THUNDER BAY - The region is poised to become one of the largest gold producers in the country.
Already at more than 1 million ounces a year, five more mines are expected to go online by 2017. Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Corporation mining services project manager John Mason said the Ring of Fire and other mining projects will come in time but right now the yellow metal is leading the way.
"We're led by five other gold projects that are marching along to production," Mason said.
New Gold Inc. , Treasury Metals Inc. and Rubicon Minerals Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. In Red Lake are all in pre-construction or construction phases. Some have even bumped up projected timelines already.
Then there's Premier Gold's Hard Rock project in Greenstone with its head office in Thunder Bay.
"It's an exciting time to brag and really boast about that particular project," Mason said.
All in all there are nearly a dozen mining projects in the region, not all gold, that are projected to go ahead within the next decade. Many of them are already at the critical feasibility study that outlines the final projected economic returns and technical requirements.
"That's usually the point at which a company makes a decision to build a mine," mason said.
The North Superior Workforce Planning Board has compiled a dynamic chart outlining the various projected timelines for the region's mining projects.
"It's very credible according to what's happening in their operations at the current time,"
Executive director Madge Richardson said.
That will also help the region's workforce plan for skills training depending on what's needed.
Visit the board's website for more information.