Archive | Chromium/Platinum Group Metals

China’s Sail Group warns SA risks missing out on $5bn investment – by Allan Seccombe (Business Day – May 18, 2018)

A Chinese company is stalling $5bn in investment, which could cause SA to challenge China as a ferrochrome and stainless steel maker, due to the Department of Mineral Resources’ “use it or lose it” principle on mining rights.

The message to the department from William Yang, CEO of Singapore-based Sail Group, was unequivocal: free up mining rights sterilised by major firms and investment would flood in.

“The Chinese will build anything, but why would China build in SA when you won’t give them something?” Yang said. “Sterilised mining rights, what are they going to do with them? If they sort out this issue I’ll bring in $5bn. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Sinosteel to invest $1 bln in Zimbabwe, lift ferrochrome output (Reuters U.S. – May 14, 2018)

HARARE, May 14 (Reuters) – China’s Sinosteel Corporation has agreed to invest $1 billion in Zimbabwe to build a power plant and increase ferrochrome output, the southern African country’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Monday.

Sinosteel president Andong Liu said the Chinese firm planned to build three additional furnaces at its majority-owned Zimasco business, which would raise ferrochrome output by 120,000 tonnes over the next five years to 300,000 tonnes per year.

Andong said he saw ferrochrome output from Zimasco at 500,000 tonnes annually in ten years’ time. Sinosteel also plans to build a 400 megawatt coalbed methane-fired power plant in western Zimbabwe, the firm’s president added at a news conference with Mnangagwa. Continue Reading →

Citizens, experts voice ferrochrome qualms – by Ben Leeson (Sudbury Star – April 30, 2018)

If there was any doubt left as to the level of interest or concern about a proposed ferrochrome smelter in Coniston, that should have been erased with a visit to Ecole Notre-Dame de la Merci on Saturday afternoon.

Greater Sudburians packed the school gym for a panel discussion and information session hosted by the Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury and focused on the possibility of a ferrochrome production facility in Coniston, which the city has identified as a preferred site for Noront Resources to smelt chromite mined in the Ring of Fire, should the company choose Sudbury over competitors such as Thunder Bay, Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie.

“We’re not having a debate here,” panel moderator Laurie McGauley said. “We’re having an information session to find out what we need to know, as citizens, about this proposal.” Continue Reading →

Environmental impacts from potential ferrochrome smelter to be discussed at public session (CBC News Sudbury – April 26, 2018)

Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury hosting information meeting Saturday for concerned residents

A public information session will be held this Saturday to discuss a proposed ferrochrome smelter that may be built in Coniston in Greater Sudbury.

The Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury started hearing concerns from local residents around the time the city announced it was planning to bid on hosting a ferrochrome smelter.

Noront Resources is expected to announce later this year which one of the four proposed sites it’s chosen to build its processing plant for ore from the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario. Continue Reading →

Noront eager for start of Ring of Fire road construction – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – April 10, 2018)

First Nation community takes partial stake in mining company in share deal

Noront Resources, the largest claim holder in the Ring of Fire, said it’s doing its part to expedite road development into the mineral-rich Far North.

The Toronto mine developer also announced on April 10 that one of its First Nation community partners is now officially a part owner of the company.

Since the province announced last summer that it was starting the design and environmental work before the start of building two access road corridors into the Ring of Fire, Noront said it’s been pitching in to help area First Nation communities better understand what’s coming by making environmental assessment and engineering studies available to residents. The company hopes it will move the permitting process along. Continue Reading →

Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe Mining Rush Leaves Big Producers Behind – by Felix Njini and Brian Latham (Bloomberg News – April 3, 2018)

While Zimbabwe’s leadership change has sparked a race for the nation’s mineral riches among entrepreneurs and tiny explorers, big-name mining companies are taking a wait-and-see approach.

New President Emmerson Mnangagwa has a lot to prove as he seeks to revive the economy and attract mining investment that shriveled under his predecessor, Robert Mugabe. So far, Mnangagwa has pledged investor-friendly policy changes and partially rolled back a law requiring mining companies to be locally owned.

It seems to be working, at least in some quarters. The government says mining commitments reached as much as $6 billion since Mnangagwa’s appointment, including a record $4.2 billion pledge from a company linked to mining entrepreneur Loucas Pouroulis for a platinum mine and associated infrastructure. Continue Reading →

Greens back chromite smelter, with conditions – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – March 28, 2018)

Manufacturing of laminated wood timbers would be one way to boost the economy of the North, said Ontario’s Green Party leader Tuesday, while admiring a building constructed of that very material.

“We’re sitting on a gold mine here if we start utilizing new technologies and advanced manufacturing,” said Mike Schreiner, after a tour of the McEwen School of Architecture. “If you want to talk about a climate change solution, wood buildings are great because they have so much embodied energy in them and the trees store carbon emissions.”

Wood construction is also less energy-intensive than cement, he added, as the latter generates a lot of greenhouse gases in its manufacture. Schreiner said he could picture a series of plants in Northern Ontario that could produce cross-laminate timber — which utilizes wood that would otherwise go to waste — for the construction of prefabricated buildings across the province and even farther afield. Continue Reading →

World’s biggest metals factory gives Kazakh town a life of its own – by Mariya Gordeyeva (Reuters U.S. – March 22, 2018)

AKSU, Kazakhstan (Reuters) – On the surface, the Kazakh town of Aksu looks like a Communist stereotype. Its metals factory is the biggest in the world and for generations it has provided residents with employment, healthcare, education and leisure.

But there’s a crucial difference. The Eurasian Resources Group factory is controlled by three billionaires and though the Kazakh government has a stake it’s a far cry from the Communist model of ownership by the proletariat.

The trio are Alexander Machkevich, Alijan Ibragimov and Patokh Chodiev and many Kazakhs see them as oligarchs close to President Nursultan Nazarbayev who has ruled since 1989. Continue Reading →

Can’t compare smelters, Sudbury crowd told – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – March 23, 2018)

There are pros and cons to hosting the chromite smelter in Coniston and Tom Price wants to make sure residents understand the differences between the Nickel City and Tornio, Finland, which is home to the Outokumpu ferrochrome production facility.

Price, a retired engineering technologist with decades of experience at Vale who helped set up the world’s first chrome recycling plant in Pennsylvania, hosted a presentation at the Lexington Hotel on Wednesday aimed at educating the public on some of his chromite concerns.

Several dozen people turned out to hear him present on the proposed smelter and Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini said the meeting was organized after several people reached out to him to express their apprehensions. The major problem, Price said, is that Tornio and Coniston cannot be compared. There are 2,500 people living within 2.5 km of the proposed site in Coniston, while in Tornio, there are no people inside that radius. Continue Reading →

Will the Ring of Fire’s ferrochrome smelter end up in the Michigan Soo? – by David Helwig (Soo Today – March 21, 2018)

Ontario Sault politicians are scratching their heads over a meeting planned next month in Toronto to announce a potential ferrochrome processing plant in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

At the Civic Centre tonight, a half-dozen city councillors told SooToday they had absolutely no knowledge of the Apr. 5 gathering at the swank Design Exchange museum, located in Toronto’s original stock exchange building at 234 Bay St.

“The Ring of Fire Limited Partnership cordially invites you to join Doug Ford, leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party; with the Honourable Maxime Bernier opposition critic for innovation, science and economic development; and Jason Gauthier of the Missinabie Cree First Nation to review the virtues of making ferrochrome in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for a new North American stainless steel joint-venture with Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario,” said the invitation. Continue Reading →

U.S. role in Ring of Fire proposed by KWG Resources – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star/Sudbury Star – March 22, 2018)

A company with a stake in the Ring of Fire says the way to get the far north development to “come alive” is by doing business with the United States.

KWG Resources president Frank Smeenk told Postmedia that it’s time to look at the political realities of today and the future and the regulatory environments and what it all means to the massive mining development for the Ring of Fire.

KWG Resources is a mining exploration company with some land claim rights in the Ring of Fire. It wants to ensure that the mineral deposits extracted from the Ring of Fire — expected to last 100 years — are not subject to political whims in the future. Smeenk said his plan is to advance his ideas and concepts to supporters at an event to be held in Toronto on April 5. Continue Reading →

Moti Doubles Zimbabwe Investments as Economy Seen Opening Up – by Loni Prinsloo and Antony Sguazzin (Bloomberg News – March 19, 2018)

Moti Group is preparing to double its investments in Zimbabwe to $500 million after the removal of Robert Mugabe as president in November saw the government adopt a more open approach to foreign companies.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, who replaced Mugabe after the military briefly took control, has declared that “Zimbabwe is open for business” and has said he will ease the country’s local ownership rules and re-engage lenders such as the International Monetary Fund.

He is faced with an economy that has halved in size since 2000, a cash crisis that limits withdrawals from banks and an inability to pay government workers on time. Continue Reading →

Beware hexavalent chromium and the many ifs of the Coniston smelter – by Mark Gentili (Sudbury Northern Life – March 8, 2018)

Mark Gentili is the editor of Northern Life and

If the Ring of Fire development happens this lifetime … if the chromite market doesn’t tank … if Noront Resources isn’t bought out by a bigger miner … if Coniston is selected as the site for a chromite smelter … if, if, if.

There are a lot of ifs when it comes to the city’s bid to host a ferrochrome processing facility (a.k.a. a smelter) on the site of the old Inco smelter in Coniston. These ifs aside, what appears to be a relatively small group of opponents have already taken up the fight against the project.

I’m not criticizing people for holding the city to account and expressing an opinion — far from it. I’m all for having an engaged citizenry, willing to stand up for what it believes in. That’s democracy. No, that’s not what I’m writing about. Today (again) I want to talk about Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini. Continue Reading →

City confident in community’s support for Noront bid – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – March 8, 2018)

TIMMINS – While some opposition has emerged in other communities to the proposal by Noront Resources Inc. to create a new chromite ore processing facility in Northern Ontario, Timmins Mayor Steve Black is confident about the solid support from this city.

Noront, a junior mining exploration company, is the leading player in the Ring of Fire mining development and is looking at possible future sites for a chromite refinery in Northern Ontario.

Timmins is one of four Northern Ontario cities that have responded to a call for proposals from Noront. Other cities include Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay. All the bids were submitted in February and are currently being reviewed. Continue Reading →

Chromite critics warn element ‘very toxic’ – by Mary Katherine Keown (Sudbury Star – March 5, 2018)

Despite a ringing endorsement from city council for a Noront ferrochrome processing plant, some stakeholders are expressing concern over the safety of the smelter and its impacts on human health.

Mayor Brian Bigger travelled to Europe earlier this year to check out the Outokumpu ferrochrome production facility in Tornio, Finland. Following his visit, the mayor said he has no concerns about the safety or health impacts of an arc furnace.

“I have no concerns,” Bigger said in February. “That’s the level of confidence I wanted to come back with, with the entire team. We asked questions of all of the people we met, looking for any concerns whatsoever on their part. We found none. On my part, I have full confidence in welcoming a ferrochrome facility into our community. I think it’ll go well with our plans to diversify our economy and attract investment to create jobs. It fits in with the long-term strategy of growing our community.” Continue Reading →