Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Timmins gets $1 Million for mining exploration

Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) has announced a $1 million investment in the Timmins-based Discover Abitibi mining exploration project.
The announcement was made Monday at the annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, in Toronto.
The announcement is the province’s share of a $3 million venture involving Timmins, the province, and private industry. The federal government is also expected to contribute to the venture since it has done so previously.
Mines minister Michael Gravelle made the announcement during a live webcast from the City of Timmins booth at the convention.
Gravelle praised Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) for setting up the Discover Abitibi initiative to promote more exploration for new mines.
“We share our partner’s enthusiasm with the potential of the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Northeastern Ontario,” Gravelle said.
“While the Abitibi Greenstone Belt is famous for having produced the prolific Kirkland Lake and Timmins mining camps, we know there are some geo-science knowledge gaps that have discouraged mineral exploration.
“Therefore, today, I am pleased to announce that the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation will providing funding of one million dollars to assist the Discover Abitibi initiative in helping to fill those knowledge gaps,” he added.
Timmins mayor Tom Laughren commented that the money would be well spent since Timmins is the central mining community in the region.
“On behalf of the citizens we would like to thank the minister for his generous donation. We very much appreciate that,” said Laughren
“I too would like to say this is the fourth time that I meet the minister. It’s the second time I meet when he’s giving money to Timmins, so if I can keep that batting average of .500 I think we’re going to be doing pretty well.”
“With this initiative since it first started in 2002 there’s been 26 thousand claims that have been staked. That’s huge,” the mayor told the news conference. “Before 2002, we had 50 companies doing some type of mining type work in the Timmins region. We’re now up well above 90 companies, closer to one hundred.”
“We’ve got federal, provincial and industry partners in this. So that’s a win-win-win,” said the mayor.

Discover Abitibi Project Manager Robert Calhoun told The Timmins Times that the money will be spent primarily on aerial surveys over a wider region of Northeastern Ontario which will give geologists and other geo-science professionals a better idea of where to look for new mines.
“There are new technologies which are being developed all the time. Some of these airborne surveys are actually able to look much deeper than they used to be able to, so we’re able to fill the geology gap,” said Calhoun.
“A lot of the greenstone belts are covered by significant overburden so we don’t get to see a lot of the rock before we start diamond drilling.These airborne surveys will give us a better indication of what rock types are there,” he added.
“The last time we did the survey we pretty much went in the Timmins to Kirkland Lake corridor.
Now we are moving out into the hinterland. We’re going out to the Burntbush area near Cochrane. The next one will be in the Detour area and then we are moving down south with another airborne in Shiningtree. And then we’re going to do regional surveys which cover the whole region and some geology surveys which cover Matachewan and Kirkland Lake,” said Calhoun.
“The spinoff for the City of Timmins is basically the same as it always is. It’s the same as it is for the De Beers project. De Beers has made Timmins their jump off point for the Victor project. Timmins is their regional office. And if we have a mining company come in to the area, Timmins is the obvious place to put your office.”
Cheryl St. Amour, TEDC’s director of Business Development also welcomed the news.
“With the information gathered from Discover Abitibi our region, and it’s companies are now prepared for this exciting time in mining. NOHFC support of this phase of the project will ensure than the one hundred years of mining activity will lead to act least a hundred more.”

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