The Ring of Fire and NWO Mineral Deposits wins the Strategic Project of the Year and the Job Creation Project of the Year Awards at the 4th Annual North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum in Denver, Colorado on October 16, 2012.

The Forum is being held on October 15 to 17, 2012, with over 500 executives from the public and private sector in attendance. The Forum is a 2 ½ day conference, focused on infrastructure development in North America, designed to create business opportunities and promote projects across the region, as well as showcase the cities, states and provinces with the most innovative infrastructure plans. This annual event draws international investors, engineers and developers.

The Strategic Project of the Year award is the most prestigious prize awarded. The award is for projects which will generate a giant stride in a country or region’s productivity and/or competitiveness.

The Job/Opportunity Creation Project of the Year is for projects that will create the greatest number of jobs and/or businesses over the lifetime of the project. This award tabulates direct, indirect and induces job creation, over the 20 to 30 year life of the project.

Winners were announced yesterday afternoon at the Forum. Top projects are chosen by a jury of forum sponsors, with a wide representation across geographies and sectors.

Steve Demmings, CEO -Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) and John Mason, Project Manager – Mining Services – CEDC, attended the Forum to create outside awareness that Northwestern Ontario (NWO) is one of the mine production and exploration “hotspots” in Canada as 9 to 13 major exploration projects are anticipated to come into production by 2013-2017. Their attendance may also create potential investment opportunities for mine and mineral projects in NWO.

Thunder Bay and NWO are emerging as a regional exploration and mining hub, which has initiated the Mining Readiness Strategy – An Integrated Regional Economic Development Plan.

The City of Thunder Bay, together with Fort William First Nation (FWFN) and CEDC are undertaking the Mining Readiness Strategy to address and strategically plan for economic growth in Thunder Bay and the region.

The Mining Readiness Strategy will address issues related to: transportation and infrastructure needs; industrial energy; workforce training and development; business development; housing and community services; research and development; capital investment and financing; intergovernmental relations; and communications.

Research demonstrates that the discovery and development of mineral resources in the “Ring of Fire” and beyond will create mining opportunities that will have a direct impact in shaping the region’s exciting economic outlook. Currently Thunder Bay hosts 29 exploration company offices, and over 130 service and supply companies in exploration/mining. Anticipated growth in mining will place unique pressures on Thunder Bay and communities in NWO.

The Strategy is in its early stages of development, and is scheduled to be completed by January 2013. Implementation of the Strategy is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2015.

CEDC is responsible for business development, retention and expansion, entrepreneurial support, opportunity promotion, and collection and assessment of key business data. Incorporated in December 2006, CEDC is an arms-length Community Development Corporation, led by an independent Board with core funding from the City of Thunder Bay. Located within CEDC’s administrative office, the Thunder Bay and District Entrepreneur Centre provides seminars, workshops and free and confidential business counselling services to new and existing small businesses.


John Mason
Project Manager, Mining Services
Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)
Phone: 807-625-2480

Steve Demmings
Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)
Phone: 807-625-3960