Cliffs would save millions locating [Ring of Fire] chromite plant in Manitoba or Quebec: Hampton – Sudbury Star Staff

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. This column was published on February 23, 2011.

For an extensive list of articles on this mineral discovery, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

Cliffs Resources would save tens of millions in energy costs each year by opening its proposed chromite smelter in either Manitoba or Quebec, a Northern Ontario NDP MPP told the Ontario legislature Tuesday.

Howard Hampton, NDP MPP Kenora-Rainy River and former NDP leader, said that according to the Manitoba Hydro website, a company like Cliffs Resources would pay a monthly hydro bill of about $5.3 million a month (or $63 million a year) if it located the smelter in Ontario.

The same refinery located in Manitoba would pay a hydro bill of $ $2.1 million a month (or $26 million a year). The Quebec figures are $2.8 million a month, or $33.5 million a year, Hampton said.

“The real travesty in all of this is the fact that in Northern Ontario, we generate some of the cleanest and greenest electricity (mostly from falling water) at some of the lowest costs on the planet, yet we are not allowed to use that electricity at an affordable price to create jobs in Northern Ontario because of the McGuinty Liberals ‘made in Toronto for Toronto’ electricity policy,” Hampton said in a release.

Cliffs, a Cleveland-based mining company, plans to a site near Capreol as place to locate a smelter that would process chromite ore from the so-called Ring of Fire 500 km north of Thunder Bay.

The company, however, has warned that Ontario’s high hydro rates would deter Cliffs from building the plant anywhere in Ontario.

The project would create as many as 1,300 jobs, including 500 in Capreol, if the smelter was built there.

Hampton said the Liberal government is “out of touch” on the effect that hydro-electricity rates have on development in Northern Ontario.

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