Historic opportunities for industry in Ring of Fire
Northern Ontario Construction News staff writer
Discoveries of zinc, copper and chromite in northern Ontario and the potential in the region now known as the Ring of Fire have been described as historic and point to a bright future for Ontario’s mining industry.
“It is home to one of the most promising mineral development opportunities in Ontario in more than a century,” said Northern Development, Mines and Forestry Minister Michael Gravelle.
The Ontario Mining Association (OMA), supports the industry as one of Canada’s longest-established trade associations, tracing its roots to 1920.
In its recent economic report, the OMA says Ontario mining produces revenues of about $10 billion per year with 75 per cent of mineral output exported to markets in the United States, Europe and Asia, making the industry a key contributor to improving Ontario’s international balance of trade.
“The impact of mining goes beyond mineral extraction and processing,” says the OMA website. “Mining is linked to many other industries and sectors in the economy, including transportation, construction, equipment manufacturing, environmental management, geological services, education and research, among others.”
The website also references a University of Toronto study, commissioned by the OMA, which shows that the benefits from opening just one representative base metal new mine include millions of dollars of tax revenue for government and the creation of a number of highly skilled, high-paying jobs.
“These benefits are shown to be worth: $277.8 million/annum in direct, indirect and induced benefits, 2,280 employment-years of direct, indirect and induced opportunities and $83.8 million in taxes to all levels of government each year. The construction and building phase of one mine has the potential to increase GDP by $130 million and to offer 1,959 employment opportunities. Further economic gains can also be made through the construction of infrastructure to support the opening, operation, closing and rehabilitation of the mine.”
These figures are scalable, the OMA says.