Thunder Bay

Environmental group relieved Thunder Bay out of running for smelter

An environmental group in Thunder Bay, Ont., is relieved the city is out of the running for a proposed ferrochrome processing facility.

Noront Resources made the announcement last week

Paul Berger is a member of Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet in Thunder Bay, Ont.

An environmental group in Thunder Bay, Ont., is relieved the city is out of the running for a proposed ferrochrome processing facility.

Noront Resources announced on Friday that the Lakehead, along with Sudbury, are no longer being considered to host its ferrochrome smelter. The facility would process ore mined in the Ring of Fire.

"We're really happy that the company itself came to the determination that putting the plant right beside a bunch of water wasn't a great idea," said Paul Berger, who is a member of CUSP, or Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet.

"Certainly from our point of view, putting it right beside a really built-up residential area probably wasn't a really good idea either."

Noront, with help from Thunder Bay's Community Economic Development Commission, had proposed locating the plant on Mission Island. The company noted the proximity to water, along with expensive access to infrastructure, was a reason to not build the plant in Thunder Bay.

Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie are both still in the running to host it. A decision on where the facility will be built is expected later this year.

"It's kind of a relief for us," Berger said.  "We don't have to think of it as being right in our backyard, and we're expecting the people in other backyards will be very cognizant of what's going on as well and able to decide if it's right for them."

About the Author

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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