City’s bid for Ring of Fire processing plant prompts trip to Outokumpu
Since Greater Sudbury is one of the four cities in the hunt for a ferrochrome smelter, Mayor Brian Bigger is heading overseas to Finland on a fact-finding trip to see how one operates for himself.
A Jan. 10 Greater Sudbury news release called the visit to the Outokumpu mine and mill complex “an opportunity to learn from what is considered the best ferrochrome production facility in the world.” The group leaves Jan. 13 and returns on Jan. 18. The Sudbury delegation will also meet with municipal, public health and economic development officials.
Joining Bigger on the trip to Tornio, Finland is Wahnapitae First Nations Chief Ted Roque, city councillor and Sudbury and District Health Unit Board chair René Lapierre, Greater Sudbury Development Corporation executive board member Paul Kusnierczyk, Greater Sudbury Director of Economic Development Ian Wood, and the mayor’s chief of staff Melissa Zanette.
Outokumpu has been in operation for 50 years and considered a leading edge and environmentally responsible ferrochrome production facility. Bigger and delegation intend to gain knowledge of those practices.
Noront Resources, the biggest mining player in the Ring of Fire, is looking at Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay/Fort William First Nation to build a ferrochrome smelter.
As part of a competitive bid process, the cities must file their submissions by Feb. 2. Noront tentatively expects to make their selection in late spring or early summer.
Sudbury’s pitch will be that it has the expertise in metal processing facilities as the Sudbury mining complex contains eight operating mines, two mills, two smelters and a nickel refinery.