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NORCAT to get additional funding for Onaping Underground Centre expansion

Province provides additional $1.1 million for the new building at the NORCAT centre in Onaping

More money is being allocated to improve and upgrade the NORCAT Underground Centre located in Onaping.

The Ontario Government has announced it will provide $1.1 million in additional funding to the centre, that supports more than 150 full time direct and indirect jobs, said a news release Thursday afternoon.

Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, made the announcement on behalf of Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

The funding is to support to upgrading underground infrastructure and construct a permanent, above-ground building at its NORCAT Underground Centre. This brings Ontario's investment in the project to more than $1.65 million, said the release. The funding is provided through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

In July, Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre (Liberal) announced that the federal government was contributing $1.3 million toward the same facility – a 12,000 square foot building to be located next to NORCAT’s test mine.

The Underground Centre in Onaping enables mining companies and mining supply firms to develop, test and showcase innovative and emerging technologies in an operating mine environment. It also serves as a hands-on training and skills development centre, ensuring that mine workers are up-to-date on the most modern equipment and processes, said the release.

Fedeli said the announcement endorses the position that the province is business friendly.

"With our government's support, we are making it possible for mining companies to develop new technologies, invest and create good jobs in the North," said Minister Fedeli. "We are keen to show the world that Ontario and its mining sector are open for business and open for jobs - and that also means being open for research and training,” said Fedeli.

The additional government funding was also welcomed by NORCAT CEO Don Duval.

"With this investment in our new above-ground facility at the NORCAT Underground Centre, the Government of Ontario is helping to shape the future of innovation and technology in the global mining industry," said Duval, in the news release.

"As the only innovation centre in the world with an operating mine, NORCAT is thrilled that Ontario's investment in our expansion will help reinforce our reputation as the one-stop-shop global destination for all that is the future of mining technology, innovation, and skills training."