Federal government says 'no' to Ontario mining supercluster
Sudbury-led team passed over for portion of $950 million government funding
Plans to build and develop a mining supercluster in northern Ontario hit a snag today after the government announced it was't going to direct any money the mining industry's way.
Thursday's announcement by Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, closed out a nine-month contest central to the Liberals' 'innovation agenda.'
The project named five government-designated superclusters, designed to encourage universities, colleges and businesses to work together on strategies to boost fast-growing sectors.
The mining proposal from Sudbury-based Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) and Ottawa's Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) focused on clean resources, clean technology and responsible sourcing of metals, Charles Nyabeze, the director of government relations for CEMI, told CBC News in October.
Calling it the CLEER Supercluster — Clean, low-energy, effective, engaged, and remediated — Nyabeze said investment in the project would help the mining industry to produce minerals in a more responsible and sustainable way.
"We think the future of mining requires us to mine in ways that are responsible from the energy utilization side, water consumption, and also what kind of a footprint we leave on the environment," Nyabeze said.
Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré said he was "disappointed" in the government's decision, and added he felt confident the groups involved in the proposal would continue to work together on development.
Ian Wood, Sudbury's head of economic development echoed Serré's disappointment.
"Our local mining cluster was one of the key components of this bid and we are proud that we were able to make the short list in this competitive process," Wood said in statement released today.
"Local partners will continue to work to find other ways to expand our reach, to deliver innovative solutions to the mining world."