The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario. This editorial was originally published on February 11, 2010.
For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery
IT WOULD be difficult to overstate the importance of the so-called Ring of Fire, a huge, horseshoe-shaped geological structure in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario. In just 30 months it has gone from a single drill hole to the probable jewel in the crown of a regional economic recovery.
The nearest communities to the ring of high-grade nickel-copper-platinum-palladium, chromite, vanadium and gold are the First Nations of Marten Falls and Webequie which are naturally angling to share the wealth. Much has been done to achieve that objective but lately, it appears the First Nations are not happy. An early partnership between Marten Falls and Noront Resources, the area’s key exploration company, for example, came apart this winter when the band council authorized members to block Noront planes from landing near their camps.
Everyone in Northern Ontario – most particularly First Nations anywhere near mineral deposits – must fervently hope that Marten Falls and Webequie don’t send companies packing from the Ring of Fire like another band further north did earlier. It cost Ontario taxpayers $5 million in company compensation, but the loss in this instance would be almost incalculable given the ring’s potential.