Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mining spin-off benefits targeted

The Rainy River Future Development Corp. has reviewed the final environmental assessment for the proposed New Gold project near Barwick and now is in the process of developing a positive response.
The RRFDC has requested the company provide incentives and assistance to encourage local procurement (i.e., shopping locally), and urged it to do as much business in Fort Frances as possible.

In related news, the RRFDC is planning a mining procurement session for local businesses here April 24, with assistance from John Mason of the Thunder Bay Economic Development Commission.
This will be to teach local businesses how to sell to New Gold and other mining operations in the region.
In coming weeks, the RRFDC also will be advertising for a permanent consultant to work with local businesses on procurement projects.
RRFDC consultant Tannis Drysdale said the New Gold mine will benefit Fort Frances in two ways.
“We know that we will be the home of many of the support businesses for the New Gold operation, but also importantly we will be the next home town for those workers that are going to work in the mine,” she told council Monday night.
Drysdale added that work done building the town’s social media and Internet presence over the past few years will help promote Fort Frances as a great place to live.
The RRFDC also continues to advertise future opportunities related to the New Gold mine by highlighting the town’s industrial park prices and electricity rates.
In other news, the RRFDC has found another possible condo developer, Northern Superior Structural Solutions.
Council is working with this developer to make it a successful project.
The RRFDC also is working with three potential new or expanding business start-ups in a variety of fields.
“We met with an interested entrepreneur who is thinking about locating a small-scale manufacturer in Fort Frances,” Drysdale told council at Monday night’s meeting.
“And we are continuing to talk to them about a modular home project in our community—just talking,” she added.
“They like Fort Frances and think we’re an ideal opportunity, well-located within the various mining operations in the Rainy River District and Northwestern Ontario.”
The RRFDC, meanwhile, continues to work with the Economic Development Advisory Committee regarding forest tenure reform.
It has had presentations from the Marathon Local Forest Group, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, and Resolute Forest Products in December and January.
They closed a tender on Friday to hire a resource industry specialist, who will start work with the RRFDC and EDAC in the next couple of weeks to help them work their way through this tenure project.
Finally, the RRFDC has revised the town’s community improvement plan brochure and marketing.
And thanks to Chief Building Official Travis Rob, it saw five successful grant applications, “which is, I think, five more than the year before,” noted Drysdale.
The community improvement plan is a program to provide certain incentives for individuals wishing to demolish or renovate buildings.

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