NDP wonders how much ore will run through Cliffs' new smelter

Leader Andrea Horwath said Cliffs Natural Resources VP reported 40 per cent of its ore would be exported from Ring of Fire for smelting

The question of how much ore from the Ring of Fire will be processed in Ontario is being asked by the NDP at Queen's Park.

Despite yesterday's announcement about Cliffs Natural Resources' chromite smelter, NDP leader Andrea Horwath questioned the Premier about how much ore will be processed in northern Ontario.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty

"In testimony at the standing committee on natural resources, Cliffs senior vice president said this and I quote, 'Our proposed project including exporting approximately 40 per cent of the product produced on site'," Horwath said.

Premier Dalton McGuinty pointed out smelters in Ontario process materials from other provinces and countries.

"The Falconbridge smelter in Sudbury processes less that 30 per cent of Ontario content," McGuinty said. "Cameco in Blind River and Port Hope processes uranium that comes from Saskatchewan."

McGuinty said if the province "puts up walls" and doesn't allow raw ore to be processed elsewhere, other provinces and countries could do the same thing to Ontario in return.