Bound by wild desire, Sault mayor falls into burning Ring of Fire – by David Helwig (Soo Today – December 11, 2016)

Mayor Christian Provenzano is pushing hard to keep his foot in the door of Noront Resources Ltd. – the Ring of Fire developer that wants to build a ferrochrome smelter somewhere in Ontario

Plans by a Toronto-based mineral exploration company to build a ferrochrome smelter somewhere in Ontario may come up for discussion at Monday’s meeting of Sault Ste. Marie City Council.

Mayor Christian Provenzano has placed a letter he wrote to Noront Resources Ltd. on the meeting’s agenda. Noront has the largest land position in the Ring of Fire, the massive emerging multi-metals development project located in the mineral-rich James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario.

This fall, the company disclosed that it is considering the Sault, Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Timmins and Sudbury as possible locations for a ferrochrome smelter to service the Ring of Fire project. Ferrochrome is primarily used in making stainless steel with a chromium content of 10 per cent to 20 per cent.

Industry watchdog MiningWatch Canada has expressed concern about air and water pollution issues related to ferrochrome smelting, but Mayor Provenzano advises Noront that “I am confident that Sault Ste. Marie is the most logical and advantageous location in the province for such a facility.”

“I expect that our community would be as enthusiastic as I am about the opportunity to diversify our economic base and participate more substantially in Northern Ontario’s mining economy,” the mayor says in his letter, sent after two key Noront executives visited the Sault last month.

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