Noront Resources won't be building its $1B Ferrochrome plant in Sudbury or Thunder Bay

The four cities vying for Noront Resources' Ferrochrome Production Facility has been reduced to just two candidates: Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie.

On Friday Noront outlined reasons for dropping Thunder Bay and Sudbury from the list.

Noront says the Sudbury proposal had the lowest operating cost, but there were significant capital costs such as site preparation earthworks and reestablishment of critical infrastructure. It also faced strong opposition from the local community.

"Thunder Bay, on the other hand had strong community support, including that of Fort William First Nation; however, the presence of a water body transecting the property reduced the environmental acceptability of the site and costly power infrastructure needs created a further issue," writes the company in a news release.

The $1 billion construction project is expected to create 350 jobs. Noront expects the site to be selected this year.

"The next and final phase of the site selection process is now underway. It includes substantial negotiation of commercial use terms with the owners of the two favoured sites. Noront expects this stage of definition to be concluded in the fourth quarter of 2018."

Creative Commons image of Sudbury courtesy of Wikimedia.