An electrical infrastructure capital expenditure report, conducted by OneLine Engineering, has confirmed the positive economics of chromite project operator KWG Resources’ proposed electrification plan within the Ring of Fire, in Ontario.
The study determined that electrification of the Marten Falls, Webequie, Eabematoong, Neskantaga and Nibinamik First Nations was economically feasible.
The Bank of Canada’s current overnight rate and the extent of resources in the Ring of Fire mineral development area is expected to contribute positively to the economic feasibility of the electrification plan so that user rates can be maintained at attractive levels over the economic life of the infrastructure assets, the report shows.
The report suggests that, from government alone, the amount of support for the capital cost of the proposed infrastructure is more than $1.5-billion.
The study estimates the main corridor electrical infrastructure capital cost at $960-million and the indigenous community electrical infrastructure cost at $788.1-million.
The main corridor would provide electricity for mining operations at the Ring of Fire and for operation of the rail-veyor ore haulage tramway system from the company’s proposed mine in the Ring of Fire along a 330 km corridor to a proposed processing or transshipment location near Nakina, Ontario.
The indigenous communities connections, meanwhile, would connect the First Nations communities of Marten Falls at Ogoki Post, Webequie, Eabematoong at Fort Hope, Neskantaga at Lansdowne House and Nibinamik at Summer Beaver, to the Ontario power grid and optical fiber networks and would eliminate diesel-generation except in outage emergencies.
KWG continues its discussions with the newly-incorporated Gitchiziibii Company, which has expressed an interest in managing the creation of a trust for members of the Matawa and Mushkegowuk First Nations.
The trust is being designed to be endowed with the beneficial interests in the infrastructure assets required for mining in the Ring of Fire.
The Gitchiziibii Company, KWG and KWG subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation are planning an application for designation of the rail-veyor ore haulage tramway system as mining works under the Ontario Mining Act in preparation for flotation of a bond issue for construction financing.
It is anticipated that the electrification plan will form part of the application to the Ontario Land Tribunal.