Ring of Fire miners want Ontario to start making decisions (CBC News Sudbury – February 28, 2014)


Sudbury crowd told that southern Ontario needs to be sold on the Ring of Fire mining development

Two of the biggest players in the Ring of Fire say the province has to start making decisions to move the mining development forward.

Noront Resources CEO Paul Parisotto said, while he’d like to have his mine in the far north open by now, he’s not in a rush. “You’ll hear [Northern Development and Mines] Minister Gravelle say all the time: ‘We have to get it right.’ To me, that’s been code for, let’s move slowly and make sure things get done properly.”

That answer didn’t sit well with a frustrated Dick Destefano from the Sudbury Mining Supply and Service Association. “That’s the standard line we’ve been listening to for the past three years. You have fundamental differences.”

Those differences are largely about the road to be built into the Ring of Fire area. Noront would like it running East-West, while Cliffs Natural Resources wants it north-south.

Cliffs’ director of Furnace Technology, Matthew Cramer, said the companies aren’t fighting. But until the government decides, they can’t convince investors to put “real money” into these mines.

‘Almost impossible’ to commit

“Until that decision is made or that infrastructure is built, it’s almost impossible to fully evaluate the project and commit to the funding,” he aid.

Cramer urged the Sudbury crowd to start putting pressure on politicians if they want to see Cliffs’ chromite smelter actually built in the city.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce vice-president of policy and government relations said he compares the Ring of Fire to the Alberta oil sands — a project that, at one time, only made headlines out west.

“We want to shift in the public’s imagination the Ring of Fire from a northern Ontario play to a whole of Ontario play” said Josh Hjartarson.

Cramer agreed there is some work to do educating the south about mining.

“I talk to guys in southern Ontario about a smelter and you get a glossed-over look,” he said.

“In Sudbury, you get an understanding. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but you get an understanding of what it looks like and what it means for a community, [and] what it means for the environment.”

Cramer told the crowd that Cliffs remains committed to its Ring of Fire deposit and plans for a smelter in Sudbury.

For the original version of this article and an interview, click here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/ring-of-fire-miners-want-ontario-to-start-making-decisions-1.2554912

2 Responses to Ring of Fire miners want Ontario to start making decisions (CBC News Sudbury – February 28, 2014)

  1. Derek Larson March 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Well stated.
    1)Our major chromite customers will likely be in east asia and the USA. That being the case, why do we have to build a chromite mill in Sudbury?
    2)Why can we not build a chromite mill at the source?
    3)That being said; why can we not refine all the other minerals in situ?
    4)Sudbury, Ontario has been mining for a long, long time. I presume that it will still be
    going for a long time yet.
    5)What I’m worried about is that the workers will fly in and out when their shifts are over.

  2. Derek Larson March 2, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    6)I have worked out west for a long time. If workers are flying in and out over a long time period, marriages often break down. This has happened in northern Saskatchewan,Fort MacMurray and many other mine sites. This is not good.

    7)It also may be able to use barges to get minerals to Hudson Bay (Tide water).
    8)A road and railroad will still will still be required.
    9)Ontario’s electricity costs are very expensive. Thompson, Manitoba has surplus electricity. It would be a coup if you could pull power from Manitoba to the ring of fire!

    Derek Larson
    Have a nice day!