Ferrochrome smelter bid dead, as Noront says 'no thanks' to Sudbury

Noront Resources announced that Sudbury will not be hosting its planned ferrochrome smelter.

Noront narrows down location of smelter to Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie

Sudbury is out of the running for a proposed ferrochrome smelter, Noront Resources announced today.

Noront Resources announced that Sudbury will not be hosting its planned ferrochrome smelter.

According to a press release from the city, Noront's decision was largely influenced by the "significant capital expenditure needed to construct the facility."

Noront also stated in its own press release that support in the community was holding Sudbury's bid back.

"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," the company said.

Coniston, a community on the eastern outskirts of Sudbury, was selected to be the site of the proposed facility, which would process chromite from the Ring of Fire.

But in June, a group of Sudbury residents voiced their concerns about the smelter's proximity to drinking water.

'Thunder Bay and Sudbury have been removed from consideration'

Mayor Brian Bigger says he is disappointed by Noront's decision, but plans on continuing his work promoting Sudbury to the mining giant.

"While this was difficult news to hear, they also reinforced what we already know. That our strength in the industry is in our labour force, the cost of doing business in the community and the supply capacity of the sector," Bigger said in a news release.

Noront also announced that Thunder Bay is out of the running, leaving only Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie competing for the facility.

In a press release, the company said 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."

Construction of the $1-billion smelter is slated to begin in the next 5-10 years and employ over 350 people.