Mining has helped to build Ontario. What were once small mining camps have grown to become vibrant communities such as Sudbury, Red Lake, Timmins and Kirkland Lake. These communities, and many like them, provide a high quality of life for industry workers and those employed by the sizeable mine supply and service cluster. They are home to innovative companies that nurture diversity and talent, and whose global connections, experience and innovative drive give communities a competitive edge.
Modern mining companies take a partnership approach to community relations. Through proactive communication, they address concerns and engage communities in the process of creating sustainable value at the local level. This approach builds understanding and trust, while helping to identify opportunities for making a positive difference in people's lives. Although important in any community, this participatory model is imperative in remote ones, where mining serves as the key to improving socio-economic circumstances and stimulating a diversified local economy that will flourish throughout the life of the mine and well beyond.
In addition to providing jobs and enabling income creation, mines invest in infrastructure, education, vocational training, health care, cultural programs and environmental initiatives. These operational impacts and corporate social responsibility commitments inevitably trigger growth and diversification in the local economy, resulting in sustainable development.
Respectful, mutually-beneficial relationships with Aboriginal communities are crucial to the Ontario mining industry. Mining is the largest industrial employer of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, who account for about 7.5% of the total mining labour force. In creating employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal communities, mining companies seek to encourage economic independence and entrepreneurship, while remaining sensitive to local cultural and social practices. The industry values indigenous knowledge, which can inform and improve a mine's operational and environmental policy.
Over the last few decades, Aboriginal-industry relationships and partnerships have evolved tremendously through the conclusion of various types of agreements related to mine development that have proven to be successful in securing benefits for many Aboriginal communities. The Interactive Map of Aboriginal Mining Agreements illustrates where these agreements have been signed across the country and provides specific information on exploration projects and mines, Aboriginal communities, and the types of agreements signed between communities and mining companies.
Learn more about the principles that guide our industry's partnerships with Aboriginal, and other communities:
Exploration and Mining Guide for Aboriginal Communities
MiHR's Portal for Aboriginal Engagement in Mining
PDAC's e3 Plus: A framework for responsible exploration
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