Sudbury ready to cash in [on mining investments] – by Carol Mulligan

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

“If we do the right things, mining can literally help
dig Ontario out of its debt.” (Chris Hodgson, President
and CEO Ontario Mining Association)

Sudbury is well-positioned to benefit from that mining
boom because it has the largest integrated mining complex
in the world and one of the largest nickel-copper
sulphide bodies. (Pierre Gratton, President and CEO,
Mining Association of Canada)

Sudbury stands to benefit from investments in mining operations to the tune of about $5.2 billion in the next five years. That’s a healthy percentage of the $136.4 billion in capital expected to be invested in mining projects throughout Canada from 2012 to 2017.

All of those billions will go into mining projects already in existence, says the president and chief executive officer of the Mining Association of Canada.

That doesn’t include private and public money that may be invested in projects to develop, mine, smelt and transport chromite from the Ring of Fire in northwestern Ontario.

Pierre Gratton was one of two guests who spoke to the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce on Thursday about how the city can benefit from the current up cycle in the metals industry.

China will continue to be a mineral price driver as its econo my continues to grow at double-digit rates. That demand is long-term, with expectations its growth will still be in the 6% to 9% range from 2020-2025.

As well as construction, demand for metals will be driven by people trying to catch up with North Americans in ownership of automobiles and personal computers.

In the U.S., 76 out of 100 people own an automobile and 76 of 100 own a computer. That compares with 10 in 100 Chinese people owning cars and four in 100 owning a computer.

The Mining Association of Canada predicts as much minerals and metals will be consumed worldwide in the next 25 years as in all of history to date.

“Everything the world needs can pretty much be found in Canada,” said Gratton, much of it in Sudbury.

As well as having the ore the world wants, Canada has the brainpower and expertise to show the world how to turn metals into products, he said.
Information from the association shows how those billions in capital expenditures will be invested in five years.

In Sudbury, Vale will spend $3.4 billion on environmental emission upgrades, $360 million to bring Totten Mine into production and $200 million to upgrade Clarabelle Mill.

Xstrata Nickel will invest $920 million in its Nickel Rim South Mine and $119 million in the Fraser Morgan project.

Quadra FNX is looking to spend $200 million on Sudbury- area expansion.

Gratton had other big numbers to throw around about how mining contributes to the Canadian economy.

About 300,000 employees work in the industry earning wages 30-60% higher than other sectors.

The industry paid $8.4 billion in taxes and royalties to governments in 2010.

That was up 65% from the previous year.

The mining industry is also the largest private employer of aboriginal people, Gratton told the chamber.

Sudbury is well-positioned to benefit from that mining boom because it has the largest integrated mining complex in the world and one of the largest nickel-copper sulphide bodies.

As well as being home to major multinational and domestic mining companies, it offers world-class mining education at Laurentian University, Cambrian College and College Boreal and has three mining research centres.

Sudbury’s mining supply and service sector also stands to make millions, particularly if Sudburians become “strong advocates” for how mining benefits the world, Gratton told The Star after his presentation.

“So make your voice louder. Take advantage of the opportunities that are going to come if you’re in the supply and service sector,” he said.

“Make yourselves … the place that when (they’re) developing a mine north of Saskatoon, they come to Sudbury for some of the supplies and services. Or if they’re in New Brunwick, that they come to Sudbury,” said Gratton.

Not every community has “the kind of (mining) cluster that you have here,” said Gratton.

Chris Hodgson, president and CEO of the Mining Association of Ontario, is a former Northern Development and Mines minister and Natural Resources minister in the Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris.

For the rest of this artilce, please go to the Sudbury Star website: