The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
Ontario has hired a consulting firm to establish a development corporation for the Ring of Fire chromite deposits in the James Bay Lowlands. Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle announced Friday the Liberals have hired a neutral third party, Deloitte LLP, to establish the development corporation he announced the creation of last November.
Deloitte will work with Ring of Fire partners — the federal and provincial governments, first nations and industry — to set clear paths and timelines for decision-making, create guiding principles for the corporation, and to seek consensus on the corporation`s next steps, said Gravelle.
Specifically, Deloitte will prepare a report assessing three proposals for a transportation system to move chromite, nickel and other ores out of the Ring of Fire, 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay, to other parts of the province and beyond for processing.
Gravelle, who made the announcement about hiring Deloitte in his home riding of Thunder Bay, didn’t say when Deloitte would deliver that report, what it would cost to produce or whether it would be a public document when it is completed.
Deloitte has expertise in the area of governance and in the technical area of establishing a development corporation, he said.
When the minister announced the creation of the development corporation Nov. 8, he said the province was hitting the ground running, meeting with partner members.
Those meetings have happened, Gravelle told local reporters Friday at Thunder Bay’s Valhalla Inn, although no details have emerged about how the development corporation will operate.
Deloitte is not involved in working out the regional framework between the provincial, whose lead is former supreme court justice Frank Iacobucci. Former Ontario premier and federal Liberal leader Bob Rae is representing the Matawa Council, nine first nations closest to some of the deposits being developed in the Ring of Fire.
Gravelle said first nations are getting close to being able to announce a regional framework that will be significant and historic.
When Gravelle announced the creation of the development corporation three months ago, he said it’s first priority would be to make a “clear decision” on the transportation corridor.
Cliffs Natural Resources, which has put its development of its Black Thor deposit and plans to build a $1.8-billion ferrochrome processing plant in Capreol on indefinite hold, wants to build an all-seasons road.
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