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Ontario wants its say on Ring of Fire court case

By: Northern Ontario Business Staff

 | Feb 10, 2014 - 4:56 PM |
Cliffs halted all work at its Black Thor deposit in the Ring of Fire after being denied overland access. Supplied

Cliffs halted all work at its Black Thor deposit in the Ring of Fire after being denied overland access. Supplied

The Ontario government wants to officially weigh in an upcoming appeal launched by Cliffs Natural Resources to overturn a provincial tribunal’s decision that denied the mining company overland access to its Ring of Fire mineral deposit.

The counsel for Toronto-based junior miner KWG Resources – Cliffs’ adversary – has been advised that the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General is seeking permission at the Ontario Divisional Court level – through a motion for leave — to intervene in the appeal of the decision of the Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner released last September.

The independent tribunal ruled against Cliffs’ application for an easement to run a road corridor north, 320 kilometres, to its Black Thor deposit over the mining claims of KWG.

The ruling was a backbreaker for Cliffs and its languishing development with a production start date that had been steadily pushed back from 2015 to 2017, and now indefinitely.

In late October, Cliffs called an indefinite halt to its chromite project in the James Bay region.

The Ohio miner said it is not allocating any further capital for work on the deposit and has not assigned a project restart date.

Despite shutting down its Far North exploration camp and halting all technical work and its feasibility study for its Black Thor chromite project, Cliffs decided to proceed with the commissioner’s ruling.

In a Feb. 10 news release, KWG said the motion for leave will be heard on April 28. The hearing of the appeal has now been scheduled for June 16 and 17.

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