[Sudbury Laurentian’s] MIRARCO CEO pushes for Ontario mining brand – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – November 20, 2015)


Ontario mining cluster more than the sum of its parts

Vic Pakalnis, president and CEO of MIRARCO Mining Innovation in Sudbury, is urging the provincial Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to take the lead in the development of an Ontario mining brand.

“We have a very good reputation in the rest of the world,” said Pakalnis. “Our mining expertise in Ontario and Canada is really valued,” but much more needs to be done to build on the industry’s strengths.

Pakalnis hopes to influence the Ministry’s pending refresh of the Ontario Mineral Development Strategy, which is scheduled for release early next year. The submission, endorsed by Laurentian University and the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, focuses on branding, public education and awareness, research and development, the Ring of Fire and reaching out to Ontario’s First Nations.

The idea is to bring together mining companies, suppliers, manufacturers, research organizations and educational institutions, including Queen’s University in Kingston and the University of Toronto, to buy into a mining brand that portrays Ontario’s mining industry as safe, sustainable, productive and innovative.

Promoting an Ontario mining brand will help suppliers survive bad times and thrive when the industry turns around, he insists.

Ups and downs

“And it will turn around. I’ve lived through five of these downturns. I’m a mining engineer. My father is a mining engineer. My brother is a mining engineer. I was born in Northern Quebec and raised in Northern Ontario. Every time we go through a low, everybody panics and there’s this idea that we’re a sunset industry, but it’s not true.”
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