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New Coalition says East-West route to Ring of Fire needed now

Tuesday, March 5th 2019 11:39:30am

(Toronto, March 5, 2019) - The East-West Ring of Fire Road Coalition (EWRFC) is a new organization at the world’s largest mining conference, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference (#PDAC2019) advocating for an “East - West road” to access the Ring of Fire.

The EWRFC contends this route will benefit the greatest number of Ontario communities, providing all-season road access, increasing the range of economic opportunities associated with the Ring of Fire - a massive deposit of the mineral chromite, with an estimate value of $60 billion.

The EWRFC was conceived to represent municipalities, First Nation communities and businesses in Northwestern Ontario supporting the construction of a four-season access road into the Far North. Which will build on the current success of First Nation businesses in Sioux Lookout.

The Coalition is seeking government support for a route, which would extend from Hwy’s. 599 & 72 (extending north from the Trans Canada Highway, approx. 250 km west of Thunder Bay) to the Ring of Fire.

Speaking on behalf of the EWRFC, Sioux Lookout Mayor, Doug Lawrance observed, “The East-West road route would optimize existing road alignments, piggyback on pending hydro grid construction and use existing logistics and supply networks. We anticipate this route would lessen the environmental impacts (including wetland and peatlands) and avoid expensive, problematic large-scale water crossings.”

Originally proposed by mining company Noront Resources Ltd. The East West all-season passes close to Cat Lake, Mishkeegogomang, Lac Seul, Webequie, Nibinamik, Eabamatoong, Saugeen, and Slate Falls First Nations.  Other adjacent communities include Sioux Lookout, Pickle Lake, Ignace and Dryden.
Mayor Lawrance concluded. “Over the past two days, I have received enormous support from PDAC attendees from Northern communities, First Nations and much further afield for the Coalition’s goal of securing an East-West road to the Ring of Fire.”

Left to right: Bruce Sakakeep and Cecilia Begg from Big Trout Lake First Nation,  Mayor Doug Lawrance, Municipality of Sioux Lookout, Russell Wesley, former Chief of Cat Lake, Darrell Morgan of Morgan Fuels and Ari Elo, Co-founder of Northern Community Solutions Social Enterprises Inc. and Liaison between The Government of Finland and Sioux Lookout, ON


To schedule an interview, contact: Vicki Blanchard
Economic Development Manager, The Corporation of the Municipality of Sioux Lookout
Cell 807-738-2122 or Office, 807-737-4670  vblanchard@siouxlookout.ca

An electronic version of the map used for illustration purposes at the PDAC media event is available upon request or can be downloaded at this link.