The biggest piece of news this week is that Batchewana First Nation, located just east of Sault Ste. Marie, published a statement saying that they would not support Noront’s plans to build a ferrochrome smelter within their territory. Christian Provenzano has repeatedly stated that “If the project is not supported by the community-at-large or our Indigenous partners at the end of the process, the project will not proceed”, so this could have a big impact on the environmental assessment and subsequent decision-making process around the smelter.
Meanwhile, the federal government announced the beginning of the public comment period in the Marten Falls Community Access Road’s environmental assessment process. Comments can be submitted online until January 28th.
December 19, 2019 (Northern Ontario Business):
Ottawa will take your comments on the Ring of Fire road
Federal environmental assessment begins on Marten Falls access corridor
“Public comments are being taken as part of a federal environment assessment (EA) of the first leg of the proposed north-south Ring of Fire road. The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency) is inviting feedback for the upcoming EA of the Marten Falls Community Access Road Project. The agency determined an EA was necessary on Nov.29. Ottawa wants the public to provide direction on what specific factors must be addressed for the environmental study and how the public should be engaged during this process.” Read more here…
December 19, 2019 (The Epoch Times):
Ontario’s Ring of Fire: Many hurdles yet to be overcome
“The Ring of Fire, northern Ontario’s massive chromite mining and smelting development project, continues to face delays due to challenges like the lack of road access and negotiations with First Nations communities. Premier Doug Ford has said that the mine is “critical for (his) administration,” but without a rail corridor or smelting capabilities, the extensive chromite deposits in the James Bay Lowlands will stay stranded underground, in the middle of nowhere. “It’s inaccessible for all practical purposes, except by air, and to sell chrome you’ve got to get it to its steel mills of the world,” said Frank Smeenk, CEO of KWG Resources and one of six mining execs and geologists who located the original cache.” Read more here…
December 20, 2019 (CTV News: Northern Ontario):
Batchewana First Nation opposes ferrochrome development
“After months of discussions, Batchewana First Nation Chief and Council says they will not endorse Noront Resources’ proposed ferrochrome smelter within its territory in Sault Ste. Marie. The band says the decision did not come lightly, but it feels it’s necessary to oppose the development.” Read more here…
December 20, 2019 (The Sudbury Star):
First Nation near Sault Ste. Marie opposes ferrochrome smelter
“Batchewana First Nation will not support Noront Resources’s plans to build a ferrochrome smelter in Sault Ste. Marie. The community’s stance was announced Friday morning on the First Nation’s Facebook page. “The decision did not come lightly and was reached in accordance with Anishnabek law, inherent jurisdiction, culture and traditions,” the statement reads. “The council feels as the caretakers of the land and waterways that they must prohibit the construction of a ferrochrome smelter plant to be built within the BFN territory.” Read more here…