One of northwestern Ontario’s premier events for fostering new business connections is making its return to Thunder Bay.
The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Anishnawbe Business Professional Association (ABPA) and supported by Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF), is excited to welcome the Prosperity Northwest Business To Business Trade Show and Conference on February 15th, 2023.
Prosperity Northwest is a platform for those looking to embrace growth opportunities, form new connections, and strengthen existing ones, Charla Robinson with Thunder Bay’s Chamber of Commerce, said.
And those connections will become increasingly important as the region sees a record amount of investment in its mining and mining services sectors.
“We think this is such an important opportunity to get people face to face to have those conversations and learn about what's coming,” Robinson said. “And to start those side discussions about where does my business fit? How can I make sure that I can be part of these opportunities?”
“This helps businesses understand the big picture and what is happening in the next two, three, or four years.”
Opportunities in the region are plenty, Robinson said, citing an unprecedented influx of cash and capital into the region.
In December, Equinox Gold announced that construction of the Greenstone Gold Mine is at the 50-per cent mark with the project on schedule for the first gold pour during the first half of 2024.
The $1.5-billion project is expected to provide an estimated 1,800 construction jobs and more than 500 mining-related jobs over a 15-year mine life, producing 5.5 million ounces of gold with the potential to find more gold in the area.
Goldshore Resources also released a mineral resources estimate for its Moss Lake Gold Project, 100 kilometres west of Thunder Bay, which the company envisions could host multiple open-pit operations.
In April, New Gold Inc. updated the life expectancy of its Rainy River gold mine, northwest of Fort Frances, saying the site has enough ore to operate until 2031.
All of these projects will require suppliers, skilled labour, and industry know-how to maximize their potential, something Chamber members will be able to tap into at Prosperity Northwest.
“We're all about trying to engage members and empower them,” Robinson said. “Helping them make connections that they need to grow their business, helping them acquire information that they need to expand their business, to grow their staff.”
Enlisting the help of two key partners, the ABPA and the NADF, also gives attendees a holistic view of economic opportunities ahead, connecting Indigenous entrepreneurs, Indigenous organizations and their communities with potential developers and local partners.
During the one-day conference, supply company representatives will also have the opportunity to interface directly at the trade show, to promote business advantages, Robinson said.
The program will feature a diverse lineup of speakers addressing relevant issues.
“We've got a session about successes in Indigenous partnerships to share ways to build strong partnerships for future projects,” Robinson said, “In addition, representatives from different levels of government will talk about their specific procurement processes and how local businesses can bid on government contracts.”
“We'll have a number of mining companies that will be sharing details about their project timelines and how to engage with them.”
Also included will be an expert panel discussing energy in Northwestern Ontario, an integral component of the mining investments in the region.
“Those conversations will address what are the energy opportunities,and the energy challenges as we ramp up with more mines,” Robinson said. “And how do we make sure that those companies have the energy that they need to fully take advantage of these economic opportunities?”
“This is about making sure that everybody is moving forward together and developing key relationships.”
Prosperity Northwest Business To Business Trade Show and Conference runs on February 15th, 2023, at the Valhalla Inn Thunder Bay.
For registration information visit them online here.