Archive | Chromium/Platinum Group Metals

National business leader blasts ferrochrome approval process – by David Helwig (Northern Ontario Business/Soo – October 10, 2019)

Saultites are suffering because of the tangled web of overlapping government approvals needed for Noront’s proposed ferrochrome smelter, a veteran federal politician and business leader told members of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 8.

“I want to be clear: civic engagement is important and communities must have a voice in project development,” said Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

During a 21-year political career, Beatty served as Conservative minister of national revenue, solicitor general, minister responsible for Canada Post, minister of communications, minister of national defence, minister of state for the Treasury Board, minister of national health and welfare, and secretary of state for external affairs. Continue Reading →

Column: Decide now on ferrochrome plant – by Tom Mills (Sudbury Star – October 5, 2019)

In this column, I’m not going to get into specifics about the possible health and environmental impacts of Sault Ste. Marie’s planned Noront Resources ferrochrome plant.

That makes me a lot like city council. They won’t discuss those things right now either. Now is not the time, argues Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano. Let the “process” unfold.

Eventually, there will be an environmental assessment, which apparently could take about five years, and public consultation. Provenzano said he has made it clear to Noront that, “There’s no way I’m signing up for something that will hurt anyone in our community.” Continue Reading →

OPINION: The Ring of Fire bulldozer is here. Will it work? – by Charles Cirtwill (Northern Ontario Business – October 2, 2019)

It is possible, after all, to see the Ring of Fire as the only option for a new future for many communities.

During the provincial election, then candidate (now Premier) Doug Ford famously promised to come to the Ring of Fire and drive a bulldozer if that was what was needed to get the development moving. With the abandonment of the Framework Agreement and the return to individual nation-to-nation arrangements, he has done just that.

It is clear that the province has determined, after years of effort by at least three different governments, that the way forward is in working with willing partners. In this way, key pieces of infrastructure can be put in place while negotiations continue in other parts of the region. In the end, the hope would be that the pieces fit together into a cohesive whole.

It is equally clear that at least some of the First Nations in the region share this view. This may be because of their relative need for new investment. It is possible, after all, to see the Ring of Fire as the only option for a new future for many communities. Continue Reading →

[Noront/Sault Ste. Marie] Ferrochrome facility must first pass rigorous tests: City – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – September 27, 2019)

Group of Sault MDs objects to development

The City of Sault Ste. Marie will not provide support for a ferrochrome plant in the city if due diligence shows that it will be harmful to its residents.

But any environmental assessment will take about five years to complete, along with a complete community engagement process that will outline processes to residents and answer their questions, says Mayor Christian Provenzano. And the process hasn’t even begun yet, he said.

Provenzano is concerned that there is much misinformation being spread across the community about the process that hasn’t even begun. He suggests that residents let the process unfold and the information be disseminated about what a ferrochrome plant would look like in Sault Ste. Marie, the technologies it will employ and any risks that may or may not exist. Continue Reading →

Hitting Reset on the Ring of Fire – (TV Ontario’s The Agenda With Steve Paikin – September 24, 2019)

The Agenda’s Steve Paikin interviews Marten Fall’s Chief Bruce Achneepineskum, Noront Resources President and CEO Alan Coutts and former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci who is now Senior Councel at Torys Law Firm in Toronto. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Two of Ontario’s Largest Industrial and Engineering Firms Partner With Noront to Advance Ring of Fire Development (September 20, 2019)

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario, Sept. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront”) (TSX Venture: NOT) announced agreements with Algoma Steel Inc. and Hatch Ltd. today to facilitate development of the Ring of Fire mineral district and the associated Ontario-based processing facilities.

“Noront is partnering with two Ontario-based industrial and engineering giants to advance Ring of Fire development,” said Alan Coutts, President and CEO of Noront Resources. “This is truly a ‘made in Ontario’ collaboration on one of the most economically and socially important projects our province has seen.”

The agreement with Algoma provides Noront with a 5-year, renewable option to lease a brownfield property in Sault Ste. Marie for a period of 99 years. Noront plans to design, construct and operate a ferrochrome production facility which will service the company’s Ring of Fire chromite deposits. This agreement provides Noront and Algoma with an opportunity to re-purpose an existing brownfield location with a view to sharing infrastructure. Continue Reading →

Ontario to work with First Nations to unlock Ring of Fire – by Jean Lian (Northern Miner – September 2019)

Global mining news

Rick Gregford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, announced in August that the province would work directly with First Nation communities to develop infrastructure that unlocks the mineral-rich region in northern Ontario.

Establishing bilateral agreements with individual First Nation communities to replace the previous Liberal government’s collective-negotiations approach under a 2014 framework agreement with nine Matawa First Nation communities will expedite the building of a north–south corridor to the Ring of Fire.

Noront Resources (TSXV: NOT) — which says it holds 85% of all claims staked in the Ring of Fire — and Marten Falls First Nation released a statement in late August applauding the provincial government’s move. Continue Reading →

The Tories are dissolving the Ring of Fire agreement. So what comes next? – by Jon Thompson ( – September 3, 2019) speaks with people close to the issue about why it’s proved so divisive — and what the future may hold for Indigenous-government relations in the north

Greg Rickford, Ontario’s minister of northern development, mines and energy, and Indigenous affairs, last week issued a 90-day notice to Matawa chiefs that the province is dissolving the Ring of Fire regional-framework agreement.

“Frankly, to this point, it’s been a little complicated and lengthy,” Rickford told reporters in Sault Ste. Marie. “It has not necessarily met the timelines that the market should expect a project to come on board.”

The Ring of Fire, a large mineral belt discovered in 2007, comprises 5,000 square kilometres in the James Bay lowlands. According to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, establishing a mining development there could create as many as 5,500 jobs and more than $9 billion in economic activity over the course of a decade. Continue Reading →

Ring of Fire negotiation model has failed – by Ian Pattison (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – September 1, 2019)

THIS TIME nine years ago the potential of the Ring of Fire mineral belt in Northwestern Ontario was being realized. More than 30 mining exploration companies were digging around the James Bay lowlands and finding immense evidence of mineral deposits, chiefly chromite — the main ingredient in stainless steel.

People salivated over the economic impact and potential job creation. Then-premier Dalton McGuinty called the project key to Ontario economic recovery. His northern development minister, Thunder Bay’s Michael Gravelle, began the first of many meetings with First Nations in the region.

Initially, few in the business world took seriously the need to consult with First Nations before putting development plans in motion. This led to protests by those communities and eventually to a whole new legal framework ensuring such consultation would precede any development. Continue Reading →

Ontario government ends Ring of Fire regional agreement with Matawa First Nations – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – August 27, 2019)

Funding for regional talks between province, 9 Matawa First Nations ran out in late 2018

The provincial government has officially ended the regional framework agreement between Queen’s Park and the First Nations closest to the Ring of Fire, pledging to move forward with a series of bilateral agreements that the province’s Indigenous Affairs minister says will remove delays to completing projects that communities themselves want to see.

At the top of that list, Greg Rickford said in an interview with CBC News, is a north-south corridor that, not only could lead to road access to the mineral-rich James Bay lowlands, but can also connect by road, as well as add to the provincial power grid and expand modern telecommunications to, “at least four, five Indigenous communities.”

“That has additional health and social and economic benefits that move beyond the more obvious opportunities of creating mines,” he said. “To the extent that Noront [Resources] or other mining companies could build mines on that corridor, then we have a great value proposition.” Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Why it’s time to cool the hype about the Ring of Fire – Globe and Mail – August 29, 2019)

The Ring of Fire mineral deposit in remote Northern Ontario was discovered a dozen years ago. Politicians across the political spectrum immediately began touting its potential – billed as tens of billions of dollars, just waiting to be tapped. It’s still waiting.

The decision this week by Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative provincial government to restart talks with local First Nations is the latest try at moving the project forward. It’s not clear this government will succeed where others have failed, and it raises the question of whether the dream of Ring of Fire riches is more fantasy than reality.

The Ring of Fire, named after the Johnny Cash song, is home to a large deposit of chromite ore, used to make stainless steel. South Africa is currently the world’s largest miner. Predicted future demand growth is modest, and the challenges of developing the Northern Ontario site are considerable. Continue Reading →

Province starts over on Ring of Fire consultation process – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – August 17, 2019)

Ford government finally ditches 2014 Regional Framework Agreement with Matawa First Nations

The Ford government is taking a “fresh start” with area First Nations toward building a road to the Ring of Fire.

With no results to show from the previous government’s attempt at a regional dialogue on how to do mine development in the Far North, the Ford government is scrapping the Regional Framework Agreement (RFA), started five years ago, and is reaching out to the communities for a new approach.

Greg Rickford, minister for Indigenous affairs, energy, Northern development and mines, made the announcement on Aug. 27 in Sault Ste. Marie at Algoma Steel, the future site of Noront Resources ferrochrome processing plant, which will process chromite ore from the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

Noront, Algoma Steel discussing ferrochrome plant tenancy fees – by Darren Taylor (Northern Ontario Business – August 27, 2019)

Construction of Ring of Fire road could begin in the spring thanks to co-operation with First Nations communities, minister says

Progress is being made on the Ring of Fire project, to be developed in northwestern Ontario.

That from Greg Rickford, Ontario’s minister of energy, Northern development and mines, who was in Sault Ste. Marie on Aug. 27 to deliver an update on the project to officials at Algoma Steel.

Toronto-based mining company Noront Resources announced May 7 it had chosen Sault Ste. Marie – after the city had engaged in a long, competitive bidding process with other communities – as the location for its new Ferrochrome Production Facility (FPF), to be located on Algoma Steel property. It will process chrome ore from deposits Noront will be drawing from the Ring of Fire region, to be converted into ferrochrome for the U.S. stainless steel market. Continue Reading →

Ontario, First Nations moving forward with Ring of Fire development – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – August 27, 2019)

The Ontario government is taking a different approach so the Ring of Fire development can move forward. It expects bilateral agreements to be established with First Nations communities this fall, paving the way for the development of a north-south route.

The Ontario government says it’s establishing bilateral agreements with First Nations communities in order to start a north-south route to the Ring of Fire.

Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, said the Conservative provincial government’s plan to ink agreements with the First Nation communities and get a shovel in the ground is quicker and cheaper than that of its predecessor so that the “corridor to prosperity” can be built.

“Frankly, to this point it’s been a little complicated and lengthy. It has not necessarily met the timelines that the market should expect a project to come onboard,” Rickford told a Tuesday morning audience at Algoma Steel. Continue Reading →

Ferrochrome plant will pay employees well, Noront says – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – July 29, 2019)

When Noront Resources ferrochrome facility becomes a reality in Sault Ste. Marie, employees will be averaging about double the average Canadian wage. The average wage for a Noront Resource employee will be about $108,000, about double Canada’s average wage of $52,000.

That comes from Stephen Flewelling, Noront’s chief development officer, at last week’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon themed Sault Ste. Marie Resource City, Resource Champion. Flewelling praised ‘Made in Canada’ opportunities and especially those that the Ring of Fire presents.

With almost 200 metric tons of chrome valued at $150 billion discovered, the true full value of the extensive mining operation has yet to be determined, he told the crowd. But none of it will start without the development of a road to the site, he said. Continue Reading →