CN rail strike impacting Canadian mining operations

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) expressed concern Tuesday regarding the effects that the work stoppage resulting from disagreements between Canadian National Railway (CN) and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference will have on the mining sector, and the broader Canadian economy. 

The impact is felt strongly by mining companies dependent on rail to either transport supplies in, or transport products and by-products from operations. 

“The shipment of fuel and other supplies to mine sites will be compromised as will the transport of mineral products”

Pierre Gratton, MAC’s President and CEO 

The mining industry is also the most significant customer of Canada’s Class I railways, consistently accounting for the majority (52.3% in 2018) of rail freight revenues generated annually, and is the single largest shipping group by volume.  

The majority of this production volume is shipped to international customers, together accounting for 20% (or more than C$105 billion) of the total value of Canada’s exports in 2018. 

“In the minerals and metals sector, experience has demonstrated that a rail stoppage significantly impacts the ability of companies to bring essential inputs to their mines, and the ability to move mineral products and by-products to down-stream customers,” said Gratton. “MAC members have advised that this strike will result in a severe reduction or elimination of railway capacity and will trigger the closure of mines with concurrent lay-offs of thousands of employees beginning in a matter of days.” 

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