Thunder Bay, the next mining powerhouse: CEDC releases the 2020 Mining Readiness Strategy

February 9, 2021 – Today, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission released a Mining Readiness Strategy. The study outlines significant regional economic growth in the next 10 years due to 6 currently operating mines and 15 major exploration projects as they advance into operation. Thunder Bay’s proximity to the active mines, exploration projects, critical minerals, workforce training abilities, service and supply businesses, and available land all play an essential role in being the mining hub for Northwestern Ontario.

“The exploration and mining industry, led by gold, palladium and lithium projects, will be a growing economic driver for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario,” states John Mason, Project Manager, Mining Services, Thunder Bay CEDC. “The Mining Readiness Strategy will be an important tool to maximize benefit.”

The Mining Readiness Strategy highlights significant benefits to Thunder Bay, such as:

  • During the peak mine production period between 2026 to 2028, Northwestern Ontario is expected to see a direct economic output estimated to be $5.22B and total economic output (direct, indirect, and induced) to be $8.71B
  • In 2023 the mining sector is expected to create 2000+ construction jobs with most of the 15 major exploration projects maturing to production.
  • At the peak of production, the mining sector in Northwestern Ontario, is expected to host a workforce of 7000+ mining jobs between 2023 -2028; 3600 personnel are currently employed for an increase in over 3,400 new positions.
  • There will be a 180% increase in the electricity demand for the new mines by 2026
  • Exploration and mining companies purchase 70% of their required goods and services from local supply and service companies.

“We at the CEDC felt it was timely to evaluate the potential economic impacts the mining sector will have on the region and City of Thunder Bay,” says Eric Zakrewski, CEO, Thunder Bay CEDC. “Opportunities were identified by the study that can help local existing businesses and employers expand their workforce, products and services to meet the growing needs of the industry. Certainly, the new and overall employment opportunities identified are some of the best news pieces Thunder Bay has seen in some time. If conditions are favourable for projects to continue being developed, the next ten years could be very good for our economy.”

The Mining Readiness Strategy will be used as the guiding framework to support the growing Northwestern Ontario mining sector and ensure Thunder Bay remains the activity hub.

To read or download the Mining Readiness Strategy, visit:

The CEDC will also be hosting a virtual information session regarding the findings of the study. To register for the information session, visit:


Translate »
Skip to content