In what I consider to be a meaningless exercise Noront Resources reduced the choice of prospective locations for its proposed ferrochrome facility (FPF) to Timmins or Sault Ste. Marie. Both Thunder Bay and Sudbury have been removed from further consideration.
While the Sudbury proposal had the lowest operating cost, it included significant capital costs such as site preparation earthworks and reestablishment of critical infrastructure. It also faced strong opposition from the local community.
Thunder Bay, on the other hand had strong community support, including that of Fort William First Nation; however, the presence of a water body transecting the property reduced the environmental acceptability of the site and costly power infrastructure needs created a further issue.
Noront expects the site will be named in the fourth quarter of 2018—what to bet on that?
Construction of the smelter, IF it is ever built, won’t happen until 2022 at the earliest and only after the government antes up over C$1-billion for infrastructure for the mine.