Stainless steel production good fit for north: MPP

The MPP for Timmins-James Bay continues to push for stainless steel production from future development in the Ring of Fire mineral region.

Gilles Bisson says Ring of Fire deposit has all the makings to get into stainless steel production

The Ring of Fire mining area in Ontario's James Bay Lowlands (CBC)

The MPP for Timmins-James Bay continues to push for stainless steel production from future development in the Ring of Fire mineral region.

Gilles Bisson said he's been in talks with another northern MPP and with industry. All agree stainless steel is an obvious fit for the region," he said.

"We have all of the makings in the Ring of Fire in order for us to get into stainless steel," he said.

"Stainless steel is made up what? Chromite. It's made up of iron ore, it's made up of nickel, all of which is in the Ring of Fire."

Bisson also said the north could have a production advantage because those raw materials would be close to a potential processing plant.

He noted Canada is the only G8 country in the world that doesn't make stainless steel and that Ontario's energy policy should be overhauled to make stainless steel production more attractive to the private sector.

"There's not hardly a jurisdiction in the world that has that advantage of … [having] everything nearby," Bisson said. "We can bring it to one spot; we can melt it down once [and] save half the energy costs."

Cliffs Natural Resources is one of the major players exploring the Ring of Fire mineral region in the James Bay Lowlands. It plans to build a chromite smelter in Sudbury for some of what it mines.

But the company also plans to ship material overseas for processing.