This week, The Narwal released news gleaned from access to information requests of resumed October 2022 email communication between the Canadian government and the province regarding the Ring of Fire and a desire by the feds to discuss options for collaboration between the province and local First Nations.

Meanwhile, this was a big week for the Ontario government. The Minister of Mines and former president and CEO of Placer Dome Canada, George Pirie, announced a proposed amendment to the Ontario Mining Act which would speed up approval processes seen by industry as a barrier to get ‘shovels in the ground. If passed, the bill would place increased decision-making power into the hands of the Minister. This has raised concerns among mining watch advocates, lawyers and academics. Mining Watch Canada calls the more streamlined approach “a recipe for disaster” and and lawyer Kate Kempton, who represents Attawapiskat, Ginoogaming, Constance Lake and Aroland First Nations, says that First Nations “are not going to stand for this.”

Finally, in the lead up to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual mining convention in Toronto, Ring of Fire Metals announced new leadership, including Kristan Straub – former VP with Glencore – as the company’s new CEO.

February 27, 2023 (The Narwal):

Cualquier asunto/problema del trabajo que Arturo o María quieren levantar para discutir, resolver en conjunto, compartir en general.

Internal emails obtained by The Narwhal appear to show a shift in relations between the two governments on the Ring of Fire. But some First Nations leaders say they’re still being left out

“After a years-long stalemate over the far northern Ring of Fire, the federal government appears to have extended an olive branch to Ontario, resuming talks over the region’s future.

The province has asked with increasing impatience for the federal government to chip in about $1 billion for a road to the remote and environmentally-sensitive Ring of Fire region, 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont. — a move that could enable mining there.” Read more here…

March 1, 2023 (Northern Ontario Business):

Ring of Fire Metals ushers in new leadership

Former Glencore exploration VP heads up development team to create net-zero James Bay mining operation

“Glencore Nickel’s former vice-president of exploration is now tasked with bringing the Eagle’s Nest deposit in the Ring of Fire into production.

Kristan Straub has been appointed the new chief of executive officer (CEO) of Ring of Fire Metals, the Canadian subsidiary of Wyloo Metals. He is a member of Henvey Inlet and French River No. 13.” Read more here…

March 1, 2023 (CBC):

Doug Ford government wants to speed up mining permits in Ontario

Changes to Mining Act aim to boost production of critical minerals, essential for EV batteries

“Premier Doug Ford’s government will propose on Thursday changes to the laws governing approval of mining projects to boost Ontario’s production of minerals essential to electric vehicle batteries and other technologies, CBC News has learned. 

The changes would speed up permits for new mines to begin operations and make it easier for companies to get a permit to recover minerals from mine tailings and waste, according to background documents that government officials provided to CBC News.” Read more here…     

March 2, 2023 (Government of Ontario):

Ontario Building a Stronger Mining Sector

New legislation paving the way for province to become a leading jurisdiction for mineral investment and development

“The Ontario government has introduced legislation to amend the Mining Act that will, if passed, attract more investment in the province’s mining sector while strengthening the made-in-Ontario critical minerals supply chains for batteries, electric vehicles, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and other advanced manufacturing technologies.” Read more here…

March 2, 2023 (

Ontario government introduces Building More Mines Act

“The government of Canada’s Ontario province has introduced legislation to amend the Mining Act that will, if passed, attract more investment in the province’s mining sector while strengthening the province’s critical minerals supply chains for batteries and electric vehicles.” Read more here…

March 2, 2023 (Northern Ontario Business):

Feds won’t match Ontario’s billion-dollar Ring of Fire pledge until assessments are done

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson pledges Ottawa will do better on advancing critical mineral production

“Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson vows to make government move faster and more efficiently in expediting approvals to put more Canadian mines into production ahead of the quickening global demand for critical minerals…

The minister was in Sudbury on March 1 to meet with business leaders at the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and toured Cambrian College to showcase new electric vehicle charging stations on campus.” Read more here…

March 3, 2023 (CBC):

Lawyer says First Nations will fight Ontario government’s proposed mining changes

MiningWatch Canada advocate wonders ‘what’s left to cut?’

“The Ontario government’s proposed changes to mining regulations are drawing concern among mining critics and advocates for First Nations.

Kate Kempton represents the northern Ontario First Nations of Attawapiskat, Ginoogaming, Constance Lake and Aroland. In 2021, Attawapiskat, Neskantaga and Fort Albany signed a moratorium on new developments in the Ring of Fire mineral deposit, though other First Nations have expressed support for developing the deposit.

Kempton said the First Nations “are not going to stand for this” and that the government’s actions will only lead to further confrontations.” Read more here…

March 4, 2023 (CTV News):

Updates to the Mining Act look to boost mining activity in the north

“Ontario’s minister of mines wants to mine the region’s critical minerals more quickly by making it easier to approve new projects.

“We need the critical minerals out of the ground in northern Ontario,” said Provincial Mines Minister George Pirie.” Read more here…

%d bloggers like this: