Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Part Five of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Annual Report 2009/2010 – Modernizing Mining in Ontario

For the entire annual report go to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario website: Redefining Conservation: Annual Report 2009/2010

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

2010 Amendments to the Mining Act

From Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) Issues

In the 1800s, miners used picks and shovels to find and extract minerals. Embarking out into the wilderness of Ontario, prospectors had “free entry” to access any land that contained Crown-owned minerals. They could stake their claims with wooden posts and acquire mineral leases with no need to consider the interests of property owners or the public. This right of free entry was a fundamental feature of Ontario’s first mining laws and was designed to promote mining activity, create wealth in the province and encourage the settlement of the northern lands.

Much has changed in Ontario since the Mining Act (the “Act”) was enacted in 1869. First, there are many more recognized uses for Ontario’s land than mining. Second, early mines were generally small in scale with a relatively small ecological footprint; modern day mining often involves large-scale and mechanized digging, drilling and blasting, with the potential to have significant environmental impacts. Finally, the public has grown more concerned about our natural environment and the impacts of human activities, expecting environmental risks to be mitigated and mining lands restored.

Although the Mining Act and the concept of free entry may have worked in the 19th century, it is clearly at odds with 21st century land uses and values. Free entry assumes that mineral development is appropriate almost everywhere and that it is the “best” use of Crown land in almost all circumstances, giving mining priority over forestry, commercial development, recreation and tourism, the interests of Aboriginal communities, and the conservation of ecologically significant species and landscape features.

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Balance in Far North Bill – Toronto Star September 19, 2010 Editorial Comment on McGuinty Liberal’s “Far North Bill”

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This editorial was originally published on September 19, 2010.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Beyond romantic notions of caribou running wild across endless tundra, most Ontarians know very little about the northernmost 40 per cent of our province.

Much of the land is barren and beautiful, but it is also facing increasing pressure for development; logging, mining and power companies all see great potential there. The First Nations, who have long called the region home, need a say in determining the future of the land and an assurance that they will benefit economically from its development.

The province, on the other hand, needs to balance these interests with environmental protections for the northern boreal region, a globally significant ecosystem. The provincial government’s Far North Act, Bill 191, would achieve that balance.

So it is unfortunate that the chiefs of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) territory are threatening that there will be “no peace on the land” if the government passes the bill in the coming days.

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McGuinty Headed for a Northern [Ontario] Showdown – by Christina Blizzard (Toronto Sun-September 16, 2010)

Christina Blizzard is the Queen’s Park columnist for the Toronto Sun, the city’s daily tabloid newspaper.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

The Liberals’ Far North Act will kill the ‘economic equivalent of another Sudbury’

When mayors, chambers of commerce and aboriginal groups from across the north all converge on Queen’s Park, you know there’s trouble brewing.

That happened Wednesday, as anger over the government’s Far North Act boiled over from the wide landscapes of the north, its boreal forests and mines to the manicured southern lawns of Queen’s Park.

New Democrat Gilles Bisson stormed out of a committee hearing on Bill 191, calling the process a “sham.” He’d asked that the bill not be called for third reading and the government go back to the drawing board.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy, usually a moderate, angrily declared aboriginal people will take “direct action” to protect their rights.

“We will do whatever is necessary to protect our interests, and if that calls for direct action, that’s what’s going to take place,” Beardy said. Continue Reading →

Liberals should rethink the [Ontario’s] Far North Act – by Christina Blizzard (Toronto Sun-August 19, 2010)

Christina Blizzard is the Queen’s Park columnist for the Toronto Sun, the city’s daily tabloid newspaper.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Northerners don’t expect government hand-outs, or intrusive legislation from a remote provincial government in the south

The road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions. Similarly, it seems the highway to God’s country ends in a dead-end created by well-meaning but wrong-headed do-gooders.

Northern Ontario has spectacular landscapes, vast mineral riches, untold tourism potential and resilient, self-reliant folk.

While northerners don’t expect government hand-outs, they also don’t expect intrusive legislation from a remote provincial government in the south.

Yet that’s what’s happening with the Far North Act, which would put half the land north of the 51st parallel out of bounds for development. Worse, the government hasn’t said which 50% of land is off the table.
That uncertainty means mining companies are thinking twice before they invest in the north.

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Study Begins on Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire Railroad – by Ian Ross

This article was originally published in Northern Ontario Business in the June, 2010 issue. Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Ontario Northland Could Play a Role in the James Bay Rail Link

The first tentative steps toward building an ore haul railway to the James Bay lowlands began this past winter. Helicopters moved drills into place as geologists tested frozen riverbanks north of Nakina taking core samples to determine where bridges can be built to haul ore from a chromite open pit in the Far North’s ‘Ring of Fire’ exploration camp.

Building a railroad through the Canadian Shield and into vast boggy plain of the lowlands will be a huge and complex feat of engineering and construction. The railway engineers have already begun studying the footing and economics of how to move millions of tonnes of chromite out of McFaulds Lake in time for mining operations to begin by 2016.

About $100 million will be spent by KWG Resources and their mining partners in environmental and other consulting studies before any approval for mining is ever given.

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Honourable Michael Gravelle – Minister Northern Development, Mines and Forestry – Speech at Ontario Mining Association Annual Meeting (Ring of Fire and Aboriginal Mining References), North Bay, Ontario – June 15, 2010

Honourable Michael Gravelle – Ontario Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry

 

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

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Thank you, Steve [Steve Wood, Vale / OMA Director] and good day, everyone.
 
I am very pleased to address members and guests of the Ontario Mining Association this afternoon. It’s a pleasure to be back in North Bay, and to enjoy your hospitality.
 
First let me give my heartiest congratulations to Chris Hodgson and his staff on OMA’s milestone 90th anniversary.

I’m very proud of the longstanding positive working relationship between the Ontario Mining Association and my ministry.

We share a passionate for working collaboratively to build on the strengths of mining for the good of all Ontarians.

That collaboration is also reflected in the OMA’s own positive relationships with First Nations and Métis communities, the supplies and services sector, and mining-sector stakeholders overall.

And my Ministry appreciates your valuable input to our government’s initiatives and programs.

The last decade has been record breaking for Ontario, with one of the best mining cycles in our history. By the same token, the industry has also had a couple of very tough years.

But there are signs of recovery, progress and opportunity: Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire Mine, Railway Will Bring Economic Development to Northern Ontario and Aboriginal Communities – by Ian Ross

This article was orginally published in Northern Ontario Business on December 23, 2009. Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Bob Middleton likens the discovery of chromite in the James Bay Lowlands to the 1903 Cobalt silver discovery that opened up Northern Ontario and created the great mining camps of Timmins and Kirkland Lake.

The potential impact of a massive open-pit mine, ore processing facilities and a railway into McFauld’s Lake, as proposed by Cliffs Natural Recources, will be a life-style changer for many living in remote First Nation communities, said the exploration industry veteran.

“It’s going to change the economy of this whole region,” said Middleton, director of Aboriginal and regulatory affairs with Canada Chrome Corp.
Cliffs’ $240 million stock offer to Freewest Resources, which together with KWG and Spider Resources, found some of the richest chromite deposits in the world, will be voted on by Freewest shareholders in January. The Freewest board is recommending approval of the Cliffs offer.

Middleton outlined his company’s role in a high-grade chromite resource in the area now called the Ring of Fire during a presentation at the Ontario Exploration and Geoscience Symposium, Dec. 16, 2009 in Sudbury.

Canada Chrome is a subsidiary of KWG Resources Inc., one of the companies involved in the $1.5 billion development, which includes an $800-million mine scheduled to go into production by 2015.

Cleveland, Ohio-based Cliffs, a global iron ore pellet and coal producer and an established industrial railway builder, is expanding into the stainless steel market with the development of North America’s first chromite mine.

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Rails to Riches in the Ring of Fire – by Edgar J. Lavoie

This article was orginally published in Northern Ontario Business on April 19, 2010. Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investers with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

A man from North Carolina is standing on the north bank of the frozen Ogoki River in Northern Ontario. His job is to find bedrock that could support a bridge foundation for a Class 3 heavy-haul railway. The railway, currently under feasibility review, would transport 4 million tonnes of chromite every year from the Ring of Fire to the CN mainline near Nakina.

On Feb. 19, Colin Langford, geologist, is overdressed for the weather -2C. The sun is shining, the sky is clear. As the crew extracts two-inch rock core from the drill hole, Langford identifies the rock. “Granite,” he says. Good solid stuff.

Matthew Krzewinski, field program manager for Golder Associates, has dropped from the sky to check on the work. A helicopter is the transport of choice in this country. The company is performing geotechnical drilling on the proposed route.

Only a third of the 340-kilometre route runs through the rock, sand, and gravel of the Canadian Shield. The James Bay Lowlands, in which the Big Daddy chromite discovery is located, is wet – a wilderness of lakes and bogs. KWG Resources Inc. (TSX-V: KWG), in joint venture with Spider Resources Inc. (TSX-V: SPQ), created a subsidiary to do feasibility studies for a railway. In turn, Canada Chrome Corp. engaged Krech Ojard & Associates, PA, of Duluth, who hired Golder Associates, also of Duluth, with support from offices throughout Canada and the USA.

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Ring of Fire: A Chance to Remake, or Ruin, the North – by Tanya Talaga [Toronto Star-March 27, 2010]

Tanya Talaga is the Queen’s Park (Ontario Provincial Government) reporter for the Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This article was originally published on Saturday, March 27, 2010 on the front page of the Insight section.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

A massive ore deposit has prospectors drooling, native groups worried about a raw deal and greens warning of an ecological disaster. With $30 billion at stake, the government is struggling to strike the right balance

MARTEN FALLS FIRST NATION, ONT.–Children sprint into the school gym to feast on the grapes, apples and oranges laid out on long tables – the first fresh fruit they’ve seen in months.

The fruit, all 90 kilos of it, is a gift to the 300 people living in this impoverished, fly-in-only reserve from Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle.

He’s flown to Marten Falls, where the water is not clean enough to drink, on a diplomatic mission to soothe tensions among the Indians, government and mining companies over the proposed development of the Ring of Fire.

The Ring is a massive, 5,120-square-kilometre area of pristine wilderness that happens to be on Marten Falls’ traditional land and is said to hold one of the richest ore deposits in the world.

The buzz around the potential jackpot has prospectors jockeying for position as everyone lines up to stake their claim in this modern-day gold rush. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire, Ring of Fire – by David Robinson

Dr. David Robinson is an economist at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada. His column was originally published in May 2010 issue of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal a magazine that showcases the mining expertise of North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury.  [email protected]

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

One way to get attention in the mining world is to mention the Ring of Fire. Apparently, it doesn’t matter whether your column is really about the Ring of Fire. Just mention this new wonder of the world and you get noticed.

I am far too proud to use such a sleazy technique, but the Ring of Fire (three mentions so far) is an enormous opportunity for the mining supply and services sector.  In fact, the Ring of Fire offers a chance to move Northern Ontario’s mining supply and services sector to a new level.

Cliffs Natural Resources intends to process as much as 800,000 tons of chromite annually, which would place the company in fifth place among producing countries – between Russia and Brazil. Production at that rate could continue for a hundred years. At 2007 prices, the annual value would exceed $250 million. Current prices are lower but expected to rise as demand for stainless steel surges.

For the province, developing the Ring of Fire will produce a huge building boom. It will provide jobs for miners and for the 1,200 people in three small First Nation communities: Webequie, Neskantaga and Marten Falls.  Since these are fly-in communities, the new mines will have to pay for all-weather roads and a rail line. Continue Reading →

Ontario Premier McGuinty Welcomes U.S. to OUR Ring of Fire – by Gregory Reynolds (Part 2 of 2)

This column was originally published in the Spring, 2010 issue of Highgrader Magazine which is committed to serve the interests of northerners by bringing the issues, concerns and culture of the north to the world through the writings and art of award-winning journalists as well as talented freelance artists, writers and photographers.

Gregory Reynolds is a Timmins, Canada-based columnist who writes extensively about mining and northern Ontario issues.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Using a subsidiary of KWG Resources, Canadian Chrome Corporation, (Cliffs had quietly became KWG’s principal shareholder before the project leaked out in a one paragraph item in a monthly magazine in September 2009) Cliffs was able to avoid publicity.

What people should be asking McGuinty is two things: when did he become aware of the project and more importantly, what did he promise Cliffs to get it to commit to a project where native groups were likely to block it for many years, perhaps decades?

Cliff has said it expects to put the $800-million mine into production by 2015. It plans to spend $10 million this year on the project.

The original plan was to have Cliff’s railway link up with the Canadian National Railway main line and transport ore to Thunder Bay where a smelter and electric arc furnace complex would be built.

The 400,000 to 800,000 tonnes of ferrochrome produced per year would be shipped to U.S. steel companies.

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Ontario Premier McGuinty Welcomes U.S. to OUR Ring of Fire – by Gregory Reynolds (Part 1 of 2)

This column was originally published in the Spring, 2010 issue of Highgrader Magazine which is committed to serve the interests of northerners by bringing the issues, concerns and culture of the north to the world through the writings and art of award-winning journalists as well as talented freelance artists, writers and photographers.

Gregory Reynolds is a Timmins, Canada-based columnist who writes extensively about mining and northern Ontario issues.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is a man whose word is worthless. There is no question about his string of broken promises; as a politician, he considers his word merely another election tool.

Thus the question to be considered is this: Was he being dishonest in 2008 when he promised to freeze all development, that mainly being mining and forestry projects, in a 225,000 square km swathe of the Boreal Forest; Or was he being dishonest on March 8 this year when he put a promise to allow development of the Ring of Fire into his government’s Throne Speech?

The Ring of Fire is located about 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay and about 100 km directly west of the De Beers Victor diamond mine in the James Bay Lowlands. It is in the middle of the Northern Boreal Forest.

The Ring is believed to be a huge basin, perhaps created by an asteroid, even bigger at 5,120 square km than the fabled Sudbury Nickel Basin.

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PDAC 2010 – Ring of Fire and the Rebirth of Ontario Mining – by Stan Sudol

(L to R) FNX Mining Company Inc. Chairman and CEO Terry McGibbon and Laurentian University President Dominic Giroux

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant, who writes extensively about mining issues.([email protected])

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

The mood at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto was definitely more upbeat and promising. As the world’s major economies start to recover from last year’s market crash and the collapse of commodity prices, most observers agree that China’s insatiable appetite for metals will continue.

The recent announcement of China’s Jinchuan Group Ltd.’s $150 million offer to buy Canadian nickel junior Crowflight Minerals and the announced merger between Quadra Mining Ltd. and FNX Mining Company Ltd. confirms that the metallic meltdown is over.

Interestingly enough, if Jinchuan’s takeover succeeds, it will give the Chinese government a small foothold in the Sudbury Basin. Crowflight owns or has under option about 800 square kilometers of advanced-stage base metal exploration properties in this region, the Thompson Nickel Belt as well as the Bucko Lake Nickel Mine, both in Manitoba.

Without a doubt, Ontario’s mining sector was one of the top discussions at this year’s PDAC. The Ring of Fire mining camp, located in the muskeg swamps of the James Bay lowlands, 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, has almost single handedly heralded the rebirth of Ontario mining industry.Richard E. Nemis and his daughter Jennifer Nemis Continue Reading →

Mining Gains Economic Boost From 2010 Ontario Provincial Budget

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The provincial budget delivered by Finance Minister Dwight Duncan yesterday in the Legislature has made the future of mining in Ontario significantly brighter. The budget not only boosts the prospects of existing mineral producing operations but it reduces economic resistance to new developments.

“The budget begins to chart a course to a stronger economic future for the people of Ontario,” said Mr. Duncan. Several measures in the budget, which support statements in the Throne Speech of March 8, indicate that course will go through Northern Ontario and involve mineral production as a cornerstone.

The $450 million Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program (NIERP), the $45 million new project based skills training program for Aboriginals and Northern Ontario residents, the appointment of a Ring of Fire Co-ordinator and the $1.2 billion in infrastructure development to strengthen Northern communities all represent positive commitments for the mineral sector. Continue Reading →

Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery (6 of 6) – Excerpt from Fortunes Found Canadian Mining Success – by Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes is the author of more than fifty books about characters, communities, mining, and police work. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and makes his home in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada. While living in Northern Ontario most of his life, he has come to know and admire those who make their living in the mining industry.

To order a copy of “Fortunes Found – Canadian Mining Success” go to: General Store Publishing House

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Ontario ’s Ring of Fire Discovery

Sheldon Inwentash is a major investor in the Ring of Fire area. He adds a cautionary note: “Until you have a number of these deposits that can carry the burden of infrastructure, it’s way too early to talk about mining.” No one argues the truth of this observation, but about twenty companies are staking big money that the size of the deposits will prove much larger in time with more drilling. Two companies that were in the play from the very beginning and pooled their efforts for a while are Spider Resources and KWG Resources; Freewest Resources has also been involved in a joint venture.

Spider president Neil Novak has been working in the James Bay Lowlands for a long time and stated once that, “Somebody told me my name is attached to about fifteen different kimberlites and a whole bunch of massive sulphide deposits.” Continue Reading →