This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
Ontario Mining Association President Chris Hodgson presented a positive vision for the future of mining in Ontario at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce President’s Series Luncheon event today. Sharing the podium with Mr. Hodgson was Pierre Gratton, President of the Mining Association of Canada.
A sell-out crowd of about 200 attended the gathering, which was held at Bryston’s On The Park in Copper Cliff. Mr. Hodgson’s remarks were based on the OMA document “Action Plan for Ontario: Taking Advantage of a Critical Window of Opportunity,” which is available on the OMA website www.oma.on.ca.
This vision sees mining helping all Ontarians achieve greater prosperity and a greener economy with more concerted government support and a deliberate strategy. Increasingly rapid globalization and urbanization have analysts around the world anticipating unprecedented commodity demand in the next two decades. For a jurisdiction like Ontario with an enviable geological endowment, this is a call to action.
“The next 20 years present a window of opportunity for a jurisdiction with the geology, environmental protections, the safety record and the government policies to build a deliberate and well planned strategy for new mines,” said Mr. Hodgson. “Building on our global reputation in mining and our desire to be leaders in the green economy, Ontario’s natural resource potential can be turned into sustainable wealth.”
“The world needs the products of mining. Mines will be built and operated. What better place to mine than Ontario, with its responsible environmental protection, world class safety record and desire to participate in new and emerging technologies,” added Mr. Hodgson. “The existing 20-year window of opportunity can be spent of permitting and approvals, or it can be spent opening mines. Our environmental and safety record will not be placed in jeopardy by compressing development timelines and aligning interests to ensure the province, industry and community all benefit.”
“I am not exaggerating when I say, if we do things right, mining literally can dig Ontario out of debt,” said Mr. Hodgson. “Analysts around the world tell us that the next 20 years will see unprecedented demand for commodities – for commodities we can produce in Ontario.”
Global construction according to Oxford Economics is expected to grow by 70% from $7.2 trillion this year to $12 trillion by 2020. China alone is estimated to be building three Toronto size cities every year until 2020. China along with India and the United States are expected to generate half that increase in annual construction spending
Mr. Gratton spoke about similar themes during his presentation but on a national scale. Approximately $130 billion in mining related projects are proposed in Canada over the coming years, said Mr. Gratton. “Multi-billion dollar investments are planned in virtually every province and territory in Canada.”
The value of the mining supply and services sector in Northern Ontario is $5.6 billion annually, with the sector employing about 23,000 people.
In Sudbury, the mine supply and service sector employs about 13,800 people and has an annual value of $3.94 billion.