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.
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