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2013-12-06 at 15:06

Ring of hype?

By Jamie Smith,
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People in the region can learn from Public Enemy when it comes to development in the Ring of Fire a mining watchdog says -- “don’t believe the hype.”

Long lauded as the next oil sands and an economic saviour to Northwestern Ontario, MiningWatch Canada’s Ramsey Hart said people need to rein in their expectations when it comes to the area.

A remote location with no infrastructure is a tough sell right now for companies looking for investors.

“Don’t believe the hype in a sense that there may be viable projects there, but it’s really far from a market though for that product,” he said Friday morning during the second day of the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining and Exploration conference at Lakehead University.

“That makes these projects on the periphery of attractiveness for investment.”

If the day comes when development does happen, it probably won’t meet the expectations of politicians, industry and others who have promoted it for so long.

“I think we need to be modest in our expectation of what it will do,” he said. “They should ratchet down the rhetoric I think a little bit and people should approach the rhetoric with a bit of scepticism.”

Then there are the environmental and financial concerns Hart has, which have existed in a policy vacuum so far he said. After a ten year tax holiday in Ontario, remote mines then pay half of the rate other mines do. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for revenue sharing.

“To the degree that we can count on any kind of generation of taxes from the mining tax from these projects is very circumspect,” he said.

While MiningWatch might not influence the government on its own, Hart said reaching a consensus with First Nations, industry and others might, which is exactly what CESME wants to do. The conference is hoping to take its two-day conference and draft recommendations for government policy. CESME’s Peggy Smith said there were a lot of perspectives to take in.
“I think we’ve covered a range of issues, I’m a little overwhelmed myself,” she said.

It’s part of a broad public debate that’s needed on how policy can help the government make mining sustainable. There’s no timeline for the draft proposal.



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The Cougar says:
12/6/2013 3:15:48 PM
progress now says:
This really does sound like a voice of sanity. Will people listen?


Too many people (politicians notably) have egg on their face. There are too many cheap partisan shots to be made.

We don't like to hear it, but the best public policy is thoughtful and incremental. Its not politically sexy, but it does have the advantage of offering the best possibility of success. Stampeding to agreements means stampeding to mistakes.

Whatever the real value of the ring of fire, lets plan to take the time to get it right. It will blow up in our faces if we don't.

12/6/2013 3:30:43 PM
Tachyion says:
Finally....someone talking common sense ( a sense which is not very common, Voltaire ). The resource sector in in the proverbial dumpster....locally ZEN has lost over half of its yearly high ( $ 5.00 to $ 2.25 ) and has nothing to do with the Ring of Hype. Another case of lack of vision, along with counting chickens before they are hatched. Billions upon billions would be required......we already know the black hole a Billion $$$$$ was thrown into by the current Liberal " Lack of Government ".
12/6/2013 3:40:19 PM
oracle says:
Ring of Fire top ten alternates:
10) Ring of Hype
9) Ring of You're Fired
8) Ring of Smoke and Mirrors
7) Burnt by the Ring of Fire
6) No Cash for Johnny
5) Ring of Folly
4) I'm going down down down....
3) Falling off a Cliff(s)
2) What happened to my share price?
1) Ring of Fiction
12/7/2013 8:41:46 AM
oracle says:
ring of misfire
courtesy of old vienna
12/8/2013 7:54:29 PM
old vienna says:
remember hobbs running his mouth with the rhetoric of thunder bay being the capital city of the ring of misfire and 55,000 jobs were going to be created. Typical foolishness coming from the mouth of a politician.

12/6/2013 3:41:18 PM
brooky says:
No. But I remember when tons of people on this very message board were praising Hobbs for running for mayor. You all got what you wanted. An ex cop that knows nothing about running a corporation. Deal with it now.
12/7/2013 1:07:27 AM
westfort resident says:
I laughed when I read that. Anybody who's been believing the hype remember this: there's a sucker born every minute. It was like an April Fool's joke that kept going on and on and so many jumped on the proverbial bandwagon. Hook, line and sinker!
12/11/2013 5:10:53 PM
tudor says:
I am going to make myself ill for defending Hobbs but he bought into the hype as did other politicians as all of the politicians in opposition still are. if there really is not big deal in terms of development, then the Liberals didn't screw anything up did they? But we still have people laying the blame. So what is it. A huge issue that is being mismanaged, or a pie in the sky issue that in reality is far from assured.

As for the hype, most of it was driven by the companies themselves to obtain funding, gov't money and to increase share prices of their companies. Criticize the politicians for being fooled if you want, but this was all driven by mining companies who called this the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

If this really is no big deal, then the opposition folks who are yelling and screaming still have it all wrong too. Move on to the next complaint then.
12/6/2013 6:23:29 PM
moi says:
"Don't Believe The Hype?"
Most of us haven't, for a long time...
I'm guessing it'll be a cold day in hell before one ounce of mineral is extracted from the pipe dream that is the..ROF.We'll believe it when we see it.With so many greedy stakeholders in this never ending soap opera,it's easy to see why this project will never get off the ground.The politicans and main players can keep yammering on about "ongoing meetings,meaningful dialogue,making headway,another commitee's been formed,mining companies have joined forces,enviromental studies..blah,blah,blah". It's all pretty much "too little,too late".Talk all you want boys,it's kind of falling on deaf ears.If you build it,they will come--but if it's never built,no one will care.
12/6/2013 7:46:12 PM
pylon says:
Anyone that knows anything about mining, knew that with all the flat out BS'ing in the media going on, nothing was getting done fast.
12/6/2013 7:54:35 PM
unknowncronik says:

Nobody wants to help their fellow man anymore, just dominate them.

Hopefully one day, this "ring of fire" is lit!
12/6/2013 10:06:06 PM
razor_burn says:
12/6/2013 11:06:26 PM
yqt says:
None of this surprises me. Everything about Thunder Bay and region is 10-15 behind the rest of Canada. Everything is promised here, but never delivered.

Native communities in the region can also learn from Public Enemy when it comes to development in the Ring of Fire -- “I Can't Do Nuttin' For Ya Man"
12/6/2013 11:24:14 PM
Eastender says:
World population has topped seven billion. Food is the main concern today in a world that is in a financial recession, in spite of the hype to the contrary. You cant eat chromite, or its multitude of alloys. Once people are fed the price of chromite may become high enough to make the ring of fire feasible, but until then its just going to be the proverbial political football, all air and no substance.
12/7/2013 2:38:53 AM
I like Mike says:
You can thank our Liberal MPPs that we can even fathom this Ring of Fire! Why don't you show some respect to the guys who are going to turn Northern Ontario into the Middle East of Canada. Bill Mauro especially has been instrumental in spending millions on reserves near to the project to see if we can get their support for jobs and economic development in their backyard.
12/7/2013 3:45:44 AM
ring of fire dude says:
Ring of blockades:- Ring of Hand-outs:- infrastructure for exodus ; call it what you will , this project is dead in the muskeg .
12/7/2013 7:04:36 AM
nvjgu says:
I don't think anybody ever believed the hype. Just higher up's talking.
12/7/2013 7:27:37 AM
nvjgu says:
So Mr Hobb's what do you think.
12/7/2013 7:33:21 AM
Cletus Van Damme says:
This area is small potatoes compared to other deposits that can be mined. For instance Mare Tranquillitatis is just loaded with anorthite, and it will be easier to get to than the ring of fire.
12/7/2013 8:24:33 AM
sky high says:
We'll all be in little six foot mines by the time this project gets going
12/7/2013 11:00:12 AM
CM Punk says:
Its funny how the comment section is all quiet for this article because everyone thought that some great big mining boom was coming. NOT!

People had their cart before the horse, promised 50 000 jobs, increase in population, Costco, Friska Fraska or whatever was said.

This is a second rate region and the people here need to know this. NWO gets nothing but scraps when it comes to health, popsickle sticks, and hwy maintenance.

Oracle has it right and I got a few more to add to that list:

1)The Ring of Shame
2)Ring of Doubt
3)Ring of all Ringers
4)The Ring is Broken

Sit back and relax, its cold outside, sip some hot chocolate and watch some RKtv or BEin in HD.
12/7/2013 4:40:30 PM
pylon says:
Another point is, most of the well paying jobs would be remote, and that's a lifestyle people have to be willing to chose.. I think that most of the people that do chose that lifestyle are probably living it already in this area.

The local stuff would be good for some locals, but for the most part it would be the exact same service jobs that are already here.
12/7/2013 8:54:31 PM
smartguy83 says:
Don't forget each company will have a corporate office here with several office jobs. Some paying very well, some paying poorly. It all adds up.
12/11/2013 10:18:26 AM
tsb says:

All of our negativity, insults and complains about any form of economic development have paid off!!

We've succeeded in not getting a smelter because we don't want pollution!

We've succeeded in not getting any jobs because we don't want more people living here!

We've succeeded in not getting any jobs because we don't want to build any infrastructure!

We've succeeded in not getting any jobs because the Liberals are in government right now and that makes us really angry and complain about everything!


12/7/2013 10:20:50 PM
progress now says:
With all due respect, did you actually read the article?
12/8/2013 2:11:47 PM
humnchuck says:
So what will the fallout be on the Thunder Bay real estate market? Seems there was an awful lot of speculation and rapid inflation based on the "soon 30,000 miners will be moving here!" myth.

12/8/2013 8:46:48 AM
progress now says:
What will happen to the price of real estate.? Hopefully it will fall to fair market value.

Every kind of hype imaginable was employed to pump real estate prices here. Now we have too many real estate agents pumping too few properties in a market retreating to fair market value.

It will be interesting.

Wonder what this will mean to our tax base which has overly relied on the pumped values?
12/8/2013 2:17:49 PM
smartguy83 says:
Housing prices in Canada are inflated by 30-40% depending who you ask. Thunder Bay most likely is no where near those levels. I'd be shocked to see a huge fall in prices, even with interest rates rising. Maybe 5%
12/11/2013 10:20:29 AM
progress now says:
30 to 60 per cent as of yesterdays news.

The vacancy rate is already opening up here. In truth, I don't know when or how fast interest rates will rise but Canadians are in a lot of debt as it is. Also, raise interest rates and there goes our alleged economic growth.

While we are a regional community, we are still a community in the middle of nowhere. It remains to be seen how desirable Thunder Bay will become as a city to "live, work and play " in. The climate is not our ally, neither are the aesthetics of the city (it is unattractive) though there is much surrounding beauty. A harbour park won't do it for all that the city is gearing to spend on it. Expectations of the ROF were obscenely distorted.

There is incremental improvement in the real economy and that is where hope lies - in the hands of ordinary citizens.

I wish we could could get busy on renewing Thunder Bay, instead of just the waterfront. It has become an obsession with admin and council.

12/12/2013 1:54:04 PM
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