The Governments of Canada and Manitoba will invest more than $1.7 million to support the development and delivery of a mining equipment training program at the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy in Flin Flon.
Funding under the Canada-Manitoba Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA) will be used to purchase two state-of-the-art training simulators that will enable miners to learn how to operate underground mining equipment, undertake proper safety measures and cope with an underground emergency situation.
“Providing more than 5,400 jobs as well as spinoff employment for suppliers, contractors and exploration companies and others, mining is the bedrock of Manitoba’s northern economy,” said the Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba. “The academy and these new mining simulators strengthen the mining sectors as a major resource to strengthen community and industry partnerships and allow northern residents to train close to home for high-wage, high-skilled jobs.”
“The mining sector is a major contributor to Manitoba’s economy, and by investing in this program, our Government is ensuring that the sector continues to grow and provide highly-skilled jobs for Northern Manitobans,” said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.
Two movable simulator training stations with four interchangeable consoles will be used to provide training. The training will be delivered at the newly announced Northern Manitoba Mining Academy in Flin Flon and Vale Inco in Thompson. The University College of the North, Northern Manitoba Sector Council, Manitoba Mining Association, Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd., Vale Inco and the University of Manitoba will support this endeavour.
Simulator training has been used by the mining industry in Australia and South Africa for over 10 years and has proven to be effective in training new employees within a shorter period of time, and without risking damage to multi-million dollar pieces of equipment.
“State-of-the-art simulation equipment ensures we can maintain a competitive advantage, now and into the future,” said Doug Lauvstad, Executive Director of the Northern Manitoba Sector Council. “This investment in the academy and in the simulators, by the federal and provincial governments is welcomed and will further the mandate of the Northern Sector Council to assist in the development of a world class mining workforce.”
“The need for skilled workers and re-skilled workers in the mining industry is critical as mining methods advance with complex, computerized and mechanized machinery utilized in Manitoba’s changing environments,” said Tom Goodman, Senior Vice-President of Operations for Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company Ltd. “This state-of-the-art equipment will assist with the intense and higher level training that is now required.”
This announcement builds on an investment of $920,000 from the Government of Canada’s federal Economic Action Plan and $950,000 from the Manitoba government, for a total of more than $1.8 million to construct and equip the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy in Flin Flon. The academy will provide northern residents with training to work in the mining industry or upgrade their skills.
The investment by the Governments of Canada and Manitoba is made through the Canada-Manitoba Western Economic Partnership Agreement. Both Canada and Manitoba are contributing $25 million each, over four years to strengthen economic activity and improve quality of life in Manitoba communities.