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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

District Living
Bending Lake iron deposit to go into productionlikely in 2015. The second processing facility could be ready in 2014. The only potential hold-up could be cabinet level approval to use the Steep Rock site, noted Wetelainen. Northern Development, Mines and Forestry minister Michael Gravelle indicated after the announcement that he would work with the ministries of environment and natural resources to garner a decision as quickly as possible. Rob Purdon, the MNRs Steep Rock rehabilitation manager, said BLIGs request would have to be determined to operate within the guidelines of the sites sustainable long-term management plan. A decision on whether the provincial government will re-open the old mine site should take place in the next few months. If the site is approved for access, Purdon said the MNR then would solicit proposals from interested parties in a fair, open, and transparent manner. As part of that process, parties interested in using the site would have to demonstrate an appropriate level of technical study to show that their proposal would provide both benefits to the local economy, and demonstrate synergies with the rehabilitation objectives for the Steep Rock site, he explained. The economic and environmental benefits are clear, said Wetelainen. The technology used at the facilities would produce low toxic emissions and the Atikokan site would be the second in North America to host the process. The process is called Iron-Making Technology Mark Three (ITMK3), and would produce merchant pig iron in the form of 97 percent iron concentrate pellets for use in steel production in small grey foundries, electric arc, and blast furnaces. The first facility of its kind on this continent has been constructed in Silver Bay, Mn. by a consortium of steel producers.

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One of those producers, Japanbased Kobe Steel, holds the ITMK3 patent and has made it available to BLIG. This is brand new technology in Northern Ontario, enthused Wetelainen. This type of technology will change the steel industry in North America; to be on the leading edge of this is fantastic. He said the tailings put into the Hogarth pit would be basically cooked sandstone, and that our companys plan is to treat that water and put it back into the river system at drinking water quality. Everything that were going to do at Hogarth is going to be a Please see Iron, B4

Iron processing facility moves step closer


By Jessica Smith Atikokan Progress Bending Lake Iron Group (BLIG) has secured $325 million to construct the first of two proposed iron processing facilities at the Steep Rock mine site, and president and CEO Henry Wetelainen is now calling for the province to speed up its land tenure approval process. We will begin construction in Atikokan as soon as the government can issue us permits for the Hogarth Pit, Wetelainen said earlier this month. In addition to the $325-million loan guarantee from New York financier Triple A Guarantee, Wetelainen said the Thunder Bay-based company is in the process of accessing enough financing to fund the entire projectcreation of the two facilities that would process iron ore from the companys Bending Lake deposit 80 km north of Atikokan. The construction of two iron processing facilities just five km north of town would provide 700 construction jobs. And once in production, the processing site and mine would provide more than 300 full-time jobs. The first plant could be completed by 2012 and immediately would begin refining raw iron from the U.S. while waiting for the

Local woman ready to meet the stars


By Duane Hicks Staff writer While shes not sure at this point whether shell get a seat to watch the 82nd-annual Academy Awards on March 7, Lori DelBo definitely will be rubbing elbows with celebrities while on business in Hollywood. As international speaker for a new product called Sensy Chocolate, DelBo will be at a pre-Oscar event for the pre-launch of the chocolate, where she will try to get celebrity endorsements. DelBos involvement with Sensy Chocolate, which is an organic, sugar-free, lactose-free, gluten-free, kosher, all-natural dark chocolate, is a recent and exciting development in her life. Sensy Chocolate was created by Canadian retired chiropractor, Dr. Anas A. Khalaf, whom DelBo met at a CEO Space meeting in December in Las Vegas. DelBo, who is the daughter of local resident Joe Delbo, is a regional director for CEO Space the oldest, largest, and richest entrepreneurial club in the world which holds meetings five times a year for CEOs from around the world to build their businesses and find new opportunities. He told me the reason why he created this chocolate was to help obesity in the world, noted DelBo. The chocolate also helps level out blood sugar. Because he [Dr. Khalaf] is a legendary network marketer, he created a compensation plan that will also allow the highest percentage ever paid in a network marketing company, along with providing funding for education around the world, she added. The mission is, one, to help obesity, and two, help the education for the kids. DelBo said this sounded like a winning combination to herand so she got on board. Its a product that will help the world, she enthused. When I met him [Dr. Khalaf], I said, I am your international speaker, and he said, Youre absolutely right. I fulfilled a dream by recognizing the opportunity at hand where I could help him, with my network, launch this to the world. Its a lifelong dream being fulfilled, DelBo added. It was like, Okay, here it is, do it. And I did it. Thats why I tell people [to] go for the gold, whatever it is you want to do with your life, she stressed. A well-connected network marketer, DelBo said she had been invited to the Oscar pre-event last year but didnt have the right product she wanted to launch. This year, I said, were coming and were going to launch healthy chocolatewhich is Sensy Chocolateand get this recognized very quickly throughout the world because it needs to be recognized, she remarked. And so with that, we are going to the Oscars. DelBo, who this week had gone down to Orlando, Fla. to begin a cross-country tour to promote Sensy Chocolate, explained she Please see Local, B4

Emo spray park hits fundraising goal thanks to former residents


By Peggy Revell Staff writer The Emo spray park committee has reached its fundraising goal of $150,000 thanks to a $20,000 donation from former district residents Rob and Liana (nee Hyatt) Frenette. Were ecstatic about this, said spray park committee chair Lincoln Dunn. Obviously for us, this is fabulous, he enthused. It gets us so close, were practically done with our fundraising at this point. The donation brings the total amount raised to $150,000 meaning any more money raised can go towards a contingency fund, Dunn noted. I think that were probably hoping to raise about another $5,000 or so, just to cover off any unanticipated expenses at this point, he explained. But were pretty close, were really close. This comes as a great relief to all of us on the committee because it means a lot less work for us over the next two or three months, Dunn added. [Its] a big initiative for such a small community to undertake so Im finally in a position in my life where I can help out, so its nice to be able to do that, Liana Frenette said about the donation made by her, her husband, Rob (formerly of Fort Frances), and their children, Joe, Sarah, and David. The family now resides in Thunder Bay, where the Frenettes run their own business (TBT Engineering Consulting Group). Part of what we do believe is that businesses should give back to and support the community, Frenette said. And even though our office is in Thunder Bay, we work all over Northwestern Ontario, so we try to give back where we can to the communities that we work inand we were just fortunate enough to be able to do that. Its a way to give back to a community thats been good to me, Frenette added, noting she usually makes it back to the district at least once a month (her parents currently live in Barwick while her grandmother resides in Emo). My Grandpa Marshall Hyatt used to say that once you get the mud of the Rainy River District on your boots, you cant shake it off, Frenette wrote in an earlier letter

Were ecstatic about this. Lincoln Dunn


to the spray park committee. I can honestly say that I have never been able to shake it off. I have many fond memories of days spent in Emo during my youth with my grandparents and parents, and warm memories of all the people and business leaders in Emo, she stated. We continue to regularly visit the area, and the Emo Fair is still very much a tradition for my family. I am sure that the children of the district will enjoy the park, just as we did in our youth, Frenette continued. Hopefully this will assist in creating fond memories of Emo and playing on the banks of Rainy River for years to come. The donation has also come as a thanks towards Lianas parents, Mark and Carol Hyatt, and grandparents, John and Marcine James and Marshall and Maggie Hyatt, for all the support they have given [her] over the years in [her] personal development and more recently in the development of TBT Engineering. As part of this acknowledgement, Dunn noted there will be memorial/sponsorship bricks in their honour. These bricks will join the numerous other ones that community residents have purchased, and which will be embedded in the overspray area around the outside of the park. We really want to acknowledge that [Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP] John Rafferty was at least partially responsible for making this happen, Dunn said. Because I know that hes been in conversation with business folk and with government folk, and had been trying to access additional federal funding for us in the project, which he was not successful with [so far]. [But] hes been fantastic in continuing to advocate on our behalf it was his direct contact with Rob and Liana that made this possible, Dunn stressed. Completion of the spray park is anticipated later this year once the ground thaws and construction can be finished.

Beauty and the Beast


Above, Belle (Maggie Gauthier) finds her father (Caleb Dueck) locked in the Beasts dungeon, while below, the townspeople were excited when they find out that Gaston is thinking of marriage during a rehearsal for Donald Young Schools production of Beauty and the Beast on Monday evening. Performances will take this evening, as well as tomorrow and Friday, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets, which will be available at the door, cost $10 for adults and $6 for seniors, with children under 12 admitted free. Dave Ogilvie photo

Interest in new MicroFIT program spreading across district


By Dave Ogilvie Emo correspondent Last September, the Ontario government announced the introduction of a new MicroFIT programa streamlined, user-friendly version of the FIT program for individuals, small businesses, and communities. FIT, which stands for Feedin Tariff, is North Americas first comprehensive guaranteed pricing structure for renewable electricity production by local producers. It offers stable prices under longterm contracts for energy generated from renewable sources, such as biomass, biogas, landfill gas, and on-shore and off-shore wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), and water power. The new MicroFIT program encourages the development of small-scale renewable energy (10 kilowatts or less) from a diverse range of producers, including homeowners, schools, farmers, and small businesses. This unique program quickly has created a great deal of interest across the province, attracting more than 2,200 applications from interested groups and individuals. The choice of generation by most people, so far, is solar photovoltaic. Since Dec. 16, some 700 Ontarians from all areas of the province have received the green light for various sizes of roof-top solar projects. Jim Creeggan, the bass player for the band Barenaked Ladies, is one of the more well-known Ontarians who already have joined the green energy movement. Its a thrill to be able to power my own lights while, at the same time, contributing to my citys electrical needs, Creeggan enthused recently. Now that the MicroFIT program is up and running, it makes solar a realistic option for more households, he noted. With enough homeowners on board, communities will have a greater impact on where our power is coming from. Im glad solar power is getting out of the fringe and into the mainstream, Creeggan added. Energy and Infrastructure minister Gerry Phillips said the new MicroFIT program literally brings power to the people. It allows homeowners, farmers, schools, and Mom and Pop businesses to help power our future and get paid for it while investing in a new era of green collar jobs and expertise, Phillips explained. Under the Green Energy Act, the province will be able to eliminate dirty coal-fired generation by the end of 2014. The government also hopes, in the process, to create 50,000 green collar jobs. The Ontario Power Authority estimates the initial MicroFIT projects will generate more than $5 billion in investments in manufacturing, design, construction, and engineering and lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs in the province. The program also will stimulate the local economy due to the fact all alternate energy products for this year have to be 40 percent Ontario content, rising to 60 percent next year, and that all labour must be from Ontario. As part of the MicroFIT program, any one or any group that produces energy will be paid a guaranteed price of $0.80/kWh for the electricity their solar project produces for a period of at least 20 years. Based on this rate, the smallest solar panel system available from a local supplier, which lists at $15,589, will produce $2,976 Please see Interest, B4