Competence. Innovation. Solutions in Mining.

Sudbury Mining Solutions


Pan-Northern Mining Research Alliance launched

By Vic Pakalnis
Associate Vice-President
Laurentian University and President of MIRARCO Mining Innovation

On July 10, 2017, five universities and four colleges came together for the inaugural Pan-Northern Mining Research Alliance meeting at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

The goal was to create a collaborative network among universities and colleges in the North. Individually, each institution is doing a lot to develop highly skilled graduates at all levels, as well as nationally recognized research. Together, we can do more. Over 20 institution leaders attended the meeting.

The alliance will provide a critical mass of researchers who have the potential to critically impact Ontario’s international mining brand. It can also help attract research funding and students, nationally and internationally. Meeting participants included Northern Ontario leaders from five universities and four colleges, four funding agencies, Northern government agencies and science partners.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce estimated that over 5,000 jobs can be created just in the Ring of Fire and that opening this mineral-rich region of Northern Ontario will unlock over $60 billion of wealth. The Canadian mining industry is already a world leader in finance, sustainability standards and practices and it supports the Government of Canada’s priorities for a clean growth economy, and opportunities for Indigenous peoples.

Over 10 per cent of people employed in the mining industry are of Indigenous heritage and this number is growing. Over 20 per cent of Canada’s exports are mining related and over 300 supply and service companies are located in the North, creating good jobs and innovation that will position Canada as a global leader in mining research and innovation.

According to the Mining Association of Canada, there will be some $145 billion dollars in new mine investments over the next 10 years.

A brainstorming session took place to identify the areas the alliance could champion and purposefully align with the following government and industry priorities:

  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Health and safety: worker and community
  • Diversity and leadership: Indigenous participation rates to double, women in mining, immigrant inclusion
  • Climate change and the environment
  • Technology: support for the Canadian Mining Innovation Supercluster

Northern Ontario has a vast geographic footprint but fewer than one million inhabitants. Collaboration by industry, government and educational institutions can create a future for the next generation, and benefit the social, environmental, and economic future of our country.

Participating colleges and universities

  • Laurentian University, Sudbury
  • Lakehead University, Thunder Bay
  • Algoma University, Sault Ste. Marie
  • Nipissing University, North Bay
  • Université de Hearst
  • Collège Boréal, Sudbury
  • Cambrian College, Sudbury
  • Canadore College, North Bay
  • Confederation College, Thunder Bay
  • Northern College, Timmins
  • Sault College, Sault Ste. Marie

Norm Tollinsky will return next issue. 



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