BMI Group, headed by Justus, Paul and John Veldman, is ramping up a promotional campaign for a proposed heavy-cargo port at Red Rock, a community of 942 on the north shore of Lake Superior.
BMI signed a memorandum of agreement late last year with the 2,089-member Red Rock Indian Band to redevelop lands associated with a former linerboard mill site there.
The newest Veldman proposal involves "one of the Netherlands' premier custom shipbuilders, Neptune Marine and our partnership experience with HOPA Ports in Niagara to develop a uniquely efficient and robust shipping and transload solution purpose-built to support the mining, First Nations, and heavy industry needs of northern Ontario," BMI says in a news release issued this morning.
This week, BMI is promoting the idea at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto.
In June, it will be flying its Red Rock flag at the Canadian Mining Expo in Timmins.
Here in Sault Ste. Marie, the Veldmans are known for a number of grandiose, but unfinished development schemes.
More than a decade ago, Veldman-controlled Riversedge Developments bought the former St. Marys Paper site, performed some major industrial decommissioning work there and tried to pursue alternative uses including arts, entertainment, fine dining, tourism, educational and other business components.
The Veldmans were unable to complete that job, which was taken over by Tony Porco and SIS Group.
Another Veldman Riversedge venture – to redevelop the former Soo Falls/Northern Breweries site – similarly fell flat, although Paul Veldman told SooToday last fall that architects had been retained and further news on that initiative was expected soon.
The Veldman family still owns the pulp tower/board mill properties in Sault Ste. Marie.
The condition of those structures became an issue in last fall's municipal election, with now-Mayor Matthew Shoemaker signalling he couldn't support a $300-million battery energy storage initiative at 95 Huron Street "until the repair of these buildings is brought into a more acceptable state under our property standards bylaw."
More recently, Mayor Shoemaker toured the buildings with the Veldmans and said he was pleased with the progress he found.
The following is the news release distributed this morning by BMI Group:
Northernmost heavy-cargo port on the Great Lakes being developed in partnership with the BMI Group and the Red Rock Indian Band
RED ROCK, ON, - Once a busy timber and mill town, Red Rock is emerging as a dynamic recreational and strategic transportation node connecting the Great lakes to the Nakina, Webequie, Marten Falls, Ring of Fire, Community Infrastructure Corridor.
Shielded by the Red Rock Mountains and the northern coast of Nipigon, Red Rock's natural harbour has an unparalleled view of Lake Superior and door-step access to nature, trails, prime fishing and hunting.
The Red Rock Integrated Marine Supply Chain, RRIM SC, is a joint partnership between the BMI Group and the Red Rock Indian Band to connect the Great Lakes seaway to existing transportation infrastructure from the Red Rock port through to the Trans-Canada Highway and the northern Community Infrastructure Corridor.
The partnership brings together one of the Netherlands' premier custom shipbuilders, Neptune Marine and our partnership experience with HOPA Ports in Niagara to develop a uniquely efficient and robust shipping and transload solution purpose-built to support the mining, First Nations, and heavy industry needs of northern Ontario.
From the north to the BMI multimodal hub in Niagara and from the Niagara to the north, this is a partnership that connects people and place to new potential.
"We have the capacity, our people have the capability, and we want to make them shine; we want to give people a good life." – Chief Marcus Hardy, Red Rock Indian Band
From March 5-8, our partnership team will be at PDAC, the world's premier mineral exploration and mining convention, followed by the Timmins-based Canadian Mining Expo in June.
Attendees can look for the team with the orange BMI, Red Rock Indian Band Badges, to learn more.
The Red Rock Indian Band (RRIB) is an Ojibwe First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. The council is an independent member of the Union of Ontario Indians, a provincial territorial organization.
The BMI Group is a real estate, infrastructure, and business development company invested in building better communities. We build shared perspectives with diverse stakeholders to realize common goals.