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Op-Ed: Michael Gravelle

‘Thought leaders’ gather for Sudbury Mining Innovation Summit
Michael Gravelle
Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle

The story of mining in Ontario is one of community wealth and community pride created thanks to our rich mineral resources.

And Ontario is now exploring the next chapter.

On Tuesday, in Sudbury, I am hosting thought leaders from industry, Indigenous communities, academia and government for a Mining Innovation Summit to discuss new technologies, new processes and new ways of thinking.

The focus will be on four key areas for collaboration and innovation.

They are Building a Strong Innovation Ecosystem; Optimizing Mine Innovations and Innovating Through Mines of the Future; New Materials and New Opportunities for a Low-Carbon Economy; and, Social Innovation in the Mining Sector in Support of Indigenous Communities.

The world is changing rapidly before our eyes, and to succeed in the evolving economy we must find ways to excel in all four of these areas.

That’s why Ontario, guided by a renewed Mineral Development Strategy, is fostering research, development and commercialization of new technologies for the mining industry that can be used here and marketed worldwide.

In fact, Ontario is a leading jurisdiction for mining innovation and we intend to stay that way.

We have new materials and new opportunities to support more sustainable operations, as Ontario moves to a low carbon economy.

Engineers are designing all-electric mines using lithium ion battery power and reducing their reliance on diesel.

Digital solutions that boost return on investment are being implemented throughout the sector.

And, with new innovations, more companies are sending high-tech robots deep underground to improve worker safety and keep more workers above ground.

Ontario is also committed to social innovation.

Earlier this year, Ontario released ‘The Journey Together,’ in which we committed to working in partnership with Indigenous communities to build trust and respect, and to build opportunity and security into the lives of Indigenous people.

Mining innovation is part of the knowledge economy, and a diverse, skilled workforce is key to ensuring the mineral sector will continue to drive our economy.

Together, we will keep our province positioned for prosperity.

Michael Gravelle is Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines and MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North.