This week it was announced that, despite the continued COVID-19 pandemic, operations at Noront Resources’ Esker Site (an exploration project) will soon continue. Additionally, EA processes for Noront’s Eagle’s Nest mine will also be re-initiated now that EA processes are underway for all sections of the North-South All-Season Access Road.
Another announcement was also rolled out this week: $13 million in funding from FedNor will be distributed across 22 Indigenous-led initiatives focused on economic development that will help “kick-start the economy right across the region, while advancing the cause of reconciliation”. FedNor is an organization run by the Government of Canada, and its mandate is to facilitate economic development in Northern Ontario. One recipient of this funding is the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund, which will receive almost $5 million to support First Nations communities within its area to undertake a Comprehensive Community Planning process to help them “benefit” from resource development projects. The Ring of Fire was specifically named as an example of resource development that communities might “benefit” from through these well-funded processes.
August 6, 2020 (Globe Newswire):
Noront exploration and Eagle’s Nest permitting update
“Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront”) (TSX Venture: NOT) is reopening Esker Site and mobilizing its team to resume exploration activities in the Ring of Fire.
“We are initiating a late summer field program that will require 12-15 people during which we’ll employ soil sampling to explore for gold and airborne geophysical surveys to explore for nickel,” said Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts.” Read more here…
August 6, 2020 (TB News Watch):
Noront to resume Ring of Fire exploration
Exploration operations were shut down in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic
“After mineral exploration was shuttered in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Noront Resources is returning to the Ring of Fire site to resume operations.
Noront will be reopening its Esker site and resume exploration activities in the Ring of Fire. “We are initiating a late summer field program that will require 12-15 people during which we’ll employ soil sampling to explore for gold and airborne geophysical surveys to explore for nickel,” said Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts in a media release.” Read more here…
August 6, 2002 (CTV News: Northern Ontario):
Noront to resume exploration in the Ring of Fire
“Noront Resources Ltd. Announced Thursday it is reopening its Esker Site and mobilizing its team to resume exploration activities in the Ring of Fire. The company’s Esker Site, which is located in the James Bay Lowlands, closed in April because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It normally has about 20 workers, the majority of whom are from the remote local First Nation communities of Marten Falls and Webequie.
“We are initiating a late summer field program that will require 12-15 people, during which we’ll employ soil sampling to explore for gold and airborne geophysical surveys to explore for nickel,” Noront president and CEO Alan Coutts said in a news release.” Read more here…
August 7, 2020 (CKDR Dryden):
Ring of Fire work back on
“Activity has returned in the Ring of Fire mining development in northwestern Ontario. President and CEO of Noront Resources Alan Coutts tells us it comes after the pandemic halted all exploration work in the area. “Everyone’s lost maybe three months in their work programs and a lot of the work we do is exploration work for new mineral deposits in the ring and this is a good time to be doing that,” notes Coutts.” Read more here…
August 7, 2020 (Sault Star):
Noront ‘tenderly’ restarts Ring of Fire operations: CEO
“After months of shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Noront Resources is mobilizing its team to relaunch its work in the Ring of Fire. “It’s been a few months without a lot of progress,” said Alan Coutts, CEO of Noront Resources.
“So much of the work we do is with First Nations and with government and the government has been otherwise occupied. And the First Nations we work with, quite rightly, have put their communities in lockdown to deal with the pandemic, so there hasn’t been much happening at all. We respect that.”” Read more here…
August 9, 2020 (The Sudbury Star):
FedNor announces $13M for Indigenous-led initiatives across the North
“Terry Sheehan says $13 million in FedNor funding for economic development for Indigenous communities, businesses and organizations in Northern Ontario will help kick-start the economy right across the region, while advancing the cause of reconciliation.
Sheehan, the Liberal MP for Sault Ste. Marie and parliamentary secretary to Melanie Joly, the minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor, announced funding for 22 Indigenous-led initiatives in the region on Sunday.” Read more here…
August 10, 2020 (Timmins: The Daily Press):
Noront fired up to resume work in Ring of Fire
“Timmins stands to be one of the major hubs and centres that will support the Ring of Fire development in future years” – Alan Coutts
“After nearly four months of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Noront Resources has re-opened its Esker Site in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire with some exciting new developments. Esker Site is Noront’s main hub in the Ring of Fire region within the James Bay lowlands.
“We usually have crews in there, anywhere from about 10 to 25 people. But in the spring, in late March, we decided to put everything on hold because COVID had hit, and people were unsure about what kind of health risks that posed,” said Alan Coutts, the company president and chief executive officer.” Read more here…
August 10, 2020 (Northern Ontario Business):
Feds roll out $13 million to fund First Nation initiatives
FedNor money slotted for community planning, capacity building, economic development, technology, construction
“International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples seemed like an opportune time for Ottawa and FedNor announce more than $13 million for First Nation projects and businesses across the North. Sault Ste. Marie MPP Terry Sheehan, the parliamentary secretary to Mélanie Joly, the minister for FedNor, delivered the news on Aug. 9.
The biggest recipient is the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) which is earmarking more than $4.9 million in federal funds to carry out a comprehensive community planning process for 20 communities to develop the expertise and planning support to benefit from resource developments like the Ring of Fire.” Read more here…