‘Inaccurate report,’ says Cliffs rep – by Star Staff (Sudbury Star – October 12, 2012)

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

A CBC News report claiming that Cliffs Natural Resources ‘is not locked into its decision’ to build a smelter near Capreol is just plain wrong, the company says.

“That is an inaccurate report out of CBC,” Patricia Persico, a Cliffs spokesperson, said in a release. “If you read the article, it is referencing 2011 discussions.

“At that time, Cliffs was exploring various locations in Ontario and Quebec. We made the announcement in May 2012 that our decision for the ferrochrome processing facility will be in Sudbury. “I hope this clears up the confusion and inaccurate report issued today.”

The CBC report did not say whether its reporter talked to Cliffs, a Cleveland-based mining company. Cliffs, meanwhile, has remained visible in Sudbury, holding open houses as part of its environmental review process. It is planning another open house Oct. 26, and Bill Boor, the senior VP of Cliffs Global Ferroalloys, is speaking to the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 6.

The smelter, which will process chromite ore shipped from the Ring of Fire area of northwestern Ontario, will create 300-400 jobs. Hundreds more jobs will be created by the mine.

In a report broadcast on radio and posted online Thursd ay, CBC said documents obtained through Freedom of Information request “reveal the American company’s plans to shop around for the best deal on electricity prices and tax rates.”

CBC cites a Ministry of Northern Development and Mines report that said “intelligence suggests that Quebec has been aggressively lobbying for a site near Becancour where there is an existing industrial complex supporting aluminum production.”

However, a spokesperson for Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Batolucci, said the CBC story appears to be based on outdated information.

“The information they used was from an FOI request from 2011, at which time Cliffs had not made their decision,” Laura Blondeau said. “So yes, in 2011, Cliffs had not decided … but then on May 9, 2012, they announced that their location was Sudbury.

“I hate to say it was an error, but it’s not accurate.”

Blondeau said she can understand people want more information about the smelter, which is now scheduled to open sometime in 2016.

“I think the issue is that everybody’s so antsy to have more information on progress.

” The bottom line is, you don’t do these things hastily. A whole bunch of stuff has to happen. This is still years away, all of this stuff.”

She said the company, the province and native groups continue to hold ongoing discussions, as well as environmental assessments.
For the original version of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2012/10/12/inaccurate-report-says-cliffs-rep