Premier Kathy Dunderdale has formed a new committee to advise her on the province's mining industry.

Dunderdale  met with mining officials in western Labrador on Friday to discuss ways in which to develop new opportunities in the resource-rich area.

"We've decided to form an advisory group to the premier on mining," said Dunderdale. "And we will meet on a go-forward basis and talk about things that are important to the people of the province with regard to this industry."

A key player involved in the roundtable discussion was Alderon — the company behind what's expected to be Labrador's newest mine.

President and CEO Tayfun Eldem said the province has done a great job working with them during their start up.

"I sense, personally, a genuine willingness to work alongside industry to overcome challenges, and to make sure that Labrador really does become one of the key producing regions in the world and remains competitive," Eldem said.

But despite new mines, socio-economic issues persist in western Labrador. Infrastructure and housing have been long-standing problems in the region. A discussion on those issues was on the agenda, and was the subject of a closed-door meeting.

Dunderdale said the new advisory group will include local voices to help address those problems.

"Government can play a pivotal role in support to the industry. We need to maximize opportunities for the people who live in Labrador. That's important to the companies because we're talking about their labour supply." 

The premier said it is essential to hear from industry partners on key issues in the mining sector — especially as she prepares to lead a provincial trade delegation to China next week.

With files from Chris Ensing.