If yours is a company that serves the mining industry — whether it manufactures equipment components or analyzes drill core — Timmins wants you.
Through a new regional mining supply and industrial mineral investment attraction project, the Timmins Economic Development Corp. (TEDC) is actively trying to recruit more companies to set up shop in the city.
Timmins and the Abitibi Greenstone Belt region is still one of premier mining areas in Canada, with new mineral deposits being discovered all the time, said Fred Gibbons, chair of the TEDC’s board of directors.
The TEDC already assists companies trying to bring their mine into production — helping to work through environmental assessments and other permitting — and now the organization wants to take that one step further by helping companies that offer supporting services to establish a permanent presence in the city.
“What we’re seeing is that the future looks very bright,” Gibbons said. “Although we have a 100-year history in serving the mining industry in Timmins, we know that there are some gaps with respect to the services that mines are going to require and a level of expertise.”
“In some cases, we know that that expertise is available elsewhere in Canada; they just don’t have an office in Timmins,” Gibbons added. “We’ll be trying to communicate that message to them and provide a value proposition as to why that Canadian company or international company with an operation somewhere in Canada should be looking at Timmins for a site as well.”
The office will also be reaching out to potential offshore stakeholders to generate interest in hopping the pond. In particular, staff will be travelling to Sweden to connect with some of that country’s major manufacturers in an effort to woo them to Timmins, Gibbons said.
Simultaneously, the TEDC will work to get local supply and demand companies, which primarily just serve Timmins-area operations, to think beyond the city’s borders and start exporting. Mines are growing and developing throughout the area, Gibbons said, and so there could be real potential for local supply and demand companies to expand their operations.
“It’s an opportunity for our local people to look at selling their services or exporting their services more broadly than they currently do,” Gibbons said. “It’s also looking at attracting investment into the community—so branch offices for Canadian or international companies.”
Outlined as a key project in the TEDC’s strategic plan, mining investment has been identified as an area of opportunity that hasn’t been fully developed, he said. The initiative stretches to and includes Temiskaming Shores.
The TEDC has secured $235,100 each from the provincial and federal governments to be spread out over three years to fund the initiative, and the organization is currently on the hunt for a project coordinator.
The ideal candidate will have familiarity with the mining industry — perhaps someone who’s even retired from the sector — so that when he or she is making presentations to potential stakeholders, “they’re all talking the same language,” Gibbons said.
“We believe very strongly that that’s a critical asset or piece of experience that the successful candidate must have for this project to be successful,” he said.