Ferrochome plant means jobs aplenty for Sault: Chromite processer will be 'largest single user of power in Ontario,' says Noront executive.

AuthorHelwig, David

The average wage at the Noront Resources ferrochrome processing facility in Sault Ste. Marie will be $108,000, Stephen Flewelling, the company's chief development officer told a Sault audience.

"These are extremely well-paying jobs," Flewelling said in front of a chamber of commerce crowd, July 26.

"The average job that's created in Canada today is about $52,000. In our economic assessment for this plant, the average job is $108,000 a year."

Noront expects to have between 1,000 and 1,500 workers on site during the three years it will take to build the Sault facility, which will eventually employ more than 500 permanent staff.

"Driving the chrome ore down to Nakina, railing it from Nakina to Sault Ste. Marie, producing it in Sault Ste. Marie and sending it on a barge to the U.S. customers, we believe we can produce that ferrochrome for about 60 cents a pound, doing all that work," Flewelling said.

With the late July price for ferrochrome on the U.S. market at $1.40, that would produce annual revenue of almost $1 billion Canadian.

And that's just the first step of Noront's plan, using a Sault workforce of 300 to 400 workers.

The company wants to eventually double its production as the market allows.

"You can see an outstanding multi-billion-dollar business per year, for a hundred years," Flewelling said.

In May, Noront chose Sault Ste. Marie as the future home of its ferrochrome processing facility, over Timmins, North Bay and Sudbury.

The Sault facility will process ore from the Ring of Fire metals camp in Ontario's James Bay Lowlands.

Chrome is used in every piece of stainless steel produced in the world, but no chrome is made in North America.

"In fact, there is only one other small chrome producer in North and South America, so all the chrome that's supplied for the U.S. stainless business comes from primarily either...

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