Ahead of smelter decision, Sudbury Chamber of Commerce hosts Noront CEO
‘A lot has to do with community acceptance’ Noront chair says
It will be three to four months before we know which of the four northern Ontario communities will host a proposed ferrochrome smelter.
Bids were submitted last week to Noront Resources.
Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay are all in the running to host the plant where chromite would be processed from the Ring of Fire.
Alan Coutts, the president and CEO of Noront, is expected to deliver a keynote speech in front of the Chamber of Commerce today. He told CBC News that although it's partly about the numbers, there are other factors that will influence the company's decision.
"A lot has to deal with community acceptance and knowledge and understanding," Coutts said. "Also having a skilled workforce that has familiarity with smelting and hot metal, is very helpful."
Coutts added that the ideal location will have access to transportation, and the ability to train employees at area colleges.
But the big costs will undoubtedly occupy a large part of the company's decision-making process.
"[We will] distill a capital cost and an operating cost for building the smelter at a particular site and operating it there," Coutts said. "Once we've done all that we can figure out which is the better looking bid."
The construction of the smelter is proposed to start within the next five to ten years and cost $1 billion.
About 350 permanent jobs and 150 indirect jobs would be created.
With files from Angela Gemmill