Canadian Mining Journal

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CHROMIUM: Cliffs turns its back on remaining Canadian assets

ONTARIO – If readers were holding out hope that Cliffs Natural Resources would come to its senses and decide to move forward with its projects in Canada, they can get used to the idea that the US-based company will not be active in Canada...



ONTARIO – If readers were holding out hope that Cliffs Natural Resources would come to its senses and decide to move forward with its projects in Canada, they can get used to the idea that the US-based company will not be active in Canada any time soon.

Word has come from NorthernLife.ca that Cliffs notified the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency that it is terminating its application for Black Thor – after spending $500 million at the site. In Ontario’s Ring of Fire, the company owns the Black Thor and Black Label chromite deposits outright and holds a 70% interest in the Big Daddy chromium-PGM-nickel project. Those deposits are now for sale.

Meanwhile, Cliffs’ 30% partner at the Big Daddy project, KWG Resources of Toronto, and Cliffs have long been at odds as to the best method of transport in and out of the Ring of Fire. Cliffs prefers roads; KWG makes the case for rail. KWG served notice last month that it would appeal the Ontario Divisional Court decision in favour of allowing Cliffs to build its road over land staked by KWG.

In Quebec, Cliffs placed its Bloom Lake iron ore mine under creditor protection late last year and is looking for a buyer. The company reportedly spent $6 billion buying out former owner Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines and developing the property.

Cliffs pulled out of its 60% owned Decar nickel-iron project in British Columbia last summer. It, too, is for sale.

Feel free to visit CliffsNaturalResources.com