SAULT STE MARIE – Minister Greg Rickford has made the following statement regarding Ontario’s efforts on the Ring of Fire mining area:
“Ontario’s government is working for the people by ending delays that prevent development in the Ring of Fire area – one of the most promising mineral development opportunities in over a century with the potential to sustain up to 5,500 jobs annually across Ontario within the first 10 years of development.
“Despite over a decade of talk and more than $20 million invested, real progress on the Ring of Fire has been met with delay after delay. That’s why Ontario is taking a new, pragmatic approach to unlocking the Ring of Fire’s potential, one that includes working directly with willing First Nation partners who want to move at the speed of business, to ensure sustainable development.
“First Nation communities deserve better, they deserve an approach that can recognize their unique needs. The Ring of Fire represents a major economic opportunity to create jobs, generate revenue, build infrastructure and bring prosperity to First Nations and communities across the north. We’re inspired by First Nation leadership who are making a positive difference in the lives of those in communities near Ring of Fire developments. By working toward bilateral agreements with First Nation partners on Ring of Fire development, the Province will also help address unique community needs and opportunities when it comes to developing the Ring of Fire.
“Our government made a commitment to open up the incredible resources located in the Ring of Fire, and we are keeping that promise. Noront Resources, the major claim holder in the Ring of Fire region, is planning to develop its Eagle’s Nest nickel mine first, followed by chromite mining in the future, and they are partnering directly with First Nations to encourage further economic development. Earlier this year, the company announced Sault Ste. Marie would be the future home for a new ferrochrome processing plant. Chromite, one of the resources found in the Ring of Fire, can be processed into ferrochrome, a key ingredient in stainless steel.”