Paul Stothart is vice president, economic affairs of the Mining Association of Canada. He is responsible for advancing the industry’s interests regarding federal tax, trade, investment, transport and energy issues.
Times remain quite good within the global mining industry. There is no shortage of challenges to be sure, ranging from a dearth of workers to mounting social license issues. Nonetheless, the enduring strength of mineral prices continues to drive the industry. Nickel prices grew from $3 per pound in 2002 to $17 in 2007, and copper from 70 cents to over $3. Gold and silver are at prices not seen in decades. The result is record mineral exploration spending, high capital investment, and buoyant stock prices and mergers and acquisitions activity. Demand from emerging economies will continue to drive strong mineral prices in future years.
In this context, a key challenge for the industry worldwide relates to increased international turbulence as governments of many countries aim to capture a larger share of the overall mining revenue streams. Towards this end, governments in many regions are taking a range of actions and, in some cases, following questionable processes. For example: Read the rest of this entry »
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