This week, Webeque First Nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ring of Fire Metals – the mining company now owned by Australian mining giant Wyloo metals. The signing ceremony was presided over by Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse and acting CEO of Ring of Fire Metals, Stephen Flewelling. According to a December 6 press release by the company, the MOU outlines a framework for collaboration on potential future development on the proposed Eagle’s Nest mine. The Eagle’s Nest site is touted as one of the world’s largest deposit of undeveloped high-grade nickel/copper/platinum/palladium.
Meanwhile, at the launch of Canada’s critical minerals strategy in Vancouver, Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced that it was necessary to speed up environmental assessment and permitting processes in light of increased U.S. and international demand for access to critical minerals, such as those located in the Ring of Fire. He assured, however that this increased ‘efficiency,’ would not come at the expense of environmental sustainability and would involve meaningful Indigenous ‘partnerships.’ While the Minister stated the importance the government places on protecting the vast peatlands in the region – a major concern repeatedly raised by local First Nations, he was unclear on the what steps the government would take to ensure their protection. Canada’s critical mineral strategy has been criticized as falling short on meaningful implementation of human rights protection, Indigenous rights and other key components needed for an effective strategy.
December 6th 2022, mining.com
Ring of Fire Metals and Webequie First Nation sign MOU on Ontario nickel project development
“Ring of Fire Metals (formerly Noront Resources) and Webequie First Nation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining a framework for collaboration on proposed development in Northern Ontario.” Read more here…
December 7th, 2022, CTV News
Landmark’ agreement signed over Ring of Fire
“Ring of Fire Metals is taking the next step toward critical mineral development in northern Ontario with Webequie First Nation.
The mining company and First Nation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Tuesday “outlining a framework for collaboration on the proposed development in the Ring of Fire,” located in the James Bay lowlands.” Read more here…
December 7th, 2022, Northern Ontario Business
First Nation and Ring of Fire miner set the stage for Eagle’s Nest partnership
We are exercising our sovereignty’, says Webequie Chief in signing MOU exploration pact with nickel miner
“After more than a decade of collaboration, Ring of Fire Metals (formerly Noront Resources) and Webequie First Nation have inked a “landmark” stepping stone agreement toward a full partnership in the first mine to be developed in the James Bay region.” Read more here…
December 7th, 2022, Mining Weekly
Ring of Fire inks MOU with First Nation on nickel development
“Exploration and development company Ring of Fire Metals (RoFM) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Webequie First Nation outlining a framework for collaboration on proposed development in the Ring of Fire, in northern Ontario.” Read more here…
December 9th, 2022, Financial Post
Jonathan Wilkinson douses some of the hype around Ontario’s Ring of Fire calling it a ‘challenging space’
Adds to uncertainty over whether the rich source of mineral deposits will ever be meaningfully developed
“Natural Resources minister Jonathan Wilkinson described the Ring of Fire region in northern Ontario as a “particularly challenging space” for future mining projects, adding to the uncertainty over whether a rich source of mineral deposits will ever be developed in a meaningful way.” Read more here…
December 9th, 2022, Northern Ontario Business
There will be no environmental shortcuts taken in the Ring of Fire, says federal minister
Protecting the peatlands, respecting Indigenous rights are paramount issues for Ottawa, according to Jonathan Wilkinson
“Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Ottawa and the provinces must work together to expedite the regulatory and permitting processes that bring new mines into production in a timely way.
But federal approvals for this industrial developments won’t be granted at the expense of cutting corners from an environmental perspective and in a manner that disrespects the rights of Indigenous people and communities.” Read more here…