Tory Candidate Vic Fedeli speaks about the Ring of Fire in front of J & J Machine Works on Wednesday morning. PHOTO BY CHRIS DAWSON.
Nipissing Candidate Vic Fedeli told a news conference Wednesday that the Ontario PC's are the only party with a clear plan to ignite the promise of the Ring of Fire.
The Ontario PC Finance Critic calls the Ring of Fire, which he has visited four times, a "once in a lifetime" mining opportunity.
Fedeli believes the Ring of Fire can do for Ontario what the Oil Industry is currently doing for Alberta and Saskatchewan.
"As a first step we will work with business and aboriginal communities to expedite the construction of an all-season transportation link into the Ring of Fire deposits," said Fedeli in a press release on Thursday.
Fedeli calls the handling of the project "poliitcal game playing" by the Liberal Government, that has cost mining technology companies based in North Bay dozens of jobs.
“We have 12 mining companies who are struggling right now, some have closed like Sandvik - have closed and moved to New Brunswick, because the work they were doing in the ring of fire has collapsed, the 200 million dollars a year that one company was spending is now down to zero and that means these companies have far less business, Sandvik moved and all of the others have had severe layoffs," said Fedeli about the local impact.
"By igniting the Ring of Fire and showing these companies will have a transportation route they will be back in business and starting to drill again. The companies themselves aren’t finished their exploration drilling but they are finished today because there is no way to get the ore out of the ground," he said.
Fedeli added Ontario Northland needs to be included in the process, as he calls them the experts in ore shipping in the north.
He believes the ONR should be used to help create a North-South Rail system that could be used to haul the ore out the mine, while the nickel deposits could be moved via a newly constructed road moving East-West.
The Ring of Fire is a massive chromite and smelter development located in a remote area of the Jame Bay Lowlands in Northern Ontario and currently cannot be reached by a full-season road.
The Liberal government has committed to building a road to the Ring of Fire but the project has been slowed down due some problems with the road potentially being built on some private property.