Archive | Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Poor winter road conditions a growing concern for NAN – by Doug Diaczuk ( – January 31, 2020)

Many winter roads throughout the region are still not safe and communities that rely on the network for supplies like fuel are worried about financial impacts

THUNDER BAY – Poor winter road conditions throughout the north are becoming a growing concern for remote First Nation communities that rely on the seasonal transportation network to bring in crucial supplies.

“It’s becoming more and more concerning,” said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief, Alvin Fiddler. “Now that we are at the end of January, the fact that many of our communities still can’t haul big loads, so fuel or other supplies to the communities, is something we need to raise now with both Ontario and Canada.”

Work on winter roads normally begins in November and December, with trucks transporting full loads by mid to late January. “This year they are not even close,” Fiddler said. “Some communities need another 12 inches of ice before they can haul full loads of fuel to their communities.” Continue Reading →

Martin Falls delivers all-season road study update – by Rick Garrick (Wawatay News – January 24, 2020)

Marten Falls delivered an update on its proposed all-season Community Access Road during a Public Information Centre session at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay. “Marten Falls has been wanting an all-season road to the community for a long time and they’ve been working on it for a number of years now,” says Bob Baxter, Marten Falls citizen and member of the Community Access Road project team.

“We’re just in the environmental assessment stage and consulting stage right now to collect feedback from the public and the communities that will be affected.” Baxter says there has been mixed feedback from the community about the Community Access Road. “There’s problems like drug issues that they’re concerned about and the fluctuation of people coming up there to hunt,” Baxter says.

“On the positive side the cost of living would be brought down — the prices would somewhat come down so people would be able to purchase a lot more than they are purchasing now.” Lawrence Baxter, senior community advisor with Marten Falls, says the Community Access Road would be “very beneficial” for the community. Continue Reading →

Column: Stalled Ring of Fire worth more than $117 billion – by Dr. James Mungall (Sudbury Star – January 24, 2020)

Dr. James Mungall is a professor of economic geology at Carleton University. He was Noront’s Chief Geologist during the discovery phase of exploration, but has no financial conflict of interest related to the Ring of Fire. He is considered the top specialist in magmatic ore deposits in Canada and is well-respected globally. Both the Ring of Fire and the Sudbury Basin are magmatic ore deposits.

How much is the Ring of Fire really worth?

Why has mining still not begun in Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral deposit belt a decade after its discovery? Are the deposits worthless, or are there factors beyond the control of the mining industry that are blocking progress?

The value of recoverable contained metal “in the ground” represents the sum of wealth that can be generated through the eventual sale of the commodity to the marketplace. This wealth is distributed over costs of labour, energy, equipment, taxes, profits and interest payments, adding to economic activity by many actors.

Alternatively, the value of the deposit to investors is represented by the profit they hope to make after paying all costs. The need to apply a discount to future earnings shortens the time window on a company’s investment decision to just a few years and may forbid large initial capital expenditures even if the potential for long-term wealth generation is very great.

A third consideration is the intangible value of the deposit to society at large, such as the desire to secure a local supply of a strategic metal or to increase long-term economic activity in an underdeveloped region. Continue Reading →

“Equitable” partnerships with First Nations will make the Ring of Fire go smoothly – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – January 24, 2020)

Improving community conditions should create investor-friendly mining environment, say Matawa chiefs

Chiefs from two economically-depressed communities near the Ring of Fire told Queen’s Park politicians they want to be “equitable partners” to share in the benefits of Far North development.

“Matawa First Nations are not opposed to development, however First Nations require a seat at the able,” said Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse in his remarks before the provincial Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Jan. 21.

He was joined in the pre-budget hearings by Eabametoong Chief Harvey Yesno. Both spoke on behalf of the Matawa Chiefs Council. Five of the nine communities in the Matawa Tribal Council are fly-in, reached only by land during the winter road season. Continue Reading →

Sudbury: Ring of Fire communities get chance to share concerns with federal government (CBC News Sudbury – Janaury 16, 2020)

Marten Falls and Webequie Supply Road projects would be all-season connections to Ring of Fire

People living near the proposed Ring of Fire in the James Bay lowlands have an opportunity to share concerns about the mining project’s environmental impacts at community discussions this week.

Two access roads to the Ring of Fire area– The Marten Falls Community Access Road and the Webequie Supply Roads projects– would be all-season connections to the site and nearby First Nations. While mines are not yet in operation, as part of the federal impact assessment process, community members are invited to comment until January 28.

And the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Friends of the Attawapiskat River organization want to help people in the region share their concerns. Continue Reading →


THUNDER BAY, ON: – Today, the Chiefs of the Matawa First Nations (MFN) presented to the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (SC-FEA), saying that certainty from First Nations is the key to the emerging Northern Ontario economy.

The presentation was made by Chief Harvey Yesno of Eabametoong First Nation, and Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation on behalf of the Matawa Chiefs Council. It is the second time a presentation was made to a Standing Committee of the Ontario legislature. The pre-budget submission included these main points:

• The true potential of the development of the North of Ontario may perhaps be in the trillions of dollars and must be considered in its full potential for wealth creation and revenue generation that will benefit First Nations, government and industry as a whole.
• The development of the north will be multi-generational and international in scope.
• Certainty from First Nations is the key to the emerging northern economy. Continue Reading →

Ottawa will take your comments on the Ring of Fire road – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – December 19, 2019)

Public comments are being taken as part of a federal environment assessment (EA) of the first leg of the proposed north-south Ring of Fire road. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency) is inviting feedback for the upcoming EA of the Marten Falls Community Access Road Project.

The agency determined an EA was necessary on Nov.29. Ottawa wants the public to provide direction on what specific factors must be addressed for the environmental study and how the public should be engaged during this process.

A provincial environment assessment on the corridor began last March. Both levels of government are expected to coordinate their efforts in this process. Marten Falls First Nation, the road proponent, is a fly-in community of 325 at the junction of the Albany and Ogoki Rivers, about 170 kilometres northeast of Nakina in northwestern Ontario and about 100 kilometres southeast of the mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

Ontario’s Ring of Fire: Many Hurdles Yet to Be Overcome – by Jason Unrau (The Epoch Times – December 19, 2019)

The Ring of Fire, northern Ontario’s massive chromite mining and smelting development project, continues to face delays due to challenges like the lack of road access and negotiations with First Nations communities.

Premier Doug Ford has said that the mine is “critical for (his) administration,” but without a rail corridor or smelting capabilities, the extensive chromite deposits in the James Bay Lowlands will stay stranded underground, in the middle of nowhere.

“It’s inaccessible for all practical purposes, except by air, and to sell chrome you’ve got to get it to its steel mills of the world,” said Frank Smeenk, CEO of KWG Resources and one of six mining execs and geologists who located the original cache. Continue Reading →

Liberal leader candidate admits launching Ring of Fire not an easy thing to do – by Rocco Frangione ( – December 8, 2019)

North Bay News, Events & Radio

There’s a frank admission from Steven Del Duca, the Ontario Liberal leadership candidate over the Ring of Fire project. Del Duca says as the Liberals learned during their years in power, it was very difficult to deliver on the huge chromite discovery.

And the former Liberal MPP says it’s no different with the Ford Progressive Conservative government. While he was in Opposition, Nipissing Tory MPP Vic Fedeli regularly criticized former Premiers Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne for not being able to pull off the Ring of Fire.

However, Del Duca says the Tories will and are running into the same difficulties and challenges. “I think the challenges we had with the Ring of Fire, and it’s not partisan, is we were all very excited about the economic development potential,” Del Duca said. Continue Reading →

Matawa Chiefs – “Matawa member First Nations will lead and deliver the next economic boom of this province” – by Staff ( – November 26, 2019)

THUNDER BAY – “Matawa member First Nations will lead and deliver the next economic boom of this province. Equitable partnerships between Matawa First Nations-Government-Industry will result in investment opportunities on a national and international scale. Matawa First Nations are the partners and investors of certainty required for economic and social prosperity,” says Chief Harvey Yesno, Eabametoong First Nation.

“Matawa First Nations are fully aware of the potential impacts to our Inherent Aboriginal and Treaty Rights with the anticipated significant developments that will occur on our homelands. In today’s environment, it would be absurd and negligent for our communities not to call on the Ontario government to develop a new Crown-Inherent Aboriginal Rights-Treaty approach to develop the North,” states Chief Celia Echum, Ginoogaming First Nation.

The Chiefs of the Matawa First Nations (MFN) presented to the Ontario Standing Committee on General Government (SC-GG) regarding Bill 132, also known as ‘An Act to reduce burdens on people and businesses by enacting, amending and repealing various Act and revoking various Regulations’ tabled on Monday, October 28, 2019 by the Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. Continue Reading →

Rallies in twin Saults protest plans for ferrochrome plant – by Darren Taylor (Northern Ontario Business – November 25, 2019)

Groups of environmentally concerned citizens gathered in the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie – in Ontario, Canada and in Michigan, U.S. – on Nov. 23 for coordinated rallies to protest Noront Resources’ planned ferrochrome production facility for Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

“I know of people in Marquette, all over the state of Michigan, who are concerned about the building of this facility,” said James McCall, Sault Michigan resident, speaking to SooToday.

About 20 protesters gathered on the U.S. side at 1 p.m., intending to stay at that location until 6 p.m., the group including professional environmentalists and members of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Continue Reading →

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug seeks to protect 1.3 million hectares – by Gary Rinne ( – November 16, 2019)

KITCHENUHMAYKOOSIB INNINUWUG FIRST NATION, Ont. — The federal government has given K.I. First Nation $300,000 to work toward establishing an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, wants to prevent development within the watershed surrounding Big Trout Lake and its traditional homelands. Chief Donny Morris says that comprises an area of 1.3 million hectares.

“We will be able to practise our hunting and traditional things in this park…We just have to work to implement some rules, policies, how we’re going to run this protected area,” Morris told Tbnewswatch in an interview. Continue Reading →

Noront considers building small-scale ferrochrome pilot plant in Sudbury – by David Helwig (Soo Today – November 14, 2019)

Also, here’s about as detailed an accounting of what Noront has told us about the Sault plant as we can muster

Fifteen months after Sudbury was rejected as the future home of a billion-dollar Noront Resources Ltd. smelter, it appears the Nickel City may yet win a skinny-downed slice of ferrochrome pie.

Before building its controversial ferrochrome processing plant in Sault Ste. Marie, Noront wants to test its technology with a small-scale demonstration plant. Greater Sudbury is under consideration as the prototype’s location.

This previously undisclosed part of Noront’s plans was one of many new details that surfaced during six hours of formal and informal presentations by executives of the junior mining company late last month in the Sault. The tsunami of new information, released in a widely-criticized format, went largely unreported in media reports. Continue Reading →

Ontario renewed funding push for Ring of Fire roads as viability of venture questioned – by Niall McGee and Jeff Gray (Globe and Mail – November 4, 2019)

The Ontario government appealed to Ottawa this summer to split a $1.6-billion construction bill for roads into the Ring of Fire region, despite mounting evidence the minerals project in the province’s North isn’t economically viable.

Documents reviewed by The Globe and Mail show that Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, sent an e-mail in July to a number of federal ministers asking for Ottawa to kick in as much as $779-million to roughly match Ontario’s contribution.

As part of his business case for investing in the Ring of Fire, Mr. Rickford referenced a number of often-cited huge financial projections about the project that have no supporting evidence. Continue Reading →

The road to nowhere: Claims Ontario’s Ring of Fire is worth $60-billion are nonsense – by Niall McGee and Jeff Gray (Globe and Mail – October 26, 2019)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has talking points he’s fond of repeating – over and over again – and one of his favourites is a pledge to build a billion-dollar road to a boggy, remote region of Northern Ontario known as the Ring of Fire.

When asked about the promise by a reporter at a plowing match in September, Mr. Ford repeated almost verbatim an infamous tweet from last year’s provincial election campaign: “If I have to hop on a bulldozer myself, we’re going to start building roads to the Ring of Fire.”

“You’re going to see me on that bulldozer,” Mr. Ford declared, with a confident chuckle. The declaration by the Ontario premier is just one example of the big talk over the past decade by politicians of all stripes about the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →