Cliffs plays political waiting game – Northern Ontario Business – 22 February 2013

Bill Boor, Cliffs Natural Resources president of ferroalloys.
Bill Boor, Cliffs Natural Resources president of ferroalloys.
Cliffs Natural Resources could scale back its spending in the Ring of Fire if “uncertainties” associated with its chromite mine project in the James Bay lowlands aren’t ironed out with Queen’s Park.With provincial negotiations in a stalemate, the Cleveland-based miner is re-evaluating this year’s budget to advance its $3.3-billion Black Thor chromite project.

The company has set aside $60 million to complete its feasibility study of its proposed open pit mine, roughly 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. Read more

Clement takes charge in Ring of Fire – Northern Ontario Business – 19 Feb. 2013

Big Daddy Deposit
Big Daddy Deposit
Tony Clement came to Thunder Bay with a take-charge attitude on the Ring of Fire.“It’s time to push the refresh button on this opportunity,” said the FedNor and federal Treasury Board president during a speech to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, Feb. 19.Calling the Far North exploration camp “a generational opportunity,” Clement said he’s been instructed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to “coordinate and lead our government’s engagement on this file.”

Clement said the potential to mine in this remote region could go on for “several decades” and the ripple effect from the mineral wealth will be felt beyond Ontario.

“There is a lot at stake and we cannot afford to allow this development to stall and become mired in paralysis and uncertainty.” Read more

Update: Cliffs Amended TOR formally submitted to MOE – Also

As you may be aware, Cliffs is currently undertaking an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Cliffs Chromite Project.  A number of studies and reports are required as part of the Environmental Assessment process.  One of these documents is the Terms of Reference (ToR), which specifies the studies to be conducted and the information to be provided by Cliffs as part of the EA to meet the requirements of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.  A Record of Consultation accompanies the ToR to provide documentation of communications and engagement activities with interested parties.

Cliffs has now formally submitted the Final Amended ToR and Amended Record of Consultation for the Individual Environmental Assessment of the Project to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). This initiates the Ministry review period, after which a decision on the Final Amended Terms of Reference will be made by the Minister.

Cliffs Chromite Project – Cliffs’ Response to Vermilion River Stewardship – 2013-01-29

Cliff’s Response to VRS regarding our comments on the Amended Terms of Reference:

This letter is to inform you that Cliffs Natural Resources, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, intends to develop the Black Thor deposit in the McFaulds Lake Area in Northern Ontario.   The Cliffs Chromite Projects (Project) consists of extracting and processing chromite ore, exclusively from the Black Thor deposit with incidental contact along the adjacent Black Label deposit, and transporting the concentrate to a Ferrochrome Production Facility (FPF).  The proposed undertaking includes the construction, operation and retirement of the following four project components……..


Vermillion River to use grant funds for water quality testing

OTFHORIZcolourBy Jonathan Migneault, The Sudbury Star

In a rare occurrence, the Vermillion River Stewardship received all $103,000 it had asked for from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to fund a research project that will sample the water quality of the Vermillion River over a two-year period.

Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas, who has been a strong supporter for more testing of the Vermillion River, said it was the first time she has seen the Ontario Trillium Foundation hand out the full amount requested by a non-profit organization.

The grant will allow Vermillion River Stewardship to pay two technicians from Conservation Sudbury, who will work with a volunteer to test and analyze the full length of the river. Read more



“As a result of the valuable input received from Aboriginal communities, regulatory agencies, the public and other interested and potentially affected stakeholders, Cliffs has elected to amend the July 2012 ToR.  Please note that the amendment does not change the purpose or intent of the July 2012 ToR, but is intended to clarify some issues identified during the review period and provide additional information where warranted. Should you wish to see the amended ToR, it is available on Cliffs’ Project website at:  cliffsnaturalresources. com.”

Federal agencies raise flag over Ring of Fire

Environment Canada and Canadian Wildlife Service urge caution in assessing chromite project

Posted: Feb 21, 2012 8:39 AM ET – Last Updated: Feb 23, 2012 7:01 AM ET

Cliffs Natural Resoures Black Thor chromite mine project is set in the Ring of Fire region in northern Ontario.

Cliffs Natural Resoures Black Thor chromite mine project is set in the Ring of Fire region in northern Ontario.

CBC News has learned two federal agencies want a more thorough review of the environmental impacts of chromium mining in the Ring of Fire. Read more

Cliffs considers Vermilion river for smelter’s water supply

Other industrial development planned for Vermilion as well

CBC News Posted: Nov 19, 2012 10:52 AM ET


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1-VRS - Above CliffsCliffs Natural Resources says it’s evaluating a number of water sources, including the Vermilion River, for its proposed ferrochrome smelter in Capreol in Sudbury — and that has the local stewardship committee concerned.

Vermilion River Stewardship chair Linda Heron said the river can’t take any more development.

“For years the water levels have been going lower and lower, so we question what we can afford to lose additionally out of the river,” she said.

There are already five proposals for hydro-electric dams that could end up on the Vermilion River, in addition to the Cliffs project. Xeneca has four proposed Hydro electric dams on the Vermilion River, and Water Power Group plans to put a hydroelectric dam in Capreol.

Operating within watershed

Jason Aagenes, director of Environmental Affairs with Cliffs, said an environmental assessment will determine the effect of operating within the Vermilion River watershed, especially during extended low-flow river conditions.

“Water intake from rivers will be governed by only allowing a small percentage of withdrawal from historical low flow river conditions,” he said in an e-mailed statement.

The environmental assessment will also determine the impact of the project on downstream users.

Heron said she hopes the province will carefully consider the impact Cliffs’ smelter will have on the river.

“This development will be in a watershed, and they will be right next to the Vermillion River,” she said. “So whatever happens there will flow down to us.”

Cliffs is also eyeing the Roberts River, as well as water in nearby pits, site surface water run-off, and alternative groundwater sources for its Capreol ferrochrome production facility.