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From Resource to Revenue Dryden Mill Lessons For The Ring of Fire

From Resource to Revenue Dryden Mill Lessons For The Ring of Fire – This report was made possible through the support of our partners Lakehead University, Laurentian University and Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. Northern Policy Institute expresses great appreciation for their generous support but emphasizes the following: The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Institute, its Board of Directors or its supporters. Author’s calcuations are based on data available at the time of publication and are therefore subject to change.

Executive Summary

Following the discovery of copper-nickel and chromite deposits in the Ring of Fire nearly a decade ago, there has been much talk about the enormous potential for economic development represented by this untapped resource. Eight years later, however, many are questioning why so little progress has been made and some are becoming increasingly frustrated with the pace of development. While there is no denying the enormous potential value of this resource, the simple truth is that there exist many challenges and obstacles – some known and some yet to arise – to its development, and consequently it could take what may seem like a very long time to realize this goal.

This commentary reviews the early history of the pulp and paper mill in Dryden to provide an object lesson in the need to bring a strong dose of reality to the expectations that surround the Ring of Fire project. While the Dryden mill has struggled in recent years, it was once one of the largest facilities of its kind in Canada. Yet it took decades for this enterprise to reach an appreciable size, as its development was delayed by a complex mix of local, provincial, national and international factors. In many ways, these influences are not that different from those that are currently affecting the Ring of Fire. As a result, the early history of the Dryden mill serves as a cautionary tale and provides further context about the reality of natural resource development projects in Northern Ontario.

From Resource to Revenue Dryden Mill Lessons For The Ring of Fire:

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