Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Ottawa, May 9, 2012. In paired press releases the Ontario Government and U.S. mining company Cliffs Natural Resources today announced plans to proceed with the next step in the development of a chromite deposit in the area dubbed the “Ring of Fire”. The remote area of northern Ontario and the various access routes to it are in the traditional territories of several Ojibway, Oji-Cree, and Cree First Nations.
The announcements confirmed earlier indications that Sudbury could be the location of a proposed ferrochrome processing facility and that Cliffs’ proposed transportation corridor, known as the North-South Route could be developed to link the mine to the existing road and rail systems to the south. This transportation route is competing with another that would make greater use of existing roads and is being proposed by Noront Resources. Each route has its supporters among various First Nations in the area. Northern municipalities and First Nations have also suggested alternative locations for the processing plant.
If the mineral resources of the Ring of Fire are to be developed, value added processing done in Ontario – in accordance with Section 91 of the Mining Act – is certainly in the best interest of the province. Value added processing of mined minerals can greatly increase employment and taxation opportunities.