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Chapleau is electrifying the gold mining industry


In Chapleau, a nearby all-electric gold mine is working with the town to fill roles with local workers.

Newmont Porcupine’s fully electric mine introduced a new industry to the Chapleau area in 2019, bringing new jobs to a primarily forestry-focused town.

Newmont’s external relations coordinator Donna Byce has been there from the start.

“I would say we’re a pretty diverse group,” Byce said.

“Starting out new in the community, so the fulfillment of being a part of that project, as it grows through the years, is pretty exciting.”

Now a mixed team of company-staffed and contract workers keep the mine running, from engineers, geologists and First Nations monitors, to miners, mechanics and electricians.

The days are long but rewarding, she said.

“We’re like a nice little family and, you know, you build those relationships and continue to network,” Byce said.

Just 15 minutes away from Chapleau, it’s a short drive to a town where everything’s a short drive away.

A quaint community rich in outdoor activity, its taxable population has been shrinking. But Mayor Ryan Bignucolo said there’s actually a large population of travelling workers.

Bignucolo wants to attract more people to town for Newmont, but for that to happen, he’ll need housing.

And that will require support from the province and local industries, Bignucolo said, confident the town still has major potential.

The commercial sector has direct access to a cross-country freight train and a large airport.

“There’s a lot of great things that are here, we just somehow got to find a way to tell everybody and get them here and show them what we got,” he said.

Find more news on the northern Ontario mining industry here.


“It’s coming. Nothing happens as fast as I want it to happen, but it’s happening.”

Bignucolo and Byce were both born and raised in Chapleau and both have travelled elsewhere. They said it’s an inviting place for a relaxing work and play lifestyle.

“It‘s always great to come home to that small town home feel,” Byce said. “You know, you still get to enjoy the evenings and enjoy the outdoors, especially.”

“You’ve got fishing, you’ve got boating, you’re able to go SeaDoo-ing for endless amount of kilometres. Nature walks … skiing … snowmobiling, we’ve got a beautiful trail that you can go throughout northern Ontario. It’s just endless, like, you’re never stuck for something to do in Chapleau.”

People won’t be stuck for work either, with Newmont looking for underground contract workers, along with corporate technicians and geologists.

The local Greenfirst Sawmill and CP Rail are also hiring. Top Stories

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