Noront Resources Considers Thunder Bay for Ferrochrome Processing Facility

Thursday July 20, 2017 – Noront Resources LTD. delivered a presentation on their plans to construct a ferrochrome processing facility (FPF) in Northern Ontario. Alan Coutts, Noront CEO and President, and Stephen Flewelling, Chief Development Officer, spoke to a group of community leaders and representatives from regional mining service and supply companies, Aboriginal and Indigenous groups, and all levels of government. The event was organized by the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) in partnership with Fort William First Nation Economic Development Corporation.

Noront outlined key factors such as power and rail infrastructure, access to US markets (seaway connectivity), a skilled workforce, appropriate site availability, and community support that are required for the construction and ongoing operation of the FPF. Movement of materials and transportation was also identified as a key factor, something Thunder Bay CEDC feels is one of Thunder Bay’s strengths. Noront will require a brownfield site of at least 250 acres, of which Thunder Bay/Fort William First Nation has several options.

John Mason, Project Manager – Mining Services for Thunder Bay CEDC, indicated that the information provided by Noront will help the CEDC and FWFN Economic Development Corporation work strategically to make the best case for Thunder Bay to be the selected location.

“The information we received from the presentation is ultimately going to shape our drive to be Noront’s top choice for the location of this facility,” said John Mason. “Such a facility would give Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation a significant economic boost.”

“The economic benefits and spin off to our region and First Nation would be huge,” continues Michael Pelletier Sr., Director of Economic Development, Fort William First Nation Economic Development Corporation. “The amount of jobs that would be created for the construction and operation of a ferrochrome processor will greatly benefit the communities involved.”

The FPF presentation was followed by a brief update on Noront’s massive Ring of Fire deposits. Progress on these deposits is predicated on the development of transportation access, which currently does not exist.

“Noront has made it clear that their nickel, copper, and chromite deposits cannot be mined until access is created,” said John Mason. “Road or rail infrastructure is needed before anything happens.”

An alloy made from chromium, ferrochrome is a crucial component in the production of stainless steel, a commodity growing at 5% annually. There is currently no ferrochrome production in North America – US stainless steel companies must import 500,000 tons per year.

Thunder Bay/Fort William First Nation is one of four Northern Ontario communities Noront is considering for the processing facility. Similar presentations are scheduled to be delivered to the communities of Sault Ste Marie, Timmins, and Sudbury.

It is expected that a decision will be made later this year.


Contact: John Mason, Project Manager – Mining Services, Thunder Bay CEDC,  Direct (807) 625-2480, Mobile (807)620-3836,

About CEDC: The CEDC is responsible for business development, retention and expansion, entrepreneurial support, opportunity promotion, and the collection and assessment of key business data. The CEDC receives formal proposals for projects that will contribute to economic development. It responds quickly to new opportunities and initiatives to attract direct financial involvement from the government and private sectors. For more information, visit

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