The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
A provincial government program to help new or expanding companies create jobs and cut electricity rates will help move the development of KGHM International’s Victoria Mine project forward.
Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli was in Sudbury on Thursday to announce details of the two-year-old Industrial Electricity Incentive (IEI) Program and how it will benefit the mining company.
The IEI Program captures surplus electricity capacity in Ontario and “redelivers” it to the industrial and business community in the form of significant cost discounts, helping them be more competitive, said the minister.
Sudbury can “legitimately be called the mining capital of the world,” Chiarelli told a small audience. Ensuring mining companies and industry have access to a reliable and affordable source of electricity is a priority for his government.
Existing northern miners, such as Glencore and Vale, are already benefiting from the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program, which is cutting about 25% of their electricity costs.
Chiarelli said Detour Gold was able to save $10 million in a year on its electricity bill, aided by the IEI Program.
It’s expected about 300 jobs will be created at Victoria Mine when it’s in production. Getting there is a 10-year process, and the IEI Program will help in that time, said company officials.
It has been estimated the Victoria Mine site will have power needs similar to those of the towns of Hearst and Chapleau combined, said Chiarelli.
The two industrial energy programs are boosting the province’s economy, said the minister.
“Ontario is growing, it’s booming, mining is thriving, they need infrastructure,” he said.
Some of that infrastructure will be paid for by the sale of 60% of crown utility Hydro One. Premier Kathleen Wynne has said her government will get $9 billion from the partial sale of the utility, and it will be poured into the Liberals’ 10-year, $130-billion infrastructure plan.
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