Archive | May 9, 2012

Smelter announcement ‘like a funeral’ for northwest – by CBC News Thunder Bay (May 9, 2012)
Thunder Bay mayor, First Nations leaders weigh in on Cliffs Natural Resources decision to located chromite smelter in Sudbury
Reaction in Thunder Bay to Cliffs Natural Resources announcement that it will locate its ferrochrome smelter in the Sudbury area is one of disappointment.
Mayor Keith Hobbs said “it was like coming to a funeral,” when he attended a press conference Wednesday morning where he learned the mining company would process the chromite from its Ring of Fire mining project in Sudbury.
Natural Resources minister Michael Gravelle said northwestern Ontario would benefit from the project, and spoke about the number of overall jobs that would be created and how the northwest would play a role in the Ring of Fire development.

But that didn’t ease the concerns of municipal and First Nations leaders in the room. According to Thunder Bay CBC News reporter Jeff Walters, Hobbs said consultation between the minister and Cliffs obviously didn’t happen. Hobbs said there was a lack of leadership, adding he was disappointed in Gravelle — and refused to shake his hand. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: United Steelworkers Welcome Announcement of New Smelter in Sudbury

TORONTO, May 9, 2012 /CNW/ – The United Steelworkers union (USW) welcomes today’s announcement by Cliffs Natural Resources that they will be constructing a new smelter in Sudbury, Ontario.
“This project and its spin-offs will provide a much-needed boost to the hard-working families of Sudbury and Northern Ontario,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
“Thousands of jobs will be created during development of the Sudbury smelter, the chromite mine and concentrating plant in northwestern Ontario and all the related infrastructure,” Gerard said. “Once operations begin, hundreds of family-supporting jobs will be maintained in the North for many years.”
“Today’s announcement will bring jobs and economic benefits to Northern Ontario, and that must include First Nations communities,” noted Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada. Continue Reading →


Wednesday May 9, 2012


THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) said today’s announcement to build a $1.8-billion chromite processing facility near Sudbury and ignoring First Nations is not the way to build a relationship with the First Nations.

“I am disappointed with today’s announcement as it is obvious that Cliffs and the Government of Ontario are not listening to and not respecting First Nations affected by development in the Ring of Fire,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Terry Waboose.

“The affected First Nations have put forward comprehensive proposals and are trying to work with government on a constructive basis to play a major role in the development of the Ring of Fire. This is a classic case of moving forward without First Nation consultation again. We are not starting off on the right foot.”

Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynne made the announcement at a news conference in Thunder Bay today announcing that Cliffs Natural Resources intends to build a $1.8-billion chromite processing facility in Capreol, near Sudbury, instead of Greenstone near Aroland First Nation. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: CPAWS Wildlands League concerned science sacrificed for quick business deal

Ring of Fire decision pre-empts environmental assessment

TORONTO, May 9, 2012 /CNW/ – CPAWS Wildlands League, a leading provincial conservation group, condemns the actions by the Ontario government and US-based Cliffs Natural Resources to strike a back room deal that potentially sacrifices ecosystems by deciding on a 350km road based on the needs of a single mining company.
The province and Cliffs have decided to build this road without considering scientific concerns, irreversible impacts on fish and wildlife, and communities’ needs.
With today’s announcement, Ontario has broken all of its commitments to ‘get it right’ in the Ring of Fire with a business deal with Cliffs that pre-empts its own environmental assessment processes. The deal allows construction of a 350 km all weather road, along what Cliffs has called the North South route. The all weather road is estimated to cost $600 million – which will be largely borne by Ontario taxpayers.
“We are pleased Sudbury won the smelter. The location of the smelter is of lower relative environmental impact in a project like the Ring of Fire,” says Janet Sumner, Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League. Continue Reading →

Sudbury lands Cliffs smelter – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – May 9, 2012)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

The suspense is over. Cliffs Natural Resources has announced it will build its $1.85-billion chromite processing facility, which will process chromite ore from its Ring of Fire project, near the town of Capreol, located north of Sudbury.
The smelter, which is expected to produce between 1,250 and 1,750 tonnes of chromite per day, is expected to create 450 jobs during construction, an additional 400 jobs to operate the facility and hundreds more spinoff employment opportunities in Sudbury and across the North.
Situated at the former Moose Mine site, the smelter will process chromite into ferrochrome, a component used in the production of stainless steel. The Ring of Fire, located 500 km north of Thunder Bay, is the only substantial deposit of chromite in North America and is expected to yield 2.3 million tonnes of chromite per year over a 30-year mine life.
Northern Development Minister Rick Bartolucci made the announcement in Sudbury May 9. Calling it an “exciting and historic” announcement for the region, Bartolucci said Cliffs chose Sudbury for its smelter because of the city’s experience in mineral exploration, mineral production and mine financing, along with its skilled workforce, training programs and environmental stewardship. Continue Reading →

American mining firm promises big investment in the Ring of Fire – by Tanya Talaga (Toronto Star – May 9, 2012)

The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

An American firm is expected to sink $3.3 billion into developing the resource-rich Ring of Fire, the Ontario government announced Monday.
Cliffs Natural Resources, an international mining company based in Cleveland, will use the money to haul and process chromite — the key ingredient used to make stainless steel — out of the Hudson Bay Lowlands.
The Ring of Fire, located 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is said to contain one of the world’s largest chromite deposits. International mining companies have staked nearly 9,000 claims in the ring and both the federal and provincial government wants to hasten development of the area to bring much needed jobs to the struggling north.

The ring is a 5,000-square-kilometre area of pristine wilderness that is also one of the world’s last untouched ecosystems. Ontario has been locked in a battle with Quebec to keep Cliffs’ smelter plant located here in the province. High hydro rates in Ontario have been a major stumbling block. Continue Reading →

Cliffs chooses Sudbury for $1.8B smelter – by Arron Pickard – (Sudbury Northern Life – May 9, 2012)

This article came from Northern Life, Sudbury’s biweekly newspaper.

All rumours about where Cliffs Natural Resources will build its chromite processing plant have been laid to rest.

Cliffs has made public its intentions to build its $1.8-billion chromite processing facility north of Capreol. The Cleveland, Ohio-based company has selected the former Moose Mountain Mine site, located 21 kilometres north of Capreol, as it moves from a prefeasibility stage to feasibility, which takes the company to a more detailed analysis of the project.

An agreement in principle between the province and Cliffs has been reached, Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, said. This agreement sets the framework for the project. A formal agreement is expected to be finalized within months.

The project will employ 450 people during construction, and as many as 450 people when the facility is operational in 2015. Mine and mill development, as well as the construction and operation of transportation infrastructure, could create an additional 750 jobs, plus hundreds of indirect employment opportunities for northern Ontarians and First Nations communities. The smelter would be used to process ore from Cliffs Natural Resources chromite mine located in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

BNN Reporter Andrew Bell Interviews Cliffs Natural Resouces Senior VP, Global Ferroalloys, Bill Boor – (May 9, 2012)

Toronto-based Business News Network (BNN) is a Canadian cable television specialty channel owned by CTVglobalmedia. BNN airs business and financial programming and analysis.

BNN reporter Andrew Bell hosts the Commodities program. From aluminum to zinc and everything in between, every Tuesday through Thursday, BNN highlights the hot world of commodities and the companies that produce them, including interviews with mineral and mining entrepreneurs from Canada and around the globe.

New chromite mine for northern Ontario

BNN Reporter Andrew Bell talks to Cliffs Natural Resouces Senior VP, Global Ferroalloys, Bill Boor about the company’s progress in building a new chromite mine in northern Ontario and the decision to locate the proposed ferrochrome smelter in Sudbury.

Click here for the interview:


May 9, 2012

QUEEN’S PARK – In response to Minister Rick Bartolucci’s announcement that Cliff’s Natural Resources will be building a chromite processing facility near Sudbury, Northern Development and Mines Critic Norm Miller warned against celebrating too soon.

“I am pleased to see Cliff’s selecting a location in Ontario for their new smelter,” Miller explained. “However, I’m more interested in what the Minister didn’t say. I am suspicious of good news presented in vague terms.”

“There was no First Nations participation in the announcement, and no testimony from First Nations leaders anywhere in the Ministry’s materials. Aroland First Nation has already come out in opposition to the announcement. This suggests to me that very little progress has been made on this front, and much difficult negotiation still lies ahead.”

Bartolucci announced plans to begin discussions on a new all-season road to the mining sites, but offered no details as to who would build, finance, or own the road. He expressed a hope that the federal government would make contributions, but no federal representative attended the announcement. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Aroland First Nation raises questions about ethics of Ontario Mining Minister – after months of ignoring First Nations, Ontario attempts last-minute “Buy off” of Ring of Fire First Nations

For Immediate Release

Thunder Bay (May 9, 2012) – Today, the Chief of the Aroland First Nation raised serious questions about the ethics of Ontario Mining Minister Rick Bartolucci and MPP for Sudbury. The Minister, in a last ditch effort of questionable morality, arranged a secret meeting late yesterday (May 8th) between the Aroland Chief, the Marten Falls Chief and Ontario officials. The goal of the meeting was to head off growing First Nation opposition to the Cliffs chromite mine and refinery.

“After ignoring First Nations for months,  Ontario thought they could divide and conquer us by holding an 11th hour  meeting and making a few promises without our fellow Matawa Chiefs present,” said Chief Sonny Gagnon.  “Ontario needs to deal with First Nations first rather than simply taking orders from Cliffs. We want the refinery in Aroland territory and we want the highest standard of environmental review for the project.”

“We asked the Minister to pause the Cliffs announcement on the refinery, but Bartolucci said he had no control over Cliffs, “said Gagnon.  “Who is really running this Province? Our elected officials or an American mining company?” Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Webequie First Nation`s Response to Ring of Fire Announcements

May 9, 2012

Responding to Ring of Fire announcements made by Cliffs Natural Resources and Ontario today, Webequie First Nation has issued the following statement:

“Webequie First Nation acknowledges Ontario’s commitment to support the directly impacted First Nations and to engage the Federal Government in the trilateral process. It is important for all levels of Government, including local impacted First Nations Governments, to work together towards a cooperative framework. 

While acknowledging this new regional commitment, Webequie First Nation will continue to dialogue and pursue future assurances from both levels of Government and industry partners for the continued examination of the feasibility of an optional utility corridor.  This optional utility corridor will ensure that the community infrastructure needs of Webequie First Nation and other regionally impacted First Nations are responsibly incorporated into northern development plans.

The members of Webequie First Nation reaffirm the need of all stakeholders to uphold and respect the environmental integrity of our traditional homelands as a priority consideration of any major infrastructure development in the region. Continue Reading →

Ontario facing First Nations-Ring of Fire showdown – by Northern Ontario Business staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 9, 2012)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

The Ontario government could be playing with fire against First Nations leading to a potential confrontation over one of the province’s richest mineral finds in a decade.
The eve of Cliffs Natural Resources announcement of the location of a likely ferrochrome smelter in Ontario, Aboriginal leaders said Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci was attempting to make a last-minute deal with First Nations to head off growing opposition to the multi-billion-dollar chromite mine and refinery project.
In a May 8 release, Aroland First Nation Chief Sonny Gagnon said Bartolucci arranged a “secret meeting” to get his community and Marten Falls First Nation onside the Far North development which is advancing toward the feasibility stage of evaluation.
Gagnon said he won’t cut any side deal with the government without the other Matawa tribal council chiefs on board. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Aroland First Nation claims the Province is failing in duty to consult on Cliffs Chromite Project

Written by Press Release on 08 May 2012

First Nation seeks Freedom of Information for Confidential Agreements between Mining Firm and Province

AROLAND FIRST NATION, ON –  Aroland First Nation has filed a request for disclosure to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) on information relating to Cliffs Chromite mining project in the area, known as the Ring of Fire under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
Aroland is one of the First Nations that will be directly impacted from the Cliffs initiative which includes the construction of an open pit mine, ore processing facility, ferrochrome production facility and an integrated transport system that will include a 340 kilometer North-South all-season road corridor from the mine site to just west of the community of Aroland. A number of major environmental impacts have already been identified and has raised concerns with First Nations closeby. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Thousands of Jobs Coming To Northern Ontario – McGuinty Government Supports Responsible Ring Of Fire Mining Development

May 9, 2012 9:00 AM

Cliffs Natural Resources has announced a $3.3-billion investment to build a chromite mine, transportation corridor and processing facility in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire that would lead to a new generation of prosperity in the north, with thousands of jobs and new infrastructure.

 The Ring of Fire represents one of the most significant mineral regions in the province, and includes the largest deposit of chromite ever discovered in North America. The chromite found in this area, 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is a key ingredient used to create stainless steel.

Cliffs Natural Resources has announced it intends to build a $1.8-billion chromite processing facility in Capreol, near Sudbury. This would employ 450 people during construction, and as many as 450 people when the facility is in operation. Mine and mill development, as well as the construction and operation of transportation infrastructure, could create an additional 750 jobs, plus hundreds of indirect employment opportunities for Northern Ontarians and First Nations’ communities. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Cliffs’ Canadian Based Chromite Project Advances to Feasibility Study Phase

May 9, 2012 8:46 AM

CLEVELAND, May 9, 2012 /CNW/ – Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) announced today that the Company’s Board of Directors approved advancing its proposed chromite project, located in the Ring of Fire area of Northern Ontario, Canada, from pre-feasibility to the feasibility study phase. The Company’s feasibility study will build further on the technical and economic evaluations and a clearly defined project description will enable environmental assessment to move forward.

Cliffs stated that its discussions with the Government of Ontario have resulted in an agreement in principle for key elements of its chromite project, including development of provincial infrastructure. The Company is satisfied and confident in naming Ontario as the future location for its intended ferrochrome processing facility. Both parties will continue to work toward a definitive agreement.

Cliffs also said that, after a lengthy and careful evaluation process, which included several alternative locations, it selected Sudbury, Ontario as its future ferrochrome processing facility site. This facility will be designed to process the chromite ore mined and concentrated in the region. Sudbury was selected due to various economic and technical factors that would best support the viability and success of the overall project, including transportation logistics, labor, long mining tradition, community support and access to electrical power. Continue Reading →