KWG Resources is congratulating the Wynne government for keeping the Ontario Northland Railway (ONR) in public hands.
Frank Smeenk, president of the Ring of Fire junior miner, said the Crown agency has an expanded role to play in developing the future Far North mining camp
“This can revive and expand the ONR,” said Smeenk in a news release.
He has suggested to the Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle that the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission Act be amended to become the Northland Development Corporation Act.
“This would be consistent with the ONTC's original mandate and the minister's expressed desire to have new infrastructure requirements met by a focused development corporation."
KWG has an interest in two chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire and holds the staking rights to the only viable overland route to the remote exploration camp.
The company’s possession of that transportation corridor is being challenged in court by Cliffs Natural Resources, KWG’s former development partner.
KWG has been advocating for a Ring of Fire port authority to handle the logistics of moving chromite ore out of the James Bay region and wants the Ontario Northland to be the exclusive rail carrier.
"The ONR has lost one freight customer after another in recent years, to the point where its survival became very questionable,” added Smeenk. “The discovery of the Ring of Fire's chromite deposits now promises to insure substantial bulk freight traffic for many generations.