Sudbury Accent: No ‘weakness’ in city’s bid for Noront’s ferrochrome plant – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – February 3, 2018)

Sudol believes Sudbury is the right choice for the ferrochrome
smelter. “The facility in Finland does not have a detrimental
effect on their local environment or workers. It will be the
same in Sudbury,” he said. “Sudbury is serviced by two class
one rail lines, has a number of brownfield sites that can be
used to construct and expand the facility and has no issues
with power availability.

“With strategic clusters of mine supply and services, mining
education – two colleges and a university – and a wide assortment
of underground, metallurgical, environmental, and health and safety
research in the community, Noront can take advantage of more than

135 years of mining expertise that is unmatched anywhere else in
Northern Ontario or the entire country for that matter. (Stan Sudol)

On the heels of his fact-finding mission to Finland, Mayor Brian Bigger is really excited about Sudbury’s bid to host the Noront Resources ferrochrome production facility.

For one thing, there is already a skilled and knowledgeable work force in Sudbury that supports eight mines, two smelters and two mills.

“There is a lot of expertise within our community to support that kind of operation,” Bigger said this week. “We’re familiar with these types of operations in Sudbury. We understand what’s required to support that kind of business.”

Sudbury is also well positioned to host the smelter. The city is at the junction of the CN and CP rail lines – “nowhere else in Canada do you see that,” Bigger said – and is on the TransCanada Highway. Currently, a road is planned to connect the Ring of Fire, located in northwestern Ontario, to the country’s main rail lines.

“We’re on the main rail line, so it makes it a relatively easy connection,” Bigger said.

Bigger, who visited the Outokumpu ferrochrome production facility in Tornio, Finland with Ward 6 Coun. Rene Lapierre, Chief Ted Roque of the Wahnapitae First Nation, as well as several city hall staffers, said following their trans-Atlantic trip that he is convinced Sudbury should be home to Noront’s ferrochrome smelter. The Outokumpu plant uses the same closed furnace technology that Noront is proposing.

“We wanted to ensure we had the strongest bid possible, and that comes from the best understanding of the technology that Noront Resources has identified,” Bigger said. “The second reason we went was to ensure that we’re doing the right thing in welcoming a ferrochrome plant to our community.”

As Bigger pointed out, Finland has some of the strictest environmental regulations in the European Union.

Lapierre travelled with the group in his role as chair of the board of health. He spoke with several people in Finland and said the moonscapes that defined Sudbury for much of the 20th century are unlikely to be replicated. He has no concerns about the smelter or its impacts to the local environment.

“Based on the information we were able to gather with my discussion with health officials and the director of health and social services for Tornio, I feel the risks associated with the style of smelter used in Outokumpu is very low, therefore would not be of concern to our residents,” he said.

“Outokumpu has been doing annual and some biannual environmental assessments. They test water, aquatic life, plants, animals, some grubs and more to see if there are any changes to the surroundings of the smelter. “¦ They have not had any environmental changes to these due to the smelting process.”

The group spoke with dozens of stakeholders in Tornio and the process is safe, Lapierre added.

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