Ontario moves to open up Far North with $5.1-billion chromite deal – by Tim Shufelt (National Post – May 10, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

“It’s a very high-quality chromite, which is a very important strategic metal,”
said Stan Sudol, a communications consultant and blogger at republicofmining.com.
“There are no substitutes for it. And there are only three major countries in the
world that produce it: South Africa, Kazakhstan and India.” … The trillion-dollar
Sudbury Basin is by far Canada’s biggest resource discovered to date, having
yielded base metals for more than 100 years, Mr. Sudol said. (Financial Post)

The government of Ontario took a big step toward unearthing the geological treasures of the province’s Far North in announcing an investment to develop the first mine in the mineral-rich Ring of Fire.
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. plans to invest $3.3-billion to establish a chromite mine west of James Bay and build a $1.8-billion smelter near Sudbury, the province said Wednesday.
And since the Ring of Fire is inaccessible by road or rail, hundreds of kilometres of new all-season road will be built to truck the ore south.
Improving access to Ontario’s northern expanses could lead to the discovery of additional base-metal deposits with immense economic potential.

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MINING WATCH NEWS RELEASE: Ontario Could Get Burned by Flawed Ring of Fire Process


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.

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Cliffs will not be swayed to change [Sudbury] location – by Laura Stricker (Sudbury Star – May 10, 2012)

  The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The smelter coming to Greater Sudbury is the largest project Cliffs Natural Resources has ever conceived. “It’s a massive project for Cliffs, it’s the biggest project by far that we have ever tackled,” Cliffs’ President Joseph Carrabba said Wednesday evening at Laurentian University.

Carrabba was in Sudbury for a few hours, following Wednesday morning’s announcement that its $1.8-billion ferrochrome smelter will set up shop near Capreol.

The Municipality of Greenstone, Thunder Bay and Timmins were also considered as locations for the smelter. But in the end, Greater Sudbury was just what Cliffs was looking for.

“We had to be in a place where mining is known, it’s welcomed and we can work through the business practices,” said Carrabba. “It looks like it’s a great place for the technical skills, the mine service skills that we need and a great opportunity for a great workforce as well … this was the right spot and we are very pleased to be here.”

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Sudbury lands Cliffs smelter – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – May 9, 2012)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

The suspense is over. Cliffs Natural Resources has announced it will build its $1.85-billion chromite processing facility, which will process chromite ore from its Ring of Fire project, near the town of Capreol, located north of Sudbury.
The smelter, which is expected to produce between 1,250 and 1,750 tonnes of chromite per day, is expected to create 450 jobs during construction, an additional 400 jobs to operate the facility and hundreds more spinoff employment opportunities in Sudbury and across the North.
Situated at the former Moose Mine site, the smelter will process chromite into ferrochrome, a component used in the production of stainless steel. The Ring of Fire, located 500 km north of Thunder Bay, is the only substantial deposit of chromite in North America and is expected to yield 2.3 million tonnes of chromite per year over a 30-year mine life.
Northern Development Minister Rick Bartolucci made the announcement in Sudbury May 9. Calling it an “exciting and historic” announcement for the region, Bartolucci said Cliffs chose Sudbury for its smelter because of the city’s experience in mineral exploration, mineral production and mine financing, along with its skilled workforce, training programs and environmental stewardship.

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Cliffs chooses Sudbury for $1.8B smelter – by Arron Pickard – (Sudbury Northern Life – May 9, 2012)

This article came from Northern Life, Sudbury’s biweekly newspaper.

All rumours about where Cliffs Natural Resources will build its chromite processing plant have been laid to rest.

Cliffs has made public its intentions to build its $1.8-billion chromite processing facility north of Capreol. The Cleveland, Ohio-based company has selected the former Moose Mountain Mine site, located 21 kilometres north of Capreol, as it moves from a prefeasibility stage to feasibility, which takes the company to a more detailed analysis of the project.

An agreement in principle between the province and Cliffs has been reached, Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, said. This agreement sets the framework for the project. A formal agreement is expected to be finalized within months.

The project will employ 450 people during construction, and as many as 450 people when the facility is operational in 2015. Mine and mill development, as well as the construction and operation of transportation infrastructure, could create an additional 750 jobs, plus hundreds of indirect employment opportunities for northern Ontarians and First Nations communities. The smelter would be used to process ore from Cliffs Natural Resources chromite mine located in northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.

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BNN Reporter Andrew Bell Interviews Cliffs Natural Resouces Senior VP, Global Ferroalloys, Bill Boor – (May 9, 2012)

Toronto-based Business News Network (BNN) is a Canadian cable television specialty channel owned by CTVglobalmedia. BNN airs business and financial programming and analysis. BNN reporter Andrew Bell hosts the Commodities program. From aluminum to zinc and everything in between, every Tuesday through Thursday, BNN highlights the hot world of commodities and the companies that produce …

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NEWS RELEASE: Thousands of Jobs Coming To Northern Ontario – McGuinty Government Supports Responsible Ring Of Fire Mining Development

May 9, 2012 9:00 AM

Cliffs Natural Resources has announced a $3.3-billion investment to build a chromite mine, transportation corridor and processing facility in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire that would lead to a new generation of prosperity in the north, with thousands of jobs and new infrastructure.

 The Ring of Fire represents one of the most significant mineral regions in the province, and includes the largest deposit of chromite ever discovered in North America. The chromite found in this area, 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is a key ingredient used to create stainless steel.

Cliffs Natural Resources has announced it intends to build a $1.8-billion chromite processing facility in Capreol, near Sudbury. This would employ 450 people during construction, and as many as 450 people when the facility is in operation. Mine and mill development, as well as the construction and operation of transportation infrastructure, could create an additional 750 jobs, plus hundreds of indirect employment opportunities for Northern Ontarians and First Nations’ communities.

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Be transparent: [Ring of Fire] First Nation – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – May 8, 2012)

 The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. 

Aroland First Nation in northwestern Ontario wants the government of Ontario to open up about “confidential meetings” its says it has been holding with Cliffs Natural Resources about development of the Ring of Fire chromite deposits.

The 325-member First Nation, about 20 kilometres west of Nakina in Greenstone, has filed a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to disclose information about the meetings.

At the same time, the mayor of Greenstone, Renald Beaulieu, is calling upon Cliffs’ chairman, president and chief executive officer, Joseph Carrabba, to answer several questions left unresolved last week after Carrabba spoke to the Aboriginal Business Council in Thunder Bay.

Beaulieu said he attended that meeting expecting to learn “something about the company’s approach to matters that remain unaddressed” — specifically the location of a smelter that Cliffs will build to process chromite ore from the Ring of Fire.

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[Cliff’s] Smelter decision expected – by Star staff (Sudbury Star – May 3, 2012)

 The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

A decision on where to locate a $1.8-billion Ring of Fire chromite smelter will be made in days, the CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources said this week. Joe Carrabba said Tuesday in Thunder Bay the decision is imminent, CBC Radio reports.

Cliffs, a Cleveland-based mining company, has used a former mine site in Capreol to build a test case for the facility, which would process chromite from northwestern Ontario.

In an email Wednesday, Patricia Persico, the senior manager of media relations for Cliffs, confirmed the company will make the announcement sooner rather than later. However, she said, a date and time has not yet been set.

A number of groups and communities in Northern Ontario have lobbied hard for the smelter, which would create 400 to 500 jobs. Native leaders in northwestern Ontario also say the plant should be built on their land, closer to the mine.

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Answers coming [about Cliff’s ferrochrome processor] – by Jamie Smith (tbnewswatch.com – May 2, 2012)


For a short news report about teh Carrabba speech click here: http://www.tbnewswatch.com/video/24466/CCAB-Cliffs

The head of Cliffs Natural Resources says an announcement on where his company will put a ferrochrome processor is days away.

But Joseph Carrabba couldn’t say where when asked about the decision and announcement Tuesday afternoon at a Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business luncheon in Thunder Bay.

Recently a group of regional mayors and First Nations leaders signed a document calling for the processor to be built in Greenstone rather than Cliff’s base case of Sudbury. Carrabba said he understands it’s an emotional issue and that every region wants to fight hard for economic development.

“Obviously we’re not going to be able to please everyone,” he said. “If we can’t work it out, we can’t work it out.” Carrabba did say that consultations between Cliffs and First Nation communities needs to continue.

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Ontario Ring of Fire prospects and players huge – by Saul Chernos (Daily Commercial News and Construction Record – April 23, 2012)


The prospects look huge for the Ring of Fire, an area of nearly 5,000 square kilometres within the James Bay Lowlands.
This area is smaller than Prince Edward Island, yet some 35 companies hold approximately 25,000 claim units, exploring for minerals as diverse as chromite, nickel, copper, zinc, platinum, gold and diamonds.
In January, Cliffs Natural Resources announced its Black Thor chromite deposit, currently undergoing prefeasibility assessment, could begin production by 2015.

The Cleveland-based company publicly estimated mine development costs at approximately $150 million, an ore concentrating plant at $800 million, and a ferrochrome processing facility at $1.8 billion.
Cliffs also pegged an integrated transportation system, including all-weather roads, at $600 million, but said it wants to share costs with other stakeholders.

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Cliffs’ land deal ‘encouraging ‘ [for potential Sudbury chromite refinery] – by Northern Ontario Business staff (Northern Ontario Business – April 11, 2012)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

While Cliffs Natural Resources has yet to announce where it will establish its chromite smelter, Sudbury is encouraged by news of a land deal north of Capreol.
According to a CBC report, Cliffs entered into a deal a year ago with businessman Bruno Gervais to purchase the former Moose Mountain Mine site for $330,000.
“According to the schedule Cliffs put out, they wanted to be in operation by January, 2015. As part of that schedule, the announcement would have to be made some time the first quarter of 2012 so it can move forward with planning and permitting,” said Greater Sudbury Coun. Dave Kilgour.
“It’s encouraging and we are putting two and two together but I haven’t heard anything concrete. Talks are still going on and moving on to the final phase of the evaluation as far as the environmental assessment goes.”

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Sudbury expected to win Cliffs lottery – by Mike Whitehouse (Sudbury Star – April 11, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The consensus among Greater Sudbury’s northern rivals is the nickel city has — as expected — won the marathon to host Cliffs Natural Resources’ prized ferrochrome smelter.

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs made clear last week that Cliffs officials told him the company, long leaning toward the northeast, is now entirely focused on Sudbury.

Cleveland-based Cliffs is the principal in the development of the Ring of Fire deposit in the James Bay Lowlands and plans to spend close to $3 billion to get its chromite project into production. About $1.8 billion of that is to build a ferrochrome processing plant.

In addition to Sudbury and Thunder Bay, Timmins and Greenstone, the town closest to the minesite, were considered possible locations for the plant.

In 2010, Cliffs announced its base-case smelter location was Moose Mountain Mine north of Capreol because of proximity to rail and hydro corridors and Sudbury’s large, experienced workforce.

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Impose $100/t raw chrome [South Africa] duty soonest, Ruukki urges – by Martin Creamer (MineingWeekly.com – March 30, 2012)


JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South African ferrochrome aspirant Ruukki has urged the South African government to impose a $100/t duty on the export of raw chrome from South Africa with the utmost urgency.
Speaking at an industry conference in Hong Kong, Ruukki enterprise director Dr Danko Konchar called for industry consolidation to protect jobs and maximise South Africa’s chrome resource endowment.
Ruukki currently exports raw chrome directly to China and sells a diverse range of chrome products internantionally into the the stanles steel and steel sectors. His plea follows years of requests to government to halt the South African ferrochrome industry’s demise in the face of rising Chinese production from raw South Africa chrome ore.
Konchar told the conference that the fundamental challenge for South Africa was to create a competitive ferrochrome industry capable of protecting, sustaining and creating jobs while growing its global market share.

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Sudbury wins? [Cliffs Natural Resources ferrochrome plant] – by Leith Dunick (tbnewswatch.com – April 4, 2012)


For the video newscast click here: http://www.tbnewswatch.com/Video/24256/No-Processor

Mayor Keith Hobbs said the writing’s been on the wall for a year or more, and the message probably isn’t a good one for Thunder Bay. Hobbs was reacting Monday to news that Cliffs Natural Resources’ suggestion the mining giant is still working with its best case scenario location for a much-sought after ferrochrome processing plant and it’s likely Sudbury will be made the official location.

A decision could come in a matter of weeks. Hobbs called the decision disappointing, though hasn’t entirely given up hope the project and 500 jobs can be salvaged for Thunder Bay.

“We wouldn’t be surprised by that,” Hobbs said. “The Northwest, NOMA and the City of Thunder Bay, we were all prepared for that.

“When we went to Cliffs last year in Cleveland and met with them, they told us that when they found out the Kinghorn (rail) line was gone, that we dropped from base case to maybe second base case. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if it went to Sudbury at all.”

Andrew Mitchell, a director of development for Cliffs Chromite Ontario Inc., said the final decision will come down to one factor – energy.

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