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The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) released its annual Facts & Figures report on Tuesday, saying it is time is for the industry to fulfill its potential as a dominant mining nation.
The resource-rich country ranks among the top five countries in the global production of 15 minerals and metals. The industry was valued at $105 billion in 2018, and mineral exports accounted for 19 percent of Canada’s total domestic exports, the report found.
Facts & Figures reports that in 2018, Canada’s mining industry contributed C$97 billion ($73 billion) or 5 percent to Canada’s total nominal GDP.
The industry’s direct and indirect employment exceeds 620,000 jobs, accounting for one in every 30 jobs in Canada. Proportionally, the mining industry is the largest private-sector employer of indigenous peoples and provided over 16,600 jobs to community members in 2018, MAC found.
MAC said that with this data comes the need to focus on where the industry still has room to improve and that while Canadian mining’s year-over-year competitiveness metrics have improved, they remain depressed in some areas. But as its oil industry continues to struggle, Canada is looking to revitalize its mining sector.
Capital investment increased modestly by 5 percent to C$12.9 billion year-over-year, following five consecutive previous years of decline.
Canada’s global share of non-ferrous exploration investment was 15 percent in 2018 — up 1.3 percent from 13.7 percent — but well below the peak of 20.8 percent in 2008, MAC reported. While showing growth of 5 percent (or C$8 billion) year-over-year, NRCan’s 10-year projected value of mining projects planned and under construction remains 50 percent below 2014 levels, from $160 billion to $80 billion.
Only five new mining projects were submitted for federal environmental assessment review in 2019, well below average levels seen from 2012-2014.
“We feel energized by a number of recent commitments pertaining to mining, including in Prime Minister Trudeau’s most recent mandate letters to his Cabinet, the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan and the new Canada-US Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration, all of which bode well for our industry,” said Pierre Gratton, MAC’s president and CEO.
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