Ring of Fire – Winter Recap

Over the winter I wrote two articles on the ill-fated Ring of Fire for Wawatay. The first article had to do with matching the Cliffs project to Voisey’s Bay; and for skeptics in the mining industry who don’t believe ‘history repeats’. Read the article on Republic of Mining – Ring of Fire: Voisey’s Bay replay.

Both the Voisey’s Bay and Ring of Fire projects were discovered by prospectors who were out looking for diamonds in remote regions of Canada. Both discoveries triggered massive staking rushes and wild stock speculation scenarios. Both saw the specter of instant millionaires being met with concerted Native blockades. Then, in both cases, blue-chip mining majors took over – foreigners in the eyes of locals – while seemingly unaware of the turbulent history of northern resource development.

The second article, Ontario-NAN agreement needed for [Ring of Fire] project ‘reboot’, offered a promising IBA game plan to ‘reboot’ the Ring of Fire.

Contrary to popular opinion, I drew attention to the fact that the ‘elephant in the room’ was none other than Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), which represents 49 First Nations in northern Ontario. I said it was delusional for Ring of Fire planners to think that if only Cliffs could get Matawa tribal council on board, we would be off to the races.

Indeed, it will take the support of way more than Matawa’s nine First Nations (which are also members of NAN) to reboot the Ring of Fire, as supply lines, hydro sites and transmission, rail and road, concentrate processing, and environmental cumulative impacts are broader, deal-making factors. Simply, all these factors make developing the Ring of Fire a pan-northern resource extraction process.

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