Sioux-to-Sault partnership forms for Ring of Fire – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – June 19, 2017)

The proposal calls for a trans-load facility to be established in Sioux Lookout, where raw materials can be trucked and transported via rail across the region. Sault Ste. Marie was selected as the ideal partner for the project because of its location, history and infrastructure, said EDC CEO Tom Dodds.

Dodds was recently in Sioux Lookout to tour the proposed trans-load facility location and discuss integrated transportation systems and the commercial and industrial networks that could benefit from the proposal. “Our concept is the same and we see the synergies that could be created from an east west route,” Dodds said.

That east-west route, would run along an old winter road system that is already in place to service communities to Pickle Lake. The closest community with reliable infrastructure becomes Sioux Lookout, which currently serves as a hub for that region’s remote communities, includes a hospital and the necessary infrastructure for a staging point, Dodds said.

“It just makes perfect sense from a practical perspective,” he said. Rail lines could transport materials to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., the ideal location the EDC is promoting for a ferrochrome facility where the materials could be developed and shipped out.

If developed, the trans-load facility in Sioux Lookout would enable mineral concentrate and ore to be shipped by truck from the Ring of Fire and loaded onto rail cars and transported throughout Northern Ontario for further processing.

Sault Ste. Marie is one of the four cities in the running for a ferrochrome plant which would process chromium products supported by the intermodal train and marine transfer facility at the Port of Algoma for shipping to international markets.

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