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Development of Ontario's Ring of Fire Could Mean Big Business for Oakville, New Study

RingofFire-OMA: Oakville News
RingofFire-OMA: Oakville News

A new report from the Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce reveals that Ontario's Ring of Fire, the mineral resource-rich region in the James Bay Lowlands, will generate up to $9.4 billion in new economic activity over the first 10 years of operation and sustain 5,500 jobs annually.

According to the study Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Economic Potential of Ontario's Ring of Fire, the mining development could generate more than $25 billion across numerous sectors in Ontario by 2047, including $550 million for the province's manufacturing sector and $300 million for support activities related to mining.

"We need to identify and champion every opportunity to grow Oakville's manufacturing and advanced manufacturing sectors and Ontario's Ring of Fire is such an opportunity," said Orla Johnston, chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. "There are also significant opportunities for engineering companies and Oakville is home to some of Canada's largest including Siemens Canada, Hatch, SNC-Lavalin, and AMEC."

"Our study makes it clear that the short-and long-term economic impacts of the Ring of Fire extend far beyond mining," says Allan O'Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "It's time to broaden the Ring of Fire conversation to include all of Ontario, not just the Far North."

The study shows that the Ring of Fire will generate significant revenue for governments, to the tune of $1.95 billion within 10 years of its development. The authors call on the provincial and federal governments to design and fund a plan to address inadequate transportation infrastructure in the Ring of Fire, which is cited as a significant barrier to the development.

"Oakville is a hub for mining supply and services as well as engineering," said Johnston. "In many ways, an investment in the Ring of Fire is an investment in Oakville's economy."

Additional highlights from study include:

Within the first 10 years of its development, the Ring of Fire will:

● generate up to $9.4 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

● generate up to $110 million in support activities to mining

● generate up to $210 million in the manufacturing sector

● sustain up to 5,500 jobs annually (full time equivalents)

● generate nearly $2 billion in government revenue, divided between the federal, provincial, and municipal governments.

Within the first 32 years of its development, the Ring of Fire will generate more than $25 billion in economic activity across numerous sectors in Ontario, of which mining is just one:

● $2.7 billion in revenues for the financial services sector

● $1.2 billion for the wholesale and retail trade sectors

● $600 million for the manufacturing sector

● $500 million for utilities sector

● $110 million in support activities to mining

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