Union weighs in on Ring of Fire right-of-way decision

13th September 2013

By: Henry Lazenby

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America


Font size: - +

TORONTO ( – The General Chairperson's Association (GCA), representing unionised employees at government-controlled transportation and telecommunications agency Ontario Northland, this week weighed in on the Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner’s dismissal of US iron-ore miner Cliffs Natural Resources’ application for an easement over mining claims that TSX-V-listed junior KWG Resources staked from Exton, in the Ring of Fire, saying that, like KWG, it also supports the construction of a railway.

"The GCA believes the best, most cost-efficient and environmentally responsible manner to provide transportation into and out of the Ring of Fire development for all stakeholders is a railway. A private, provincially funded $700-million-plus road is in no one's best interest, least of all taxpayers," GCA spokesperson Brian Kelly said in a statement.

In the fall of 2012, the GCA unveiled a high-level proposal that would, in consultation with the Ontario government, the federal government and First Nations create a new federal crown corporation that would see all Ontario Northland Transportation Commission assets, including its telecom division Ontera, transferred.

It is envisioned that this new crown corporation will provide an expanded, revitalised and integrated transportation and communication system across the North, while having the ability to obtain financing to design and build a railway into the Ring of Fire that would ship thousands of tons per day of chromite, nickel, other minerals and finished products to markets around the world.

"This Mining and Land Commissioner’s decision finally quashes this ill-conceived scheme to sink millions upon millions of taxpayer's dollars into a private road built through muskeg that would require millions upon millions more tax dollars to maintain the road on a yearly basis.

“This single-purpose road, would do nothing to improve the social and economic development for First Nations communities in the region," Kelly added.

Cleveland-based Cliffs suspended its work on the $3.3-billion Black Thor project in June, citing stalled talks with the provincial government and other political and regulatory problems. It has struggled to win over Aboriginal communities in the region.

TSX-V-listed KWG says a rail line offers better value for money. The two sides are fighting over a single route because there is very little high ground or gravel in the swampy region.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


The content you are trying to access is only available to subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, you can Login Here.

If you are not a subscriber, you can subscribe now, by selecting one of the below options.

For more information or assistance, please contact us at

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?