Cliffs Natural Resources says sending concentrate to Asia will help make its Ring of Fire project more viable
Cliffs Natural Resources said it plans to send some of the chromite it mines in the Ring of Fire to refineries in Asia, despite the Ontario Mining Act stipulation that ore mined in the province must be processed in Canada.
Bill Boor, senior vice president with Cliffs, said the company will seek an exemption to the Act, if necessary.
He said the economic viability of the project depends on being able to sell chromite to world markets in different forms — both ferrochrome and concentrate. “Selling concentrate is … an acknowledged value-added product within the world market that’s already existing,” Boor said.
He added the company will process material at the mine site — upgrading the chromite ore to concentrate, and that most of what Cliffs mines will end up being refined at the ferrochrome smelter it plans to build in northern Ontario.
Doesn’t still well with NDP mines critic
But some of it will end up being sold as concentrate to refineries in Asia.
The company’s plans to ship some concentrate overseas doesn’t sit well with the NDP’s mines critic.
Michael Mantha said resources mined in the north should be refined here, so communities can benefit from the jobs it creates.
“That is very concerning to me,” he said. “We should be looking at creating more jobs here in northern Ontario.”
Ontario’s mines minister and Sudbury MPP, Rick Bartolucci, was not available for comment
A spokesperson responded in an e-mail saying the ministry “does not deal in hypothetical situations.”
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