THUNDER BAY – News of a gargantuan chromite deposit north of Thunder Bay Ontario has seemingly ignited local enthusiasm and noticeable growth in the mining service industry.
Opportunity Thunder Bay has been watching developments surrounding the “Ring of Fire” very closely and one thing is for sure. Thunder Bay is strategically located as a major Gateway to Ontario’s largest known mineral deposit, “The Ring of Fire”.
The location of the large mineral deposit and favourable transportation routes put several Northwestern Ontario communities in a beneficial trajectory, right to the Port of Thunder Bay.
It is widely expected the mine could last well over 100 years and initial estimates are that the total capital cost associated with the project would be approximately $800 million USD. A major aspect of the development relates to the construction of a roughly 350 kilometer rail line that would link the proposed mine sites to the CN Rail line Nakina. Estimates are that over 500,000 tonnes of product will be shipped from the site annually.
The excitement is just starting to take hold in Thunder Bay. While we are starting to notice a lot of new mining service companies, OTB feels the District of Thunder Bay is only half way there with service industry. There is a lot going on right now, we have gold and iron potential in other areas including Bending Lake and just outside Geraldton ward of Greenstone.
The fact is, the District of Thunder Bay may very well become Canada’s leading mining region, all the infrastructure is in place and ready to go.
It’s like being at the right place at the right time; you look at companies like Wisk Air who have grown significantly due to recent mining exploration in the region. Thunder Bay is home to a major deep sea port, and an International Airport to move product along with other major amenities to accommodate such a huge endeavor.
Best of all is a highly skilled source of labour, just look at Thunder Bay Metal Fabricators Association, Collectively; the member companies represent over 100,000 square feet of facilities, and a workforce of approximately 800 employees. Canada Chrome and Premier Gold have their headquarters or have set up field offices in the city.
For members of Opportunity Thunder Bay, one thing is certain, “The Ring of Fire” will create hundreds of new jobs in and around Thunder Bay in one form or another, the mining service industry needs more expansion to move things along, and yes, the future here will be laced in chrome.
Jason L. Susin