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Ford signs deal with First Nations re Ring of Fire mineral deposits

Ford signs deal with First Nations re Ring of Fire mineral deposits

The next step in the possible development of the Ring of Fire mineral deposits in Northern Ontario were taken with the signing of an agreement with First Nations for an environmental assessment. Premier Doug Ford and Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, joined Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation and Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation to celebrate what will be a historic milestone in the effort to unlock jobs and economic opportunities in the Ring of Fire region.

Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations announced they will be submitting a Terms of Reference for the proposed Northern Road Link Environmental Assessment. This proposed road is needed to provide  all season road access to potential mining sites in the Ring of Fire and connect both First Nations communities to Ontario’s highway network.

“Said  Premier Doug Ford. “Today is a landmark day as we work side by side with our Indigenous partners to ensure that communities around the Ring of Fire have access to the roads needed to not only support development but also improve access to every-day essentials like fuel, groceries and health care. We’re getting it done.”

Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations are co-leading the planning of the Northern Road Link project as part of a partnership with the province. Ontario has committed close to $1 billion to support critical legacy infrastructure such as the planning and construction of an all‑season road network, and investments in high-speed internet, road upgrades and other community supports.

Ring of Fire mineral deposits in red

The government hopes connecting the mineral rich opportunities in the Ring of Fire with manufacturing sectors in Southern Ontario would support the province in becoming a leading producer across North America of the critical minerals needed for electric vehicles and a clean economy.

Said Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of the Marten Falls First Nation. “This represents a potentially bright future for our future generations, for our neighbours, and for the region.”

Said Chief Cornelius Wabasse of the Webequie First Nation. “The NRL project is an Indigenous-led environmental assessment, which integrates Indigenous-principles with the provincial process.”

Ontario’s Ring of Fire region is one of the most promising mineral development opportunities for critical minerals in the province. It’s located approximately 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay and covers about 5,000 square kilometres.

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