The OCC is undertaking a comprehensive study on the Ring of Fire, the massive mineral deposit in Northern Ontario. Scheduled for release in early 2014, the Ring of Fire report will outline the economic benefits that the development could bring to Ontario. Early estimates project the benefit to be in the tens of billions of dollars.
The Ring of Fire is a large, resource-rich deposit of minerals spread over an area of approximately 5,000 square kilometres in the James Bay Lowlands region. Since the early 2000s, significant deposits of copper, zinc, nickel, platinum, vanadium, gold, and the first commercial quantities of chromite in North America have been found. Chromite is an essential component in the production of stainless steel.
The discovery of the Ring of Fire may well be this generation’s single greatest economic development opportunity for Ontario. However, knowledge about the existing and potential economic benefits has lagged, particularly in southern and eastern Ontario.
Our own survey of Ontario businesses illustrates this fact. Excluding northern Ontario, businesses are either unsure or believe that Ring of Fire development would have no impact on their business.
These results suggest that the potential of the Ring of Fire does yet not resonate in the broader public imagination. There is a risk that the information vacuum may be filled by misinformation.
The overarching goal of this project is to address the information vacuum. The report will illustrate the benefits of the Ring of Fire’s development for Ontario. It will also outline what needs to be done going forward to ensure that Ontario makes the most of this historic opportunity.
The OCC is working with partners across Ontario on the project, and is being guided by the members of its Expert Advisory Committee on the Ring of Fire, who bring a depth of expertise to the project.
Over the coming weeks, the OCC will continue to consult with its members on the economic opportunity of the Ring of Fire. If you would like to provide input into the project, please contact Liam McGuinty, Senior Policy Analyst.
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