TIMMINS – The Ontario Government is working hard to make energy rates competitive for the Northern Ontario mining industry but they’re still not able to compete with the low electricity prices offered in Manitoba and Quebec.
Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli was speaking about that to the Timmins Chamber of Commerce on Thursday as he announced that two Northern mining companies are taking part in the Industrial Electricity Incentive (IEI) program.
Chiarelli announced that Alamos Gold Inc. which operates the Young-Davidson Mine at Matachewan and St. Andrews Goldfields Ltd., which operates near Matheson, are both signed up with the IEI Stream-3 program which provides for adjustable hydro rates.
“It helps businesses manage the bottom line by offering sharply discounted electricity rates for job-creating new companies coming into Ontario, or existing companies which expand,” Chiarelli explained.
By way of example, Chiarelli was joined by Luc Guimond, general manager at the Alamos property (formerly AuRico) in Matachewan.
“I would like to thank Mr. Chiarelli and the government of Ontario for implementing this program and keeping Northern Ontario mines cost competitive within the global market,” Guimond told the gathering.
He said the Young-Davidson operation is a low-grade but high-volume mine and the plan is to expand underground production from 6,000 tonnes per day (TPD) to 8,000.
“In order to continue to run that plant at full capacity we actually have to be able to expand our underground capacity,” said Guimond. “So this is a welcome addition with regards to the IEI program.”
Guimond said the big draws for electricity include the mine ventilation system, hoisting operations and pumping to continue to keep the mine de-watered.
“The expansion itself will create about 75 jobs, primarily related to the underground activities. It will add development miners, production miners as well as some of the support groups like mobile mechanics, millwrights and electricians to be able to service the increased expansion,” he said.
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