What's this about?
The Ring of Fire is a large, resource-rich area of approximately 5,120 square kilometres located in the James Bay Lowlands region of Northern Ontario. Since the early 2000s, significant deposits of copper, zinc, nickel, platinum, vanadium, and gold have been found in the region. Most importantly, large quantities of chromite (an essential component of stainless steel) have also been found, the first such discovery in North America.
Analysis done by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce shows that within the first 10 years of its development, the Ring of Fire will make significant contributions to Ontario’s economy, and will generate up to $9.4 billion in Gross Domestic Product, sustain up to 5,500 jobs annually, and generate nearly $2 billion in government revenue, divided between the federal, provincial, and municipal governments.
There has been little progress developing this extraordinary economic opportunity. There is still no infrastructure plan in place, there remains little agreement between the most important players, and delays in issuing exploration permits have stalled any potential development.
In short, we are still years away from opening a mine in the Ring of Fire. The goal of the OCC is to hold all relevant actors accountable for progress – or lack thereof – in the Ring of Fire. As such, we issue a yearly report card measuring progress.
We urge all stakeholders to work cooperatively to overcome the obstacles preventing Ontario from realizing the economic benefits of the Ring of Fire. We will continue to be a strong voice in pushing to advance the development of this key area of potential.
As a start, we are calling on the Government of Ontario to move expeditiously towards opening a first mine in the Ring of Fire. As a first step, the Government of Ontario must allow activities related to the development of mine operations, so long as those activities honour the spirit and intent of the agreement reached between government and the nearby Matawa First Nations.