Sudbury officials head to Finland to learn more about 'world class' ferrochrome smelter

With the deadline looming in a competition to build a ferrochrome smelter for Noront Resources, a team of Sudbury professionals is heading to Finland to learn more about a world class ferrochrome production facility.

Mayor Bigger says they need to "understand what we're welcoming in to our community"

Finland and the European Union have worked closely with Outokumpu to develop innovative ways to create a facility that is environmentally responsible and sustainable. Greater Sudbury Mayor Bigger says he and his delegation will be meeting with these leaders to gain first-hand knowledge of these best practices. (City of Greater Sudbury)

With the deadline looming in a competition to build a ferrochrome smelter for Noront Resources, a team of Sudbury professionals is heading to Finland to learn more about a world class ferrochrome production facility.

Mayor Brian Bigger will lead the delegation to Tornio, Finland to meet with mining industry leaders from Outokumpu — a stainless steel producer. Bigger says the delegation will also meet with municipal, public health and economic development officials. 

"We're just there to understand what they've learned, and what they know," Bigger said.

"And we would like to see and learn from the best practices. I do think that it is essential that, in welcoming a ferrochrome smelter to our community, that we understand what we're welcoming in to our community."

“The construction of a ferrochrome production facility is a great economic opportunity for Greater Sudbury,” says Mayor Brian Bigger. He says the trip to Finland will allow his team "to visit a facility using the same technology as what Noront is proposing, while gaining valuable insight from company representatives and local officials for our proposal to Noront." (Markus Schwabe CBC)

Greater Sudbury is turning to the global force in stainless steel as it crafts its bid to build a ferrochrome production facility for Noront Resources.

Bigger says the facility uses the same technology as what Noront is proposing.

"We've read and heard a lot of great reviews of this Outokumpu ferrochrome smelter facility," he continued.

"It's been in this city of Tornio for 50 years. It is identified as one of the best in the entire world, and Finland has extremely high standards."

Mayor Brian Bigger will lead a delegation to Tornio, Finland to meet with mining industry leaders from Outokumpu, a world class ferrochrome production facility. The delegation will also meet with municipal, public health and economic development officials. (City of Greater Sudbury)

Sudbury is competing with Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay to build a ferrochrome facility for Noront Resources, which would process chromite deposits from the Ring of Fire.

The bid submission is due on Feb. 2.

The largest player in the Ring of Fire is trying to drum up support in northern Ontario for the mining project, in the James Bay lowlands. But first it needs to determine where its ferrochrome processor would go. We talk with Noront CEO Alan Coutts. 7:43

About the Author

Wendy Bird

CBC Sudbury

Wendy Bird is a journalist based in Sudbury, who specializes in topics of concern to northern Ontario. Reach her at wendy.bird@cbc.ca, and on Twitter @bendyword.

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