Canada's mine ministers meet in Halifax
Amid declining commodity prices, Canada's mine ministers met today in Halifax to discuss regulations, capital access and high costs.
It was the 72nd annual cofernece. Briefs were submitted by the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF), prepared by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
The CMIF group noted how tough the current financing situation is. Exploration expenditures in 2014 were are at their lowest levels since 2002. In Canada, juniors accounted for only 40% of exploration expenditures in2013, down from a high of 65 % in 2007.
Ministers were urged to help miners weather the current storms and prepare for the next inevitable upturn.
"Despite the current downturn, the industry continues to make enormous contributions to the social and economic well-being of Canadians. However, these contributions cannot be taken for granted.
"Working in partnership with industry, governments can take concrete steps now to position the sector for future success so that, together, we can seize growth opportunities at the earliest signs of the next upturn," said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, Mining Association of Canada.
The three groups presenting issued a statement:
Exploration and Mining Industry Calls for Government Collaboration on Key Challenges
Industry Highlights Top Priorities at the Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference
HALIFAX, NS–(Marketwired – July 20, 2015) – As Canada's Energy and Mines Ministers meet for their 72nd annual conference, Canada's exploration and mining industry is asking governments to turn their attention to several areas that are challenging the sector during this period of economic downturn and uncertainty.
A brief submitted by the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF), prepared by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), detailed three policy priorities that will help the industry overcome current challenges and capitalize on the opportunities before it:
- Address challenges in the transition to Canada's new regulatory regime and clarify the duty to consult
- Ensure sufficient capacity across federal departments to conduct timely environmental assessments and improve federal-provincial coordination.
- Clarify and improve the Crown's duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal communities, particularly issues related to ambiguity, unpredictability, discrepancies between Crown consultation policies / guidelines and consultation in practice, and provincial/territorial-federal coordination.
- Address the higher costs of operating in remote and northern Canada
- A recent industry study has revealed that the cost to build new mines is as much as 2.5 times higher in northern Canada compared to more centrally-located regions, while remote mineral exploration can cost as much as six times that of non-remote projects. This cost premium is largely attributed to the lack of critical infrastructure in these regions, such as ports, power and roads.
- Governments should work together to invest in nation-building northern infrastructure, and use fiscal tools to facilitate private-sector infrastructure investments to catalyze remote exploration and new mining investment.
- Help juniors to secure access to capital
- Adopt and enhance fiscal incentives that sustain grassroots mineral exploration in order to maintain the pipeline of projects that could become mines.
- Reform the fragmented and complex securities regulatory system in Canada to support cost-effective ways to raise capital and help maintain Canada's global leadership in mining equity finance.
"Despite the current downturn, the industry continues to make enormous contributions to the social and economic well-being of Canadians. However, these contributions cannot be taken for granted. Working in partnership with industry, governments can take concrete steps now to position the sector for future success so that, together, we can seize growth opportunities at the earliest signs of the next upturn," said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC.
"To compete globally, Canada must work to remain attractive as a destination for investment in mineral exploration and development. Canada must also maintain the components of the ecosystem that make the Canadian minerals industry unique, namely its world-class exploration and supply sectors, financing expertise and reputation as a consistent and stable jurisdiction in which to explore, build and operate mines," said Rod Thomas, President, PDAC.
To read the CMIF brief in full, please click here.
About the Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada's production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca.
About the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)
The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is the national voice of Canada's mineral exploration and development industry. With a membership of over 8,000, the PDAC's mission is to promote a responsible, vibrant and sustainable Canadian mineral exploration and development sector. The PDAC encourages leading practices in technical, environmental, safety and social performance in Canada and internationally. PDAC is known worldwide for its annual PDAC Convention, regarded as the premier event for mineral industry professionals. The PDAC Convention has attracted over 25,000 people from 125 countries in recent years and will next be held March 6-9, 2016, in Toronto. Please visit www.pdac.ca
About the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF)
The Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF) comprises more than 20 national, provincial and territorial associations that represent various components of the Canadian mineral and mining industry.