City officials in Sudbury continue to wait for an official announcement on the smelter for processing ore from the Ring of Fire.
But CBC News has learned that Cliffs Natural Resources has a deal to buy the old Moose Mountain Mine site north of Capreol from Sudbury businessman Bruno Gervais.
The agreement is for $330,000 and was signed almost a year ago.
City councillor Dave Kilgour said it's another sign that Cliffs will bring its plant to Sudbury, and with it, hundreds of jobs.
"We had fully expected some sort of announcement prior to the end of the first quarter of 2012, which would have been the end of March," Kilgour said. "So we're anticipating something rather soon."
Cliffs Natural Resources declined to comment on the land purchase agreement and said it is still considering several locations for its chromite smelter.