When Wyloo Metals chief executive officer Luca Giacovazzi was asked about Pirie’s claim, he laughed and told Global, “There is a lot of myth around the Ring of Fire [and] a number like that is way exaggerated … numbers like that are a little bit silly.”
But in a statement to CBC News, the CEO of Ring of Fire Metals, Kristan Straub, publicly revealed for the first time that their latest estimation about the valuation of minerals in the region comes in at around $90 billion.
Ring of Fire Metals (formerly known as Noront Resources) holds the majority of established mining claims in the region. Australian mining company Wyloo Metals bought the company in April 2022 in a $600-million deal, taking the public company private.
While the $90 billion is still a far cry from the $1-trillion claim, it’s left one geologist concerned about such a high value figure.
‘It’s not limitless,’ says geostatistician
Mohan Srivastava said it’s frustrating to see the minister make and stand by his statements on the value of minerals in the Ring of Fire.
Srivastava, a mineral resource estimate consultant with Red Dot 3D, has been a geologist specializing in resource estimation since the 1970s. Srivastava co-wrote the widely used university textbook An Introduction to Applied Geostatistics, a field of study that applies statistical methods to analyze Earth science data.
“No, it’s not limitless. It couldn’t be,” said Srivastava, adding the $1-trillion claim is “such a round number, it gives itself away as an arm-waving speculation.”
Professional geologists and publicly traded companies in Canada would never be able to make such claims, Srivastava said, because they are governed by national regulations — called the National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.