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It is well known that Greater Sudbury is the mining capital of the world.  We are a community that understands and embraces mining and mineral processing. OraclePollStat Mining is in our roots, with more than 120 years of mining experience in Ontario’s largest geographic municipality, it is not surprising that Greater Sudbury would be the ideal location to host Noront Resources proposed Ferrochrome Production Facility (FPF).  

In fact, 77% of residents surveyed are in favour of locating a ferrochrome production facility in Greater Sudbury.
Source: Oracle Poll, Conducted between Jan. 8 and Jan. 15, 2018, N=600 sample, margin of error ± 4.0%, 19/20 times

In November 2017, Noront Resources distributed a package outlining criteria for proposals from communities to assist in the site selection process its FPF. In addition to Greater Sudbury, this package was also circulated to the cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, and, Timmins. The City of Greater Sudbury and the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation, with support from key community partners including Wahnapitae First Nation and Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, are excited to have delivered a compelling bid to host the proposed Noront Resources

Benefits of being home to Noront Resources’ Ferrchrome Production Facility

  • Approximately $1 billion in construction investment
  • 350 permanent jobs
  • 150 indirect jobs
  • Expanding Sudbury’s global mining reach 

Why Sudbury

We have the talent. Our people have the expertise to ensure the smooth and efficient operations of the three global mining companies that call Greater Sudbury home – Glencore, KGHM, and, Vale. To prepare future generations of talent, our three postsecondary education institutions; Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and Collège Boréal, are producing the well-educated bilingual graduates that go on to work in the mining and mineral processing industry – locally and around the globe.

We are ideally located. Centrally located just 390 km north of Toronto, we are just a one hour flight or a picturesque four-hour drive.  Sudbury is the only place in northern Ontario where the CNR and CPR main lines converge. This gives Sudbury a distinct advantage for the efficient and cost-effective transportation of chromite from the Ring of Fire to the Ferrochrome Production Facility and beyond.

We have the industrial base. In addition the mining and mineral processing industries based in Sudbury, our community is also home to the world’s most diversified mining supply and services cluster. Our cluster consists of more than 300 mining supply firms employing more than 12,000 people. These firms offer all the products and services the industry requires to design, build, operate, and, maintain a smelter.

We are committed to environmental sustainability. Greater Sudbury is proud of our global reputation for environmental remediation and stewardship. Our community continues to work in collaboration with the mining industry, government, and, academia to heal the landscape through our regreening efforts.

Site Selection

City staff, in partnership with our local industry partners, identified and explored several potential sites that would meet and exceed Noront’s criteria. With permission from Vale Canada Limited, the former Inco Coniston Smelter Site has been identified as the optimal location for Noront Resources’ FPF. This site is zoned appropriately and is situated strategically from a logistics and services perspective.

This brownfield site lies to the south of the Lopes-owned Coniston Industrial Park. It is adjacent to both the CN and CP Rail Lines and can be accessed by road both through the Town of Coniston and directly from Highway 17 via the Coniston Hydro Road.

In 2012, Cliffs Natural Resources had selected the former Moose Mountain site north of Capreol as the location for its proposed FPF. Noront Resources has established new site selection criteria for their proposed project and the Moose Mountain location was no longer seen as the best alternative. 

Why the site was selected

  • The property is designated as General Industrial land in the City of Greater Sudbury’s Official Plan. This designation allows a range of industrial activities, such as manufacturing and processing facilities.
  • The proposed property is zoned M3-Heavy Industrial, which permits a variety of industrial uses, including smelting and related uses.
  • The site is a designated brownfield site, which is one of the requirements from Noront Resources. Brownfields are places that have previously been used for commercial or industrial use, but now sit idle.
  • The site is ideally located near the convergence of the CN and CP rail lines allowing for efficient transportation of chromite ore from the Ring of Fire and finished ferrochrome bound for the US. 
  • The site can be accessed either directly from Hwy 17 via Coniston Hydro Road or through the community of Coniston via 2nd Avenue to Government Road to Edward Avenue. We have recommended to Noront that large industrial vehicles use the Coniston Hydro Road to minimize traffic in the Coniston community. 

What are the next steps?

  • It is expected that Noront Resources will select the city in which will locate its production facility by Summer 2018. They have enlisted Hatch to assist in the bid review and selection process.
  • Once the site has been confirmed in one of the four cities (Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay), a thorough environmental assessment process will take place.
  • The environmental assessment process ensures participation of public and communications with aboriginal peoples in defining and reviewing the assessment. 
  • Noront Resources would host thorough community information sessions in the community they choose to build its production facility.
  • The process will ensure that environmental and health risks, issues and concerns are identified, managed and mitigated. Noront is committed to best practices in environmental protection and recognizes that a facility of this type does not exist in Ontario. Best practices from mature jurisdictions where ferrochrome facilities exist, such as Finland, will be benchmarked and appropriately integrated in the design and management of the facility.

Sudbury’s Delegation visits Finland

In January 2018, Mayor Brian Bigger led a delegation to Tornio, Finland to meet with mining industry leaders from Outokumpu, a world class ferrochrome production facility. The delegation also met with municipal, public health and economic development officials. The visit was an opportunity to learn from what is considered the best ferrochrome production facility in the world.

Finland and the European Union have worked closely with Outokumpu to develop innovative ways to create a facility that is environmentally responsible and sustainable. The delegations were pleased to learn about the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the “Circular Economy”, a principle wherein, we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Of particular interest was the reuse of ferrochrome slag as an aggregate in construction and road building.

Noront Resources Development and Production Process

We are proud of our global reputation for environmental remediation and stewardship. Our community continues to work in collaboration with the mining industry, government, and academia to heal the landscape through our regreening efforts. Noront Resources has committed to using the most advanced furnace technology available, along with a process that, as well as capturing emissions and dust, avoids the production of toxic compounds.

The production facility will be a state of the art facility that will be designed, built and operated in accordance with all the required federal and provincial environmental regulations and will meet the standard for best practice for a facility of this type. Noront indicated that its production processes apply best practices and technology to minimize the creation of Hexavalent Chromium also known as Chromium VI. Chromium VI can be formed at high temperatures in the presence of oxygen or strong bases. To avoid these conditions, the DC (direct current) furnaces are the closed type to prevent air ingress, the furnace charge is carbon-rich so any oxygen converts to carbon monoxide, which is then used as a fuel elsewhere.

While health and safety risks are associated with exposures to Chromium VI and many other hazards in the mining and metal processing industries, considerable knowledge and experience exist from which to draw health-protective strategies and techniques.


About Noront Resources

Noront Resources is a Canadian-based mining company, and has the largest land position in the Ring of Fire, an emerging multi-metals area located in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario. Learn more.

About Ferrochrome and Ferrochrome Production Facilities

Ferrochrome is created with iron, chrome and oxygen. The high-grade chromite ore to be taken from the Ring of Fire area is grinded and put through a processing plant that requires high levels of energy to melt the ore and add carbon to separate the oxygen from the iron and chrome. The completed iron and chrome product is called ferrochrome.

About the Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire is the name given to the emerging mining district in the James Bay Lowlands region, located 500 kilometers northeast of Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario. To date, deposits of chromite, nickel-copper-platinum-palladium and copper-zinc have been found including Noront’s three advanced development Projects. Dozens of other showings have been noted, including those rich in gold, titanium-vanadium and diamonds. Learn more