TORONTO — Noront Resources Ltd. today announced that it has reduced the choice of prospective locations for its proposed ferrochrome production facility (FPF) to two Northern Ontario cities: Timmins or Sault Ste. Marie. Both Thunder Bay and Sudbury have been removed from further consideration.
Four communities participated in the bidding process which began in February 2018. The submissions were evaluated based on a comprehensive set of criteria determined by Noront and the engineering firm Hatch which was engaged to assist in the adjudication process. Critical factors included environmental and site suitability, capital costs, operating costs and an assessment of community acceptance of hosting the facility.
“The quality of the submissions was outstanding and demonstrated a significant effort by each of the communities involved,” said Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts. “They each provided a compelling case that illustrated the merits of their location as a host for the ferrochrome production facility.”
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.
The next and final phase of the site selection process is now underway. It includes substantial negotiation of commercial use terms with the owners of the two favoured sites. Noront expects this stage of definition to be concluded in the fourth quarter of 2018.
More information can be found at www.norontresources.com.