Sault Ste. Marie has been selected by Noront Resources Ltd. as the host location for a Ferrochrome Production Facility (FPF).
The city’s submission was based on comprehensive research and analysis by the Sault Ste. Marie FPF project team, in consultation with sector experts. It focused on competitive advantages such as: location, logistics, industrial workforce, infrastructure and the community, and was aided by a great partner in Algoma Steel, along with operating and capital costs that were attractive to Noront.
“This establishes what we know to be true: Sault Ste. Marie is a great place to do business,” said Mayor Christian Provenzano. “I want to recognize the efforts of the FPF project team, the support of the executive leadership at Algoma Steel, and the support of MP Sheehan, MPP Romano, Chief Sayers of Batchewana First Nation and Chief Syrette of Garden River First Nation. I also want to ensure our community and our Indigenous partners that we are committed to substantial community consultation and engagement as we move forward.”
“Sault Ste. Marie was selected based on its environmental and site suitability, capital and operating costs and an assessment of community acceptance for hosting the facility,” said Alan Coutts, President and CEO of Noront Resources. “We anticipate a lengthy and comprehensive environmental permitting process for our ferrochrome production facility, which will allow us to engage in a fulsome way with the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie and other stakeholders including environmental groups and First Nations.”
Once operational, it is expected the FPF will employ between 300 and 500 people directly, along with more than 1,000 indirectly through suppliers and other businesses. Noront plans to locate the FPF on Algoma Steel property, and the company is currently in the process of finalizing a land agreement with the steelmaker.
Moving forward, key steps include environmental and feasibility assessments, along with community consultation and engagement. Following completion of the aforementioned, project design will be initiated and technical approvals sought, leading to tendering for construction.
This work will lead to construction of the FPF, which is expected to begin in mid-2025. It will take approximately three years to build, at an estimated cost of approximately $1 billion. The timeline is dependent on the development of road infrastructure to the Ring of Fire.
“The project team has developed a great relationship with Noront and its management team, and we are looking forward to continue working with them,” said project lead Dan Hollingsworth, Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “In particular, it will be important to educate and engage with the community regarding this project and the current technological process involved in a modern Ferrochrome Production Facility, and I know Noront is committed to work with us in this regard.”
Noront Resources, a Canadian-based mining firm, is planning to build a FPF in Northern Ontario that would produce ferrochrome, a key ingredient in stainless steel. Sault Ste. Marie was originally shortlisted in November 2017 as one of four potential locations. Mayor Provenzano, along with the project team, presented the city’s submission to Noront in February 2018. Sault Ste. Marie was selected in July 2018 as one of the two communities moving forward to the next stage and, in May 2019, was chosen as the host location for the FPF.