Mining Association president says Aboriginals can solve worker shortage crisis
Ontario Mining Association president Chris Hodgson has appealed to the First Nations of Northeastern Ontario to embrace mining for its economic development for Aboriginal communities, for the job opportunities for Aboriginal young people and to take advantage of an economic boom the likes of which the North has never seen before.
Hodgson was the keynote speaker Tuesday night at the first ever Mining Ready Summit and tradeshow held to build partnerships between the industry and the First Nations in the North.
The summit was held at the Days Inn in Timmins and is expected to become an annual event. Hodgson said the financial investments in the mining sector and the long-term job opportunities are unmatched by any other sector in the province at this time.
In economic terms, Hodgson said the world is now in a “super cycle” running until the year 2030 where there will be an unprecedented demand for commodities, which includes the minerals and metals produced in Ontario.
He said all the new technologies cannot be achieved without mining.
“Hybrid cars, water purification systems, solar panels, wind turbines, smart communications devices – they need us,” said Hodgson.
But he said now is the time to take advantage of the demand, because he said world experts are predicting the demand will slump off after 2030.
“Twenty years from now, small, remote and hard-to-get-at mines will not be economical,” said Hodgson.
“The demand will be met by recycled products and by large easily-accessible deposits.”
Hodgson said the Ontario government has to speed up the permitting process to get new mines into production as soon as possible.
He said the government must work to take advantage of the economic upsurge.
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