Next steps taken on road to the Ring of Fire
By Adam FreillConstruction Infrastructure Roads
Province approves First Nations-led plan for road connecting First Nations communities to provincial highway network and critical mineral deposits.
The Ontario government has approved terms of reference designed and submitted by Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation for an all-season, multi-use road connecting to the proposed Ring of Fire mining development area.
The Northern Road Link will connect the two First Nations communities and the critical mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire to the Ontario highway network, helping to secure a supply chain for electric vehicle manufacturing in Ontario.
“I want to thank Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation for leading the environmental assessment for this essential road corridor. I value our partnership with these strong leaders who are central to our government’s mandate to develop the Ring of Fire,” said George Pirie, Minister of Mines. “The Ring of Fire has the critical minerals we need to build our manufacturing supply chain, including nickel for electric vehicles and chromite for clean steel. Our government’s investments in innovation and infrastructure are creating jobs across the entire province, including northern and Indigenous communities.”
Ontario’s provincial government has earmarked almost $1 billion to support infrastructure in the Ring of Fire area, including constructing all‑season roads, investing in high-speed internet, road upgrades and community supports. Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations are co-leading the planning of the Northern Road Link project as part of a partnership with the province. The project would connect the Ring of Fire’s mineral deposits with manufacturing hubs in the south, paving the way for made-in-Ontario supply chains for batteries and electric vehicles.
“The Ontario government has approved the terms of reference as submitted by Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations, which is an important first step in the environmental process that will enable critical transportation infrastructure to be built,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Tomorrow’s clean, green jobs depend on meaningful partnerships we’ve built with First Nations communities and our government looks forward to continuing to work closely with them to unlock this immense potential in the north while ensuring strong environmental protections remain in place.”