$785,000 Government-Funded Study into Viability of Ring of Fire Road
The federal and Ontario governments recently announced that they will commit $785,000 to fund a joint study into the viability of an all-weather road providing access to the Ring of Fire mining region in northwestern Ontario. The announcement, made on March 1st at the 2015 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's (PDAC) international Convention in Toronto, was seen by many as a particularly positive step forward for the Ring of Fire project after months of stalemate as the two governments debated their respective responsibility for supporting resource development in the ore-rich region. The proposed year-long joint study contemplates the development of an east-west transportation corridor connecting the mineral deposits, which have been valued in the tens of billions of dollars, with Pickle Lake, about 500 kilometers northwest of Thunder Bay. Noront Resources and KWG Resources Inc. are two of the companies currently pursuing resource development in the region but, as Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Ltd. and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario has noted, not only mining companies stand to benefit. The proposed road would also bring much needed access to southern Canada for four First Nation communities - the Webequie, Eabametoong, Neskantaga and Nibinamik – as well the improvements to electricity reliability, healthcare, and the lower costs of food and necessities that typically accompany such access.
Aboriginal Infrastructure mining