: Noront vice-president Glenn Nolan is navigating the complicated relationships of the Ring of Fire – by Jax Jacobsen (CIM Magazine – August 20, 2018)

There are very few hats Glenn Nolan hasn’t worn. He has been president of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada; Chief of the Missanabie Cree; a mining exploration field agent; an entrepreneur and director of a junior mining company.

And now he’s vice-president at Noront Resources, the biggest player in the perennially stalled Ring of Fire camp, charged with navigating relations with both provincial and federal representatives as the company attempts to develop its Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-PGE deposit. Having spent the majority of his career building relationships between industry, government and First Nations, the role is one Nolan seems perfectly made for.

“I’ve been working in this industry for over 40 years,” Nolan said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have these many opportunities, as Indigenous people don’t have a large depth of experience” in the sector. Continue Reading →