Is another mining boom on the horizon?
Published Tuesday, April 10, 2018 7:09PM EDT
There is a sense of excitement, anticipation and optimism these days in the Township of Coleman and the Towns of Cobalt and Latchford.
The area is trying to attract potential suitors for cobalt mining all while keeping the environment in mind.
With memories of a more fruitful time economically, when the silver rush was it its peak in the 1900's, it seems as though another mining boom may be on the horizon and this time for a more fitting mineral.
Anthony Rota is the Liberal MP for Nipissing-Temiskaming.
"Now, what we are seeing is, with the need for cobalt for electric batteries, what ends up happening is this is one of the best supplies in a stable country where mines and people can come and actually mine the product." said Rota.
Tina Sartoretto is the Town of Cobalt Mayor.
“If mining does occur, it certainly won't be the same kind of mining that occurred 110 years ago, because that was fairly narrow vein mining, but there are a lot of companies that are interested in the area and we are hoping it will amount to something." said Sartoretto.
The Cobalt Mayor says the community is cautiously optimistic, although she says there has already been some positive spin-off.
"Some mines have already purchased or acquired property or buildings they can use for some of their work. It's not monumental, but in this area, it does have an impact." said Sartoretto.
Already there are homeowners who are speculating, as well, that they can get a big return.
Cody Smeets is a homeowner from Kitchener.
"We bought a house, since we heard about tesla and the mining for cobalt that is in all the mines around here. So, we're hoping they come up here and we can double or triple our money." said Smeets.
If the mining industry is to flourish as it once did, the communities of Cobalt, Latchford and all of Coleman Township want to make sure it will be more environmentally friendly than in the past.
In fact, the area is hosting the 2018 Green Mining Conference in September.
Dan Cleroux is the Mayor of Coleman Township.
"Here is no better place than the cobalt camp, where you learn not to do the things they did, like taking tailings and filling up a lake. That's not really a good thing, and so those days are gone and it's time to start cleaning up." said Cleroux.
George Lefebvre is the Town of Latchford Mayor.
"Our voices are larger and if we can cooperate and work with each other, we can accomplish more than as individual communities.” said Lefebvre.
The three communities say they are committed to drawing new mining firms to the industry, and while they are proud of their past, there is also promise to learn from and to ensure viability for the area both economically and environmentally.