Tom Dodds’ new best friends dabble in the Ring of Fire – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 11, 2016)

Al Coutts, president of Noront Resources, swooped into Sault Ste.Marie, Nov. 4, for a tour of the city, courtesy of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation.

It’s not known if this is the start of a beautiful friendship with the Ring of Fire, but the nickel and chromite mine developer decided to tweet a photo of Coutts and his chief development officer, Steve Flewelling, with economic development chief executive Tom Dodds on the city‘s waterfront.

“He came out, we gave him a tour of the town,” said Dodds, “we showed him possible areas…of industrial land that would make sense to them. “We’re walking into city hall and he says, let’s take a picture. I said, if you’re feeling inclined to publicize that you’re here, far be it for me to say no. “

Dodds cautioned that the visit was very exploratory and doesn’t want to build unrealistic expectations that the Toronto-based mine developer is in a position to target the Sault for a chromite processing operation. “My sense of the meeting and the discussion was that it was really preliminary. He was just trying to get the lay of the land.”

Before the visit was arranged, Dodds read media reports where Coutts was quoted as saying that he had been approached by “a number of parties” from Hamilton, Sudbury Thunder Bay, Timmins and the Sault to locate potential ferrochrome smelter sites in those communities, which was news to Dodds. So he shrugged his shoulders and decided to cold call Coutts.

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