MAC: Canada at a crossroad
Published by Angharad Lock,
Digital Assistant Editor
A new report from the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) shows evidence of declining Canadian competitiveness and the prospect for major exploration and mining investments to flow offshore.
"Very simply, Canada is not as attractive as it used to be for mineral investment, and competition for those dollars is growing globally. The recent elimination of federal mining tax incentives, regulatory delays and uncertainty, combined with major infrastructure deficits in northern Canada are all contributing factors that can explain Canada's declining attractiveness. The time is now to put the right policy pieces in place to better compete for those investments and regain our leadership in mining," stated Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC.
MAC's Facts & Figures 2016 report notes several indicators that reveal that Canada is not as competitive as it once was. Foreign direct investment into Canada's mining sector dropped by more than 50% year-over-year in 2015. This is disproportionate to Canadian mining direct investment abroad, which only experienced a 6% decline. This imbalance indicates that companies are investing in project development, but may be less interested in doing so in Canada. Canada also no longer attracts the single-largest share of total global mineral exploration spending, having conceded first place to Australia in 2015. Further, no new mining projects entered the federal environmental assessment stage in 2016. If these trends continue, there will be fewer discoveries made and fewer projects that become operational mines in Canada.
"The policy landscape in Canada is full of uncertainty as we await the outcomes of major government decisions. The federal government is reviewing federal environmental legislation, is implementing a pan-Canadian climate change policy, and is working to address long-standing transportation and infrastructure issues. These are all necessary and positive steps, but they must result in boosting Canada's attractiveness as a place to do business. At risk is a key sector of our economy, and one that leads the world in sustainable mining practices," stated Gratton.
MAC's report also revealed the mining industry remained a strong contributor to the Canadian economy despite the downturn in 2015. The industry directly employed more than 370 000 people across Canada and remained the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal people on a proportional basis. An additional 190 000 worked indirectly in mining, with more than 3700 companies supplying goods and services to the Canadian mining industry.
Policies that improve Canada's mining competitiveness:
- Improve the federal project review process.
- Invest in critical infrastructure in remote and northern regions.
- Improve access to trade.
- Address climate change while protecting Canadian businesses.
- Help expedite industry innovation.
To download a copy of Facts & Figures 2016, please visit www.mining.ca/facts-and-figures-2016.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/16022017/mac-canada-at-a-crossroad/
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