THUNDER BAY – Ontario Minister Greg Rickford has announced changes to the province’s plans for the Ring of Fire.
Here is the response from Noront Resources and Marten Falls First Nation:
Noront Resources and Marten Falls First Nation are pleased to jointly support today’s announcement regarding development in the Ring of Fire, made by Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Greg Rickford.
Since the discovery of the Ring of Fire, we have worked collaboratively toward development of the region. We are encouraged by the Ontario government’s support and commitment to develop, on an expedited basis, the Ring of Fire mineral deposits and associated infrastructure which will be shared between community and industrial use.
Development of the Ring of Fire is the single largest economic opportunity for Northern Ontario with significant benefits for the entire province. For communities like Marten Falls, it is an unprecedented opportunity to transform our socio-economic future. The youth of Marten Falls look toward the Ring of Fire as a generational opportunity that can provide training, employment, business prospects, new revenue for social services and many other opportunities—direct and indirect—for the province. Without the Ring of Fire, economic prosperity for our communities will remain a pipe dream.
Marten Falls is the environmental assessment proponent for the first stage of a North-South access road connecting its community to an all-season road which is envisioned to connect to the Ring of Fire mineral development. Noront is providing support to Marten Falls in their effort to expedite this road development. Noront is the single largest claim holder in the Ring of Fire region and has been steadfastly committed to development in partnership with local communities. Marten Falls First Nation and Noront have a Project Advancement agreement in place that ensures early dialogue and planning regarding the development of the mining projects.
Having the traditional landholders as proponents for the North-South road network environmental assessments is a bold step forward and will ensure the communities have enhanced participation in the permitting process. Work has already progressed to a point where baseline data has been collected, community consultation advanced and a project description has been prepared.
Together, Noront and Marten Falls will continue to engage the additional First Nations communities that are committed to developing the Ring of Fire and its associated infrastructure.
We look forward to working with the province on this key development.