The proposed mine near Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation and Marathon is about to bring more economic boom to the area, but before construction can being, there are still a few more boxes that need to be checked.
Late last year, Generation Mining received environmental assessment approval from both the provincial and federal governments, clearing one of the significant regulatory hurdles in the development process.
The company still has a few outstanding permits, as they're awaiting the approval of a closure plan, a species-at-risk offset plan, and a tree-clearing plan to move forward.
During their delegations with Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford, Marathon Mayor Rick Dumas wants to discuss the permits' progress moving forward.
“Both the federal and provincial environmental ministr(ies) have approved the project in principle, with some conditions attached, but we want to make sure through Minister Rickford’s office that he identifies the importance of the project and continues working with the appropriate ministers in regards to the permitting process to get the project up and running as soon as possible,” Dumas said.
Dumas will speak with Monte McNaughton, the province's minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development, about an opportunity to bring workforce development training in the mining sector to Marathon.
“A lot of youth coming out of Grade 12 in spring 2023, not only in Marathon but the surrounding areas, why can't we work with the government of Ontario and maybe with the mining sector and offer an in-house training program here in Marathon?” said Dumas.
Dumas proposed that they could offer skills training for heavy equipment operation at no charge, with the cooperation of the municipalities, the industry, and the government. The training could be an opportunity for youth who are not planning to move on to post-secondary education to join the skilled trades sector.
“We have to have support from the minister level and down to the industry level. We have had some talk with the industry and, of course, going back to the municipalities," Dumas said.
"If the government of Ontario and the industry all come together and fund this, the youths comings out of our high schools, they don’t have money to spend on $8,000 to $10,000 a course. But if we can assist in that where we all can maybe contribute a bit, these youth are going to be trained and available to work when needed."