Government pledges continued support as National Mining Week begins

A statement from the minister of natural resources, Joe Oliver, marking the beginning of National Mining Week in Canada emphasized the government’s role in supporting the industry, as well as the importance of the industry for the country’s economic development and its impact “in every region of Canada.”

The government has put in place, the minister said in his statement, various measures to “enhance mining innovation, productivity and competitiveness,” These actions include corporate income tax rate reductions and eliminating the federal capital tax, measures that have increased businesses’ competitiveness, he said.

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The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, of which Canada is a major supporting member, is intended to ensure that the financial benefits of natural resources are passed on to the citizens of the countries in which the resources are found, not lost to corrupt governments.

“We are committed to attracting investment, supporting innovation, opening new markets and improving the regulatory system for major mining projects,” Oliver said.

Speaking of the government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development, Oliver said that the plan is ensuring that Canada’s regulatory regime for natural resource projects is “among the most efficient, effective and competitive in the world.”

On the international level, the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development, a government-established body, supports sustainable economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction in developing countries. The Institute promotes transparency, accountability, corporate social responsibility and good governance in the natural resource sectors.

Canada is the second largest financial supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, providing $12.65 million to the World Bank’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-donor Trust Fund, and $10 million to the World Bank’s Extractive Industry Technical Advisory Facility.

Canadian exploration, mining, and allied industries operate in over 100 countries around the world, with cumulative assets worth nearly $147 billion outside of Canada (2011). In Canada, the mining, mineral processing and associated manufacturing sectors directly employed 330,000 Canadians and contributed an estimated $63 billion in nominal GDP in 2011, accounting for 3.9 percent of the Canadian economy.

Gold was the top metallic mineral mined in Canada in 2012, with a value of $5.6 billion. Iron and copper were next, while potash was the top non-metallic mineral, worth %7 billion, followed by coal and diamonds. In total, Canada’s mining exports were worth $92.6 billion in 2012, accounting for just over 20 per cent of the country’s total exports.

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