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Noront Chooses Sault Ste. Marie for Ferrochrome Production Facility

Noront Chooses Sault Ste. Marie for Ferrochrome Production Facility

Created: May 07, 2019 11:56 AM

A company developing mines in northwestern Ontario's "ring of fire" has selected Sault Ste. Marie as the site of its ferrochrome production facility.

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Noront Resources had eliminated Thunder Bay and Sudbury from consideration last year. On Tuesday, the company announced that Timmins had also been eliminated and that the new facility will be built at the Algoma Steel site in Sault Ste. Marie.

"It was a very difficult decision because both cities submitted excellent proposals," said Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts in a news release. "In the end we were persuaded to go with Sault Ste. Marie because it is located on the Great Lakes and offers a lower long-term operating cost advantage."

A preliminary schedule released by the company says construction on the ferrochrome production facility will begin in 2025 and it will be commissioned in 2028, subject to financing.

Provincial officials say the project has the potential to create hundreds of direct jobs in Sault Ste. Marie.

"Our government has been clear on our commitment to make Ontario open for business and open for jobs," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, in a news release. "Today's announcement confirms that commitment while offering Northern Ontario the opportunity to continue to grow its manufacturing sector."

Noront controls about 85 percent of the claims in the "ring of fire," which has chromite, nickel, copper, and other metals.  It bought some of the assets from Cliffs Natural Resources in 2015.

The remote, roadless "ring of fire" region is about 560 kilometers (about 350 miles) northeast of Thunder Bay by air.  Noront is still working with the provincial government, First Nations, and community partners to develop an all-season road to the site.

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