Archive | Chromium/Platinum Group Metals

Confidence abounds over Ring of Fire development – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – February 22, 2019)

NORONT CEO tells Sudbury audience ore could be mined from Eagle’s Nest by 2024

If all goes well, the first load of ore concentrate could be coming out of the Ring of Fire by 2024. But before that, a lot of variables need to be addressed. Most critically, government commitment to funding and permitting, as well as smelter selection and road construction.

Even then, Alan Coutts said Noront Resources has contingency plans for several scenarios. Even taking ore processing out of province, if need be.

He gave an audience gathered for the Sudbury chapter of the Canadian Institute of Mining’s annual Winterlude event an update on where the corporation is at in their plan on Feb. 21. Continue Reading →

Rickford promises progress in the Ring of Fire – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – January 24, 2018)

Indigenous communities to reap the rewards, benefits of natural resource development

Provincial cabinet minister Greg Rickford offered a stay-tuned response to the government’s plans to advance the construction of an access corridor to the Ring of Fire.

The minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Indigenous Affairs was in Sudbury to reaffirm the Ford government’s commitment to opening up the mineral deposits in the remote James Bay region.

In his Jan. 23 remarks at the Procurement, Employment, Partnerships Conference in Sudbury, Rickford referred to the James Bay mineral belt as a “region of prosperity” that’s been “complicated and overburdened with bureaucracy.” Continue Reading →

Access to Ring of Fire top priority for Noront; work continues on assessing Sault and Timmins – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star/Sudbury Star – January 24, 2019)

Without a road, Noront Resources cannot access the minerals found in the Ring of Fire. And that means moving forward too quickly on a processing facility is also not necessary.

So, the silence surrounding any decision by Noront Resources as to whether Sault Ste. Marie or Timmins will be the eventual host of a ferrochrome processing facility is nothing to panic about.

Mayor Christian Provenzano says he, along with Tom Vair, the city’s deputy CEO of community development and enterprise and EDC’s Dan Hollingsworth, met with Noront Resources officials in Toronto last Friday to get an update and offer any assistance. Continue Reading →

Ford clears the way for mine development, minister tells Sudbury audience – by Jim Moodie (Sudbury Star – January 24, 2019)

Mining projects in the region will now go forward with fewer hurdles and costs, a provincial cabinet minister assured participants of a resource development conference Wednesday.

“I want the industries in Ontario to know that they have an ally and a partner in this government,” said Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River and minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, as well as minister of Indigenous Affairs. “That we’re committed to supporting and protecting and launching mining projects across Ontario.”

That includes expediting development in the Ring of Fire, which Rickford said is long-overdue. “In southern Ontario there are folks who still think there are active mine sites up there,” he said. “But despite the decade of talk and more than $20 million invested in this region, there are still disappointingly no shovels in the ground.” Continue Reading →

Sault MP Terry Sheehan meets with Noront execs in Ottawa during Mining Days – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – November 22, 2018)

‘Mining days’ on Parliament Hill gave Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan another chance to meet with Noront Resource executives. Sheehan’s Twitter posts show he met with president Allan Coutts in Ottawa to get an update on what the mining company with the largest stake in the Ring of Fire is doing.

“We do meet or keep in touch regularly, but certainly it was another opportunity for me to push Sault Ste. Marie’s advantages for a ferrochrome facility,” Sheehan said in a telephone interview.

Noront Resources is continuing to conduct its due diligence into the two final cities wanting to host its proposed ferrochrome facility – Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins. “I don’t expect any announcement for a bit,” Sheehan said. “But I continued to put forward our position that we have advantages like the port for transportation and strong electrical hookups because it’s already an industrial site and our skilled workforce and training facilities.” Continue Reading →

NDP mining critic concerned Ford government stalling on Ring of Fire development – by Angela Gemmill (CBC News Sudbury – November 1, 2018)

Michael Mantha says he’s asked but has yet to receive updates from Minister of Northern Development and Mines

It’s been more than a decade since chromite ore was first found in remote Northern Ontario, yet development of the Ring of Fire mining project seems to be slow. A year ago, the previous Liberal government announced an agreement with three First Nations communities to build a road to the mineral-rich site.

It involves many partners: mining companies, municipalities, First Nations and the provincial government. The new face at the table — the Ford Progressive Conservative government — hasn’t made its intentions clear, said Algoma-Manitoulin MPP, Michael Mantha. Mantha is also the New Democratic Party critic for Northern Development and Mines.

He says over the years, the other partners have been working to build better relationships with each other. “Industry has done a lot of the work, and First Nations have done a lot of work. It’s time for government to step in now and that they be held to their role in moving some of the development that we want to see happen in Ontario.” Continue Reading →

How Ontario can get the Ring of Fire back on track – by Josh Dehaas (TV Ontario – October 4, 2018)

ANALYSIS: Doug Ford says he’ll hop on a bulldozer if necessary — but a recent court decision about the Trans Mountain Pipeline shows there’s an easier way, writes Josh Dehaas

In 2013, Tony Clement, then the federal minister responsible for northern Ontario’s economic development, described a smattering of chromite and nickel deposits in the far north as Ontario’s answer to the Alberta oilsands. Ever since, people everywhere from Timmins to Sault Ste. Marie have been buzzing about the possibility that new mining and smelting jobs will spring up in the economically depressed region.

But the location makes things complicated. The deposits are more than 300 kilometres from the nearest highway or rail line, and they’re also on or near the traditional territory of nine First Nations communities, which have to be consulted before any project can proceed.

Some are worried that the Federal Court of Appeal’s August decision about the Trans Mountain pipeline, which emphasized the importance of such consultations, will slow progress on the Ring of Fire or give First Nations a de facto veto over resource projects — but legal experts say that’s not the case. In fact, they say it may actually provide a roadmap for the Ford government to get the stalled project back on track. Continue Reading →

Framework agreement between Matawa, Ontario ‘stalled’ MPP says – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – September 27, 2018)

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa called for resumption of meetings between chiefs, ministers

An agreement that was supposed to guide negotiations between Ontario and nine First Nations that surround the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario has “stalled,” according to an opposition member of the legislature.

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa spoke during Question Period on Thursday, and probed why the Progressive Conservative government “hasn’t engaged with the Matawa chiefs since [the] election.”

“Eabametoong First Nation chief [Elizabeth] Atlookan is here today,” the New Democrat member said. “Will the premier direct the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, not to get on the bulldozer, but to meet with Chief Atlookan today to begin the dialogue.” Continue Reading →

Consultation needed before any development in Ring of Fire: Grand Chief – by Joshua Santos (Timmins Times – September 18, 2018)

First Nations want to be involved not, not after the fact.

Mining companies and politicians shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves discussing development within the Ring of Fire, says the grand chief of a regional First Nations council.

While there has been much talk about its mineral riches, Indigenous communities within that area want more consultation before development begins, says Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon.

“We have talked about it in our council, the Mushkegowuk Council with the First Nations communities,” said Solomon. “The legal advice we got from our lawyers is, ‘You have a position now to demand a full involvement in the environment assessment (EA) processes.’” Continue Reading →

What’s the plan for the Ring of Fire?: Exit of province’s lead negotiator has Matawa chiefs waiting on Ford government’s next move – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 5, 2018)

The elimination of the province’s main negotiator in the Ring of Fire consultation process has the head of a northwestern Ontario First Nation tribal council waiting on the Ford government and Northern Ontario cabinet minister Greg Rickford to make the next move.

A Toronto media report claimed Justice Frank Iacobucci was axed by the Ford government in a purge of former government officials appointed under the previous Wynne government.

Iacobucci represented the province in the Regional Framework Agreement process initiated by the Wynne government in April 2014. David Paul Achneepineskum, CEO of Matawa First Nations Management, representing the nine Matawa First Nations, had a wait-and-see response in a statement released Sept. 5. Continue Reading →

[South Africa Ferrochrome] Treasury must abandon carbon tax plan in light of IRP – by Martin Creamer ( – September 4, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG ( – National Treasury must abandon its plans to introduce carbon tax, which will result in the closure of smelters at a time of desperate need for job retention and export promotion.

This is the consensus of opinion canvassed by Mining Weekly Online following last Friday’s release of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

With the IRP enhancing the prospect of carbon emission reduction because of the backing it gives to renewable energy, Treasury’s continued insistence on the imposition of carbon tax is being seen as superfluous. The main purpose of the carbon tax is to generate funding for research and development into carbon emission reduction, which the IRP now promises. Continue Reading →

Noront continues research into Sault, Timmins – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – August 27, 2018)

Negotiations are continuing between Noront Resources and Algoma to determine whether an agreement can be reached that would see the development of a ferrochrome facility on the steelmaker’s property.

The key now is for Noront to complete its due diligence to determine how a production facility would be situated on the Algoma property site. It also needs to determine what shared services it can cobble with Algoma and determine what the strategic advantages would be to do that.

NorOnt president and CEO Alan Coutts said both the Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins locations have really good sites and supportive municipalities. The decision will hinge on the commercial arrangement that can be negotiated with the property owners, Coutts said in a telephone interview. He said Noront has spoken to the secured creditors and that team has encouraged talks to continue with Algoma’s management team. Continue Reading →

Chinese investors plan $10bn metallurgical complex for SA (CNBC Africa – July 27, 2018)

Johannesburg: Reuters – Chinese investors signed agreements to build a $10 billion metallurgical complex in South Africa during President Xi Jinping’s state visit this week and hope to start construction next year, an executive involved in the project and a provincial official told Reuters.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said at a joint news conference with Xi on Tuesday that China had committed to invest $14.7 billion in the South African economy, but neither leader mentioned the $10 billion complex.

Ramaphosa is on a mission to kick-start economic growth after a decade of stagnation and is targeting $100 billion in new investment over five years. The complex, which is still in the planning stage and envisages building a stainless steel plant, a ferrochrome plant and a silicomanganese plant, is a much-needed vote of confidence in the sputtering South African economy. Continue Reading →

Competition stays hot for Ring of Fire processing plant – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 26, 2018)

Noront Resources boss offers insight into ferrochrome facility selection process

Alan Coutts is dragging out the suspense to find a Northern Ontario home for a Ring of Fire ferrochrome production plant for just a few more months.

The president-CEO of Noront Resources wants to keep the competitive process going to get the best deal possible to place the Toronto mine developer’s $1-billion smelter project in either Sault Ste. Marie or Timmins.

Instead of announcing a landing spot for its plant this summer, the company decided to drop Sudbury and Thunder Bay from its four-city bidding process, and is punting its final decision toward the end of this year. Continue Reading →

Sault claims political edge in bid for Noront plant – by Elaine Della-Matti (Sault Star/Timmins Daily Press – July 24, 2018)

SAULT STE. MARIE – All hands on deck. That’s the message Sault Ste. Marie politicians are sending to Noront Resources as the city is one of two communities shortlisted for a ferrochrome facility.

The other is Timmins. While the next step is up to Noront and Algoma to reach a contractual agreement or memorandum of understanding detailing how the two companies would work together, politicians are offering their support to the parties.

An agreement between the two companies will need to outline commercial terms and conditions as well as services Noront and Algoma could potentially share or participate in. Continue Reading →