•   
  •   
  •   

Canada Doug Ford's hopes for Ontario's electric vehicle industry hinge on mining its Ring of Fire

11:51  09 november  2021
11:51  09 november  2021 Source:   cbc.ca

Doug Ford's hopes for Ontario's electric vehicle industry hinge on mining its Ring of Fire

  Doug Ford's hopes for Ontario's electric vehicle industry hinge on mining its Ring of Fire Queen Elizabeth joked to Tom Daley that she could be an Olympic gymnast.

'We're going to be the number one manufacturer of electric battery operated cars in North America,' said Ontario Premier Doug Ford during a news conference Monday. Opening up mining in the province's north is a key part of that plan. © Mike Crawley/CBC 'We're going to be the number one manufacturer of electric battery operated cars in North America,' said Ontario Premier Doug Ford during a news conference Monday. Opening up mining in the province's north is a key part of that plan.

Premier Doug Ford's government is touting Ontario as a future electric vehicle manufacturing hub, and linking that to a fresh push for a huge mining development in the northern part of the province.

Ford's Progressive Conservatives want to lure the big automakers to produce electric vehicles in southern Ontario. A key part of that strategy involves opening up the so-called Ring of Fire mineral deposit, located more than 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay in an area home to Indigenous people.

Ontario's $348,000 per year trade rep post in Washington sitting vacant

  Ontario's $348,000 per year trade rep post in Washington sitting vacant Premier Doug Ford government's has left Ontario without a trade representative in Washington for weeks as U.S. lawmakers pushed forward with legislation that could damage the province's auto sector.The government did not renew the three-year contract of Ian Todd when it expired on Oct. 22 and CBC News has learned that Todd stopped working at the end of September, leaving the U.S. capital on vacation for the final weeks of his contract.

The Ring of Fire was originally promoted as a source of chromite, an important component in steel. Now the hype centres on its supply of minerals used in EV batteries and energy storage systems, including cobalt, lithium, manganese, nickel, graphite and copper.

Ontario's mini-budget — known as the fall economic statement — featured the Ring of Fire prominently when it was presented last week, and explicitly linked the mining project to EV battery production.

Ford spoke enthusiastically about both electric vehicles and the Ring of Fire on Monday.

The Ring of Fire mineral deposit is located more than 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, © CBC News The Ring of Fire mineral deposit is located more than 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay,

"We're doing it," Ford said, when CBC News asked about the government's plans for the mining project, during an unrelated news conference in Bradford, Ont., just north of Toronto.

Ontario unveils second phase of auto strategy

  Ontario unveils second phase of auto strategy The Ontario provincial government released the second phase of its automotive strategy Driving to Prosperity Wednesday with an ambitious agenda aimed at electrifying the province’s auto industry and creating a complete domestic battery supply chain extending from extracting critical minerals to battery production. The plan’s goals call for at least 400,000 electric and hybrid vehicles to be produced in the province by Ontario’s five OEMs (Stellantis, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota) by 2030. “The auto sector is too critical a sector to ignore,” said Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli.

"We're going to be the number one manufacturer of electric battery operated cars in North America," Ford said. "We're not only going to manufacture the batteries here, but also manufacture the cars."

Ford said First Nations are being consulted about the Ring of Fire.

"We do nothing up there without making sure there's a buy-in from the vast majority of the communities," Ford said.

"This is going to benefit so many people from First Nations communities up there. They're going to have good-paying jobs. They're going to be part of the investments. They're going to be able to build roads, not not just to get up to the mines, but also be to get goods up there a lot quicker as well. This is just a massive win for the First Nations community."

However, Ford's enthusiasm is not universally matched among Indigenous leaders in northern Ontario.

"There is going to be opposition, if this continues the way it is and the Ford government or any future government doesn't recognize the rights of our people, it's going to be a strong stance," said Chief Wayne Moonias of the Neskantaga First Nation in an interview Monday.

Canada holds a quarter of the world's soil carbon, study finds

  Canada holds a quarter of the world's soil carbon, study finds Canada's soils store about a quarter of the entire world's soil carbon, a new study has found, putting a spotlight on the country's role in protecting that carbon and preventing further climate change. Those carbon-rich soils are found especially in peatland: boggy wetlands in northern Ontario and parts of Manitoba that are filled with accumulated plant matter that's been collecting over thousands of years. About five per cent of Canada's terrestrial carbon is stored in plants, trees, shrubs and other greenery above ground, the study found, while about 95 per cent of it is underground — in the top metre of soil.

Chief Wayne Moonias leads the Neskantaga First Nation in northern Ontario. He says Ford's plan will meet opposition from Indigenous communities. © CBC Chief Wayne Moonias leads the Neskantaga First Nation in northern Ontario. He says Ford's plan will meet opposition from Indigenous communities.

Neskantaga is one of three First Nations — along with Attawapiskat and Fort Albany — that declared a moratorium on Ring of Fire development earlier this year.

"People are making money, a lot of money, off of our land and there is no consent that has been given by our people, our First Nation," said Moonias. "Rightfully the First Nations people of Neskantaga should be the ones to determine how those things are going to be carried out, if in fact they're going to be carried out."

Ring of Fire mineral claims cover a territory around 100 kilometres in diameter, including the upper portion of the Attawapiskat River and its watershed.

"I don't think First Nations, whose land this has always been and still is solely, appreciate anybody else telling them what's good for them," said Kate Kempton, a partner with the law firm OKT. She represents Attawapiskat First Nation in a recent court challenge of the province granting mineral exploration permits in the Ring of Fire to the mining firm Juno Corp.

Electric vehicles will change how cities look. Just ask the Scottish city of Dundee

  Electric vehicles will change how cities look. Just ask the Scottish city of Dundee As world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow hammer out the final details of a new action plan to tackle climate change, the nearby Scottish city of Dundee is already offering a glimpse of what a zero-emission future might look like. For Public Works manager Bob Donnachie, it's a big blue electric garbage truck — or a bin lorry, as the Scots call them. "It's very different from a conventional diesel truck, I must admit," said Donnachie, taking CBC News out for an unusually quiet drive through the city. "You don't have the rattles and bangs as you normally do.

"This situation with the Ring of Fire is, in my view, explosive, and the public is probably going to see that in 2022," said Kempton.

Ford's government is proposing significant changes to provincial land-use planning law for northern Ontario that appear designed to clear hurdles to developing the Ring of Fire.

a police car parked in a parking lot: The renewed push for opening up Ontario's Ring of Fire involves its supply of minerals that can be used to make electric vehicle batteries. © Ben Margot/The Associated Press The renewed push for opening up Ontario's Ring of Fire involves its supply of minerals that can be used to make electric vehicle batteries.

One change would scrap a requirement that 225,000 square kilometres of northern Ontario have protected-area status. That's nearly double the size of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia combined.

The changes that the government itself describes as "the most significant" have to do with the First Nations membership of a joint advisory body on land-use planning in the Far North. The amendments would allow the government to create the advisory body with the participation of just seven of the 31 First Nations in the region.

The amendments to the Far North Act are part of the omnibus bill tabled last week by Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy along with his fall economic statement.

The act "creates unnecessary barriers to economic development," said Curtis Lindsay, press secretary to Greg Rickford, Ontario's minister of Indigenous affairs, northern development and mines.

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 16

  What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 16 Here's CBC Ottawa's latest roundup of key updates during the coronavirus pandemic.Ontario reported 552 new cases of the illness Monday, an increase of approximately 15 per cent over the same time last week, while Ottawa's new daily cases have been fluctuating, but not showing a dramatic surge.

He said the revised act will focus on "enabling the development of all-season roads, electrical transmission projects and mineral development while maintaining community-based land-use planning and environmental protections."

Bethlenfalvy drew a direct link between electric vehicles and the Ring of Fire in an interview on Friday with Superior Morning, a CBC Radio program broadcasting from Thunder Bay.

"We want to build the Ring of Fire," Bethlenfalvy said. "There's critical minerals there [that] go into electric vehicles, and we want to be the leader in North America, in Ontario, building electric cars."

He described the government's new push for the Ring of Fire as responding to the community.

Noront Resources Esker Camp is located in Ontario's Ring of Fire. The company's share price has tripled in the past six months as two Australian mining giants offered increasingly larger takeover bids. © Jeff Walters/CBC Noront Resources Esker Camp is located in Ontario's Ring of Fire. The company's share price has tripled in the past six months as two Australian mining giants offered increasingly larger takeover bids.

"Prosperity should be in the north," said Bethlenfalvy.  "We just want to open up the north for everyone, and we're going to do it with very sincere and open consultations."

The mining company that holds the vast majority of the claims in the Ring of Fire, Noront Resources, is currently the focus of a bidding war between two Australian mining firms, BHP Group and Wyloo Metals. Since the rival takeover bids began in May, Noront's share price has tripled, adding some $280 million to the company's value in just six months.

The two firms are now in talks about a joint takeover, with a deadline of Nov. 16 for NorOnt shareholders to accept the latest bid.

One of the biggest obstacles to getting minerals out of the Ring of Fire is that there are no all-season roads to its location.

Just last month the government launched two separate environmental assessments for sections of road that would link the Ring of Fire to the Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations and ultimately, to the provincial highway system.

In 2018, before becoming premier, Ford vowed to get roads built to the Ring of Fire "if I have to hop on that bulldozer myself."

The Ford government has budgeted roughly $1 billion for the road construction, but that commitment is not new for Ontario. Back in 2014, the then-Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne allocated $1 billion for the project as well.

When will steel go green? How B.C. coal fuels one of the highest emitting industries in the world .
Steel production is responsible for about seven per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cleaner technology is available, but how quickly will it be adopted?The calls from COP26 have been clear: the world must stop burning coal if it hopes to avoid catastrophic global temperature rise.

usr: 5
This is interesting!