$1.3B Cote Gold Project near Gogama to create 450 permanent jobs, officials say

The prime minister and the premier both agree a new gold mine opening near Gogama is a sign of an economy on the rebound.

During construction phase, project is expected to create about 1,000 jobs, then eventually 450 permanent jobs

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford take questions following the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Cote Lake gold mine near Gogama. (Erik White/CBC )

The prime minister and the premier both agree a new gold mine opening near Gogama is a sign of an economy on the rebound.

The two leaders took part in a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for the new Cote Lake gold mine, which has been in the works for years now.

"This project shows our economy is getting back on its feet. International investors know that Canada is a good place to do business," Justin Trudeau told the crowd gathered on the spot near Highway 144 where the camp for housing workers at the mine is to be built. 

A model of the new Cote Lake gold mine sits on the site where the camp for housing workers is being built. (Erik White/CBC )

During construction, the mine is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs, as well as 450 full-time jobs once completed.

"And those people are going to be able to put a paycheque in their pocket and pay their bills and support the economy," said Premier Doug Ford.

"With every shovel in the ground, we're taking another step towards recovery, another step towards ensuring no part of Ontario is left behind."

Ford said that the project was stalled a year and a half ago due to "government inaction" and said his government got it back on track thanks to the cutting of "red tape."

Trudeau and Ford had very kind words for each other and held a short private meeting at the event, a sharp contrast to the negative picture of the Ontario premier Trudeau painted during the federal election campaign a year ago. 

Premier Doug Ford lifts a shovel of dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joked about the possibility he might find some gold. (Erik White/CBC )

In a news release, the Ontario government said the mine will drive long-term economic growth and support a strong recovery in Northern Ontario. When fully operational, the mine is expected to generate more than $5 billion in wages, and contribute $10 billion to Ontario's gross domestic product over its 18-year life span.

Today's announcement has been years in the making, due to numerous delays. The province says it continues to work collaboratively with IAMGOLD, First Nation and Métis communities, the federal government, interest groups and forest industry to reduce delays and remove regulatory barriers for permitting and approvals to help support construction of the project.

Once construction is complete, the mine is expected to reach full production by 2023.


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