Canada’s Business News Network (BNN) Profiles the World-Class Sudbury Mining Basin – Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant, who writes extensively about mining issues.(

Toronto-based Business News Network (BNN) is a Canadian cable television specialty channel owned by CTVglobalmedia. BNN airs business and financial programming and analysis. You can’t go anywhere in Toronto’s financial district without seeing BNN broadcasting on television screens.

On September 17, 2010, BNN Anchor Reporter Andrew Bell, who hosts the very popular Commodities program visited Sudbury and broadcast four separate reports on the city’s globally significant mining sector.

The following description of the Commodities program comes from the BNN website: “From aluminum to zinc and everything in between, join BNN Tuesday through Friday for the latest insight into the hot world of commodities and the companies that produce them, including interviews with mineral and mining entrepreneurs from Canada and around the globe. Whether it’s a gold play in the Andes or a hot offshore oil prospect, BNN has you covered on commodities.”

I must confess that BNN reporter Andrew Bell did a terrific job of explaining the current status of Sudbury’s mining sector. Two key points that were highlighted are that Sudbury’s mining sector is world-class and will still be in operation for a least another hundred years and that the local mining supply and service sector has created thousands of well-paying, highly-skilled jobs that export their expertise throughout Canada and the world. A recent independent study overseen by the local Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA) demonstrated that this sector created over 23,000 jobs and generated over $5.6 billion in gross sales in 2008.

Furthermore, many of the interviews were conducted on a beautiful green location overlooking Ramsey Lake which is located about 15 minutes from downtown Sudbury, helping overcome many of the negative images Canadians still have of the Mining Capital of Canada. The lake is the source of drinking water for much of the inner city.

However, it was Andrew Bell’s enthusiasm and excitment about reporting live from Sudbury that carried the four interviews. During his trip underground at the Quadra-FNX mine, he almost came across as a “kid in a candy store.” It’s gratifying to see someone from the Toronto media so excited about Sudbury and mining.

As Andrew Bell said on his BNN blog, “A definite highlight for me was the trip 2,000 feet underground to the Podolsky Mine run by Quadra FNX Mining. There, the walls sparkle with veins of ore so rich in metals, it crumbles in your fingers. …. Sudbury has unbeatable ore and a global-scale mining support sector and expertise perhaps the best anywhere in the world, but it has another important advantage: The ability to process ore using relatively little energy and producing relatively little carbon dioxide.”

After a year of depressing news from the region, his positive reports are greatly appreciated. I hope he comes back to Sudbury soon.

Links to the four reports from Sudbury follow:

BNN looks at Sudbury’s mining history and speaks to Randi Condie, retired Inco miner.

BNN gets a tour of Quadra FNX Mining’s Sudbury operations with the company’s CEO Paul Blythe.

BNN looks at what the mines mean for Sudbury with Mayor John Rodriguez.

BNN looks at how technology will change the future of the mining industry and what the future holds for Sudbury with Greg Baiden, professor, Laurentian University School of Engineering.