Exploration and Development

Current Exploration

Several significant new mineral discoveries have been made in the Ring of Fire over the past several years, including chromite, copper, zinc, gold and kimberlite.

Currently, 21 companies hold claims in the area. A mining claim is a square or rectangular area of open land or mineral rights held by the Province that a licensed prospector must mark out. A claim can range in size from 16 hectares (a one-unit claim) to 256 hectares (a 16-unit claim).

The map below shows the most significant discoveries of copper-zinc, vanadium, nickel-copper and chromium to date, as well as locations of proposed mine developments.

Where We Are in the Process

Currently, activities in the Ring of Fire mineral area are still in their exploration stage, with spending on exploration to date totalling in excess of $278 million.

In 2011, the federal and provincial environmental assessments commenced for both Cliffs Natural Resources’ proposed Black Thor Project and Noront Resources’ proposed Eagle’s Nest Project. Coordination of the assessment processes is key to  ensuring that the environmental assessment processes of both jurisdictions take place concurrently and meet all federal and provincial requirements, including those around Aboriginal consultation. On November 20th, 2013, Cliffs Natural Resources announced the indefinite suspension of its project in Ontario. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, through the Ring of Fire Secretariat, has the overall lead for proposed developments in the Ring of Fire and continues to play a coordinating role with respect to environmental assessments and Aboriginal engagement.

KWG Resources continues its geotechnical assessment of a potential rail corridor.