It’s been one year since we released Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Economic Potential of Ontario’s Ring of Fire, a report that outlined the economic and social opportunities offered by the Ring of Fire.
Beneath the Surface found that during the first 32 years of its development, Ontario’s Ring of Fire could generate $25 billion in economic activity and create thousands of new jobs across the province. Further, the employment opportunities generated by the Ring of Fire could dramatically improve the quality of life in First Nations communities in Ontario’s Far North.
So where are we now, one year later? Unfortunately, our latest report, Where Are We Now? A Report Card on the Ring of Fire, finds that there has been little progress developing this extraordinary economic opportunity. There is still no infrastructure plan in place, there remains little agreement between the most important players, and delays in issuing exploration permits have stalled any potential development. In short, we are still years away from opening a mine in the Ring of Fire. Further, development timelines are increasingly characterized by uncertainty.
Not all the news is bad. Our report finds that some progress has been made, including a $1 billion transportation infrastructure commitment made by the Government of Ontario. This is an important commitment. Yet more work
remains—including the development of an infrastructure plan, building that infrastructure, and of course negotiating agreements with First Nations.
Our intention is not to point the finger. Rather, the purpose of this report is to measure progress from a business vantage point. Ultimately, we hope to create a sense of urgency in order to catalyze the development of the Ring of Fire.
This report is the culmination of months of research and consultation. We are indebted to the members of our Mining Advisory Council without whose expertise and guidance this report would not be possible.
We encourage your to read this Report Card. We hope our work is the catalyst for momentum for this once-in-a-generation economic opportunity. It is time to get to work.