Sudbury Accent: Northern Ontario’s mine sector could help Canada out of recession – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – July 25, 2020)

(L to R) Antoine Schwartzmann, Stephen Stewart, Charles Beaudry, Keith Benn, Chitrali Sarkar – Kirkland Lake remains a promising place for future gold mines.

Accent: Junior companies could lead the way

Who says mining is not sustainable? The recent announcement by IAMGOLD to start building a Cda $2 billion Cote Lake open-pit gold mine 140 km north of Sudbury — which will employ 1,000 workers during peak construction and roughly 450 full-time middle-class jobs — is welcome news. The mine life is expected to be around 18 years; however, ongoing exploration may extend the life of mine.

Vale’s Creighton Mine, which started production in 1901, is still going strong 8,000 feet below the surface. The deeper the company goes, the richer the nickel/copper and PGM content of the ore gets.

Kirkland Lake’s Macassa gold mine started production in 1933. With new discoveries at deeper levels and a roughly $320 million investment for a new mine shaft, Kirkland Lake Gold’s CEO Tony Makuch is extending the mine’s life for another 30 to 40 years.

Northern Ontario’s mining camps have seen many mines whose lifespans have lasted 50 years or even longer, while hundreds of others with shorter operations have still provided tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity for the Ontario economy over the past century.

Meanwhile, car manufacturing at Oshawa’s General Motors plant started in 1907 and unfortunately closed in 2018, dealing a devastating blow to southern Ontario’s auto-focused economy. Similarly, in 2011, Ford Motor Company permanently closed its St. Thomas assembly plant that opened in 1967. Now there are rumours that Ford may be closing its giant auto assembly plant in Oakville.

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