Sault Ste. Marie angling for inside track on Ring of Fire smelter – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – May 29, 2017)

There is a “Sioux-to-Sault” campaign in the works to move Ring of Fire ore to a processing plant in Sault Ste. Marie.

Tom Dodds, the head of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, is flying up to Sioux Lookout this week to tour a potential industrial site where business interests, community and First Nation leaders want to establish a truck-to-rail transfer facility to handle chromite and ship it to a proposed Northern Ontario smelter.

A May 29 release from the Town of Sioux Lookout announced Sault Ste. Marie is coming on board to support its transload facility plan. Later this week on June 2, a site tour is being arranged for some project partners – including Noront Resources and CN Rail – involved in a study to develop a bush lot on the Sioux Lookout’s east side, the preferred spot for a transload facility.

There’s been no official word from Noront on where its ferrochrome smelter will eventually go, but company president-CEO Al Coutts will be making a presentation in Sioux Lookout to the partners on the same day.

Noront, the largest claim holder in the Ring of Fire, is studying four cities in the North – the Sault, Sudbury, Timmins and Thunder Bay-Fort William First Nation – as the potential home for the processing plant.

The company previously said it expects to officially select a site by summer’s end. Noront also sits on a newly formed working group looking at the feasibility of the transload facility.

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