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 member Noront Resources was singled out as a bright spot on the future economic development horizon by the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity. The organization’s recently released twelfth annual report “Course Correction: Charting a new road map for Ontario” offers several suggestions to accelerate stagnant growth.
The report notes that “Ontario’s GDP ranked a dismal 14th out 16 North American peers (similar jurisdictions in Canada and the United States). This ranking is unchanged from when the Task Force first began measuring Ontario’s economic progress more than a decade ago.”
“The Task Force urges the province to follow our road map to close the prosperity gap,” said Roger Martin, Chairman of the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress. “Without improvements to productivity and investments in future prosperity, the province will continue to fall behind its peers.”
On the plus side, it noted that “Northwestern Ontario is on the cusp of major development as the discovery of new mineral deposits promises to bring significant job and business growth to the region. Yet government must work decisively and quickly to ensure the region has the labour supply and infrastructure necessary to proceed with planned projects.”
The report describes the Ring of Fire, located approximately 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, as being capable of generating $20 to $30 billion in GDP over the next 30 years and employment growth of more than 13,000 jobs. . . . These projects will be expensive, but will act as a key investment into the province’s future prosperity.”
Within the write up on the Ring of Fire, Noront is highlighted significantly. “Noront is a business that should be emulated across Northwestern Ontario,” said the report. “Noront is taking its corporate social responsibility seriously and is devoting substantial capital and time to investing in local talent and preserving the natural habitat.”
“Noront (which has been working in the Ring of Fire region since 2007) has invested more than $150 million in exploration and plans to proceed to development with its Eagle’s Nest project within the next five years,” said the report. “Noront is a commendable industry player for many reasons.”
The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity is an independent not-for-profit organization, which was established in 2001. It functions as the research arm of the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress, which was created by the provincial government in 2001.
Noront Resources is focused on developing the high-grade Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposit, the exploration and development of the Blackbird chromite discovery and regional exploration for additional deposits. The company holds a large land position in the Ring of Fire, an emerging multi-metals camp located in the James Bay Lowlands.
While the annual report notes that Ontario is not necessarily a natural resource focused province, with less of proportionate GDP coming from mining than other provinces, it sees mineral development in the Ring of Fire region with huge potential. A tip of the hat to Noront for the Task Force singling it out as “a leader in responsible, sustainable mining development.”