A REVIEW OF LONG DISTANCE COMMUTING : IMPLICATIONS FOR NORTHERN MINING COMMUNITIES

CIM Edmonton 2004
Abstract In the last two decades, there have been no new mining towns built in Canada. Long distance commuting (LDC), commonly known as commuter mines, fly-in-fly-out or fly-in mines, has been seen as a way to avoid building a new community and providing for its sustainability after mine closure. LDC is also considered more cost-effective than building a mining town. The intensification of its use has been quite rapid, particularly in northern regions. However, LDC has implications that deserve further examination, particularly considering the current expansion in northern mining and Aboriginal participation in this sector.

This paper presents a review of the major issues in LDC and is a result of preliminary investigation for a research project that will be guided by an interdisciplinary team at the University of British Columbia. In order to pursue this project, it is paramount that industry and local communities alike participate in the development of the research questions and in the research design. It is hoped that this paper will function as an invitation for partners for such a study. The main themes identified for future research are occupational health and safety of LDC employees, family life impacts and community health impacts of this model.
Keywords: Long distance commuting, Canadian North, well being, remote communities, Human Resources, Aboriginal, fly-in-fly-out, Sustainability, Workforce, Interdisciplinary
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