Sault Ste. Marie Chosen for Ring of Fire Ferrochrome Smelter

Sault Ste. Marie's set to cash in on the Ring of Fire - but not for a few years.

Citing competitive advantages such as location, logistics, industrial workforce, infrastructure, a "great partner in Algoma Steel", and "attractive" operating and capital costs, Noront Resources says it's selected the Sault to host for a Ferrochrome Production Facility that would process chromite from the major deposit in Northwestern Ontario.

The facility's expected to employ 300 to 500 people directly and more than 1000 more indirectly through suppliers and other businesses.

Plans are for the facility to be located on Algoma Steel property - subject to a land agreement Noront says it's in the process of finalizing - though it'll also need to complete environmental and feasibility assessments, community consultation and engagement, and technical approvals before construction can be tendered - Noront expects construction to begin in mid-2025 and take about three years, costing about $1-billion.

That timeline also depends on the development of road infrastructure to the Ring of Fire.

Premier Doug Ford's touting the announcement as a show of how his PC government's made northern Ontario "open for business and open for jobs", thanking Energy, Northern Development and Mines Minister Greg Rickford and Rickford's Parliamentary Assistant, Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano.

Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano highlights the efforts of the "FPF project team", and support of Romano and Liberal MP Terry Sheehan, the chiefs of the Batchewana and Garden River First Nations, and the executive leadership of Algoma Steel.