NEWS RELEASE: Ring of Fire Metals and Webequie First Nation Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Ring of Fire Development (December 6, 2022)

Webequie First Nation Chief, Cornelius Wabasse, and Ring of Fire Metals Acting CEO, Stephen Flewelling, sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Webequie on Ring of Fire development.

Ring of Fire Metals (RoFM) and Webequie First Nation (Webequie) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining a framework for collaboration on proposed development in the Ring of Fire.

The MOU details how the two parties will work together to progress ongoing exploration activity in the region as well as negotiations on a partnership agreement for the proposed Eagle’s Nest mine.

Webequie Chief, Cornelius Wabasse, said “As leaders and critical decision makers, we have a social responsibility with our members and that is to find ways to sustain our community through long term relationship agreements that will bring and foster livelihood.

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Top federal government official casts doubt on Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining development – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 29, 2022)

A top Canadian federal government official has raised doubts about whether Ontario’s Ring of Fire region will ever be developed, pouring cold water on a critical minerals project that the provincial government has championed and the United States administration has expressed interest in funding.

Jeff Labonté, assistant deputy minister for lands and minerals at Natural Resources Canada, told senior leadership at the Neskantaga First Nation in a meeting on Nov. 17 that it’s possible no mines will be built in the region, and that there is no guarantee Ottawa will ever come forward with the roughly $1-billion in funding needed for development to proceed.

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Welcome to Canada, where we hesitate instead of hustle – by Heather Scoffield (Toronto Star – November 18, 2022)

When it comes to future prosperity, Canada talks fast but moves slowly, Heather Scoffield writes.

Here’s a new slogan to sum up Canada’s approach to boosting prosperity: Welcome to Canada, where we hesitate instead of hustle. Our industrial strategy, vaunted but not clearly defined. Our China policy, much hinted at but not yet published. Our critical minerals, heavily marketed but not yet mined. Our zero-carbon efforts, subsidized but not likely to remain competitive.

Those are the building blocks of not just our economic direction, but also the politics that motivate both the Conservatives and Liberals. Our leaders definitely talk a good game though.

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Matawa chiefs push back against U.S. military agenda in the Ring of Fire – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 17, 2022)

First Nation leaders demand a big say over any industrial development on their James Bay homelands

Toronto media reports about talks between the U.S. military, mining interests and government about funding development in the Ring of Fire has angered Indigenous communities in Ontario’s Far North.

The leadership of the Matawa First Nations are asserting their sovereignty, rights and jurisdiction over their traditional territories in the mineral-rich James Bay region. Chiefs from across Ontario met this week at their fall assembly in Toronto and are lending their support.

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TORONTO, ON: From the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, Six Nations of the Grand River, the Anishinabek, Haudenosaunee, and Huron-Wendatpart at the Chiefs of Ontario Fall Chiefs Assembly held in Toronto November 15-16-17, 2022 the Matawa Chiefs Council presented to the First Nations across Ontario on the development of the Ring of Fire Region.

In briefing the Chiefs Assembly on the complex issues, Ontario First Nations leaders voiced and demonstrated support of the Matawa Chiefs Council positions related to their sovereignty, rights, interests and jurisdiction in their traditional territories and homelands.

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U.S. military in talks with Canadian miners for key minerals as rivalry with China grows – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – November 16, 2022)

One of the projects on the Americans’ radar is northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire

The United States military is talking to Canadian miners about potentially funding some critical minerals projects in Canada, the latest evidence of President Joe Biden’s administration’s commitment to cutting its reliance on China for the metals needed to build defence equipment and expand the electric vehicle (EV) market.

One of those projects is in the Ring of Fire region in northern Ontario, which Premier Doug Ford’s government believes has “multi-generational potential” to produce minerals such as nickel and copper that are currently in high demand as countries look to accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels.

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U.S. government considering funding for Ontario’s Ring of Fire – by Naill McGee (Globe and Mail – November 15, 2022)

Ring of Fire Metals is in talks with the United States government about possibly getting funding for its critical minerals project in northern Ontario.

“We’ve had initial discussions with the U.S. Department of Defence (DOD) regarding the important role that Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire region will play in producing the critical minerals needed by Canada and the U.S.” the company said in a statement to The Globe and Mail.

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Ontario Mines Minister Pirie targets red tape for Ring of Fire – by Colin McClelland (Northern Miner – November 4, 2022)

Global mining news

Ontario Mines Minister George Pirie, a 35-year mining industry veteran before his election in June, says he plans to consider cutting project red tape “fairly shortly” while encouraging more federal investment in the Ring of Fire.

Pirie, who served as head of Placer Dome Canada in the years before of its acquisition by Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) in 2006, says Ontario has potential to displace the foreign output of some minerals needed in the multi-trillion-dollar global transition to clean energy. But projects can’t take 12 to 15 years for approval.

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NEWS RELEASE: Ring of Fire Metals Progresses Sustainable Mine Studies (November 1, 2022)

Ring of Fire Metals (RoF Metals) has commenced two studies exploring the use of wind power and atmospheric carbon removal as part of planning for a net zero emissions mine in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.

Stephen Crozier, RoF Metals VP Sustainability, said the findings from a study of the wind energy resource conducted by global renewable energy company Windlab earlier this year were promising.

“Our primary focus in the development of Eagle’s Nest is to implement low emissions technologies throughout the operation, wherever possible,” he said.

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Federal Natural Resources Minister looks to speed up Canadian critical minerals production – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 26, 2022)

Jonathan Wilkinson wants to get on the same regulatory page with Ontario to advance mining projects

With a global critical minerals supply gap coming, federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson admits Ottawa has some work to do toward expediting approvals to put more critical minerals mining projects into production sooner.

In his Oct. 25 remarks to Canadian Club of Toronto, Wilkinson said Ottawa is looking to get on the same page with the provinces and territories in working smarter in advancing energy and natural resource projects along in a timely manner.

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The Drift: 15 years after Ring of Fire discovery, mining timeline no clearer – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – October 24, 2022)

Ring of Fire Metals prepares for big exploration push as critical minerals supply crunch looms

There’s new ownership, new branding and a new name for the former Noront Resources in the Ring of Fire. But the path to start mining in Ontario’s Far North doesn’t look to be getting any shorter.

After being shuttered for more than a year, field exploration activity is picking up again at the remote Esker camp of Ring of Fire Metals, the new name on the marquee as chosen by Wyloo Metals of Australia following its acquisition of Noront last April.

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Australian miner bails on Quebec rare earth projects amid First Nation resistance – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – October 13, 2022)

Vital Metals bills itself as Canada’s first rare earth producer and decision to ditch projects could be significant

Australia’s Vital Metals Ltd. walked away from two Quebec-based projects earlier this week due to objections from the Kebaowek First Nation, the latest evidence that maximizing Canada’s potential to be a player in the energy transition will require a more sophisticated relationship with Indigenous communities.

The Sydney-based company had signed an $8-million agreement with Montreal-based Quebec Precious Metals Corp. (QPM) in August last year to acquire 68- and 100-per-cent interests in the Kipawa and Zeus rare earth projects situated in Quebec’s Témiscamingue region, about 90 kilometres northeast of North Bay, Ont.

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New Indigenous forum connects leaders on major infrastructure projects – by Jonathan Migneault (CBC News Sudbury – October 4, 2022)

Over the last five years, Michael Fox has noticed Indigenous communities have become more involved in major infrastructure and natural resource projects in Ontario.

Fox, the president of a professional services company called Indigenous and Community Engagement, helped organize the first Indigenous-led Projects Forum in Toronto last week.

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Indigenous Leaders: First Nation partnerships will lead the way north – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 28, 2022)

Marten Falls and Webequie pursue their socio-economic development goals in shepherding Northern Road Link environmental impact process

If your First Nation community harbours great ambitions to become a major project proponent, Gordon Wabasse offers some sage and simple advice. “Be prepared.” Wabasse, the lands and resources director of Webequie First Nation, participated in a panel discussion on the Ring of Fire at the inaugural Indigenous-led Projects Forum in Toronto, Sept. 27.

Wabasse and other James Bay regional leadership spoke of his community’s groundbreaking journey as one of the two Indigenous proponents overseeing the design and environmental impacts of a proposed all-season road into Far North, an Ontario first.

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We’ll ‘set the bar high’ on Ring of Fire environment assessment, First Nation chief says – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – September 27, 2022)

Ontario government has described the Ring of Fire as one of the ‘most promising’ regions for developing critical minerals

Indigenous groups who support building an all-season pathway into Ontario’s mineral-rich Ring of Fire region say they hope to allay concerns of neighbouring First Nations by conducting strong environmental assessments (EA).

The First Nations of Marten Falls and Webequie are currently conducting EAs for three proposed roads that would provide access to the region situated in northern Ontario’s James Bay Lowlands, about 500 kilometres from Thunder Bay.

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