Ring of Fire Assets Up For Sale
THUNDER BAY – MINING – In January 2013, Cliffs Natural Resources was in the process of pulling out of the Ring of Fire.
At the time, NetNewsLedger reported Cliffs was pulling out and starting the process of selling off assets in Ontario. Today, the Globe and Mail is reporting that Cliffs Natural Resources is selling off assets. Cliffs Natural Resources denied that story, which NetNewsLedger stood by in January.
The Ontario Government has continued moving forward to, as Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle has repeatedly stated, “To get the Ring of Fire right“.
Cliffs Natural Resource has been under shareholder pressure for some time to get the company focused on its core business. Moving away from the Ring of Fire was seen as early as last January as part of that move.
Now with additional media reports that the company is selling off assets including the company’s stake in Northern Ontario the plan is drawing political fire.
The Ontario New Democrats charge, “With the announcement that Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is likely selling off its huge chromite deposit in the Ring of Fire, it’s now official that the much heralded Ring of Fire development is in deep trouble”.
In a statement released by the NDP, the party says, “For over three years, the NDP has been calling on the Liberal government to take a leadership role in creating a real plan that will benefit job creation in the North. Instead they are sitting on the sidelines watching as investment dollars and good jobs leave the province”.
The Ontario Government has created the Ring of Fire Development Corporation.
The NDP say that “The estimated $60-billion deposits in chromium and other minerals were hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Cliffs Resources spoke optimistically of thousands of jobs, a smelter near Sudbury and a start date of 2017.
“Last year Cliffs halted all activity citing lack of leadership from the government and failure to create a development plan for the companies and First Nations to work together. Today we hear they are looking to exit the Ring of Fire all together”.
Right now it appears that KWG Resources or Noront Resources would be the most likely buyers for a major stake in the Cliffs Natural Resources stake in the Ring of Fire.