THUNDER BAY – MINING – Marten Falls First Nation and Ontario announced the agreement to study a long-awaited community access road on August 21, 2017. Since then, Marten Falls has entered into a voluntary agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to conduct an Individual Environmental Assessment (EA) and Preliminary Design (PD) for the proposed community access road from Marten Falls First Nation going south to existing provincial highways. The First Nation has established a project team and conducted one field season of baseline surveys; but to carry out the full suite of technical services and studies, and other steps within the EA process, Marten Falls has brought on AECOM. This global engineering firm provides design, consulting, construction, and management services. AECOM will consult with Marten Falls and neighbouring communities, perform data collection, prepare technical studies and all documents associated with the project, to complete the EA process.
Chief and Council are pleased to be working with AECOM and are confident that this project will deliver good outcomes for the community and the region. Chief Achneepineskum said “We are very pleased to note that AECOM brought a consortium of sub-consultants together to form a world-class team that includes local consulting firms as well who have recently worked successfully with First Nations to deliver similar all-season community access roads in other provinces. This project is an opportunity to move forward on addressing many socio-economic needs of the community, including access to more affordable food and housing, access to training, education, health-care and employment and access to neighbouring communities.” As the project progresses, Marten Falls will begin a process of collaborative planning with neighbouring First Nations and communities to ensure that the project incorporates their thoughts and ideas in a meaningful way.
In the future, the all-season road to the community also has the potential to be extended to the Ring of Fire so that Marten Falls First Nation, and other surrounding communities, can participate in and benefit from natural resources development.
Marten Falls also looks forward to working collaboratively with Premier Doug Ford’s government towards the development of the region.
“The Ring of Fire development is not going to happen without it being welcomed by the people in whose lands it was found,” said KWG CEO Frank Smeenk. “This step is one where they are leading the way towards that development! It is a historic breakthrough in how this process is properly performed, by those whose land is affected being the proponents of its improvement. The significance of this cannot be overstated and Ontario’s leadership is to be commended for supporting this most enlightened evolution of our engagement with its First Nations. One might well venture to say that the cloud on mineral title in Ontario is perhaps now showing some early signs of dispersing.”
KWG is the Operator of the Black Horse Joint Venture (‘JV’) after acquiring a vested 50% interest through Bold Ventures Inc (‘Bold’) from Fancamp Exploration Ltd (‘Fancamp’). KWG funds all JV exploration expenditures and Bold is carried for a 20% interest in KWG’s interest.
KWG also owns 100% of Canada Chrome Corporation which has staked claims and conducted a surveying and soil testing program, originally for the engineering and construction of a railroad to the Ring of Fire from Aroland, Ontario.
KWG subsequently acquired intellectual property interests, including a method for the direct reduction of chromite to metalized iron and chrome using natural gas and an accelerant. KWG subsidiary, Muketi Metallurgical LP, has received a patent for the direct reduction method in Canada, South Africa and Kazakhstan and is prosecuting remaining patent applications in India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and the USA. It has also received a USA patent for production of low carbon chromium iron alloys and a corresponding Canadian patent application is expected to issue soon.