Thunder Bay Celebrates Rich Mining Heritage
Thunder Bay celebrated its rich mining heritage recently, which had
been declared Mining Day by Mayor Keith Hobbs.
Mayor Hobbs made the declaration at a ceremony at Mariner’s Hall at Prince Arthur’s Landing. He was joined by representatives of the City of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC), Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, and Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association, as well as other mining organizations.
“The mining and exploration industry employees are working quietly in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario; they should be recognized for their significant contribution to the local economy and the culture of their communities,” said Mayor Hobbs in reading the declaration.
“Mining Day is a celebration where the mining community and the public meet and have fun at Prince Arthur’s Landing, a historical site in a city with a long history of mining.”
Mining Day included a series of special public events at Prince Arthur’s Landing. There were more than 25 exhibitors with fun, creative and interactive displays and presentations to encourage everyone in the family to participate and learn about mining, minerals and local geology. Heavy mining equipment suppliers, diamond drillers and helicopter service providers will also be onsite to showcase their big tools of the trade.
A guided walking tour took place along Red River Road, providing a look at how local stone has been used in the construction of some of Thunder Bay’s most iconic buildings, including Port Arthur Collegiate Institute (PACI-Lakehead U), Trinity United Church, Masonic Hall and
"The mining community and many volunteers are coming together to bring the third annual Thunder Bay Mining Day to the citizens of the City and nearby municipalities,” said Robert Chataway, President of NWOPA and Chair of the Mining Day Committee. “As a family-oriented
event, we hope everyone has a good time while participating in mining- related activities such as gold panning, searching for buried treasure and looking at gold and other minerals. "
This event benefits from the support of a number of local organizations, including Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association, Women in Mining, Thunder Bay Community Economic
Development Commission (CEDC) and the Canadian Institute of Mining
and Metallurgy.“The event is an opportunity to showcase the mineral sector which is an important contributor to Northwestern Ontario’s economy,” said John Mason, Project Manager, Mining Services for CEDC. “Children and adults alike will have fun with interactive displays and hands on activities on the waterfront!”
Bob Chataway, President , NWOPA
“ This is our 3rd Mining Day and we are learning along the way. The emphasis is on the kids and having fun interactive activities for the kids in a learning environment. We are well represented by the mining companies. We want the kids to be able to see mining equipment and activities, rocks and how they are used in products.”
“ Mining is a big part of the economy and in the small communities that really helps them out. Right now we are in a bit of a lull and it is hurting the economy of the small towns up north. Thunder Bay is used sometimes as a bedroom community for these mines.”
“ To prospect it can take 10 years once a mine is found and you are spending tens of millions of dollars in exploration before you say yes to a mine. Then it will take another $500 to $600 million to get it into production. That is all private money, not government money. Not every prospect turns into a mine. There are several new mines in NW Ontario, say near Fort Frances coming on stream that were originally found in the 80’s. The world economy has made it more
difficult to look for mines. There is a nice big find just down in the US in the iron range that has similar geology as up here. We are about three years into the lull and we should be starting to climb out."