The news this week focused on impact assessments as well partnerships between local Indigenous communities, government and industry.
Impact assessments for the the Marten Falls Community Access Road Project and the Webequie Supply Road Project are both currently underway. The roads are a necessary prerequisite for much Ring of Fire mining. However, the current impact assessments have a narrow scope and do not actually address the cumulative effect and broader effects with the multiple mines and the roads and other industrial projects that would be part of the Ring of Fire development.
Impact assessments and resource development projects are always political, and have a history and reputation of slanting heavily in favour of industry. The articles dive into some new approaches to the processes that could see greater weight placed on community and ecosystem needs.
Regarding revenue and decision making two Matawa chiefs, Chief Cornelius Wabasse from Webequie and Eabametoong Chief Harvey Yesno spoke to Provincial politicians on the need for government-to-government relationships. They dismissed the often cited number for revenue generated from the project and claimed that trillions of dollars is a more likely figure. This is important because potential benefits for First Nations should reflect the actual equitable portion of revenue not the grossly underestimated figure.
January 22, 2020 Northern Ontario Business:
“Ring” leaders take holistic approach to Far North development
First Nation road proponents strive to lead the way into the Ring of Fire on their terms
“Two senior leaders from Webequie First Nation said they are not opposed to development in the Ring of Fire but environmental stewardship and the well-being of their community very much remain their priorities.”
Read more here…
January 23, 2020 Northern Ontario Business:
Mining watchdog expected to have a few choice words to say about ferrochrome smelters
Joan Kuyek heads to the Sault to talk mining legacy issues and the Ring of Fire
“MiningWatch co-founder Joan Kuyek will be delivering a primer to Sault Ste. Marie residents on the “true social and economic costs” of the mining industry in Northern Ontario.”
Read more here…
January 24, 2020 The Sudbury Star:
Stalled Ring of Fire worth more than $117 billion
“Why has mining still not begun in Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral deposit belt a decade after its discovery? Are the deposits worthless, or are there factors beyond the control of the mining industry that are blocking progress?”
January 24, 2020 Northern Ontario Business:
“Equitable” partnerships with First Nations will make the Ring of Fire go smoothly
Improving community conditions should create investor-friendly mining environment, say Matawa chiefs
Chiefs from two economically depressed communities near the Ring of Fire told Queen’s Park politicians they want to be “equitable partners” to share in the benefits of Far North development.
January 23, 2020 CBC Sudbury:
Ring of Fire communities get chance to share concerns with federal government
Marten Falls and Webequie Supply Road projects would be all-season connections to Ring of Fire
“People living near the proposed Ring of Fire in the James Bay lowlands have an opportunity to share concerns about the mining project’s environmental impacts at community discussions this week. “