The former Inco Coniston smelter site would be the best location if Noront Resources picks Sudbury as home for its new ferrochrome production facility, city officials say.
“We have the talent, we have a strategic location, we have a strong industrial base and we have a demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability,” Mayor Brian Bigger said in release. “This is the winning combination that we will put before Noront and I am proud to be working in concert with Wahnapitae First Nation Chief Ted Roque and Atikameksheng Anishnawbek Chief Steve Miller as we pursue this opportunity for our community.”
On Thursday, the City of Greater Sudbury said it will file its bid Friday for the $1-billon facility that would process ore from the so-called mineral-rich Ring of Fire area in northwestern Ontario.
Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay are also in the running for the smelter. The construction of the ferrochrome production facility is proposed to begin within the next five to 10 years. The facility would create about 350 permanent and about 150 indirect jobs within the community.
A ferrochrome facility ultimately prepares and transforms the chromite ore deposits to ferrochrome, the product used to create stainless steel products.
Ferrochrome is created with iron, chrome and oxygen. The high-grade chromite ore taken from the Ring of Fire area is ground and put through an arc furnace that requires high levels of energy to melt the ore and add carbon to separate the oxygen from the iron and chrome. The completed iron and chrome product is called ferrochrome.
The ferrochrome would be exported to the industrial regions in the northeast United States, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, to make stainless steel. Currently, companies there get their ferrochrome from South Africa and Pakistan.
Noront Resources is a Canadian-based mining company and has the largest land position in the Ring of Fire. It has ownership or a controlling interest in all the major discoveries to date in the region.
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