Hobbs to Comment on Ferrochrome Production Facility


THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs will be responding to news from Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, that the company has picked Sudbury as its “base case” location for a possible ferrochrome production facility. Hobbs will be issuing his comments at a press conference later today.

Hobbs has suggested strongly that such a facility should be located in Thunder Bay.

Citing Ontario’s hydro rates, Cliffs Resources is stating that “At current provincial power rates, theres isn’t a location in Ontario that is economically viable for Cliffs to build such a facility.

The company also states in a release issued this morning that “The mine may transition to underground mining in 10 to 15 years after mining begins. Further testing and mine planning is required to determine the timing of a transition to underground mining”.

This seems to run counter to comments made by Michael Gravelle the Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry who told the Port Arthur Rotary Club in early January that a mine could be operational within five years. “Both Cliffs Natural Resources, which is interested in bringing its chromite deposits into production, and Noront Resources, which is planning to develop its nickel discoveries are targeting to launch production in the Ring of Fire as early as 2015 or 2016. It’s a very ambitious timeline, but we will be working diligently to support this goal,” stated Gravelle.

Gravelle came under fire after his speech to the Port Arthur Rotarians from Mayor Hobbs. Hobbs suggested that Gravelle was not pushing hard enough for a processing facility to be located in Thunder Bay.

The Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry has not yet issued any comments on the statement issued by Cliffs Resources.

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