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Cliffs REALLY Out of Chromite Project!

This, from Cliffs Natural Resources:

“Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) announced today that its affiliate, Cliffs Chromite Ontario Inc., will suspend indefinitely its Chromite Project in Northern Ontario by the end of the fourth quarter of 2013. The Company determined that it will not allocate additional capital for the project given the uncertain timeline and risks associated with the development of necessary infrastructure to bring this project online. In June of this year, Cliffs suspended the environmental assessment activities because of pending issues impeding the progress of the project.

“We continue to believe in the value of the mineral deposits and the potential of the Ring of Fire region for Northern Ontario.  As we’ve assessed the current challenges in the region and the costs to continue on the current path, we decided to suspend the Chromite Project indefinitely,” said Bill Boor, senior vice president, strategy & business development. “Unfortunately, we will reduce the project team staffing and close our Thunder Bay and Toronto offices as well as the exploration camp site. We understand this is a hardship for our employees and their families. During this transition, we will be working with this talented team of professionals to explore other opportunities at Cliffs.”

The Company stated that the technical project work including feasibility study, development and exploration activities are being halted and there is no restart date planned.  Cliffs will continue its work with the Government of Ontario, First Nation communities and other interested parties to explore potential solutions related to the critical issue of infrastructure for the Ring of Fire region. The EA acitivities will remain suspended. The Company is supportive of the Province’s intention to form a Development Corporation structure for the financing and development of infrastructure, and intends to participate in future discussions.”

This, from Ontario mines minister Michael Gravelle:

“Our government is committed to smart, sustainable, and collaborative development in the Ring of Fire and this development is about more than one company.

It is a multi-generational economic opportunity for this province with known mineral potential worth $60 billion and represents one of the largest known deposits in the world.

The Ring of Fire also presents an unprecedented opportunity for job creation with long-term benefits for communities in the North and the entire province.

While I am disappointed with Cliffs’ decision, and certainly appreciate the company’s continued interest in the project, our commitment is clear. The province is prepared to invest in vital infrastructure and create the right climate to support development in the region. We will work with key partners to realize these shared benefits.

There is no question this is a significant project that requires partners to come to the table. The private sector, First Nations, the federal government as well as the province all have a stake and a role to play.

Our role is clear. We will work in the best interest of Ontarians and that means we need to get it right.

We are bringing partners together through a development corporation to drive infrastructure forward. We are continuing our historic community driven process with Chiefs of the Matawa Tribal Council to address regional considerations. We continue to make key investments to ensure full participation by all communities in the economic benefits.

This work is necessary to realize the full potential of this region and this work will continue to ensure the opportunity is realized for the benefit of all.”

More from media on this development here (via Google News search) – more on the weekly update before the weekend.

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