Ring of Fire News


What's up with the biggest thing happening in mining in NW Ontario?

More on Cliffs/Sudbury Refinery

Since folks’ll be interested, here’s some quick and dirty initial highlights, both from various information machines (corporate, government) and media ….

  • “Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. announced today that the Company’s Board of Directors approved advancing its proposed chromite project, located in the Ring of Fire area of Northern Ontario, Canada, from pre-feasibility to the feasibility study phase. The Company’s feasibility study will build further on the technical and economic evaluations and a clearly defined project description will enable environmental assessment to move forward. Cliffs stated that its discussions with the Government of Ontario have resulted in an agreement in principle for key elements of its chromite project, including development of provincial infrastructure. The Company is satisfied and confident in naming Ontario as the future location for its intended ferrochrome processing facility. Both parties will continue to work toward a definitive agreement. Cliffs also said that, after a lengthy and careful evaluation process, which included several alternative locations, it selected Sudbury, Ontario as its future ferrochrome processing facility site. This facility will be designed to process the chromite ore mined and concentrated in the region. Sudbury was selected due to various economic and technical factors that would best support the viability and success of the overall project, including transportation logistics, labor, long mining tradition, community support and access to electrical power …. Before Cliffs can make a final decision on the project in its entirety, the Company must receive provincial and federal environmental assessment approvals, negotiate mutually acceptable agreements with affected First Nations communities, work with governments to address the lack of infrastructure in the Ring of Fire and complete its commercial and technical feasibility studies ….. ”  News Releasemore
  • “@CliffsIR Cliffs Ring of Fire Chromite Project is advancing to the Feasibility Study Phase $CLF”
  • “@CliffsIR Plans are to locate Cliffs Ferrochrome processing facility in Sudbury, Ontario $CLF”
  • 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. Ontario will work closely with First Nations to ensure they are partners in this development. The province is committing to a First Nations dialogue focusing on long-term environmental monitoring, socioeconomic and community development, regional infrastructure and resource revenue sharing. Ontario is calling on the federal government to work with Ontario and First Nations’ communities to advance the project. Discussions will also begin on the proposed development of a new all-season road to run south from the Ring of Fire through northwestern Ontario. Ontario is committed to rigorous environmental standards for the development of the Ring of Fire. The federal and provincial governments are co-ordinating environmental assessments of the proposed processing facility, transportation corridor and mine site developments. The government is committed to ensuring that the Crown’s duty to consult is met throughout the Ring of Fire development. This is another example of the growing investment in Ontario’s mineral sector. Mineral exploration investments in the province surpassed $1 billion for the first time last year and new capital investments by the mining sector in 2011 exceeded $3 billion, driving economic activity and creating jobs. Supporting a successful mining sector is part of the McGuinty government’s plan to create jobs for Ontarians, create opportunities for First Nations’ communities and strengthen the economy ….”  or (alternate Ontario news release site)
  • “…. Cliffs’ proposed project in the Ring of Fire is undergoing a coordinated environmental assessment, led by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment on behalf of the Province, and by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency on behalf of Federal authorities. Cliffs will conduct a coordinated assessment of the environmental effects of its proposed project to satisfy the requirements of Ontario and Canada. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, through the Ring of Fire Secretariat, has the overall lead for activities in the Ring of Fire region and is playing a coordinating role with respect to environmental assessments and First Nations engagement and consultation …. Consultation is a cornerstone of the environmental assessment process at both the federal and provincial levels. All First Nations consultation is being coordinated to the extent possible by both levels of government. Numerous opportunities continue to be available throughout the environmental assessment process for public participation ….”
  • “…. Ontario is proposing to bring First Nations and the federal government to the table for discussions which could include, but are not limited to: Socio-economic and community development and regional infrastructure supports, including transmission, local road access and broadband needs; Long-term monitoring of the environmental impacts to the Ring of Fire area to complement the existing environmental assessment and land use planning processes; and Resource revenue sharing. Ontario is also calling on the federal government for a financial commitment to help share the costs associated with regional infrastructure and socio-economic supports for First Nations communities. Ontario is calling on the federal government to begin tripartite discussions. For Ontario, this dialogue will be led by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines’ Ring of Fire Secretariat, with support from the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs ….”
  • Following the announcement this morning by Cliffs Natural Resources and the Ontario Government, the Webequie First Nations has issued a stateme(n)t. “Webequie First Nation acknowledges Ontario’s commitment to support the directly impacted First Nations and to engage the Federal Government in the trilateral process. It is important for all levels of Government, including local impacted First Nations Governments, to work together towards a cooperative framework. While acknowledging this new regional commitment, Webequie First Nation will continue to dialogue and pursue future assurances from both levels of Government and industry partners for the continued examination of the feasibility of an optional utility corridor. This optional utility corridor will ensure that the community infrastructure needs of Webequie First Nation and other regionally impacted First Nations are responsibly incorporated into northern development plans. The members of Webequie First Nation reaffirm the need of all stakeholders to uphold and respect the environmental integrity of our traditional homelands as a priority consideration of any major infrastructure development in the region. Webequie First Nation’s Chief and Council is also reminding the general public of its Ring of Fire Community Position Paper’s main message, which states: ‘no outside parties or organizations represent Webequie First Nation’s community interests or rights associated with the Ring of Fire developments’. Webequie First Nation looks forward to continue direct discussions with the Ring of Fire companies and all representatives of the Crown”.”
  • tbnewswatch.com reporter “@Jsmithreporting Processor going near Sudbury. Cliffs announces $3.3 billion investment including money for transportation corridor. #TBay”
  • “@Jsmithreporting All-season road will run South from #ringoffire. #TBay”
  • “@Jsmithreporting #NAN deputy chief tells #FirstNation leaders to rethink support for #RingofFire. Says he’s disappointed. #TBay”
  • “@Jsmithreporting #TBay mayor very disappointed, refuses to shake Gravelle’s hand after announcement.”
  • The Canadian Press:  “An agreement between Cliffs Natural Resources and the Ontario government for a $1.8 billion chromite processing facility near Sudbury is still months away. Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today that the new smelter would be built in Capreol, and would create about 900 new jobs. But when questioned, Bartolucci said Cliffs and the province were still negotiating the deal and had several outstanding issues to resolve. He promised details of the agreement would be made public when it’s finalized, which the minister said he expected “in the coming months.” One unresolved issue is whether the company will be granted an exemption to process some materials outside of Canada. Bartolucci also said First Nations will be consulted and must be “front and centre” as development proceeds around the so-called Ring of Fire, the largest chromite deposit ever discovered in North America ….”
  • Reuters:  “Cliffs Natural Resources Inc said on Wednesday its board approved plans to conduct a feasibility study for its proposed chromite project, located in the Ring of Fire area of Northern Ontario. The company, which earlier completed a pre-feasibility study for the project, also said it decided to build a ferrochrome processing facility in Sudbury, the closest city to the Ring of Fire region. Cleveland-based Cliffs said it will make a final decision on the project once it receive environmental approvals and after it negotiates agreements with aboriginal communities in the area. It also plans to work with the government to address the lack of infrastructure in the Ring of Fire and complete commercial and technical feasibility studies.”
  • Globe & Mail: The McGuinty government is taking a major step toward exploiting the untapped potential in the Ring of Fire, a mining exploration area in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario. Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced on Wednesday that Cliffs Natural Resources plans to invest $3.3-billion to build a chromite mine and processing facility that would lead to a new generation of prosperity in the north. The Ring of Fire, about 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, represents one of the most significant mineral regions in the province, and includes the largest deposit of chromite ever discovered in North America. Chromite is a key ingredient used to create stainless steel. “Ontario is blessed with an abundance of natural resources at a time in history when the world is developing faster than ever and demanding these resources,” said Mr. Bartolucci. “We are taking advantage of this incredible opportunity in the Ring of Fire to further open up Northern Ontario by bringing thousands of jobs, new infrastructure and economic opportunities to cities, towns and First Nations communities.” The project would boost the economy of Sudbury. Cliffs plans to build a chromite processing facility near the city, which would employ 450 people during construction, and as many as 450 people when it is up and running ….”
  • Toronto Sun/Sun Media:  “Cliffs Natural Resources will build a $1.85-billion smelter near Sudbury that will process chromite from the Ring of Fire, Minister of Northern Development and Mines Rick Bartolucci announced Wednesday. “This means about 900 direct new jobs are coming to the Sudbury area,” Bartolucci said from the mining centre, through a live, web-streamed press conference. “There’s opportunity for all with regards to the Ring of Fire.” Bartolucci said the new smelter, north of Capreol in the City of Greater Sudbury, will create 450 jobs during the construction phase and another 450 once production begins. The minister said Ontario is also entering into talks with local leaders, including First Nations communities, on building an all-season road into the remote Ring of Fire area west of James Bay. Chromite is an essential component of stainless steel. The new smelter will turn chromite into ferrochromite, but it’s not yet clear where that ferrochromite will go. Talks with Cliffs are still ongoing. Bartolucci said there was stiff competition from outside Ontario to get the facility located here.”
  • Sudbury Star: Greater Sudbury has been formally selected as the site of Cliffs Natural Resources’ prized $1.8-billion ferrochrome smelter, The Sudbury Star has learned. Announcements that Cliffs has upgraded its massive Ring of Fire project to the feasibility study stage, reached a number of key agreements with the Ontario government and chose Sudbury as the smelter site will be made simultaneously in Sudbury, Thunder Bay and at the company’s head office in Cleveland this morning. Sources say agreements with the province about infrastructure in northwestern Ontario were key to advancing the $2.75-billion mining, transportation and smelting project to this stage. Cliffs’ 2012 capital plan called for $150 million to develop the Black Thor mine site and $800 million to construct a near-mine concentrating plant. Cliffs’ Black Thor chromite deposits are 350 kilometres north of the town of Nakina. The company estimates an integrated transportation system, including an all-weather road from Nakina to the minesite, would require a $600-million investment, which was not included in Cliffs’ initial project costs ….”
  • CBC Thunder Bay:  “Cliffs Natural Resources is expected to make an announcement Wednesday morning about its Ring of Fire project. Last week, the CEO of Cliffs said the company would soon be announcing the location for its chromite smelter. Several communities are in the running for the smelter, including Sudbury, Timmins, Thunder Bay and Greenstone. First Nations have been lobbying for a location on the CNR line between Aroland and Nakina. At the same time, three provincial ministers are meeting with the media in Thunder Bay and Sudbury. The minister of Northern Development and Mines, Rick Bartolucci, will meet reporters in Sudbury. Aboriginal Affairs minister Kathleen Wynne and Natural Resources minister Michael Gravelle will make an announcement in Thunder Bay ….”
  • More of the latest via Google News search here

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