Archive | Chromium/Platinum Group Metals

[Sault Ste. Marie ferrochrome] Plant needs public support – by Frank O’Connor (Sault Star – December 7, 2017)

So the prospect of a ferrochrome processing facility locating here has prompted a local group to mobilize an opposition effort. Members of the opposition group suggested that Mayor Provenzano’s comments that the team developing the proposal to be the potential host site have hit a home run was the motivation that rallied their troops to speak out in opposition.

With the Ring of Fire’s new access road development plans moving forward, as a result of the Ontario government working together with three northern First Nations bands, the rich mineral deposits in this James Bay region may now have a viable way out.

Chromite, nickel, copper, and platinum are present at this site, and may potentially be one of the richest deposits found in a very long time. Financial forecasts of the deposit’s value are in the 30 billion to 60 billion range. This is certainly a game changer for that northern region, and a potential major economic generator for all of Ontario. Continue Reading →

Ferrochrome Smelter won’t go where it’s not wanted, Noront – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – December 6, 2017)

Noront Resources won’t place a ferrochrome smelter in a community that isn’t totally comfortable with having one. Company president-CEO Alan Coutts further added they won’t process Ring of Fire chromite ore in Ontario – or Canada for that matter – unless his company can secure a favourable power rate from Queen’s Park.

“The level of comfort we get from the communities and the government will help us to pick the site and to make sure that we’ve got a viable long-term process.” Coutts shed some light on Noront’s thought process and approach in selecting a suitable host site for a proposed ferrochrome production plant.

Cutting the ribbon on a smelter could be five to 10 years away but there are 350 plant jobs at stake for a chromite processing facility that could potentially expand and create all kinds of industrial service and supply spinoff opportunities. Continue Reading →

Mining Day in Ottawa draws Sudbury crowd: Sudbury pitches local mine tech to big industry, government – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 30, 2017)

Mining Day on the Hill was an opportunity for Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger to rub elbows with the lead player in the Ring of Fire.

Bigger was part of a delegation from Sudbury who headed to Ottawa for the Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) industry-government networking event on Nov. 21. The annual get-together attracts mining executives, companies and federal bureaucrats to discuss policy and showcase technology.

In a Nov. 30 news release, Bigger said while there he bumped into Noront Resources president-CEO Alan Coutts to talk “about the importance of mining in our community, which was evident by the enthusiasm and representation that evening by our industry partners who are all optimistic about the future of mining and innovation in Greater Sudbury.” Continue Reading →

Opposition organizes against Sault’s ferrochrome smelter proposal – by David Helwig (Soo Today – November 29, 2017)

Mayor Provenzano has offended some people with his recent description of the Sault’s ferrochrome smelter bid as a “home run.” When the mayor told last week’s City Council meeting: “I think that they are going to hit a home run on the document that we submit,” it seems he single-handedly inspired a grassroots movement opposing the Ring of Fire-related project.

Seventeen citizens attended a meeting last night at Centennial Library advertised under the title ‘Concerned About A Potential Ferrochrome Smelter In SSM?’

The group, which so far has no formal leaders or name, is planning to oppose any ferrochrome processing facility in Sault Ste. Marie. Last night’s meeting was called as a direct response to Mayor Provenzano’s home run assertion. Continue Reading →

Noront hits encouraging VMS mineralisation at McFaulds No 8; requests proposals for plant – by Henry Lazenby ( – November 27, 2017)

VANCOUVER ( – Ring of Fire (RoF) development champion Noront Resources has intersected encouraging results at the McFaulds No 8 volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit, hosted on the property where the first discoveries in the RoF were made and which spurred the initial staking rush in 2002 to 2003.

The Toronto-headquartered company reported that follow-up drilling on the recently discovered McFaulds No 8 VMS occurrence was completed in October, comprising a single hole (MCF-17-89) totalling 566 m being drilled up-dip from a previous intersection in hold MCF-17-88.

The Main Zone at hole MCF-17-89 intersected 10.9 m of massive sulphide grading 1.1% copper, 1.7% zinc, 10.9 g/t silver and 0.4 g/t gold. The MCF-17-89 intersection is located about 88 m up-dip from MCF-17-88, and is an early indication of excellent up-dip continuity of the sulphide lens at McFaulds No 8, the company advised in a press release on Monday. Continue Reading →

Sault mayor confident in Ring of Fire smelter pitch – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 21, 2017)

Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano harbours no worries that the CCAA process with Essar Steel Algoma will jeopardize his city’s pursuit of a ferrochrome plant.

Sault councillors were given a briefing by city and economic development staff on Nov. 20 on their preparations to provide Ring of Fire developer Noront Resources with a compelling case to select the northeastern Ontario community as the host site for a chromite processing facility.

The Sault, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins are the four cities in the running as part of a competitive process staged by Noront. In early November, the Toronto mining company sent out the formal request for information documents for each city to make their best pitch. The proposal deadline is Feb. 2. Continue Reading →

‘Secret side deals’ hurt Ring of Fire progress, says First Nation chief – Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 16, 2017)

Neskantaga urges province to work with all Matawa chiefs, not a select few

The “politics of division” won’t advance progress on a contentious Ring of Fire road corridor, contends the chief of a remote First Nation community.

Neskantaga’s Wayne Moonias is offended by remarks made by Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister David Zimmer in the Ontario legislature after a trip made last month to an exploration camp in the James Bay lowlands, hosted by Noront Resources and the chiefs of Webequie and Marten Falls.

In a Nov. 14 letter written to Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle, and obtained by Northern Ontario Business, Moonias reminds the province that his community still has not consented to a provincial plan to begin construction on an east-west road into the Far North mineral belt by 2019. Continue Reading →

Timmins confident it will get plant – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – November 14, 2017)

TIMMINS – Timmins feels it may have an edge in its bid to win the attention of Noront Resources. Noront is looking around Northern Ontario for the best location of a ferrochrome smelter. A news conference was held at the Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) office Monday afternoon to outline some of the city’s plans.

Noront Resources is the Canadian junior mining company with the biggest claim to the major chromite and nickel discoveries in a remote region located in the James Bay Lowlands. It is the incredibly rich mining area known as the Ring of Fire, where the value of the minerals has been estimated in the tens of billions of dollars.

Timmins is one of four Northern Ontario locations that was shortlisted by Noront earlier this year and invited to submitted proposals. The other cities are Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay. Continue Reading →

South Africa crucial to global chrome supply, Chromium 2017 hears – by Martin Creamer ( – November 10, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – South Africa is an irreplaceable producer of chrome ore, which is, in turn, an irreplaceable component of stainless steel in which China is currently the leading producer, global delegates to this week’s well-attended Chromium 2017 conference heard.

As the dominant global producer, South Africa last year delivered half of the world’s production of chrome ore, half of which was used as feedstock for ferrochrome in South Africa, with the remaining 8.4-million tonnes exported. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video).

Seventy-three per cent of China’s chrome imports come from South Africa’s chrome-mining industry, which employs 17 500 people who receive R4.2-billion a year in salaries and wages. Continue Reading →

Provenzano argues steel plant status won’t sully Sault’s case for ferrochrome processing plant – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – November 8, 2017)

SAULT STE. MARIE – Sault Ste. Marie has some definite advantages in presenting a strong case as to why a ferrochrome processing plant should be established in the city. It has an ample-sized brownfield, it’s close to transportation routes such as water, can supply an abundance of power and has a capable workforce.

The city, and three other communities, were formally approached by Noront and asked to make a compelling case to host the plant and show the Canadian-based mining giant that it can meet Noront’s requirements.

But some argue that Sault Ste. Marie also has some definite hurdles that need to be quashed in order to give the city a fighting chance for the $1-billion facility that will bring, with it, good-paying jobs for a skilled workforce a decade from now. Continue Reading →

Zimbabwe invites investment in underground chrome mining – by Martin Creamer ( – November 8, 2017)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Zimbabwe on Wednesday invited chrome mining investors to focus on underground chromium operations rather than cheaper strip mining operations, from which most of the country’s chromium ore is currently extracted.

In a keynote opening address to the packed 33rd Chromium Conference, Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Munesushe Munodawafa expressed the view that the future of chrome mining in the country lay in underground mining rather than the current opencast methods, which he described as being limited in both quantity and quality.

“The future of chrome mining in Zimbabwe is in the developing of underground operations,” Mundowafa told the record number of 260 delegates from many parts of the world. He urged investors in underground chrome-mining operations also consider partnerships with Zimbabwe’s small-scale miners. Continue Reading →

Timmins invited to bid for ferrochrome plant – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – November 8, 2017)

TIMMINS – Timmins is taking a new step forward with the plan to attract a new ferrochrome production facility, according to new information released by the Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) this week.

Because TEDC had previously submitted information to Noront Resources (TSXV:NOT) that company has now invited Timmins to submit “a compelling case proposal” in a bid to win over Noront which continues to search for a host city for some sort for a facility for the Ring of Fire nickel and chromium discovery.

Noront is the Canadian junior mining company with the biggest claim to all the major discoveries in that region, located in the James Bay Lowlands.“The company’s first project is a 100%-owned, high-grade, nickel, copper and platinum group element (PGE) deposit called Eagle’s Nest. It is the largest high-grade nickel discovery in Canada since Voisey’s Bay and the most advanced project in the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

Sudbury to bid for ferrochrome plant – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – November 8, 2017)

The City of Greater Sudbury has been asked to put together a formal offer to host a plant that would process ore from Ring of Fire chromite deposits in northwestern Ontario.

“We sent out packages to the City of (Greater) Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay (partnering with Fort Williams First Nation) defining exactly what our needs are as far as the site for the ferrochrome processing plant, and we gave out a lot of specifics,” Alan Coutts, Noront Resources’ president and chief executive officer, said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Toronto.

“Essentially, it’s a request for proposal. We are looking to get the completed proposals by the end of January.” Coutts said the packages went out Monday and have a due date of Feb. 2. The president and chief executive officer said his company has been working closely with all four cities, “looking at possible sites and doing site evaluations. We are now looking at specifics, information.” Continue Reading →

City officially launches ferrochrome application – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – November 7, 2017)

Noront is reaching out to Sault Ste. Marie to formally ask the city if it is interested in hosting a ferrochrome processing plant.

“With our strategic location, transportation infrastructure, talent and other competitive advantages, we’re making the case that our community is the prime site to host this project,” said Dan Hollingsworth, executive director of Business Development for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corp.

“We look forward to working with our partners on preparing a response that exceeds Noront’s expectations.” The request formally launches the process that will see the City of Sault Ste. Marie make a case that it is the ideal location to host the plant. Continue Reading →

Low grades, high power costs key snags to SA chromite sector’s competitiveness – by David Oliveira ( – October 10, 2017)

Despite South Africa’s rich chromite endowment, the low chromium oxide (Cr2O3) grades in its orebodies and the high cost of electricity are significant barriers to the country becoming the dominant player in the global industry.

Mintek metallurgical project development consultant Dr Nic Barcza highlighted that the estimated global chromite produc- tion last year was about 30-million tons, with South Africa leading the charge at 14-million tons, followed by Kazakhstan at 5.5-million tons.

Barcza was giving a keynote address at the Southern African Institute for Mining and Metallurgy’s Chrome Colloquium at State-owned research organisation Mintek’s Randburg facilities, in Johannesburg, last month. He noted that South Africa and Kazakhstan, which collectively boast a shipping-grade chromite reserve of about five-billion tons, accounted for over 95% of global chromite resources. Continue Reading →