With six operating mines, and more in the pipeline, the northwest city looks to leverage more opportunity for local supply and service companies and fill some gaps.
Thunder Bay is involved in a very robust industry without any prominent evidence on its existence on the city’s landscape.
Unlike Sudbury or Timmins, where headframes and processing plants dot the horizon, the northwestern Ontario city has become a bedroom community and a growing service hub that feed the six operating mines in the region and the dozens of exploration projects digging into gold, palladium, lithium, graphite, nickel, copper and platinum group elements.
“That’s sometime our Achilles’ heel when you try to illustrate to local people these points of the mining industry,” said John Mason, the mining services project manager for the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC), “and some people just don’t get it.
In surveying the needs of the mines currently in production and 15 major exploration projects, potentially future mines in the queue over the next decade, and other stakeholders involved in the sector, the CEDC commissioned a report, a Mining Readiness Strategy, on how the city can build on its opportunities to take advantage of the economic spinoffs of these operations and activities.
“You don’t have to have the shadow of the headframe over the city and that’s why this (report) was done, to illustrate us as a regional hub.”