After such a tumultuous year, what can we expect in 2021?
One trend is becoming undeniably clear: industries worldwide are moving quickly toward the adoption of electric vehicles.
This has local repercussions—and very positive ones. It means there will be an uptick in EV activity across Northern Ontario and in Sault Ste. Marie. That’s thanks to the global move toward a cleaner, greener future, because governments are getting involved and encouraging responsible choices. It’s also because electric vehicles run on batteries and other parts, which require copper, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold and steel.
A recent report from Crescendo Equity, a recognized provider of investment opportunities in Canadian real estate projects, illustrates how the province of Ontario stands to benefit from an EV boom in particular because it is so rich in these natural resources. Ontario has the highest number of active mining projects in all of Canada, estimated at 1,195 (this figure includes prospective projects, as well as permitted ones).
Several companies are bringing their electric vehicle operations to cities in Northern Ontario. This will of course impact both the job and the real estate markets here in Sault Ste. Marie.
Support for the EV sector is growing and there is definitely global interest. Here in Canada, both the government and several large corporations, such as General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, have already made billions of dollars’ worth of investments. Canada is an especially attractive destination for businesses, as it has lower taxes and electricity costs.
While Sault Ste. Marie isn’t home to actual mining operations, the city is very well known for its advanced manufacturing sector. It is home to Algoma Steel, Tenaris, Algoma Tubes, Arauco North America and McDougall Energy, among others.
In the next few years, the city could also be welcoming Noront Resources’ ferrochrome production facility, a development that represents a one-billion-dollar investment. If the project is approved, it is expected to add thousands of jobs to the market and is predicted to employ up to 500 people directly and more than 1,000 indirectly.
Ferrochrome is used in the production of stainless steel, which is flame-, heat- and corrosion-resistant. Each of these properties is essential for use in EVs. Noront also explores and develops gold, silver, nickel and copper, which are the key components used to make electric vehicle batteries and other parts.
There is active mineral exploration in townships that neighbour Sault Ste. Marie. Projects range from established excavation companies to junior ventures. Alamos Gold, for example, has begun excavation of the Island Gold Mine in Dubreuilville. Argonaut Gold is about to start a $330-million excavation of Magino Mine, in the same township. There are also projects underway in Jacobson Township in the District of Algoma, at the Côté Mine 500 km northeast of Sault Ste. Marie, at the Eagle River Mine Complex west of Wawa, and at the Wawa Gold Project.
In terms of future projects, Sudbury company, Transition Metals, will soon begin exploration just north of Sault Ste. Marie. Historically, the southeastern shore of Lake Superior has shown signs of possible iron oxide, copper and gold deposits.
The future is indeed looking bright in Sault Ste. Marie, as the city has a key role to play in the worldwide shift toward greener industry. For more information, visit Crescendo Equity.