North Bay sides with Timmins over Sudbury – by Gord Young (Sudbury Star – January 18, 2018)

Both cities in running for ferrochrome plant

North Bay is lending its support to Timmins in its bid for the Noront ferrochrome facility, although some city politicians are dubious of how much weight it will carry. Council unanimously adopted a motion tabled by Coun. George Maroosis on Tuesday calling for North Bay to back the Timmins plant proposal.

But a couple of members, including Maroosis, suggested the likelihood of the processing facility actually going to that community is questionable. Maroosis said “there’s great suspicion in the North that the fix is already in” with Sudbury considered the preferred location.

He said that’s especially true given the level of “influence” the Nickel City enjoys from the provincial government and the fact that it was previously designated to have the smelter when Cliffs Natural Resources was involved in the Ring of Fire.

Coun. Mark King said if he was a “betting fella” he would put his chips on the ferrochrome smelter going to the former Moose Mountain mine site north of Capreol – the location originally proposed by Cliffs.

“The chances of this going anywhere else are slim to nil,” said King, suggesting infrastructure needed to ship ore from Nakina to Capreol is already in place via the Canadian National Railway.

Still, councillors opted to endorse the Timmins bid, agreeing that North Bay would benefit the most under that option given the proposed involvement of Ontario Northland.

“Of course, our interest does lie with the Ontario Northland railroad, which is headquartered here in the city. And our interest does lie with benefiting northeastern Ontario. So, I believe it’s logical that we put our support behind the City of Timmins,” said Maroosis, who also addressed questions as to why North Bay is the only large city in Northern Ontario that’s not competing for the plant.

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