Cliffs Natural Resources is a U.S. based company that specializes in mining iron ore. The focus of Cliff’s efforts in Canada was to develop the Black Thor chromite mine, the largest known deposit of chromite ore in North America. The mine is located near McFaulds Lake in the Ring of Fire, on the edges of the James Bay Lowlands, 150 km west of the DeBeers Victor diamond mine. This was known as the Cliffs Chromite Project and was comprised of four components— the mine site located near McFaulds Lake; an ore-processing facility at McFaulds Lake; an integrated transportation system; and a Ferrochrome Production Facility (FPF). The proposed Ferrochrome Production Facility was situated in the City of Greater Sudbury approximately 20 km north-west of Capreol.
TULLOCH Engineering was retained in 2012/2013 to provide survey services for the Cliffs Chromite Project, and to provide topographic data to supplement the existing aerial LiDAR data for the design of the Ferrochrome Production Facility. Additionally, bathymetric surveys were required for the existing tailings ponds and the bed of the Vermillion River in two specific locations.
Details of the scope of work were as follows:
- Establish project control
- Topographic surveys of 9.6 km of roadway; 3.8 km of railway and the Milnet community site
- Topographic surveys of all existing dams and waste rock piles
- Bathymetric survey of tailings ponds and Vermillion River
In 2015, Cliff’s sold their Ring of Fire assets of the chromite deposit to Noront Resources who retains them to date, and is in the process of developing the property.