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Ontario Mining Association President Chris Hodgson served up presentations on the contributions of mining to communities at two organization meetings in Northwestern Ontario recently. Mr. Hodgson spoke about mining as a partner in prosperity building at the Northern Ontario Municipal Association conference in Thunder Bay on April 17 and at the meeting of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce in Geraldton on April 25. Both of these gatherings were well attended by provincial cabinet ministers and municipal officials.He provided evidence to show that Ontario´s $10.7 billion mineral industry is likely to remain strong for many years to come. “The foundations of the entire global economy are shifting and strong demand from growing nations like China, India, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, among others, is likely to keep metal markets buoyant for many years to come,” said Mr. Hodgson. “Global urbanization is projected to increase 10% over the next two decades, which will also increase the demand for raw materials.” While some sectors of the provincial economy are enduring periods of adjustment, mining is a winning sector that can provide benefits for all.
Mr. Hodgson stressed that the positive impacts of mining are further multiplied in Northern Ontario and among First Nations communities because of its strong regional development role. He noted that mining is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginals, who comprise about 5% of the mining workforce — twice the national average. He used the economic study Ontario Mining: A Partner in Prosperity Building, which was completed by economists from the University of Toronto, to demonstrate the contribution one representative mine can make to a local community and to the provincial economy.
The study shows that the 480 direct jobs at a representative mine generate a total of 2,280 direct, indirect and induced jobs. This mine contributes $277 million annually to the provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of which 79%, or $219 million, goes into the local economy. On the employment front, about two thirds of the jobs created are local and three quarters of the compensation is local. This representative mine also provides $84 million in tax revenue annually for all levels of government.
The mining industry nationally anticipates the need to fill 92,000 high-tech, high-skilled positions over the next decade with about one-third of those job openings in Ontario. “Mines make good neighbours and employment opportunities are good news for Northwestern Ontario,” said Mr. Hodgson. “The mining industry in Northwestern Ontario is an employer for the future and I hope all of you see a new headframe on the horizon in your community soon.”
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