ONTARIO - Cliffs Natural Resources of Cleveland, OH, in connection with its ongoing discussions with stakeholders, released preliminary project information for potential development of its Black Thor chromite deposit in the McFaulds Lake region of the Ring of Fire.
The Black Thor deposit is the largest of its kind yet discovered in North America. The current inferred mineral resources is 69.5 million tonnes grading 31.9% Cr2O3. The pre-feasibility study now underway for the project is due to be completed by September 2011.
The information released by Cliffs is a "base case" naming Sudbury, ON, that the company believes is representatives of a technically feasible site. But, the company added, any location in Ontario would not be economically viable because provincial power rates are so high. Cliffs is meeting not only with representatives of Sudbury but also with those of Thunder Bay, Greenstone and Timmins.
At the Big Thor site mining would begin with an open pit. Underground mining m 10 or 15 years after the pit is developed. A concentrator and associated load-out facility would have to be made. An all-weather road to Nakina is included in the base case, although rail and other road options may be considered.
A ferrochrome production facility will also be constructed. The necessary electric arc furnaces would require approximately 300 MW of power.
A copy of the Big Thor project summary may be downloaded at www.CliffsNaturalResources.com.