The provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador plans to kick-start the province’s mining sector through envisioning five new mines, revamping decades-old legislation and creating 1,400 jobs by 2030. Julian Turner reports on the drive to put this far-flung corner of Canada on the mining map.
The province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) is renowned for its fishing industry, the rugged, uncompromising beauty of its coastline and weather, its unique dialect and the warmth of its people, all of it immortalised in E. Annie Proulx’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Shipping News.
Less well publicised is that the most easterly province of Canada is home to a sporadic mining sector. Ground was broken on the first mine in the small town of Tilt Cove in 1864 and more than 150 years later a total of 11 mines produce 14 separate commodities, including iron ore, nickel, copper, cobalt and gold, while the industry in NL directly employs 4,800 people.
Mining and quarrying contributed 6.4% of the province’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 and C$90m in taxes in 2017/18; the estimated gross value of mineral shipments in 2018 was C$3bn.
With one eye on the region’s mining heritage, the provincial government has launched Mining the Future 2030, an ambitious programme aimed at rejuvenating NL’s resource industry, encompassing everything from the creation of new mines and jobs, to revamped legislation and gender diversity.
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