Archive | Stan Sudol Columns/Media References and Appearances

Basic Facts About the Ring of Fire Including FNs Traditional Territories – by Stan Sudol

This post was originally published last year. A lot has happened in the Ring of Fire since then so I thought I would repost with some updates and interesting links. Some of the most significant developments have been the cancellation of the March 26, 2014 Regional “Framework Agreement” and the election of a new Chief for Eabametoong. On June 17th of this year, Harvey Yesno, former Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation was elected replacing former Chief Elizabeth Atlookan.

Eabametoong is the largest populated community among the five isolated FNs in the Ring of Fire and is also one of the original signatories to Treaty 9 in 1905 along with Marten Falls. I will elaborate on the importance of Treaty 9 in a future update.

Chief Yesno seems to be a very pragmatic, pro-business individual who sees economic development on Eabametoong’s tradiational territories as a way of improving the standard of living in his community. This link https://bit.ly/2wZDqi5 brings you to a previous keynote speech he gave in 2014 while this link is a recent profile in Northern Ontario Business https://bit.ly/2nbGm9v . Continue Reading →

Rockcliff gears up to drill in Snow Lake – by Stan Sudol (Northern Miner – July 15, 2019)

Rockcliff Metal’s founder Ken LaPierre at the 2019 PDAC Mining Convention. A $29 Million financing has turbo-charged junior Rockcliff Metals, which plans to complete over 100,000 metres of exploration drilling over next 18 months. Rockcliff is the 2nd largest landholder in the legendary Flin Flon/Snow Lake greenstone belt in Northern Manitoba after HudBay Minerals. (Photo by Stan Sudol)

Northern Miner

At the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto in March 2018, Rockcliff Metals (CSE: RCLF) was a struggling junior with a large land package in the lesser known but geologically rich Flin Flon–Snow Lake (FF–SL) greenstone belt, with eight high-grade, base-metal volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits and five gold properties.

It began as a tough year for Rockcliff, and it turned even rougher the week before the PDAC convention, when Kenneth Lapierre, Rockcliff’s president and CEO at the time, slipped on freshly fallen snow when taking out the garbage at home.

Not thinking much about his sore ankle, the six-foot-three-inch, former hockey-playing, karate-practising jock then started shovelling the driveway. Twelve hours later, the swelling and pain in his ankle demanded a trip to the doctor, where he learned that it was broken, and that he had torn all the soft tissue. Continue Reading →

Miners waiting for higher nickel, metals prices – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – January 18, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

The prices of nickel and other metals prices will recover, especially when more electric vehicles are built, mining analysts say. When they do, work at Levack Mine’s Morrison deposit will resume. Until then, KGHM Sudbury will keep the deposit in a care and maintenance mode, company officials say.

“It was very difficult,” Steve Dunlop, KGHM Sudbury general manager, said about meetings with employees held Wednesday to break the news. “Our concern is certainly with our employees. We are a fairly tight family. All of our workers have 10-plus years and the staff (members) have also been with us for quite a long time. It was very difficult.”

Slumping world nickel prices have prompted KGHM Sudbury to halt production at its Morrison deposit, putting an estimated 120 employees out of work as of late March when the mine goes into care and maintenance mode. A total of 87 of the affected 120 employees are members of United Steelworkers Local 2020. Continue Reading →

The Ring of Fire: Some clarification and context from Stan Sudol – by Greg Klein (Recource Clips – December 4, 2018)

http://resourceclips.com/

Urban journalists hundreds of kilometres away might not get it, but regional opposition to Ring of Fire development is anything but unanimous. That’s emphasized in a recent post by Republic of Mining commentator Stan Sudol: Not all the region’s native bands oppose development. Those that do, moreover, have traditional territories outside the proposed mining areas.

“As with non-Aboriginal society, First Nations do not speak with one voice,” he points out. Two of five regional chiefs got considerable news coverage by criticizing a proposed road that would connect the provincial highway system with the mineral-rich region. Those chiefs represent the Eabametoong and Neskantaga bands, both with traditional territories outside the Ring of Fire.

“In fact, the Eabametoong reserve is a little over 170 kilometres southwest of the proposed first mine in the Ring of Fire—Noront Resources’ Eagle’s Nest underground nickel-copper mine—while Neskantaga is about 130 kilometres in the same direction.” Continue Reading →

[Bill James] Former Falconbridge CEO was ‘a miner’s miner’ – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – October 19, 2018)

In 1982, Mr. James joined Falconbridge Ltd. as CEO at a time when the great
nickel company was in deep trouble….Not surprisingly, the layoffs garnered
resentment from some quarters.

According to Sudbury native Stan Sudol, owner and editor of RepublicOfMining.com,
a joke making rounds at the time was,  “Bill James dies and goes to hell, but the
devil kicked him out, because he kept shutting down his furnaces.” But eventually it
was Mr. James who had the last laugh – by 1984, Falconbridge was back in the black.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Canadian mining company Falconbridge Inc. had a big problem in the early 1980s. Its operations in war-torn Zimbabwe were in chaos. Rebels opposing leader Robert Mugabe were firing at Falconbridge’s Blanket gold mine security force with rocket-propelled grenades. Workers there were also getting hungry, with food provisions running low due to blockades. Thirteen-thousand kilometres away in Toronto, Falconbridge’s chief executive didn’t mess around. Bill James flew 24 hours to Zimbabwe and went straight to the dictator’s office.

“Bill wasn’t a wallflower. He’d barge into anyone’s office,” said Bill McNamara, a longtime friend of Mr. James and a lawyer with Torys LLP. Mr. James’s demands, delivered in his signature loud, gravelly baritone, were simple: He wanted food for his employees and assault rifles for their protection.

“Mugabe’s looking like someone’s hit him on the head with a two-by-four,” Mr. McNamara said. “[Thinking,] ‘Who the hell is this guy?’ ” But here’s the thing. Mr. Mugabe knew that without that mine in operation, Zimbabwe would suffer economically. The next morning, five truckloads of maize showed up at the mine, along with a dozen AK-47s. Continue Reading →

No Ferrochrome Sudbury plans protest – by Staff (Sudbury Star – June 26, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

A group opposed to a $1-billion ferrochrome plant in Sudbury that could create as many at 1,000 direct and indirect jobs is planning a protest for Tuesday.

Members of No Ferrochrome Sudbury said in a release they will hold an information protest at the boat launch on the Wahnapitae River, across the street from the Wahnapitae Community Centre on Glenbower Crescent near Highway 17. The protest will begin at 10 a.m.

“The event is to raise awareness about the potential for hexavalent chromium to contaminate the City of Greater Sudbury’s water treatment facility on the Wahnapitae River,” No Ferrochrome Sudbury said. “This treatment facility provides drinking water to 60 per cent of the city’s population, including New Sudbury, Garson, Coniston and Wahnapitae.” Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s nickel in demand again – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – June 13, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

It’s the type of metal needed for electric cars

In the first half of 2017, nickel was selling for an average price of US$4.43 a pound and there was an increasing glut of nickel in London Metal Exchange warehouses. On Aug. 31, that glut reached a whopping 389,154 tonnes. Fast-forward to today and it’s a totally different picture.

Last week, LME nickel stockpiles had shrunk to 278,800 tonnes. The metal also broke through the US$7-a-pound mark last week — a gain of about $1.50 pound since last December. Nickel started the day Friday at $7.10 pound, but had dropped to $6.96/pound U.S. by the end of the day, and has dropped a bit more since then.

Terry Ortslan, mining analyst with TSO & Associates in Montreal, said a combination of the weakening of the U.S. dollar and hoarding by traders in anticipation of nickel needed for electric vehicles is causing rising prices and inventory drops. Continue Reading →

The Ontario election: What does Ford’s nation have in store for mining? – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – June 7, 2018)

http://resourceclips.com/

He reportedly promised to get Ring of Fire development started even if he had to climb onto a bulldozer to blaze a trail himself. Now Doug Ford and Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives have won a resounding majority, already apparent less than half an hour after polls closed and five days after Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne conceded defeat.

Canada-wide, this has probably been the most closely watched provincial election outside Quebec for many years. Celebrated by some as a populist and disliked by the establishment for the same reason, Ford was nevertheless granted a degree of civility that the media generally begrudged his late brother, former Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Although a veteran of municipal politics and a long-time PC member, this marks Doug Ford’s first foray as a provincial candidate.

Elegant for its simplicity was his party’s five-point plan, starting with “scrap the carbon tax.” He’d “cut gas prices by 10 cents a litre, reduce middle class income taxes by 20%, cut your hydro bills by 12%,” create “quality” jobs, slash government waste and “end hallway health care” with new beds and additional treatment. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Northern Ontario being strangled [Part 1 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 2, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

On June 7, the people of Ontario will be going to the polls in one of the most pivotal elections in the province’s history. While Northern Ontario – north of the French and Mattawa rivers, as I have never recognized the Parry Sound and Muskoka ridings as being part of the North – encompasses roughly 90 per cent of the province’s land mass, its population has been steadily declining to slightly over five per cent of Ontario’s total.

Unfortunately, our impact on provincial policies is almost negligible.

A buck a beer, cheaper gas, tax breaks combined with unaffordable infrastructure and social commitments, twinning the trans-Canada in Northern Ontario, buying back Hydro One and jumping on a bulldozer to start building the road into the Ring of Fire are part of a bevy of mostly worthy but unsustainable promises Conservative Doug Ford, Liberal Kathleen Wynne and NDP Andrea Horwath have made.

However, I seldom hear any actual policy initiatives to grow the economy and create wealth so we can afford all these election initiatives and perhaps, just perhaps, put a little money on our provincial debt, which has more than doubled during the past 15 years under the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal era, from about $138 billion in 2003-04 to $325 billion today and growing. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: A slow road to the Ring [Part 2 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 4, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Let’s be brutally honest and frank. Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne and her mines minister, Michael Gravelle, have utterly failed in moving the Ring of Fire forward, which is located in the isolated James Bay lowlands about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

For slightly more than five years, they have not been able to get shovels in the ground for an essential road into the most promising mineral discoveries in Canada since the Sudbury Basin in 1883, which was found during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

By coincidence, it took a bit less than five years to build the entire CPR in the early 1880s from Ontario to Vancouver – a distance of roughly 4,200 kilometres. The distance between the Ring and the provincial highway system is about 280 kms.

But to cut both of these politicians some political slack, enormous blame must also be given to the previous Harper and current Trudeau governments, as well. First Nations are primarily a federal responsibility – though that doesn’t prevent the province from stepping in if there is a dire need of some sort. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Move 10,000 civil service jobs North [Part 3 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 5, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

Without a doubt, the provincial economy overall is doing great. Growth rates of 2.8 per cent in 2017 and a slightly lower rate of 2.4 per cent predicted for this year has allowed the Ontario to gain 335,000 new jobs and lowered unemployment to 5.5 per cent in March.

However, the vast majority of that prosperity is focused on the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In fact, over the past decade, roughly 80 per cent of new jobs created in Ontario went to the GTA, 10 per cent to Ottawa and the rest of the province had to make due with the remaining 10 per cent.

Is it any wonder why the GTA is drowning in prosperity, with crowded subways, congested highways and an over-inflated housing market?

In the1980s, former Liberal premier David Peterson had an innovative vision of sharing the job wealth with the rest of the province as the government is a major employer. He transferred 1,600 civil service jobs from a number of ministries to Northern Ontario. Thousands of other jobs were also moved to various cities in southern Ontario like Kingston, Peterborough, Orillia and Guelph. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Sudbury as the ‘Harvard’ of hardrock mining [Part 4 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 6, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

The Sudbury Basin is Ontario’s metallic equivalent to the Alberta oils sands without the massive open pits as most of the mines historically have been underground. For 135 years, the region’s unique polymetallic ore-bodies have produced nickel, copper and significant quantities of cobalt, gold, silver and platinum group metals (PGMs).

It is the third largest source of PGMs after South Africa and Russia. Many multi-generational families earn good middle-class salaries in the many mines, two mills, two smelters and one refinery. Roughly 30 per cent of provincial mining activity takes place in Sudbury, according to the Ontario Mining Association.

Glencore’s recent C$900 million investment in the development of its Onaping Depth project and Vale’s C$760 million phase one development of its Copper Cliff Deep mine are indications of growing confidence in the future of the region. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: How do we pay for all of this? [Part 5 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 6, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

The gulf between Northern Ontario’s needs and the ability of politicians and bureaucrats to address them has never been wider. There was time, so very long ago, when a northern politician like the legendary Leo Bernier could impress the premier to resolve the region’s many unique issues.

Those times are long gone and Northern Ontario’s MPPs seem to play second fiddle to a very powerful and media savvy environmental movement, who have no problems riding roughshod over the region’s needs or just don’t have the political clout at Queen’s Park to address their issues. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines is a very small ministry.

Half in jest, I often wonder if the North needs to establish an embassy somewhere adjacent to the legislature – the disconnection really is that bad.

When Canada hit the debt wall in the mid-1990s and global financial markets were basically calling our currency a “northern peso,” then Prime Minister Jean Chretien made the shockingly brave political choice to treat the voters like intelligent adults and talk honestly about the need to address the nation’s critical financial state. Continue Reading →

Stan Sudol: Ontario politicians disregard mining issues, to the province’s peril – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – June 1, 2018)

http://resourceclips.com/

One of Canada’s greatest mineral discoveries since 1883, the Ring of Fire offers tremendous potential to a region plagued by endemic poverty and to a province burdened with the world’s largest sub-national debt.

Meanwhile Ontario law requires mining companies to monitor carbon emissions from portable toilets. With a provincial election coming on June 7, something’s terribly lacking in campaign discussion, not to mention political vision, says Stan Sudol.

Backing up his insights with factual detail, the Sudbury native, former mine worker, communications consultant and mining commentator presents a highly informed perspective at his website, The Republic of Mining. Are the hurdles to Ring of Fire development insurmountable? Sudol points out: Continue Reading →

What Does Northern Ontario Want From Queen’s Park? – by Stan Sudol (RepublicOfMining.com – May 31, 2018)

Northern Ontario Being Strangled

On June 7th, the people of Ontario will be going to the polls in one of the most pivotal elections in the province’s history. While Northern Ontario – north of the French and Mattawa Rivers, as I have never recognized the Parry Sound and Muskoka ridings as being part of the North – encompasses roughly 90 per cent of the province’s land mass, its population has been steadily declining to slightly over five per cent of Ontario’s total.

Unfortunately, our impact on provincial policies is almost negligible.

A buck a beer, cheaper gas, tax breaks combined with unaffordable infrastructure and social commitments, twinning the trans-Canada in Northern Ontario, buying back Hydro One, and jumping on a bulldozer to start building the road into the Ring of Fire are part of a bevy of mostly worthy but unsustainable promises Conservative Doug Ford, Liberal Kathleen Wynne and NDP Andrea Horwath have made.

However, I seldom hear any actual policy initiatives to grow the economy and create wealth so we can afford all these election initiatives and perhaps, just perhaps put a little money on our provincial debt which has more than doubled during the past 15 years under the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal era from about $138 billion in 2003/04 to $325 billion currently and growing. By the way, this is the largest sub-national debt in the world and twice as large as California which has a population of almost 40 million. We are paying roughly $1 billion a month to service that debt. That will surely rise when interest rates, which are at historic lows, eventually start going up! Continue Reading →