Cliffs Natural Resources to Halt Development of Chromite Project Indefinitely
The company determined that it will not allocate additional capital for the project given the uncertain timeline and risks associated with the development of necessary infrastructure to bring this project online. In June of this year, Cliffs suspended the environmental assessment activities because of pending issues impeding the progress of the project.
"We continue to believe in the value of the mineral deposits and the potential of the Ring of Fire region for Northern Ontario. As we've assessed the current challenges in the region and the costs to continue on the current path, we decided to suspend the Chromite Project indefinitely," said Bill Boor, senior vice president, strategy & business development. "Unfortunately, we will reduce the project team staffing and close our Thunder Bay and Toronto offices as well as the exploration camp site. We understand this is a hardship for our employees and their families. During this transition, we will be working with this talented team of professionals to explore other opportunities at Cliffs."
The company stated that the technical project work including feasibility study, development and exploration activities are being halted and there is no restart date planned. Cliffs will continue its work with the Government of Ontario, First Nation communities and other interested parties to explore potential solutions related to the critical issue of infrastructure for the Ring of Fire region. The EA activities will remain suspended. The company is supportive of the Province's intention to form a Development Corporation structure for the financing and development of infrastructure, and intends to participate in future discussions.
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is an international mining and natural resources company. A member of the S&P 500 Index, the company is a major global iron ore producer and a significant producer of high- and low-volatile metallurgical coal. Cliffs' strategy is to continually achieve greater scale and diversification in the mining industry through a focus on serving the world's largest and fastest growing steel markets. Driven by the core values of social, environmental and capital stewardship, Cliffs associates across the globe endeavor to provide all stakeholders operating and financial transparency.
The company is organized through a global commercial group responsible for sales and delivery of Cliffs' products and a global operations group responsible for the production of the minerals the company markets. Cliffs operates iron ore and coal mines in North America and an iron ore mining complex in Western Australia.