Former Timmins mayor wanted to buy the Ring of Fire – by Maija Hoggett (Northern Ontario Business – November 15, 2018)

Steve Black investigated city acquiring Far North deposits after Cliffs departure

In his first week in office, Timmins Mayor Steve Black wanted to buy a mine. Sharing the story of how he wanted to purchase the Ring of Fire is one of the memories he shared about his time in office as he chaired his final council meeting Nov. 13.

Being elected as a councillor in 2010 was a life-changing moment for Black. When the next election rolled around, he won the mayor’s seat. Back in 2014 in his first week on the job as mayor, he recalled going to the CAO and announcing his desire to buy a mine.

At the time, former owner Cliffs Natural Resources was looking to pull out of the project. Knowing the importance of having what is now Noront come to Timmins, Black wanted the city to have control of its destiny.

“Council doesn’t even know this discussion happened because we then went to a lawyer to ask if we could do it and after some back and forth of going through the Municipal Act, the lawyer determined that we would see several legal challenges if we attempted to buy out the Ring of Fire,” he said. About a month later, Noront bought the James Bay Lowlands project.

Work to bring the company’s ferrochrome smelter to Timmins is one of the items Black listed as one he’s most proud of during his tenure as mayor.

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