Chief waits for MPPs’ replies [about Sudbury chromite smelter] – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – July 6, 2012)posted in Aboriginal Mining, Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Mining Conflict, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery, Sudbury |
The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
The chief of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek (Whitefish Lake) First Nation is waiting for replies from several Ontario cabinet ministers before weighing in on Cliffs Natural Resources’ plan to build a $1.8-billion ferrochrome smelter near Capreol.
Chief Steve Miller said he has asked Premier Dalton McGuinty and at least three of his ministers for meetings to discuss the possible impact of the smelter on his First Nation, located about 20 km west of downtown Sudbury. Miller has concerns about the environmental impact on the Vermillion River Watershed, which he said “flows right in front of our First Nation.”
He has written Sudbury MPP and Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci, Environment Minister Jim Bradley and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynne for meetings to get more information on the smelter.
What he reads about processing chromite ore is troublesome, said Miller. That cabinet ministers not getting back to him has only increased his anxiety.
“There’s so much on the Internet about chromite and nobody knows exactly the effect of it,” he said.
Cliffs announced May 9 it had selected the former Moose Mountain Mine site north of Capreol for the coveted smelter. The plant will process chromite ore from the $3.3-billion open-pit mine Cliffs intends to develop in the Ring of Fire, about 300 miles northeast of Thunder Bay.
It has moved on to the feasibility stage of developing its deposits in the McFaulds Lake area of the James Bay lowlands.
The deposit of chromite, which is used in the manufacture of stainless steel, is one of the largest finds in years. But little is known about the smelting process to convert chromite into ferrochrome, used to make stainless steel.
The chief admits the prospect of the 450 permanent jobs expected to be created at the smelter is appealing to a first nation where 40% of on-reserve residents are under age 25.
For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2012/07/06/chief-waits-for-mpps-replies