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1/7/2011    Mining

Rail News: News

Teamsters Canada Rail Conference calls on feds to retain Ontario refinery jobs


The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Maintenance of Way Employees Division is calling on the Canadian government to keep “Ring of Fire” refinery jobs in northern Ontario instead of “siphoning off” raw materials in the mining discovery area and shipping them to China to be refined.

The Ring of Fire features one of the world's largest and richest deposits of chromite, which is used to produce stainless steel, according to the union, which represents MOW workers at several northern Ontario short lines. The area also has nickel, copper, platinum, gold, zinc and magnesium deposits.

"As mining operations begin in the next couple years, the same care taken to protect the environment should be taken to protect and promote the economy of northern Ontario and the thousands of workers who lost their jobs” when a refinery closed a year ago, said William Brehl, the union’s president, in a prepared statement.

Union officials are skeptical about a plan to build a 217-mile rail line to haul ore south to a CN mainline in Nakina, Ontario, then west to a port in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, for export to China.
"There is a better way. At Nakina, CN should take the materials east … to the Algoma Central Railway, which CN owns, then north to Ontario Northland Railway and on to Timmins,” said Brehl. “The infrastructure is there. The trained workforce is there. The housing is there. The plant is there. All that is needed is the will of politicians to insist that business leaders do this instead of sending it all off to China.”


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