Sudbury officials ponder Cleveland visit [Ring of Fire smelter] – by Harold Carmichael

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

For the web’s largest database of articles on the Ring of Fire mining camp, please go to: Ontario’s Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery

The city may be sending a team to Cleveland, the home base of Cliffs Natural Resources, to present Greater Sudbury’s case for landing a smelter to process ore from the company’s chromite deposits in northwestern Ontario.

“There is something in the works,” Mayor Marianne Matichuk said when reached Thursday. “I can’t get into details. We don’t have everything firmed up.”

The Star has learned a team that includes Matichuk and chief administrative officer Doug Nadorozny could be heading to Cleveland as early as Wednesday to present a study about a former industrial site just north of Capreol. “I will be fighting for our community and giving Cliffs a good case for our community,” Matichuk said.

Cliffs Natural Resources officials were unavailable for comment Thursday.

Cliffs Natural Resources’ Black Thor chromite deposit is located in the Ring of Fire area. Cliffs said it is looking at running an open pit mine and on-site ore-processing facility to produce concentrate.

The concentrate would then be sent to a ferrochrome production facility to manufacture ferrochrome. The company said it has identified the brownfield site in Capreol on which to build the plant.

Company officials visited a site north of Capreol in mid- February as guests of the city and the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation.

Chromite is an essential ingredient in the making of stainless steel.

Cliffs Natural Resources officials have warned that Ontario’s high electricity costs would be an important factor in the site selection process, leaving the possibility open it could be located in Quebec or Manitoba, which have much lower hydro rates.

The company, which could announce a site as early as this month, estimates 500 people will work on the smelter during construction and up to 500 when it’s operating.

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