Possible rail solution in Ring of Fire – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – January 23, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The Mushkegowuk Tribal Council is considering the idea of teaming up with a Southern Ontario rail company to purchase the rail division of Ontario Northland with an eye to expanding rail service on the James Bay Coast and eventually to the Ring Of Fire mining development.

Mushkegowuk grand chief Lawrence Martin revealed Thursday afternoon that his organization has been approached by TGR Rail Canada Ltd, which is one of the companies bidding on the divestment of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

“They gave us a proposal to consider in which we would look at an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) to discuss the possibility of a partnership with them,” said grand chief Martin, speaking to the Aboriginal Energy Symposium.

He said TGR Rail Canada, based out of Toronto, is one of the companies approved by the province as eligible to purchase Ontario Northland rail operations provided they do it in a partnership with a Northern Ontario organization such as Mushkegowuk.

“At this point I can say it is a proposal. We are looking at it.

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Big Brains and Why Mining in British Columbia Needs Them – by Pierre Gratton

Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of The Mining Association of British ColumbiaThis speech was given by Pierre Gratton – President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia – on May 4, 2009 at the Vancouver Board of Trade in Vancouver, British Columbia.

This is a must read speech!

Globe and Mail columnist Patrick Brethour wrote about this speech in the May 15, 2009 edition of the paper: After the election, a quiet revolution.


Good afternoon.

Before I begin, I would first like to thank the Vancouver Board of Trade for the opportunity to speak to you today. This is an annual address on the state of the mining industry by the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) and we appreciate the opportunity the board provides
us to do this.

I would like to thank my colleagues on the executive committee and board of directors and the staff at the MABC who work tirelessly on behalf of the mining industry, along with friends and colleagues at AME BC and the Mining Suppliers Association of BC. I especially would like to
thank all the members of the Mining Week Committee who have worked hard to plan and organize this week’s events. In particular, I’d like to thank one of my staff, Claire Thomson, who has worked unstintingly but cheerfully pulling so much of this together.

Mining week, a venerable tradition for the past 102 years, celebrates the role this industry plays in making British Columbia a great place to live, work and play.

This week events take place in Vancouver, Kamloops, Elk Valley and in many other communities across the province.

Here in Vancouver, Mining Week celebrations started with a well-attended gala awards reception last evening at the Terminal City Club. The Mining & Sustainability Award 2008 – a tie this year – was presented to Absorbent Products and the Upper Similkameen Indian Band in
recognition of their respective contributions to sustainability in the mining industry.

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The Positive Economic Impact of the Vale Inco’s Voisey’s Bay Nickel Project on Aboriginal Communities and Newfoundland – Raymond Goldie

Raymond Goldie is a senior mining analyst with Salman Partners Incorporated and is the author of “Inco Comes to Labrador” (Flanker Press, 2005). This article was written in December, 2008.

Since the late twentieth century, there have been remarkable changes in the world’s mining industry’s attitudes with respect to community relations.  The mining industry has come to recognize that it is of critical importance to engage the local community in mining development, and it has acted accordingly.  The development of the Voisey’s Bay mine in northern Labrador by Inco Ltd. and its successor, Vale Inco, has epitomized these changes in attitudes and actions.

In 2002, Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company (“VBNC”, now Vale Inco Newfoundland and Labrador ), then a subsidiary of Inco (and now of Vale Inco), made deals with the government of Newfoundland and Labrador and with First Nations groups in the vicinity of the Voisey’s Bay mineral deposit.  These deals allowed Vale Inco to develop a mine and concentrator at Voisey’s Bay.  This operation produces concentrates (which are feedstock for smelters and refineries) of nickel and copper.  The deals also obliged Vale Inco to provide training, employment and business opportunities for members of local communities (including the engagement of local Labradoreans in caring for and monitoring Voisey’s Bay’s natural environment) , and to improve the provision of health care and other social services to those communities.

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Agreement Strengthens Ontario Mining and First Nations Links

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 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the Assembly of First Nations strengthens the existing links between these two groups.  Through this MOU, the mining industry will boost its engagement with First Nations economies creating employment and business opportunities.  The MOU was signed by National Chief Phil Fontaine and Jim Gowans, President of Ontario Mining Association member De Beers Canada and Chair of the MAC.  This historic initiative got underway when MAC and the Assembly of First Nations signed a letter of intent in November 2007.

“In resource development, First Nations and the mining community are natural partners,” said National Chief Fontaine.  “Developing a new partnership between the AFN and MAC will complement and enhance the growing relationships between First Nations and Canada´s major mining companies.  The resource sector will come back stronger than ever in the very near future.  With a growing land base and growing populations, First Nations are poised to be key players in the years and decades to come,” he added.  “We want to work together towards greater certainty and sustainable mining developments that will contribute significantly to the economic, social and environmental well-being of First Nations.”

“Canada´s mining industry is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal people,” said Mr. Gowans.

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AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine 2009 PDAC Speech – Toronto

(left to right) Chief Glenn Nolan, AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine, Don Bubar-PDACMetro Toronto Convention Centre

March 3, 2009


I want to thank the PDAC – in particular Chief Glenn Nolan and Don Bubar – for inviting me here to provide an update on the Corporate Challenge and our work with the mineral industry.

It was exactly one year ago tomorrow – March 4th, 2008 – that I attended this convention for the first time and signed an MOU with then President Patricia Dillon resulting in PDAC joining the AFN Corporate Challenge.

As I look back to that signing, I wonder who could have foreseen then that the global economy was in for the transformative change we are witnessing today?

As we gather today on this anniversary, I come in the spirit of friendship on behalf of the AFN.  Amongst my peoples these bonds are strongest when times are difficult when times are difficult for our friends.

Although, economic forecasters differ on the pace and timing of the rebound in the global economy, there is no uncertainty that prices and demand will recover and grow.

With this in mind, let us discuss our common purpose in fostering relationships of strength and common prosperity as between First Nations and the mining industry, now and for tomorrow.

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Mining, Sustainable Development and First Nations, Our New Frontier – by Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of British Columbia

Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of British ColumbiaThis speech was given to the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) – North Central Branch, Prince George, British Columbia on June 26, 2008 by Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia.

Thank you for that kind introduction. It is a pleasure to be here to give what is, in fact, my maiden speech as President and CEO of The Mining Association of British Columbia. Actually, it’s a pre-maiden speech, because I don’t officially take the helm until next Monday.

I am also pleased that Prince George has reconstituted its CIM branch after a few years of dormancy – congratulations on this initiative. This is a trend we are seeing across the country and it reflects the strong period of growth we are in. But your resurgence is not just a good indicator of our good times. CIM and its many branches have a unique role to play across our country in getting the message out about our industry. You help to demonstrate to society that ours is a safe, dynamic, progressive sector committed to excellence, the sharing of best practices, technology and innovation.

I urge you to reach out and grow this branch and to look to play an active role in this community. One clear example of this is the leadership that our sector demonstrates in health and safety, with mining now the safest heavy industry in British Columbia – a tremendous accomplishment built on strong and respectful relationships between mine management, labour and government that we can all be very proud of.

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Size Does Not Matter to Sego in Partnering With Native Communities – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

There has been some discussion in this space over the past two weeks as to how it takes very deep pockets to keep the Aboriginal community happy when wanting to explore or develop on their lands. The assumption is that only the largest, richest companies can succeed, as De Beers Canada has done at its Victor diamond mine.

That’s not true at all, if the experience of J. Paul Stevenson is anything to go by.

“I have worked with First Nations for many years as CEO of junior companies,” he wrote. “What we don’t have in money we have in effort and communication. [I] never found lack of money an issue. In fact, I found a great deal of understanding from communities as to our issues around financing.”

Stevenson and I began a correspondence so that I might share his experiences with other CMJ readers. He is currently CEO of Vancouver-based Sego Resources. The junior has two early-stage copper-gold exploration projects in southern British Columbia.

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Aboriginal Community Development with the Resource Sector Annual Conference – Opening Comments – By Hans Matthews, President of the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association

The Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association (CAMA) is an Aboriginal, non-profit organization which seeks to increase the understanding of the minerals industry, Aboriginal mining and Aboriginal communities’ paramount interests in lands and resources.

Developing Minds, Managing Resources – November 2, 2008 (Saskatoon, Canada)

There are now more than 120 agreements in Canada between Aboriginal groups and mining companies. We are at a stage where it has almost become the norm for companies to negotiate agreements to gain access to the community, community lands and to initiate programs and services around environmental management, human resource (HR) development, business development, social planning and so on.

In addition, communities are receiving a share of revenues from mining projects and play a role in certain decision making with the company (generally in HR, environment, infrastructure planning, mine closure, and so on). Many communities, in the past, have not been exposed to such an extent to the mining industry as they are now, given the prominence of the industry (‘super cycle’), consultation requirements (government requirements), land settlement agreements (comprehensive land claim agreements) and impact/benefit type agreements.

As the momentum was created over the past five years in response to record commodity prices, more lands being acquired by resource companies and more Aboriginal communities engaging in benefits agreements with companies, we also saw a significant flaw in the process.

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Postponements to Ontario Mining Act Revisions Best for Industry and Aboriginal Groups – by Gregory Reynolds

Gregory Reynolds - Timmins ColumnistWhen it comes to timing mining cycles or stock movements, when everyone believes something it usually turns out that they are wrong.

The 10-year boom in commodities turned out to be less than four years and no one knows when it will resume.

Yet, there is a bright side for the Canadian mining industry, and especially the Ontario segment. The provincial government has postponed its planned revisions to the Ontario Mining Act.

Bowing to several pressure groups, the McGuinty government had intended to ram through major changes before the New Year. The world-wide meltdown in credit facilities brought the Liberals to their senses.

Ontario has four major industries, new vehicle and parts manufacturing, mining, forestry and tourism. Even before the housing crisis in the United States spread into every sector of the world economy, the forestry industry was written off by Queen’s Park.

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De Beers Shares its Diamond Passion Through Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum Exhibit

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.

Ontario Mining Association member De Beers Canada is sharing its passion for diamonds through its sponsorship of an exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum.  “The Nature of Diamonds” exhibit is scheduled to be on display for all until March 22, 2009.  “For thousands of years, diamonds have held a special place in many cultures around the world,” said Jim Gowans, President and CEO of De Beers Canada.  “We are proud to be associated with the ROM to showcase the origins, history and allure of one of the rarest materials on earth.”

At a special event to mark the opening of the exhibit, recordings of Shirley Bassey singing the theme song from the James Bond movie “Diamonds Are Forever,” the presence of Canadian triathlon Olympian and medal winner Simon Whitfield and the opening of the vault to show the world´s third largest cut diamond and other spectacular gems and jewelry enhanced the celebrations.

The first diamond mine in Canada is celebrating its 10th anniversary of production this month.  Mr. Gowans pointed out that in that short time, Canada has advanced to become the third largest diamond producer in the world.  “Canada is now a diamond superpower,” said William Thorsell, Chief Executive Officer of the ROM.  “We are enjoying our relationship with De Beers Canada and (he suggested) I think we need to invent a single line of diamonds for men.”

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Junior Miner Canadian Arrow on Solid Ground with First Nation – by Ian Ross

This article was first published in Northern Ontario Business, a newspaper that has been providing northerners with relevant and insightful editorial content, business news and information for over 25 years.

First Nation approval was key in Canadian Arrow Mine’s gradual development of its highly-prospective Kenbridge nickel deposit in northwestern Ontario.

At a spring awards gala of the northwestern Ontario mining fraternity, a speaker at the podium described the rugged (and somewhat shadowy) individual freedom of the prospector.

“It happens in the bush, where no one knows what you’re doing, and you move from place to place.”
Secrecy, deception and pipe dreams have all been part of mining lore.

Yet Canadian Arrow Mines president Kim Tyler never could quite fathom over his 27-year mining career why the industry chooses to keep matters close to the vest.

“There’s more to be gained in sharing information than in being secretive.” says the former geologist for Inco, Teck-Cominco, Royal Oak Mines and Rio Tinto.

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Ontario’s First Diamond Mine Officially Opened by De Beers Near Attawapiskat

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

The De Beers Canada Victor diamond mine is not only officially open but the process plant is officially operating 12% above its nameplate capacity at about 8,200 tonnes of kimberlite daily.   At the opening ceremony held on July 26, 2008 at the mine site, which is located about 1,070 kilometres north of Toronto, General Manager Peter Mah told participants “today, we have officially reached full production at the Victor Mine.”  He said about 330,000 carats of diamonds have been produced from the one million tonnes of ore processed to date.

“To mark this historic achievement of bringing the Victor Mine into production, Cree drummers and dancers will perform,” said Mr. Mah.  “We are Ontario´s first diamond mine and we should celebrate the hard work and dedication that everyone has put into this diamond dream.  I especially want to thank the Elders (16 Elders from the Attawapiskat First Nation were at the event) for their wisdom, guidance, experience they share and knowledge.”

A combination of De Beers corporate officials, suppliers, politicians, including Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle, First Nations representatives, other dignitaries and media arrived at the remote site 90 kilometres west of Attawapiskat on nine different flights to celebrate the opening of the Victor Mine with employees.  While building the $1 billion mine was a tremendous engineering feat, organizing and coordinating the opening must be viewed as an outstanding logistical achievement. 

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Mining and One Aboriginal Family – A Memoir by Glenn Nolan

Glenn Nolan - Chief of the Missanabie Cree First NationMy Dad was a Cree Indian. He was raised to be self sufficient in the bush. He was raised to know the importance of providing for his family through hard work and dedication. He was, in the true sense of the phrase, a hunter and a gatherer. Dad was not an educated man in the sense of a formal education. He went as far as grade three and realized that he could do more for his family by working at a logging camp at the age of twelve. He did a variety of jobs but always remained close to his cultural roots and continued to hunt, trap and fish to supplement his meager wages.

He tried his hand at a variety of jobs ranging from being on a road gang on the railroad, prospecting, guiding American anglers and hunters, as well as working as a labourer at various construction projects throughout Canada. He always returned home to be close to his family.

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PDAC-AFN Agreement Hopes to Encourage Mining Development and Alleviate Aboriginal Poverty – Stan Sudol

Excutive Speech Writer and Mining Columnist Stan SudolTwo weeks ago during Toronto’s annual mining convention, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) – Canada’s national organization for Aboriginal people – and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) – an industry lobby group – was signed.

In a prepared speech for the MOU, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine said, “Two months ago, I had the opportunity to travel to the Attawapiskat First Nation to visit the community and the new Victor Diamond Mine…I was very impressed with De Beers’ commitment to working closely with Attawapiskat. This kind of economic development is bringing hope to so many people who are desperate to provide for their families.”

Patricia Dillon, the previous President of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, stated, “The deliberations and discussions leading up to the signing of this MOU have been undertaken with much goodwill on both sides. This historic document formalizes a relationship that has been flourishing for some time and lays a framework for the mineral industry to work cooperatively with First Nations and aboriginal communities.”

This agreement sends a tremendously strong message to governments and the environmental movement that Canada’s top Aboriginal leadership supports and wants to expand sustainable mining developments when proper consultation and economic agreements are implemented.

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Prepared Speech for AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine – At the MOU with PDAC – Toronto

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine

I would like to thank everyone for taking the time away from this very busy convention to come here to witness this Memorandum of Understanding in our Corporate Challenge between the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

I also want to sincerely thank PDAC President Patricia Dillon; Don Bubar, who is chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee, and Chief Glenn Nolan, who is a PDAC Vice President, for all of the hard work it took to get us to this important occasion.

I also want to thank all of the PDAC staff – particularly Philip Bousquet and Kim MacDonald – who have been in contact with the AFN since last May.

Some of you may be wondering why we want to work with the mining industry. It’s pretty simple. First Nations want to work with all industries and corporations in order to achieve economic self- sufficiency.

By doing so, this will empower First Nations to break the chains of dependency and despair; empower us to revitalize our languages and cultures; and empower us to participate and prosper in the Canadian economy.

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