The Ring of Fire has been heralded as not only a world-class deposit of chromite but also the only known deposit in the entire western hemisphere. Currently, all of North America’s stainless steel manufacturing is supplied by Asian and African sources. Canada has a unique opportunity to become a global leader in chromite mining and potentially revitalize manufacturing with proudly Canadian minerals.
According to a recent study by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, the current projected value of the Ring of Fire is more than $60 billion with known deposits significant enough to sustain a century of mineral development. Yet, after more than a decade of mineral exploration activity and findings of rich resources, no infrastructure has been developed.
The Wynne government recognized this potential enough to request $1 billion in infrastructure funding from the Government of Canada in 2014. But in the three years since, they have never provided the necessary plan to secure the funding. The Wynne and Trudeau governments have since allowed the Ring of Fire to all but go up in smoke.
My federal Conservative government will make the opportunities of the Ring of Fire a national priority by declaring chromite a nationally significant resource and the development of the Ring of Fire as a project of national significance.
This is in keeping with how the Athabasca oil sands were developed. It took extensive government and industry cooperation, and a true vision for the economic future of the Athabasca region for development to take off. Similarly, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney advanced development in the Hibernia oil field using the Canada Development Investment Corporation. This was one of a series of regional mega-projects Mulroney advanced across Canada. That same dedication, cooperation and vision is needed now in the Ring of Fire.