THUNDER BAY -- The future of the Ring of Fire is in the air until the Ontario government returns to the legislature on July 2.
"We're all waiting to hear what the cabinet may be," said John Mason, project manager of mining services for the Community Economic Development Commission, on Wednesday, Day 1 of the two-day Ontario Mining Forum being held at the Valhalla Inn.
Mason said he's also hopeful the $1 billion is still included in the provincial budget.
"We're also waiting to hear from FedNor what their involvement may be," he added.
The forum was attended by industry, community leaders, financiers and government representatives from across North America.
Mason said the group is diverse not just professionally, but geographically.
"They're involved with projects that are grassroots right through to production right now. That's important to bring those perspectives. I think we learn from case examples, from existing mining operations and from success and failure," he said.
Forum chair Michael Fox said not only are they hearing about updates on mining projects, but the forum is also a networking opportunity.
And while many people are looking for insight on the Ring of Fire, Fox said they're all waiting to see what happens when Premier Kathleen Wynne announces her cabinet next month.
"I think more will be forthcoming when the new minister is appointed," he said, adding if it is Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP and former Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle, they expect he will make a statement quickly.
"That will allow it to move forward at least with the province and what kind of expectation they have with the federal government," said Fox.