Canadian miners to face stricter rules on overseas payments

Canada will follow Europe and the US’s lead when it comes to forcing mining, oil and gas companies to disclose any payments they make to governments abroad, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Wednesday in London.

The upcoming rules will reflect the world's eight richest nations group (G8) initiative undertook after their 2011 meeting in Deauville, France, when they promised they would enforce greater scrutiny of companies' payments to foreign governments, reports.

“With 70% of the world’s mining companies listed in Canada, and 70% of the world’s free-enterprise oil located in Canada, our participation will help transform the way industry reports payments worldwide,” Harper was quoted as saying.

In response to the announcement, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) said in an e-mailed statement the group was highly satisfied with the news, as they believe their efforts on transparency provided the groundwork for the Prime Minister’s decision.

“Transparency is a necessary tool for fostering greater accountability, and helps ensure that the benefits of natural resource development reach the more than one billion people living in resource-rich countries,” said Ross Gallinger, Executive Director, PDAC.

He added that the implementation of a framework for mandatory reporting was an "important and feasible" goal for the country.

Canada is a major player in the extractive industry, with about half of the mining that takes place around the world done by Canadian companies. On top of that, 70% of all the world’s mining and exploration companies and 35% of all oil and gas companies are listed on the country's exchanges, according to official figures.