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Ontario approves First Nations-led plan for Ring of Fire road

Ontario Mines Minister George Pirie and Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation

Ontario Mines Minister George Pirie and Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation

7th March 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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The Ontario government has approved the terms of reference designed and submitted by First Nations for the all-season, multi-use road connecting to the proposed Ring of Fire mining development area.

The Northern Road Link will connect the Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations communities, and the critical mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire to the Ontario highway network.

“I want to thank Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation for leading the environmental assessment for this essential road corridor. I value our partnership with these strong leaders who are central to our government’s mandate to develop the Ring of Fire,” said Mines Minister George Pirie in an announcement at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada yearly convention in Toronto this week.

“The Ring of Fire has the critical minerals we need to build our manufacturing supply chain, including nickel for electric vehicles and chromite for clean steel. Our government’s investments in innovation and infrastructure are creating jobs across the entire province, including northern and Indigenous communities.”

Ontario has dedicated close to $1-billion to support critical legacy infrastructure in the Ring of Fire area, including constructing all‑season roads, investing in high-speed Internet, road upgrades and community supports. Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations are co-leading the planning of the Northern Road Link project as part of a historic partnership with the province. The project will connect the Ring of Fire’s critical mineral deposits with manufacturing hubs in the south, paving the way for made-in-Ontario supply chains for batteries and electric vehicles.

“The Ontario government has approved the terms of reference as submitted by Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations which is an important first step in the environmental process that will enable critical transportation infrastructure to be built,” said Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister David Piccini.

One of the most advanced projects in the Ring of Fire region is the Eagle’s Nest nickel/copper/platinum/palladium deposit, being developed by Australian firm Wyloo Metals.

Based on existing exploration work, Eagle’s Nest will have an initial mine life of 11 years, with the potential for a nine-year extension. It will produce high-value product via selective underground mining methods. The mined ore will be processed into 150 000 t/y of nickel/copper and platinum group element-bearing concentrate.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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