Ontario’s mining industry is making all the right moves to be more sustainable, more efficient and more profitable. But more can still be done, according to Chris Hodgson, president of the Ontario Mining Association.
Hodgson was guest speaker Wednesday at a Timmins Chamber of Commerce luncheon where he talked about the efforts the mining industry is taking to stay current with energy needs, environmental demands and workplace safety.
He said mining continues to be one the engines that still drives the Ontario economy and contributes to Ontario’s economic growth. “What has changed in Ontario in the last 10 years is that gold is now a larger contributor than nickel and copper. That’s new and it is a combination of the price of the commodities and the number of new discoveries of gold and the new investments around gold,” said Hodgson.
He added that because mineral prices are set on the world market, Ontario has little influence except to take steps to keep its production costs reasonable in the global market.
ENERGY PRICES STILL TOO HIGH
Hodgson said the energy issue is a major concern because Ontario now produces a surplus of electricity because the province has so lost so much in the manufacturing sector. But the cost is still too high he said.
He said the average cost of electricity for mining in Ontario, even with the special Northern discount rates, is at $75 per megawatt.
“If it wasn’t for the low dollar, we would have really been in serious trouble with those prices,” said Hodgson.
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