Chromite production plans, smelter plan in limbo until new ownership takes control of Noront’s Ring of Fire metal assets
Ask Alan Coutts what’s to become of a proposed ferrochrome processing plant for Sault Ste. Marie and the president of Noront Resources gives a straightaway answer.
“That will ultimately be a question that will be answered by the new owners.” Noront selected Sault Ste. Marie in 2019 is its preferred location for a high-tech smelting operation, settling on a brownfield site at Algoma Steel.
But in the last few months, the Toronto mine developer and holder of the most prime mineral property in the James Bay’s Ring of Fire mineral belt has become a takeover target by BHP and Wyloo Metals, the former being arguably the world’s biggest mining company.
The two Australian rivals are in the early stages of a bidding war for control of Noront and its Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper deposit, 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. It has an 11-year mine life with the real likelihood to extend it to 20 years.
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