Ontario Press Release
Thousands of Jobs Coming To Northern Ontario - McGuinty Government Supports Responsible Ring Of Fire Mining Development
May 9, 2012
Cliffs Natural Resources has announced a $3.3-billion investment to build a chromite mine, transportation corridor and processing facility in Northern Ontario's Ring of Fire that would lead to a new generation of prosperity in the north, with thousands of jobs and new infrastructure.
The Ring of Fire represents one of the most significant mineral regions in the province, and includes the largest deposit of chromite ever discovered in North America. The chromite found in this area, 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is a key ingredient used to create stainless steel.
Cliffs Natural Resources has announced it intends to build a $1.8-billion chromite processing facility in Capreol, near Sudbury. This would employ 450 people during construction, and as many as 450 people when the facility is in operation. Mine and mill development, as well as the construction and operation of transportation infrastructure, could create an additional 750 jobs, plus hundreds of indirect employment opportunities for Northern Ontarians and First Nations' communities.
Ontario will work closely with First Nations to ensure they are partners in this development. The province is committing to a First Nations dialogue focusing on long-term environmental monitoring, socioeconomic and community development, regional infrastructure and resource revenue sharing. Ontario is calling on the federal government to work with Ontario and First Nations' communities to advance the project.
Discussions will also begin on the proposed development of a new all-season road to run south from the Ring of Fire through northwestern Ontario.
Ontario is committed to rigorous environmental standards for the development of the Ring of Fire. The federal and provincial governments are co-ordinating environmental assessments of the proposed processing facility, transportation corridor and mine site developments. The government is committed to ensuring that the Crown's duty to consult is met throughout the Ring of Fire development.
This is another example of the growing investment in Ontario's mineral sector. Mineral exploration investments in the province surpassed $1 billion for the first time last year and new capital investments by the mining sector in 2011 exceeded $3 billion, driving economic activity and creating jobs.
Supporting a successful mining sector is part of the McGuinty government's plan to create jobs for Ontarians, create opportunities for First Nations' communities and strengthen the economy.
"Ontario is blessed with an abundance of natural resources at a time in history when the world is developing faster than ever and demanding these resources. We are taking advantage of this incredible opportunity in the Ring of Fire to further open up Northern Ontario by bringing thousands of jobs, new infrastructure and economic opportunities to cities, towns and First Nations' communities."
- Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines
"We are committed to exploring opportunities that will develop meaningful social and economic supports for First Nations. We need to continue working together so that we can identify key areas of support for the future. Through ongoing dialogue and the participation of all parties, including the federal government, we can continue to build on the resources that have already been invested in our First Nation communities."
- Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
"The Ring of Fire is a tremendous investment that will bring tangible benefits for Thunder Bay and Greenstone, as well as other communities in the Northwest, including the First Nations in the Ring of Fire itself. There are significant economic opportunities to be realized for our communities, including new jobs and infrastructure, training opportunities, and a range of local and regional business opportunities, all which will drive growth and increase investment for future generations."
- Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North
"This is great news for not only for the north, but for the entire province. This reaffirms our position as a global leader in mineral investment. The number of jobs created and positive economic impacts will benefit Ontarians for years to come."
- Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation
"The Ministry of the Environment will ensure that this project is environmentally sound. We will monitor any impacts, and will work with all interested parties in doing this work."
- Jim Bradley, Minister of the Environment
"Cliffs is pleased to be moving forward with the proposed development of a mine in the Ring of Fire and a processing facility near Sudbury. These milestones bring us closer to opening the mine and starting production to meet the global demand for stainless steel."
- Bill Boor, Senior Vice-President - Global Ferroalloys, Cliffs Natural Resources
Cliffs Natural Resources is one of over 20 companies holding claims in the Ring of Fire.
Ontario leads all Canadian jurisdictions in mineral exploration, with 26 per cent of the country's exploration investment located within the province.
Toronto is the mining investment capital of the world. More than 80 per cent of all global financing for mining equity is done on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The Ring of Fire also holds the potential for significant production of nickel, copper and platinum.
The Ring of Fire is comparable to other historic world-class mining areas, such as Timmins, Sudbury, Kirkland Lake and Red Lake.
About 27,000 Ontarians are already directly employed in metal mining, and 50,000 are in jobs associated with mineral processing.
The mining sector is already the largest private sector employer of Aboriginals in Canada.
$3.3-billion chromite smelter coming to Ontario's Ring of Fire region
KAREN HOWLETT - Globe and Mail - May. 09, 2012
The McGuinty government is taking a major step toward exploiting the untapped potential in the Ring of Fire, a mining exploration area in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario.
Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced on Wednesday that Cliffs Natural Resources plans to invest $3.3-billion to build a chromite mine and processing facility that would lead to a new generation of prosperity in the north.
The Ring of Fire, about 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, represents one of the most significant mineral regions in the province, and includes the largest deposit of chromite ever discovered in North America. Chromite is a key ingredient used to create stainless steel.
"Ontario is blessed with an abundance of natural resources at a time in history when the world is developing faster than ever and demanding these resources," said Mr. Bartolucci. "We are taking advantage of this incredible opportunity in the Ring of Fire to further open up Northern Ontario by bringing thousands of jobs, new infrastructure and economic opportunities to cities, towns and First Nations communities."
The project would boost the economy of Sudbury. Cliffs plans to build a chromite processing facility near the city, which would employ 450 people during construction, and as many as 450 people when it is up and running.
The project, which could make northern Ontario home to North America's first large-scale chromite mining operation, is subject to environmental and regulatory approvals and consultation with First Nations communities.
Mr. Bartolucci pledged to work closely with first nations communities on the project. However, the government is running into stiff opposition.
The chief of Aroland First Nation, Chris Gagnon, has vowed to fight the development of the smelter if it is not built in Greenstone, near his community. Mr. Gagnon accused the minister of arranging a "secret" meeting this week with first nations leaders in an effort to head off growing opposition to the project.
"After ignoring First Nations for months, Ontario thought they could divide and conquer us by holding an 11th hour meeting and making a few promises without our fellow Matawa Chiefs present," Mr. Gagnon said in a statement. "Ontario needs to deal with First Nations First rather than simply taking orders from Cliffs. We want the refinery in Aroland territory and we want the highest standard of environmental review for the project."
Mr. Bartolucci said at a news conference in Sudbury that there was stiff competition with other jurisdictions for the proposed smelter.
"So why did Cliffs choose Ontario?" he said. "Quite simply, because we're leaders in mineral exploration, mineral production, mine financing, skilled work forces, training programs and environmental stewardship."