Ontario’s Ring of Fire region is one of the most promising mineral development opportunities for critical minerals in the province. It’s located approximately 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay and covers about 5,000 square kilometres.

The region has long-term potential to produce:

  • chromite
  • cobalt
  • nickel
  • copper
  • platinum

Critical minerals like these play a role in the future of low- and zero-emission vehicles and transportation, and help support the transition to a cleaner, sustainable global economy.

Working with First Nations

Developing the Ring of Fire can contribute to Ontario’s economy by:

  • creating jobs
  • generating revenue
  • building infrastructure
  • bringing prosperity to communities across the north, including First Nation communities

Ontario is working directly with First Nations through bilateral agreements that support each community’s unique needs and priorities.

First Nation communities are leading proposed road projects in the Ring of Fire, including assessing any potential social and environmental impacts, as well as maximizing opportunities for First Nations people.

All-season road access

All-season road access to the Ring of Fire is an important step to creating economic opportunities in the region.

Better road infrastructure in the north can:

  • reduce the cost of delivering consumer goods, fuel and construction materials
  • give communities access to primary health care and other services
  • reduce the overall cost of living

Proposed road projects

Current proposed road projects will help create a north-south corridor connecting the Ring of Fire area to the provincial highway network.

Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation are leading environmental assessments for their individual proposed all-season road projects.

They are also co-proponents for the planning and development of a proposed Northern Road Link to the Ring of Fire. The Northern Road Link would connect to the proposed Marten Falls Community Access Road at the south end, and to the proposed Ring of Fire developments and Webequie Supply Road at the north end.

Map of proposed road environmental assessment study areas in the Ring of Fire

Map of three proposed road environmental assessment study areas in the Ring of Fire area. Includes the Webequie Supply Road Project represented by pink diagonal lines, the Northern Road Link Project represented by yellow diagonal lines and the Marten Falls Community Access Road Project represented by green diagonal lines.
Enlarge Map

Proposed access route studies in the Ring of Fire area. Three proposed road study areas, Webequie Supply Road Project, Marten Falls Community Access Road Project and Northern Road Link Project, are being led by Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation as proponents and/or co-proponents. The proposed study areas represent areas identified for environmental assessments only and do not reflect any actual infrastructure routing. Any actual final routing of a proposed road within these study areas is subject to the completion of an environmental assessment, including satisfaction of the Crown’s duty to consult and other regulatory requirements.


Exploration activity is underway in the Ring of Fire. As of January 2022, there are about 26,167 active mining claims held by 15 companies and individuals, covering approximately 4,972 square kilometres.

Minerals found in the Ring of Fire to date include:

  • chromite
  • copper
  • zinc
  • gold
  • diamond
  • nickel
  • platinum group elements