Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Ontario approves plan for road to Ring of Fire

Image: wcsringoffire.ca

The Ontario government has approved the Terms of Reference designed and submitted by Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation for an all-season, multi-use road connecting to the proposed Ring of Fire mining development area. Details of the announcement are contained in the media release distributed on March 6th, 2023.

Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation are each leading their own community road Environmental Assessments and are working together on the Environmental Assessment for the Northern Road Link.

Together, the Webequie Supply Road, Marten Falls Community Access Road and Northern Road Link would connect the two communities to the Ring of Fire mineral deposits and the Ontario highway network.

The Northern Road Link will connect the two First Nations communities, and the mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire to the Ontario highway network. The province made the announcement at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) annual convention in Toronto.

Ontario has dedicated close to $1 billion to support critical legacy infrastructure in the Ring of Fire area including constructing all‑season roads, 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 mineral deposits with manufacturing hubs in the south.

“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 transportation infrastructure to be built,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

During the PDAC convention, the province also announced recipients of the Critical Minerals Innovation Fund. The $5 million fund is supporting Ontario-based companies that are leading the development of new mining technologies focused on building the critical minerals supply chain. These companies are doing ground-breaking work to solve supply chain challenges in exploration, mining and processing.

The Ministry of Mines is supporting the First Nations-led Environmental Assessments through a Crown consultation process that ensures the Crown’s Duty to Consult obligations are met on all proposed road projects.