THUNDER BAY – On October 15-17, 2012, over 500 executives from the public and private sector will gather at the 4th Annual North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum in Denver, Colorado.
“It is an honour to be asked to speak to such an impressive global audience of decision makers who are among the top infrastructure projects in North America,” said Steve Demmings. “Ultimately access to financial and human resources are going to drive the success of these significant infrastructure projects. We are very pleased to be nominated for the Strategic Project of the Year Award and to have Thunder Bay and NWO featured prominently at this Forum.”
The Forum is a 2 ½ day conference, focused on infrastructure development in North America, designed to create business opportunities and promote projects across the region, as well as showcase the cities, states and provinces with the most innovative infrastructure plans. This annual event draws international investors, engineers and developers.
The Ring of Fire and NWO Mineral Deposits is one of the five projects nominated for Strategic Project of the Year – the most prestigious prize awarded. The award is for projects which will generate a giant stride in a country or region’s productivity and/or competitiveness.
The Strategic Project of the Year nominations are as follows:
• Michigan DOT – New International Trade Crossing ($2.1 billion)
• LA Metro – Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor ($10 billion)
• Indiana DOT – Ohio River Bridges – East End Crossing ($2.6 billion)
• City of Thunder Bay, Canada – Ring of Fire Mining ($80 billion total potential)
• RTD/Denver – North Metro Commuter Rail ($450 million)
Winners will be announced at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the North America Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum in Denver. Top projects are chosen by a jury of forum sponsors, with a wide representation across geographies and sectors.
Steve Demmings, CEO -Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) and John Mason, Project Manager – Mining Services – CEDC, along with representatives from SNC Lavalin and Noront Resources will be hosting a special session at the Forum on October 16. This session will create outside awareness that Northwestern Ontario (NWO) is one of the mine production and exploration “hotspots” in Canada as 9 to 13 major exploration projects are anticipated to come into production by 2013-2017. The mineral deposits of NWO are astonishing, with more than $80 billion in proven reserves. The session will also create potential investment opportunities for mine and mineral projects in NWO.
“Infrastructure development is one of the significant challenges to mining companies progressing to production, with high profile mineral deposits,” said John Mason. “The Forum will showcase NWO’s major exploration projects, and will provide an opportunity to discuss engineering solutions and financing for development of these world class deposits!”
The Forum features the top 100 infrastructure projects on the continent. NWO’s collective mine development requirement over the next five years, is one of the featured top projects.
Thunder Bay and NWO are emerging as a regional exploration and mining hub, which has initiated the Mining Readiness Strategy – An Integrated Regional Economic Development Plan.
The City of Thunder Bay, together with Fort William First Nation (FWFN) and CEDC are undertaking the Mining Readiness Strategy to address and strategically plan for economic growth in Thunder Bay and the region.
The Mining Readiness Strategy will address issues related to: transportation and infrastructure needs; industrial energy; workforce training and development; business development; housing and community services; research and development; capital investment and financing; intergovernmental relations; and communications.
Research demonstrates that the discovery and development of mineral resources in the “Ring of Fire” and beyond will create mining opportunities that will have a direct impact in shaping the region’s exciting economic outlook. Currently Thunder Bay hosts 29 exploration company offices, and over 130 service and supply companies in exploration/mining. Anticipated growth in mining will place unique pressures on Thunder Bay and communities in NWO.
The Strategy is in its early stages of development, and is scheduled to be completed by January 2013. Implementation of the Strategy is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2015.