Critics say Liberals need to do more – by Star Staff (Sudbury Star – November 8, 2012)

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

The Liberal government needs to do more to get the so-called Ring of Fire back on track, Conservative’s Northern Development and Mines critic charged Wednesday.

Norm Miller, who is also the MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, said in a release he was disappointed Cliffs Natural Resources announced last week it would push back production at its Black Thor chromite mine to 2017.

Cliffs, a Cleveland-based company, had planned to begin production at Black Thor in Northwestern Ontario by 2015. The company also plans to build a smelter to process chromite, which is used to harden steel, in Capreol.

Miller said this and other Ring of Fire projects have the potential to create new jobs, but the provincial government has mishandled its development.

“Exploration work in the Ring of Fire has ground to a halt,” Miller said in a release. “You would think the Liberal government would be doing all they could to keep work going, especially with all the jobs and investment potential that are at stake as their $15-billion deficit hangs over the province and 600,000 Ontarians still find themselves out of work.

“The government’s handling of the development plan for the Ring of Fire has done little to unlock this tremendous opportunity for Ontario. Sadly, nearly all of the updates coming from the region have been to announce new delays and setbacks.”

The so-called Ring of Fire is a massive area in the James Bay Lowlands area of Northwestern Ontario. It is home to newly discovered deposits of nickel, copper, chromite and other metals.

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