In an effort to aid companies in the mining sector to expand and create more jobs, a trip to South America by Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli promises to expose Ontario businesses to new markets.

Some 60 businesses in mining supply and services call the North Bay region home, providing services in engineering, fabrication, machinery, and equipment manufacturing for the mining industry worldwide.

Fedeli is leading the mining, manufacturing and equipment focused business mission to Peru and Ecuador from April 13-17.

He said the visit south of the equator will bring “a lot of North Bay and northern Ontario companies into areas [where] they are not selling yet.”

During the mission, Fedeli will meet with government officials and corporate executives in the mining sector. Businesses from Ontario’s mining sector will attend market and industry intelligence briefings and meet with local businesses to develop new opportunities. Delegates will also attend Expominas, an international trade fair for heavy construction and mining machinery, held annually in Quito, Ecuador.

“Peru and Ecuador represent an abundance of untapped potential, with their mining sectors offering high potential for Ontario suppliers to the mining industry,” observed Fedeli. “By diversifying Ontario’s global trading partners, we are creating a climate for our province’s businesses and economy to thrive.”

The Nipissing MPP has characterized the trip as full of opportunities for businesses locally, and across Ontario, as well as for job creation. With 40 operating mines in Ontario and about 150 companies actively exploring more than 200 mineral exploration projects, mining in Ontario supports 26,000 direct jobs and approximately 50,000 indirect jobs associated with mineral manufacturing and processing.

“The mining machinery mission is all about creating jobs in Ontario,” added Fedeli.

Fedeli recently attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto where he met with government representatives and senior executives from the mining sector in South America including the heads of the Peruvian delegation, Susana Vilca Achata, Minister of Energy and Mines of Peru and María Antonieta Alva, Minister of Economy and Finance of Peru as well as heads of the Ecuadorian delegation, Enrique Gallegos, Vice Minister of Mines of Ecuador and Freddy Villao, Undersecretary of Strategic Development in the Office of the Vice President of Ecuador.

In June 2019, the Ecuadorian government announced the discovery of an underground mine that could be among the largest gold, copper and silver deposits in the world and aims to expand mining exports from $270 million in 2018 to $2 billion in 2021, which means opportunity for Ontario suppliers of mining equipment and services.

Peru has had one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, with GDP growth of four per cent in 2018, and is the world’s largest silver producer and second-largest copper producer, making mineral exploration and extraction a key sector. Several mining projects are expected to begin in 2019 to 2022 with a focus on responsible extraction