NEW YORK Ontario has appointed former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci as its lead negotiator for discussions with chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council on resource developments in the Ring of Fire region.
Iacobucci will report directly to Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle, and will be supported by the Ring of Fire Secretariat, the provincial government said on its website.
The appointment has drawn praise from Noront Resources Ltd., which is seeking to develop its Eagles Nest nickel-copper project and Blackbird chromite deposit in the region.
"Having the right conversations is essential for successful development in the Ring of Fire. We are eager to see a workable infrastructure solution that will allow us to bring our mine into production, and we have been collaborating with local First Nations throughout our own environmental assessment process to help make that happen," Noront chairman and interim chief executive officer Paul Parisotto said in a statement.
The Toronto-based exploration and development company said recently that its plans "have not changed" despite the recent decision by Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. to temporarily suspend environmental assessment activities on its own chromite project in the Ring of Fire (amm.com, June 13). Cliffs cited delayed approval in the assessment process, a judicial challenge by a number of First Nations, unresolved land rights issues and unfinished agreements with the Ontario provincial government as reasons for the suspension (amm.com, June 12).
Noront said it is in the final stage of its environmental assessment for the Eagles Nest project and intends to submit the assessment this fall.