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Regional economy group gets $96k from mining fund for "investment attraction toolkit"

Local councillors and leaders have received tens of thousands of dollars from a provincial mining fund to help economic growth in the Flin Flon area.
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Local councillors and leaders have received tens of thousands of dollars from a provincial mining fund to help economic growth in the Flin Flon area.

The Regional Economic Development Commission (REDC) announced last week that it had received funding for what it calls an “investment attraction toolkit’. Funds for the toolkit - about $98,000 in total - came courtesy of the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund (MMDF), the provincial replacement for the former Mining Community Reserve Fund (MCRF) and administered by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

The toolkit will include creating what the REDC calls a “strategic investment attraction portfolio along with substantiated investment cases, including an integrated online platform to attract and direct investments to the Flin Flon region.”

“The REDC is thankful for the endorsement by MMDF, which is undoubtedly, a vote of confidence in the ongoing development efforts,” reads an REDC news release.

The REDC is a combination effort between local leaders in Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach, created in 2016 to help spur economic development in the area. All three mayors and local councils form the REDC, including Flin Flon Mayor Cal Huntley - who also serves as chair of the application review committee for the MMDF.

“Our region is going through a transformative period, which is accompanied by unprecedented opportunities,” Huntley is quoted as saying in an REDC press release.

“As an example, we see immense values in solidifying our region as a strategic hub servicing the communities in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The funding from MMDF is timely in positioning us to ride on the momentum garnered to date and further advance our steps toward planned economic diversification.”

The MMDF provided partial funding to eight different projects in Manitoba in 2020, including providing $300,000 to Callinex Mines for a drilling program at its Pine Bay project near Flin Flon, $300,000 to BWR Exploration over the next three years for exploration in remote northern Manitoba and $300,000 for the Potash and Agri-Development Corporation of Manitoba ahead of building a potash mine operation in southwest Manitoba. The fund also provided money to the Thompson Community Development Corporation for the first phase of its own sustainability project - that undertaking received $115,000.

As of the end of 2020, over $20 million in funding was available through the fund according to its most recent annual report.