Archive | Chromium/Platinum Group Metals

Environmentalists in Ontario’s Ring of Fire: Inconvenient Truths – by Stan Sudol (December 1, 2020)

A recent commentary linking Neskantga’s water crisis to the proposed Ring of Fire mining development in Northwestern Ontario’s Far North made little sense except to further delay environmental assessments (EAs) for vital road infrastructure and enormous economic opportunities for the region’s impoverished Indigenous people. First and foremost, the fact that Neskantaga – with an on-reserve population of slightly less than 300 people – has not had potable water for an astonishing 25-years is a national disgrace.

Almost 150 years ago, Canada was small little country of around five million people and was able to build the longest railroad in the world, at that time, from Ontario to British Columbia, through some of the harshest geography on the planet in less than five years – 1880-1885.

And yet today, a G-7 country with a $2 TRILLION economy is unable to fix ALL the broken water systems in First Nations’ communities across the country in a similar time-period?

Not only does this reflect on the incompetence inside the federal government but it also damages the country’s international reputation and demonstrates Trudeau’s “reconciliation mantra” as nothing but pious hypocrisy.

However, one can understand Neskantaga’s consistent opposition to the Ring of Fire mineral developments when their water quality issues have not yet been resolved. Considering one of the community’s key advisors is a committed former Greenpeace, anti-mining activist, I suspect that opposition will not disappear once their water crisis is finally over. Continue Reading →

Chain reaction: virus darkens future of Albania’s chromium miners – by Briseida Mema and Emmy Varley (Agence-France Presse/Yahoo News – November 10, 2020)

https://au.news.yahoo.com/

With mountains of chromite piling sky high on the docks of the port behind him in the Albanian city of Durres, logistics manager Henri Kurti explains the hold up.

“When China and America have problems, we have even bigger problems in Bulqize,” he says, referring to the region to the east where the blue-grey metal is mined before being shipped around the world.

As the coronavirus pandemic rocks international commerce, knock-on effects are being felt in poor corners of the world like Albania, where chromium miners have nowhere to sell their goods due to a drop off in purchases from China. Continue Reading →

SA chrome industry at odds over Govt. tax ore exporters say only suits Glencore, Samancor – by Brendan Ryan (MiningMX.com – November 5, 2020)

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CHROMESA is at odds with both the South African government and the country’s major integrated producers of chrome ore and ferrochrome – Glencore and Samancor – over the proposed tax on chrome ore exports.

That became clear at a presentation by Chrome SA to financial media on Thursday during which Assore GM, Alistair McAdam, confirmed the integrated producers “believe such a tax will be beneficial to themselves and will not be detrimental to us as exporters”.

This is despite the fact that Glencore and Samancor are also exporters of chrome ore to China which is the prime target of the proposed tax which the South African exporters would have to pay themselves and then claw back in increased prices from their Chinese customers. Continue Reading →

Sudbury column: Time to reignite Ring of Fire – by Erin O’Toole (Sudbury Star – February 24, 2017)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

Please note that this column was written in Feb/2017. However, it shows that Erin O’Toole, newly elected federal Conservative leader of the opposition has an indepth understanding of the Ring of Fire and its economic importance to Ontario and the entire country. – RepublicOfMining.com

The Ring of Fire has been heralded as not only a world-class deposit of chromite but also the only known deposit in the entire western hemisphere. Currently, all of North America’s stainless steel manufacturing is supplied by Asian and African sources. Canada has a unique opportunity to become a global leader in chromite mining and potentially revitalize manufacturing with proudly Canadian minerals.

According to a recent study by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, the current projected value of the Ring of Fire is more than $60 billion with known deposits significant enough to sustain a century of mineral development. Yet, after more than a decade of mineral exploration activity and findings of rich resources, no infrastructure has been developed.

The Wynne government recognized this potential enough to request $1 billion in infrastructure funding from the Government of Canada in 2014. But in the three years since, they have never provided the necessary plan to secure the funding. The Wynne and Trudeau governments have since allowed the Ring of Fire to all but go up in smoke. Continue Reading →

Noront CEO expects no delays in Ring of Fire road construction and mine start – by Ian Ross – Northern Ontario Business – August 13, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Federal regional review of Far North mineral development will have no bearing on pace of progress, says Alan Coutts

Ottawa’s new region-wide approach to Far North development shouldn’t interfere with Noront Resources’ timetable to put the first mine in the Ring of Fire into production by the middle of 2025, said the company CEO.

Alan Coutts said he has no reason to believe that the federal Regional Assessment process will delay the start of operations at the Eagle’s Nest Mine based on his conversation with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan.

“In talking to Minister O’Regan, we’re being led to believe this could get done over a two-year period.” Continue Reading →

Ferrochrome business remains solid, world still requires large amount of it – Glasenberg – by Martin Creamer (Mining Weekly – August 11, 2020)

https://www.miningweekly.com/

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The ferrochrome business remains solid and there is still a large amount of ferrochrome required in the world.

Unfortunately, most of the production occurs in ferrochrome plants in China, while South Africa continues exporting chrome ore and moving a large amount of it to China owing to South Africa not being competitive in respect of electricity prices.

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg pointed this out in response to a question put to him by Mining Weekly during a media conference following last week’s presentation of half-year results in which the marketing division of the London- and Johannesburg-listed company outperformed with adjusted earnings before interest and tax of $2-billion, allowing the company to raise full-year guidance to the top end of its long-term range of $2.2-billion to $3.2-billion. Continue Reading →

We were first to smelt chromium. And then the fire happened (Soo Today – July 7, 2020)

https://www.sootoday.com/

From the archives of the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library:

Sault Ste. Marie’s Chromium Mining and Smelting Corporation plant was located on Queen Street West between Huron and Hudson, in the area of what is now the city’s transit facility.

The plant first began smelting chromium in in the 1930s, when it was the first instance of chromium smelting in the British Empire. From there, the plant quickly expanded to meet demand.

And then, in 1947, a fire roared through part of Sault Ste. Marie, originating from the plant. Continue Reading →

IN-DEPTH: The battle for the ‘breathing lands’: Ontario’s Ring of Fire and the fate of its carbon-rich peatlands – by James Wilt (The Narwhal – July 11, 2020)

The Narwhal

Northern Ontario’s muskeg serves as home to dozens of First Nations, stores immense amounts of carbon and sits on top of vast mineral deposits. Whose vision for the bogs and fens will win out?

Compared to the Amazon or Great Bear Rainforest, the sprawling peatlands of Ontario’s Far North might seem a bit, well, boring. “People don’t wake up and go ‘oh yeah, woohoo, decomposing organic material is the best!’ says Anna Baggio, the director of conservation planning for Wildlands League, in an interview with The Narwhal. “It’s not sexy. But it’s hugely valuable and we can’t even begin to get our heads around it.”

It’s true: Ontario’s peatlands — or muskeg, as the wetland ecosystem is often called — offer a mind-boggling range of ecological benefits.

Like tropical and temperate rainforests, the peatlands sequester a huge amount of carbon, storing an estimated 35 billion tonnes of carbon in Ontario’s Far North alone (that’s equivalent to annual emissions from seven billion cars). The peatlands also serve as critical habitat for wildlife including caribou, wolverines and many migratory birds. Continue Reading →

HOW MUCH BALONEY IS IN THE RING OF FIRE SANDWICH? – by Frank Smeenk (June 18, 2020)

In a recent Sudbury Star article titled Stalled Ring of Fire worth
more than $117 billion, Carleton University Geology Professor
Dr. James Mungall asked “How much is the Ring of Fire really worth?”

Frank Smeenk is the President and Chief Executive Officer of KWG Resources Inc.

Stainless steel is approximately 18% chrome and 8% nickel with iron constituting most of the remaining 74%. A decade ago, the private Chinese enterprise Tsingshan Group, started to establish facilities in Indonesia to produce large quantities of nickel pig iron to make stainless steel there by adding ferrochrome melt made with coal-generated electricity.

In the first half of 2017 Indonesia produced no stainless steel. Now, Tsingshan produces up to 3 million tons per year there. This will increase to 4 million tons next year. That is about 8% of global production, from zero less than 30 months ago!

With that, Chinese companies currently generate more than 50% of global stainless-steel production. They intend to increase that as the world’s consumption of non-corroding steels continues to grow. This is a big boys’ game that Canada has just been suited-up for!

When chrome-containing chromite was discovered in an area of northern Ontario known as the Ring of Fire, China’s state-owned steelmaker, Baosteel, made a strategic investment in Noront Resources. It’s a Canadian exploration company with significant mining claims in the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 2-South Africa lockdown squeezes global chrome supply – by Tanisha Heiberg and Helen Reid (Reuters U.S. – March 31, 2020)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG, March 31 (Reuters) – Samancor Chrome, one of the world’s biggest ferrochrome producers, has declared force majeure because of South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown, removing further supply from global chrome markets.

South Africa ordered all underground mines and furnaces be put on care and maintenance status from midnight on March 26 as part of its measures to contain the spread of the virus.

The country is the world’s biggest producer of chrome ore, an essential ingredient in stainless steel, and last year supplied 12.5 million tonnes to China – 83% of China’s total chrome imports. Continue Reading →

Rickford won’t stand for delays on delivering Ring of Fire infrastructure – by Ian Ross (March 6, 2020)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Queen’s Park pledges to work with Ottawa on advancing Far North development

Greg Rickford rejects any suggestion that the Ring of Fire might turn into Ontario’s version of Teck Frontier. “We build corridors, not mines,” answered Ontario’s Energy, Northern Development and Mines Minister, in an interview after his March 5 speech at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce lunchtime crowd. The minister was in town to outline his government’s accomplishments at the 18-month mark.

Rickford, who also serves as minister of Indigenous affairs, said the province’s focus is on building “legacy infrastructure” that improves the health, social well-being and the economies of First Nation communities, and creating the conditions for business and industry to thrive.

Teck Resources’ decision to withdraw from its Frontier oilsands mine proposal in February, after weeks of blockades in Alberta and prior to a federal decision on the $20-billion project, was attributed to the jurisdictional uncertainty in balancing resource development with climate change and Indigenous rights. Continue Reading →

Liberals ‘paved the path’ for Premier Ford’s Ring of Fire deal: Wynne – by Colin D”mello (CTV News – March 4, 2020)

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/

QUEEN’S PARK — Former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says the previous Liberal government “paved the path” for Premier Doug Ford’s newly announced road to the Ring of Fire region, and suggests the Progressive Conservatives should “recognize” the work of their predecessors.

In an interview with CTV News Toronto Wynne said the former Liberal government spent two years negotiating a framework agreement with three First Nations to build an all-season access road that would help unlock development in the resource-rich area, and suggested that the Ford government piggybacked off the relationship.

“I don’t begrudge the government coming to the next stage of an agreement,” Wynne said. “The fact is that the only reason he was able to get that agreement is because for two years we worked with all nine First Nations, we had difficult conversations, we wrangled things out and we came to a framework agreement.” Continue Reading →

Fort Albany ‘alarmed’ by Ring of Fire roads deal – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily News – March 3, 2020)

https://www.timminspress.com/

Chief says agreement made ‘behind the scenes’ without his community’s consent

The chief of Fort Albany First Nation says he was “alarmed” by an announcement made Monday by the Ontario provincial government.

Premier Doug Ford along with Indigenous Relations Minister Greg Rickford announced a partnership with Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation to develop a Northern Road Link that would create the first continuous all-season road from the provincial highway network to the Ring of Fire.

Fort Albany Chief Leo Metatawabin said under this agreement, the road would be constructed through his First Nation’s traditional territory without his community’s consent. Continue Reading →

Doug Ford cites unproven projections in touting Ring of Fire – by Jeff Gray (Globe and Mail – March 4, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says mining in the remote Ring of Fire region would add $9.4-billion to the province’s gross domestic product – just a day after saying his government had no reliable estimate of the mineral riches in the northern area.

Speaking in the legislature on Tuesday, Mr. Ford said development in the Ring of Fire would also create 5,500 jobs a year, $6.2-billion “for the mining industry” and $2-billion in government revenue.

His numbers appeared to be drawn from a 2014 Ontario Chamber of Commerce study that looked at the Ring of Fire’s potential economic impacts over 10 years and assumed that four massive projects to mine chromite – which is used to make stainless steel – would be built and operated at a profit. Continue Reading →

Ontario government supports north-south Ring of Fire link – by Gary Rinne (tbnewswatch.com – March 2, 2020)

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/

First Nations, however, are divided over the proposed “Northern Road Link.”

TORONTO — The provincial government is throwing its support behind a north-south link to the Ring of Fire mineral zone in northwestern Ontario. But its plan is already under sharp criticism from one First Nation, which insists there can be no construction without its permission.

Premier Doug Ford and Northern Development and Mines Ministers Greg Rickford on Monday announced a partnership to develop the road project with Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations.

They held a signing ceremony at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention with Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum and Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse. Continue Reading →