How Canadian mining can maintain its global competitive edge

After a terrible week for commodities and mining shares, Mining Association of Canada president Pierre Gratton laid out a competitiveness road map for miners in Quebec and across Canada in a speech to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday.

Canada is currently a top-five producer of aluminum, diamonds, nickel, platinum, potash, steel-making coal, uranium, and zinc.

Gratton warned that in today's mining world "investment dollars are highly mobile and global competition is fierce."

If Canada is to retain its place as a "global mining powerhouse," it must focus on the following key areas, according to Gratton:

  • Maintaining low inflation
  • Reducing debts
  • Preserving and improving competitive tax levels
  • Staying as a strong free trader/resisting protectionism
  • Deepening engagement in emerging markets, especially in China
  • Improving the regulatory framework for mining projects, while keeping environmental protection a top priority
  • Addressing the looming skills crisis in the mining sector (145,000 new workers needed over the next decade to replace retirees and to fill new positions)
  • Investing in critical infrastructure to support new mining projects, such as ports, all-weather roads and rail


Sources: The Mining Association of Canada; Bloomberg