Road to Ring of Fire news lights market activity
Noront Resources’ (TSXV: NOT) shares jumped 30% to $0.43 today in response to an announcement by Premier Kathleen Wynne that the Province of Ontario is supporting First Nations Proposal to Build All-Season Access Road. This marks a significant step forward for northern residents. On the one hand, it will open up Noront’s Ring of Fire project with $60 B from deposits of high-grade chromite, high-grade nickel, copper, zinc, gold, platinum group metals and vanadium.
By the fall of 2011, the Ring of Fire was considered “one of the largest potential mineral reserves in Ontario” with “more than 35 junior and intermediate mining and exploration companies covering an area of approximately “1.5 million hectares.” Although the Ring of Fire crescent covers 5,000 square kilometres (approximately 1,930 square miles), most discoveries made by 2012 were within a small, 20 kilometres (12 mi) long strip.
Former federal Minister Tony Clement called the Ring of Fire: The Ontario Oil Sands.
On the other hand, Ontario is taking an important next step toward working with Webequie, Marten Falls and Nibinamik First Nations to plan and construct a year-round access road into the proposed mining development site being pursued by Noront Resources Ltd. As part of this project, the province is also working with First Nations to build all-season access roads to their communities.
Ontario will support First Nations to plan and construct an east-west road connecting the Webequie and Nibinamik communities to the provincial highway network north of Pickle Lake. This project would provide all-season access to both First Nations communities as well as into the Ring of Fire development.
The province is also supporting Marten Falls First Nation to plan and construct an access road connecting the community to the existing provincial highway network at Aroland/Nakina.
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Communities are working to begin environmental assessments of these projects by January 2018 and plan to begin construction in 2019, pending all necessary approvals.
As a next phase, Ontario will continue to support Marten Falls to undertake further technical and environmental studies that could inform planning and development of a north-south access road tied to the development of, and business case for, chromite mining in the Ring of Fire.
Building these roads is a critical step in realizing the economic benefits of one of the biggest mineral-development opportunities in Ontario in almost a century. Funding for these roads is part of the government’s commitment to invest $1 billion in Ring of Fire infrastructure to create jobs, provide long-term benefits and improve quality of life for people in the region.
Ontario is working to support these First Nations as they address all regulatory requirements so that this unique environment is protected.
The province welcomes this merging of cultural considerations with regulatory requirements and will ensure First Nations and their perspectives, including traditional knowledge, are carefully considered in decision-making.
Dr. Luc C. Duchesne is a Speaker and Author with a PhD in Biochemistry. With three decades of scientific and business experience, he has published ... <Read more about Dr. Luc Duchesne>