Doug Ford’s hopes for Ontario’s electric vehicle industry hinge on mining its Ring of Fire

Mining project will be ‘massive win’ for First Nations, says premier, despite Indigenous opposition. Premier Doug Ford’s government is touting Ontario as a future electric vehicle manufacturing hub, and linking that to a fresh push for a huge mining development in the northern part of the province. Ford’s Progressive Conservatives want to lure the big automakers to produce electric vehicles in southern Ontario. A key part of that strategy involves opening up the so-called Ring of Fire mineral deposit, located more than 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay in an area home to Indigenous people. The Ring of Fire was originally promoted as a source of chromite, an important component in steel. Now the hype centres on its supply of minerals used in EV batteries and energy storage systems, including cobalt, lithium, manganese, nickel, graphite and copper. Ontario’s mini-budget — known as the fall economic statement — featured the Ring of Fire prominently when it was presented last week, and explicitly linked the mining project to EV battery production.

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