NEW YORK Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. has yet to resume
discussions with the government of Ontario over the funding of
infrastructure for its proposed Black Thor chromite project,
the company said April 25.
The Cleveland-based company has nearly completed its internal
evaluations regarding the project, but it can not complete a
feasibility study until it restarts negotiations with the
provincial government, chairman, chief executive and president
Joseph Carrabba said on an April 25 conference call.
We will not approve any significant investment capital or
major construction activity until key elements supporting
economic viability are resolved, he said. This is
an extraordinary project opportunity that (will) require the
support of First Nations, government and others to
The company said that it has already invested $3 million in
various programs to help build positive relationships with
First Nation communities, with $60 million having been
allocated over 2013 for the completion of a Black Thor
Carrabba again said the delay is most likely due to the recent
change in the provincial government, with Cliffs having signed
a term sheet agreement with the previous administration in May
2012. In no way (have we) seen at this point in time a
backing away from the term sheet, Carrabba said.
Its getting the definitive agreements in place with
the new group of cabinet ministers. Weve got a lag right
now while the government gets reorganized, but they seem to
still be very positive on this project, and its not a
The government of Ontarios Minister of Northern
Development and Mines Michael Gravelle told AMM
while the government is in a transition period it is committed
to developing the region. This is a complex undertaking
and we want to make sure we get it right. Ontario is committed
to seeing mineral development in the Ring of Fire.
Gravelle said in an emailed statement.
The company does not have a projected start-up date for the
project, having twice revised its initial forecast of 2015 (
amm.com, Oct. 26
). The mine is expected to produce
about 1.1 million tonnes of chrome ore and 560,000 tonnes of
high-carbon ferrochrome annually.