Residents Seek Answers at NorOnt Open House


Saulites were invited to Noront Resources first open house last evening to voice concerns or ask questions about building the smelter in our city.

Concerns have been focused mostly on health and environmental effects. Company officials indicated their continued intent to build the smelter in Sault Ste Marie, despite the fact that the mayor of Timmins re-stated that he believes the smelter will end up in his city. Among several inquiries, concerns were presented from the indigenous community.


  1. The way of the future to get horrible things approved. Pay off the people that would normally put a stop to them. Take your poison plant to Timmins or elsewhere as Sault Ste. Marie has too much poison in the air ground and water already with cancer and respiratory disease through the roof. Find an industry that doesn’t involve poisoning the residents.


    The open house was a disappointing affair. It was basically a marketing/PR event. The room was very small, very noisy with a few tables manned by spokespeople. Some take-aways.

    1) The Noront CEO said they don’t have a plant design yet so they don’t know what chromium emissions would be because they need a site confirmed before they can do the design. Another spokesperson added that, even then, they won’t know what the emissions will be until after the FPP is up and running. But he promised that they would be “minimal”.

    2) When asked about safety (environmental/public health), the Noront CEO used a lot of vague terms like “safe,” “minute amounts,” “almost no emissions from the stack”….when challenged on this, he said, “I can’t answer that because we don’t have a design.” So without a design, without an answer to those questions, how can we possibly make an evidence-based decision to move this ahead? They are asking us to make a huge leap of faith…where is the evidence to justify that kind of confidence in this proposal ?

    3) Another spokesperson at the open house said the FPP would be just the same as how Cliffs had been doing it in Capreol except that they would be doing it differently. Just the same but differently.

    4) The Noront spokesman at the city council meeting said that the proposed ferro-chrome production plant (FPP) will less about brand new technologies but more an amalgamation of existing technologies. He referred to the New Caledonia ferro-nickel plant (built by Hatch Engineering) several times. That plant has features which apparently will be incorporated in the proposed FPP. That plant has had at least 2 significant spills of molten ferro-nickel, in 2014 (500 molten tonnes)and on June 24 this year (10 molten tonnes – see accompanying article)
    Glencore’s Koniambo nickel plant reopens after early morning blockade | Metal
    Koniambo Nickel SAS, 49%-owned by commodity firm Glencore, has reopened after being subject to a blockade by protesters at its New Caledonia nickel plant at 3.30am local time on Wednesday July 10.…/Glencores-Koniambo-nickel-p…
    A Hatch representative at the open house was was asked directly about these spills. Despite saying that he had personally worked on the New Caledonia plant, he denied any knowledge of the spills. An example of selective amnesia.

    5) Noront revealed their link to the Missanabie Cree. They did the classic move – they hired Glen Nolan, former chief of the Missanabie Cree First Nation. He’s on the Noront payroll now. They don’t have endorsement from the MCFN – they are trying to get it by hiring one of their past leaders. This is the same maneuver that Enbridge just did in Michigan. They hired Desmond Berry, who had been Environmental Director for the Grand Traverse Band, same as Kathleen Brosemer’s position with the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Desmond and Kathleen had worked together to oppose the pipeline and try to get it shut down. Now he’s being paid by Enbridge to be a “tribal liaison”. Classic strategy. A claim was made earlier this year that the Batchewana and Garden River First Nation bands had approved the Noront proposal. This was denied by Chief Dean Sayers in May of this year. The Soo Tribe of Chippewa Indians formally declared their opposition to the FPP several weeks ago.

Comments are closed.