CARSON CITY – Canadian mining industry incubator MineConnect will open its doors in Elko this year after signing a three-year partnership deal with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority (NNRDA). The deal is the culmination of five years of discussions, including three trade missions to Nevada.
MineConnect is a northern Ontario-based nonprofit that serves as a supply and service association. It touts “Canada’s largest concentration of hard rock mining expertise through its membership of 190 companies with 8,800 employees,” which it will connect with Nevada’s mining industry once the incubator opens later in 2021.
“I’m very excited to welcome MineConnect to Nevada, a nonprofit that will enhance one of our most important industries,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “I’m confident this will be a mutually beneficial relationship. I look forward to introducing Canadian companies to our state, which will greatly enhance our mining industry’s supply chain.”
According to a statement announcing the partnership, MineConnect members will apply for the opportunity to occupy a portion of the space where they will begin evaluating the market, making connections, and hopefully securing contracts. Companies will be encouraged to make final business development decisions within 12 months of occupancy. If northern Nevada is a good fit, the business will be expected to establish its own operation within the region resulting in quality job opportunities for Nevadans.
The new business incubator will house approximately 10 companies at any given time and is funded to operate for three years before determining whether the incubator will be a long-term operation.
“From an economic development perspective, this is absolutely phenomenal” said Sheldon Mudd, Executive Director of NNRDA, “MineConnect’s model allows businesses to gauge the market with very little risk. The overall end game is to provide the tools necessary to ensure success; we want these companies to set up their United States based operations here in Northern Nevada, to hire local employees, and to reduce the overall cost of our mine operations.”
MineConnect Executive Director Paul Bradette agreed that building Nevada’s supply chain cluster was a priority. “By filling supply chain gaps, MineConnect hopes to eliminate the industry’s need to source goods and services from far outside of Nevada and often the United States.”
In addition to bringing Canadian mining businesses to Nevada, MineConnect will also connect Nevada mining companies with the northern Ontario market. Bradette said that will be important as northern Ontario moves in the direction of open pit mining, something in which Nevada companies are experts.
As of 2020, there are more than 150 Canadian-owned businesses within Nevada–employing more than 10,000 people–with 25 of them part of the mining industry. Canada is also Nevada’s third largest export market and second largest import market. Total exports to Canada equaled approximately $1.2 billion in goods. Mining and mining associated goods account for more than 45 percent of Nevada’s exports. Nevada also exports $1 billion in services to Canada annually.