Northern Ontario mining supply and service companies will benefit from a new initiative to connect small- to medium-sized businesses with markets in the Nevada gold and silver mining district.
Ontario’s North Economic Development Corporation (ONEDC), an alliance of economic development entities in Northern Ontario, is rolling out an initiative that will benefit up to 30 companies in the next two years.
MineConnect, Ontario’s mining supply and services association, has been selected to lead the initiative as part of the Northern Ontario Exports Program, funded by FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).
The association will hire an in-market representative to support qualifying companies from a base in Elko, Nevada. MineConnect has extensive expertise to assist companies with the development of leads and contracts in international markets.
ONEDC is comprised of five Northern Ontario communities -— Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Greater Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins. Since its incorporation in 2005, ONEDC has focused on Pan-Northern Economic Development projects to foster retention and attraction of employment and investment in the region.
“Providing a storefront option in a mine-rich area like Elko, Nevada will assist Northern Ontario mining suppliers to access new markets. Exporting products and services is one of the key foundations for economic diversification. We are very pleased to be working with MineConnect on this initiative. We believe this opportunity will provide many opportunities for our Northern firms," said Christy Marinig, ONEDC chair and Timmins Economic Development Corporation CEO, in a news release.
FedNor and the NOHFC fund the Northern Ontario Exports Program with matching contributions of $1.6 million.
“Our government recognizes the strategic importance of Northern Ontario’s mining supply and service sectors, which generate an estimated $5 billion annually and support more than 20,000 jobs in the region," said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor.
"We are proud to invest in projects such as this to help businesses create jobs, fuel our recovery and position Northern Ontario for strong and sustainable growth.”