Noront’s site selection process for ferrochrome smelter drags on – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 27, 2018)

Environmental work begins on Ring of Fire north-south corridor as new provincial government sworn in

It looks to be July, or possibly even deeper into the summer, before Noront Resources announces a Northern Ontario processing site for Ring of Fire chromite ore.

The Toronto mine developer has yet to make public its choice from one of four landing spots put forward by Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay/Fort William First Nation and Timmins to place a ferrochrome processing plant.

In early February, at the closing of a four-city bidding process, Noront hired Hatch Engineering to help evaluate the packages over the next three to four months.

Noront spokeswoman Janice Mandel dismissed any suggestions the company is waiting for Algoma Steel (formerly Essar Steel Algoma) in the Sault – with its associated industrial port lands – to emerge from creditor protection or that the company is monitoring the deteriorating state of trade relations with the U.S., where Noront’s semi-finished ferrochrome product would be shipped to stainless steel manufacturers.

“I believe Noront said in early February that a decision would take three to four months, so technically they have exceeded that timeline,” Mandel replied by email. “However there’s no specific reason, it’s just a process that takes time. None of the factors (above) have created an issue.”

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