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Economic Opportunities for Northern Ontario

Archived Backgrounder

Economic Opportunities for Northern Ontario

The Ring of Fire represents one of the most significant mineral deposits Ontario has seen in over a century, with multi-generational mineral production opportunities on a scale similar to historic world-class mining areas, such as Timmins, Sudbury, Kirkland Lake and Red Lake.

Ontario's Vision for the North
The development of the Ring of Fire could bring significant economic opportunities across Northern Ontario. The proposed projects must successfully complete environmental assessments and consultation with affected First Nation communities. Subject to the successful completion of these requirements, the Province envisions a broad range of local and regional business opportunities which will drive growth, increase investment and open up the North for future generations. For example:

  • As the major city nearest the Ring of Fire, Thunder Bay could strengthen its role as the northwest's health, education, training and social services centre. Thunder Bay could also grow its mining supply and services sector, which currently employs over 1,600 people at approximately 130 companies.
  • The Municipality of Greenstone is strategically located at what could be a main junction of rail and road access to and from the Ring of Fire, which could result in the community becoming a major transportation hub.
  • Timmins and North Bay already have well-developed mining supply and services sectors, which combined account for $1.5 billion and employ about 7,000 people. Both of these communities could generate further economic growth from development of multiple Ring of Fire projects.
  • Sudbury could further expand its thriving mining supplies and services sector due to the location of the processing facility.
  • Nearby First Nation communities could benefit from direct employment opportunities, as well as economic partnership opportunities associated with this development.

Job Creation
Cliffs' proposed mine project could create as many as 1,200 direct jobs and additional employment opportunities at supplier industries for area First Nations and other northern communities. It is estimated that:

  • The mine site, which includes the mine and concentrator, would directly employ 450 people a year during construction and operations.
  • Construction of an all-season road  from the mine site and operation of the integrated transportation system would directly employ 300 people a year, many of whom would be at the transfer station in the Nakina/Geraldton area.
  • The ferrochrome processing facility would directly employ 450 people a year in the Sudbury area during construction and operations.
  • Between 2014 and 2016, the construction of mining, transportation and primary metal infrastructure is expected to generate employment for approximately 1,700 people a year, over two thirds of whom would be in northern Ontario. This includes supply-chain activity and the spending of wages.
  • The project's operation is expected to generate direct and indirect employment of 5,000 people a year in Ontario beginning in 2017. This also includes jobs from supply chain activity and the spending of wages. Over half of these jobs would be located in Northern Ontario.