THUNDER BAY – MINING – At the first of two Public Information Sessions, Doug Murray, CEO of the Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC), presented some of the City and Fort William First Nation`s Request for Proposal to be the location for the Noront Resources ferrochrome production facility.
The four-city competition is between Thunder Bay/Fort William First Nation, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Timmins. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 2.
“We have been working with Fort William First Nation Economic Development to prepare the proposal for submission,” said Doug Murray, CEO for CEDC. “We believe that the material mined in Northwestern Ontario should be processed in Northwestern Ontario to its maximum value added state.”
The facility will process chromite ore from the Ring of Fire, and is anticipated to create over 350 plant jobs that could expand and create all kinds of industrial service and supply spinoff opportunities. Ferrochrome is a crucial component in the production of stainless steel, a commodity growing at 5% annually. There is currently no ferrochrome production in North America.
Murray discussed the many benefits and economic impacts this facility would add to Thunder Bay, Fort William First Nation and other Northwestern Ontario Indigenous communities. There was also a short presentation from Timo Haimi, Senior Process Metallurgist, Outotec on Finnish experiences (Ferrochrome making)
“We have a good support system for start-up companies in our communities, and involving local entrepreneurs and students from the College and University to this industry will lead to new companies and employment for our residents.”
Murray feels that if Noront were to locate the facility in Thunder Bay then the city could attract other future mineral processing plants for lithium and other Northwestern Ontario minerals resources.
The final Information Session will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 17 from 7 to 9 pm at the Valhalla Inn Ballroom. Residents are encouraged to attend.