Ontario government creates new Northern Cabinet Committee

1st March 2013

By: Henry Lazenby

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America


Font size: - +

TORONTO ( – The Liberal Ontario government has created a new Northern Ontario Cabinet committee, chaired by Thunder Bay - Atikokan Member of Provincial Parliament Bill Mauro, to address the needs of Northern Ontario.

During the first meeting of the Ontario government in the north of the province since 1995, government charged the committee with tackling job creation, revitalising transportation infrastructure and improving vital access to the ‘Ring of Fire’, a promising chromite district with the potential to rival that of world leader South Africa.

The committee will also help oversee the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, which was launched in 2011.

The government formed the committee at a Cabinet meeting held in Sault Ste Marie, after Premier Kathleen Wynne committed in December to convening a Cabinet meeting in Northern Ontario within 30 days of being sworn-in.

The Ontario provincial government is eager to develop the chromite and nickel finds within the Ring of Fire, Ontario Assistant Deputy Minister for Ring of Fire coordination Dr Christine Kaszycki told Mining Weekly in November. She said the area has an expected value of about C$60-billion in minerals and its development would be a boon to all.

Premier Wynne and her team were looking at Thunder Bay as the nearest significant city to the Ring of Fire, to strengthen its role as the north-west's health, education, training and social services centre. Thunder Bay could also grow its mining supply and services sector, which currently employs more than 1 600 people at about 130 companies.

"The Northern Cabinet committee will help us put the ideas and discussions we’ve had into action as we work to improve transportation, create jobs and ensure a brighter future for every person in this province,"
 Wynne said.

There are two significant first movers within the Ring of Fire area, and a third company with a minority interest in a chromite project.

US diversified miner Cliffs Natural Resources of Cleveland, Ohio, is proposing the development of a significant chromite mine in the Ring of Fire. In May, Cliffs announced a C$3.3-billion investment to build the mine, a processing facility, a transportation corridor and a smelter in the Sudbury area.

The miner is moving fast and hopes to have all the permits and environmental assessment approvals for the proposed mine by the end of 2013.

Toronto-based junior Noront, which also holds significant chromite resources in the area and is credited with the discovery of the rich chromite resource, plans to develop a nickel, copper and platinum mine at its McFaulds Lake deposit.

In August 2007, this remote area yielded one of the highest-grade discovery holes in Canadian history, heralding the discovery of the Eagle's Nest nickel, copper, platinum and palladium deposit.

Since that initial discovery, Noront has invested more than $150-million, defining a viable reserve at Eagle’s Nest, a significant chromite resource at Blackbird, additional nickel sulphide mineralisation at Eagle Two and AT-12 and vanadium mineralisation at Thunderbird – all located within the Ring of Fire.

"The North has so much to offer and with the discovery of the Ring of Fire, the largest chromite deposit in the world, the Northern Ontario economy will become the envy of all regions and will create good jobs for our children’s future,” Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle said.

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?