New Leadership Team Heralds New Era at Ring of Fire Metals

A new leadership team including new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kristan Straub, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Annie Sismanian, has been appointed at Ring of Fire Metals, bringing with them decades of mining industry experience at a critical time in the company’s history.

The new appointments follow the recruitment of Stephen Crozier, Vice President Sustainability in August last year and long-standing employee Glenn Nolan’s transition to the newly created role of Vice President Indigenous Enterprises. Ryan Weston continues as part of the leadership team in the role of Vice President Exploration.

Former Acting CEO, Stephen Flewelling, will continue at the company in an advisory capacity while former CFO, Greg Rieveley, moves on to pursue other opportunities.

Wyloo Metals (parent company of Ring of Fire Metals) CEO, Luca Giacovazzi, said the leadership re-shuffle had taken place as momentum built on development in the Ring of Fire.

“Kristan and Annie join us at a time when developing Canada’s critical nickel resources has never been more important,” he said.

“Kristan’s long career in nickel mining, having led global teams and delivered strong health and safety, exploration, sustainability and operational outcomes has prepared him well to lead Ring of Fire Metals in this next phase of the company’s growth.

“Annie comes to us with strong experience leading financial performance at a senior level and her contribution will be invaluable as we progress our mine and battery metal production projects.

“Both Kristan and Annie share the broader team’s passion and commitment to bringing Eagle’s Nest to fruition, and their wealth of experience will stand us in good stead for the path ahead.”

Mr Giacovazzi said the creation of the Vice President Indigenous Enterprises and Vice President Sustainability roles reflected the priorities of the company at the most senior level.

“Ring of Fire Metals, and Wyloo Metals, are committed to developing mining projects with the highest standards of environmental responsibility and in genuine partnership with First Nation communities – that’s why you see these priorities reflected in our senior management structure,” he said.

“We are already progressing plans to partner with Indigenous stakeholders on business and employment opportunities, and to develop Eagle’s Nest as a net-zero emissions mine with a small environmental footprint. Along with our promising exploration program, the leadership team is deeply committed to these priorities.”

Mr Straub and Ms Sismanian said they were thrilled to be joining the Ring of Fire Metals team.

“It’s an honour to be taking on the leadership role with Ring of Fire Metals and to lead one of Canada’s premiere undeveloped strategic metals projects,” he said.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with First Nations, local communities, the provincial and federal governments, the RoFM leadership team and our partners to realize the development of our projects and place them at the forefront of developing the critical minerals that Canada and the world need to advance the energy transition.”

Ms Sismanian said: “The culture at Ring of Fire Metals and the energy of the team we have here in Canada, backed by the vast mining experience of our Australian colleagues, was what excited me about joining the team.

“I look forward to progressing our projects, which will see Ontario take its place as a world-leader in producing the critical minerals needed for electric vehicles and clean energy production.”


Kristan Straub – LinkedIn profile

Mr. Kristan Straub has more than 25 years of experience in the mining industry, having held various positions globally in mineral exploration, operations and management. Most recently, Mr. Straub served as a member of Glencore Nickel’s executive team as Vice President of Exploration, following his role as President of Koniambo Nickel SAS, New Caledonia. As Vice President of Glencore’s Raglan Mine in Nunavik (2014-2018) he worked as a member of the Raglan Committee, and also served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Mining Association of Canada. Kristan is a proud band member of Henvey Inlet and French River No.13. Mr. Straub holds a B.Sc in Geology from Laurentian University.

Annie Sismanian – LinkedIn profile

Ms Annie Sismanian is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 20 years of experience in finance, strategy and corporate development. She started her career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and has held senior finance positions at Kinross Gold, Guyana Goldfields, Hydro One and Barrick Gold, most recently serving as Chief Financial Officer of Kuya Silver.

Ring of Fire Metals and Webequie First Nation sign memorandum of understanding on Ring of Fire development

The MOU details how the two parties will work together to progress ongoing exploration activity in the region as well as negotiations on a partnership agreement for the proposed Eagle’s Nest mine.

Webequie Chief, Cornelius Wabasse, said “As leaders and critical decision makers, we have a social responsibility with our members and that is to find ways to sustain our community through long term relationship agreements that will bring and foster livelihood.

“We are exercising our sovereignty and the right to pursue economic sustenance in a manner that respects the land and brings opportunity for our young people.

“Our community encourages ongoing working relationships with Ontario and Federal Government, including First Nations, to work with us and support our community initiatives.”

RoFM Acting CEO, Stephen Flewelling, said the MOU was an important step forward in their long-standing relationship.

“We have worked well with Webequie for many years, but this MOU signifies a formal transition to a new phase of collaboration on the future of the Ring of Fire,” he said.

“Canada has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop the critical minerals the world needs to decarbonize, and it’s vital that Indigenous communities play a central role in how these projects are developed on their traditional territories.

“This MOU demonstrates our commitment to work together with Webequie to develop projects based on shared values, sustainable opportunities for economic and community development and collaborative decision making.

“It reflects our approach to developing critical mineral projects that deliver mutual, long-term benefits for Webequie community members with a deep respect for their culture and land.”

Ring of Fire Metals’ Eagle’s Nest project is one of the largest undeveloped, high-grade nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposits in the world, located in the Ring of Fire region of Northern Ontario. Eagle’s Nest will have an initial mine life of 11 years with the potential for a nine-year extension.

Ring of Fire Metals Progresses Sustainable Mine Studies

Ring of Fire Metals (RoF Metals) has commenced two studies exploring the use of wind power and atmospheric carbon removal as part of planning for a net zero emissions mine in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.

Stephen Crozier, RoF Metals VP Sustainability, said the findings from a study of the wind energy resource conducted by global renewable energy company Windlab earlier this year were promising.

“Our primary focus in the development of Eagle’s Nest is to implement low emissions technologies throughout the operation, wherever possible,” he said.

“We are encouraged by the results of the initial wind study and believe there is good potential to generate clean energy using wind turbines in the area, which we will further define with additional study in the near term.

“Other options for complimentary low and no-emission generation, including biomass, pumped hydro and solar, are also being investigated to supplement clean wind energy production if needed.”

Following completion of the Windlab study, RoF Metals installed a Vaisala WindCube® lidar for the collection of more detailed data.

“Unlike traditional tower installations, lidar devices obtain measurements throughout the air column from the base to the top of the turbine blades rather than just at the hub,” said Stephen.

“We have already started collecting detailed data using WindCube® and will continue throughout the seasons to track natural weather variability.

“Data from both studies will then be matched with projected power demand to guide modelling of power generation and storage options for the proposed Eagle’s Nest mine.

“Ultimately we would like to be able to draw upon and potentially supply to Ontario’s power grid when it is expanded to northern communities.”

RoF Metals is also participating in the DETAILS project with Dr Liam Bullock at Geosciences Barcelona, an institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (GEO3BCN-CSIC), to investigate the potential to use mine tailings to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“The tailings from ultramafic nickel deposits have been shown to have the potential to absorb significant quantities of carbon dioxide, and there may be ways we can speed up the rate that this happens,” said Stephen. “We have provided Geosciences Barcelona with samples of tailings from the Eagle’s Nest project and they are evaluating their potential for carbon dioxide absorption. We hope to be able to use our tailings to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and safely and permanently store it underground.”

About our partners:

Windlab is a global renewable energy company and provider of the WindScape technology, a world-leading atmospheric modelling and wind energy assessment technology developed by Australia’s premier scientific research institute, the CSIRO. Windlab is majority owned by Squadron Energy, a member of the Tattarang group of companies.

WindCube® was provided by Vaisala, a global leader in weather, environmental and industrial measurements headquartered in Finland and providing a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services. 

The CSIC (or Spanish National Research Council) is the largest public research institution in Spain. Dr Liam Bullock’s European Union-funded DETAILS (Developing enhanced weathering methods in mine tailings for CO2 sequestration, H2020-EU.1.3.2. Grant ID: 101018312) project is being hosted by Geosciences Barcelona (GEO3BCN-CSIC) and supervised by Dr. Jose Luis Fernandez Turiel, GEO3BCN-CSIC researcher.

Noront Resources Renamed Ring Of Fire Metals As Activity Recommences

Wyloo Metals is pleased to announce Ring of Fire Metals as the new name for its Canada-based business, as activity recommences in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire region.

Wyloo Metals CEO Luca Giacovazzi said the name and branding was chosen to reflect the unique culture of the organisation, while also paying homage to its Canadian roots and the region’s history.

“We highly value the rich history associated with the Ring of Fire region, the importance of the region to Canada’s critical minerals future, and all that Noront Resources had achieved before we came on board,” he said.

“Although we are Australian owned, we feel strongly about building on the company’s Canadian roots and growing Ring of Fire Metals to deliver jobs, business opportunities and economic development for Indigenous communities, Ontario and Canada more broadly.

“Ontario has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to become a world-leading hub for the production of the critical minerals the world needs to de-carbonize and we want to play our part in connecting the minerals in the north with the manufacturing might in the south.

“Ring of Fire Metals reflects the grit, determination, and unwavering commitment to sustainable mining, and to giving back to local communities, that will help us achieve this goal.”

The new company name coincides with the resumption of activity at the Eagle’s Nest project, as well as broader exploration work across the region.

“Eagle’s Nest is one of the highest-grade nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposits in the world, and we’re also very excited about the potential of our other mineral opportunities across the Ring of Fire region,” said Stephen Flewelling, Acting CEO, Ring of Fire Metals.

“We are currently drilling to gather detailed structural data at Eagle’s Nest so we can finalize infrastructure planning for the mine’s development.

“In parallel, we are refreshing the Eagle’s Nest mining, metallurgical and infrastructure studies and assessing how our operations can be tied into Ontario’s first battery metals plant.

“We are also conducting a diamond drill program on a number of our nickel targets, ground and airborne geophysical surveys over several of our 70 plus regional nickel targets and are collecting soil samples across other major structures.

“Moving forward, we plan to keep the site open year-round and the next milestone on the exploration front is to finalize the scope of our winter exploration campaign.”

The Esker site, which is a base for project and exploration teams located adjacent to the Eagle’s Nest deposit, recently re-opened after closing in September last year following the Summer 2021 exploration program.

Forty-four new site-based employees and contractors have been hired at Esker, about half of whom are from First Nation communities including Webequie, Marten Falls, Aroland, Neskantaga, Attawapiskat and others.

The site is undergoing significant upgrades including improved office and building facilities, IT infrastructure and internet access to prepare for the increased exploration effort.

“We have installed a WindCube® lidar system at the site to analyze the possibility of using wind power in the future, which will help to reduce our carbon footprint – a key consideration as we seek to adopt sustainable practices across all of our project, exploration and site activities,” said Stephen.

Wyloo Metals completed its acquisition of Noront Resources in April 2022.