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Sudbury is kind of a big deal in mining, says industry report

Sudbury mines and service sector generates $3.3 billion in GDP for Ontario
Glencore photo
(Glencore photo)

The Ontario Mining Association (OMA) released a report showing the contribution of the mining sector to the provincial economy.

The State of the Ontario Mining Sector, was published by the OMA in partnership with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.

Ontario's mining industry contributed an estimated annual total of $7.5 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product (GDP), $3.3 billion in wages and salaries, and sustained over 48,605 full-time jobs.

The market value of the minerals produced by major mines in Ontario was $10.4 billion in 2019. Forty-one mining operations in Ontario contributed an estimated annual total of $7.5 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product (GDP), $3.3 billion in wages and salaries, and sustained more than 48,605 full-time jobs.

In 2019, the major mining companies provided direct employment in Ontario for more than 21,000 with more than $1.9 billion paid out in worker compensation.

The report said the majority of mining's contributions to the economy emanates from the Sudbury region with total annual economic contributions in 2019 of approximately $7.5 billion in gross output and $3.3 billion in GDP.

The Sudbury Basin is home to eight base metals mines are some of Canada’s oldest and deepest mines.

The city is home to nearly 27 per cent of the industry's workforce with more than 21,500 jobs in production, supply and innovation jobs with $1.2 billion in wages in 2019.

In the report's preamble, OMA president Chris Hodgson said despite the province's favourable geology and vast mineral potential, the industry needs to be supported with the necessary legislative and regulatory framework to make it a desirable jurisdiction for global investment. A challenge for the future will be attracting a new generation of workers to continue to grow the sector.

Coming out of the pandemic and with world action being taken to slow global warming, Hodgson said "opportunities for the Ontario mining industry have never been greater than they are now," with economy recovery and the surge in demand for 'green' and 'critical' minerals.

In 2020, Ontario’s mining sector produced $10.7 billion worth of minerals, accounting for 24 per cent of Canada’s total production. Fifty-six per cent is in precious metals production, 42 per cent is base metals. Half of Ontario's mine are in gold production.

Ontario is the largest gold-producing province in Canada, accounting for 75,000 kilograms or 41 per cent of the production value across the country in 2019.

Ontario mines also accounted for 77 per cent of platinum group metals produced, 37 per cent of nickel, 23 per cent of copper and 15.5 per cent of cobalt, all minerals considered 'critical' to future low-carbon economy.