Cliffs says it’s weighing its options in the ‘Ring’ – Star Staff (Sudbury Star – September 20, 2014)

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

Reports are suggesting that Cliffs Natural Resources is looking at selling its Ring of Fire chromite properties.
 If so, the move would be full circle for Cleveland-based Cliffs, which at one time planned to have an open pit mine and ferrochrome refinery in Capreol, creating as many as 600 jobs in the Sudbury area, by the middle of this decade.

In the fall, however, Cliffs halted all exploration and technical work on its Big Daddy chromite deposit and suspended spending on the project. In the summer, it sold off its remote exploration camp to Noront Resources. 
The Globe and Mail is now reporting that Cliffs sent a letter to First Nation chiefs in the area that it was considering selling its chromite properties in the James Bay region.

The letter, obtained by the newspaper, included a statement from Cliffs vice-president of corporate development Bill Boor, that a sale of the project was among those options.

The Globe is also reporting that KWG is looking at buying Cliffs holdings in the Ring of Fire area.

Cliffs spokesperson Patricia Persico, reached on Friday, said a potential sale of Ring of Fire properties is only one of several options the company is considering.
“Cliff’s is exploring alternatives with the chromite project,” Persico said. “Potential sale is an option, but it’s a range of strategic options we’re looking at.

“While this review is underway, there is no definitive decision to sell this asset at this time.”

Persico said a letter was sent only to Marten Falls First Nation and not to all first nations in the area.

“That was a business letter sent out to Marten Falls,” she said. “It was simply a business project update. They’re a key stakeholder to Cliffs, so it was a normal course of business and it indicated we’re considering a number of strategic options and one of them could be a potential sale of the asset.”

What other options are being considered aren’t being disclosed at this time, she said.
Although Cliffs was the first off the mark in developing a portion of the Ring of Fire, the project became bogged down in series of legal, environmental and infrastructure questions. The company also needed to work out agreements with first nations groups in the area.

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