Commodity price slump undercuts mining sector

The bottom has fallen out of the commodities market and while Canadian mining firms look set to ride it out, there could be a hit to Canada's economy because of low metals and minerals prices.

At the end of December:

  • coal is down 32 per cent from its price at the end of last year;
  • iron ore, -24 per cent;
  • palladium, -30 per cent;
  • copper, -25 per cent;
  • zinc, -30 per cent;
  • aluminum, -19 per cent.

They're all mined or produced in Canada, part of an industry that employs 380,000 Canadians, dominates the stock market and is a key driver of the economy, contributing $54 billion to domestic GDP in 2013.

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