Noront looks for smelter landing spots in Sudbury, Timmins – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 20, 2017)

Nickel City puts “best foot forward” to host Ring of Fire chromite processor

Noront Resources’ search for a home for a potential ferrochrome smelter took them to Sudbury and Timmins in mid-June. The largest claim holder in the Ring of Fire recently tweeted photos of visits to the northeastern Ontario cities as part of a pan-Northern Ontario scan to find a suitable landing spot for a $600-million to $800-million processing plant.

Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay-Fort William First Nation are in the mix to host the facility which could be years away from construction given the slow pace of development talks between the Ontario government and First Nation communities in the James Bay region.

Greater Sudbury Development Corporation (GSDC) director Ian Wood said the plant could create “several hundred” construction and permanent jobs, but he remained cautious about heightening local expectations.

The city went through the same kind of process in 2011 when Sudbury was the preferred location for a ferrochrome plant by Cliffs Natural Resources.As with Cliffs, GSDC staff took the Noront delegation to a former mine site north of Capreol on their brownfield tour last week.

“We took them to Moose Mountain, the original Cliffs base case site, and showed them several other sites within the city. It’s very preliminary,” said Wood. “In all cases, we talked to the (property) owners. But we’re a long way from them even settling on a short list.”

The size of the plant would not be on the scale of the one originally proposed by Cliffs but would be scalable for future growth.

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