The lack of a coherent plan to develop transportation infrastructure in the Ring of Fire is hurting the exploration financing scene in Ontario, says a leading business law firm.
Fasken Martineau issued a Dec. 13 bulletin that the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) has taken the position not to list companies with exploration projects in global regions where there is no authoritative plan to move raw and bulk product to market. This pertains to junior miners operating in Ontario's Far North, the firm said in a statement.
Fasken said, historically, a National Instrument 43-101 technical report establishing "economically interesting grades" of mineral resources on a property was usually good enough to satisfy the TSX.
Faskens said the TSX wants assurances that bulk products, such as concentrate, can be shipped to market by roads, rail or via port facilities.
"We understand that the TSX has recently turned down the listing application of several companies in the Ring of Fire and in Quebec, because of concerns about the availability of infrastructure."
"In our view, the creation of infrastructure is just one of many issues and risks facing mining companies which have an impact on project economics, including, for example, commodity price risk, metallurgical issues, native claim and title issues, environmental permitting, and changes in taxes and other government policies. Provided such risks are adequately described in appropriate disclosure documents, we see no valid reason to apply a blanket prohibition on listing such companies solely on the basis of lack of infrastructure.
"We believe it would be helpful for the TSX to solicit comments from the mining industry on this issue."