Environmental assessment begins on Cliffs’ [Northern Ontario chromite] project – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – October 12, 2011)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. hcarmichael@thesudburystar.com

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

A federal environmental assessment is underway for Cliffs Natural Resources’ Black Thor chromite deposit in the Ring of Fire area of northwestern Ontario.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has announced that based on information it has received, an environmental assessment is required. The project, the agency also said in a release, is subject to the environmental assessment requirements of the Ontario government.

Celine Legault, an agency spokeswoman in Ottawa, said Tuesday the assessment could take a year or more, depending on how long Cliffs takes to put together its own environmental impact study.

“We are calling it the Cliffs Chromite Project,” she said. “It will involve the construction, operation and commissioning of one open pit operation with a projected 30-year mine life.”

Ore from that mine will likely be shipped out for processing, possibly to Sudbury.

Legault said the assessment will have three 30-day public consultation periods, with the first to begin shortly. The agency, she said, will invite comments and concerns from the public by way of notices in major Northern Ontario media.

A second consultation will follow after the Cliffs’ Environmental Impact study is completed.

The third will be held after the agency releases its final report on the project.

The project then has to get the approval of Environment Minister Peter Kent to proceed, said Legault.

The Black Thor chromite deposit is one of three Cliffs Natural Resources has in the zone. The other two are called Black Label and Big Daddy.

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