NEWS RELEASE: Natural Resources Canada News – Government of Canada Strengthens Commitment to Mineral Exploration

March 7, 2011

TORONTO — Canada’s world-leading exploration and mining industry, an important source of employment and an economic driver for the country, will benefit from a new federal investment in mineral exploration geoscience.

Speaking at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the third renewal of the Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI). The Government of Canada will provide funding of $25 million over five years ― more than double the original two-year allocation of $12 million ― to help develop new ways of exploring for deep mineral deposits.

“The Government of Canada recognizes that modern geoscientific information can help lower industry’s exploration risks and support the search for undiscovered natural resources,” said Minister Paradis. “We are committed to fostering economic growth throughout Canada, improving our global competitiveness and helping create local employment in mineral-based communities.”

Led by Natural Resources Canada, the renewed Targeted Geoscience Initiative will provide integrated geoscience knowledge regarding areas of high mineral potential, with the aim of lowering risk and stimulating private-sector resource exploration. The TGI program objectives are guided by the research needs of Canada’s exploration industry. The program is a partnership initiative delivered in collaboration with provincial and territorial geological surveys, and with significant participation by universities.

While the large majority of TGI activities will occur south of the 60th parallel, some will take place in Canada’s North, complementing Natural Resources Canada’s ongoing Geo-mapping for Energy and Mineral (GEM) program.

Announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008, GEM is a five-year, $100-million geological mapping program to provide the geoscience information necessary to encourage northern economic development through lowering investment risk by private sector exploration companies, and to assist governments in making informed land-use decisions.

A key activity of the GEM program is collecting new field data and introducing innovative concepts that help improve our understanding of northern resource potential. To date, 24 regional geophysical surveys have been completed, and 310 new geoscience maps have been published, with 11 new maps released today and an additional 20 to be released on April 1, 2011.

Past successes of publicly funded geoscience in Canada include the discovery of copper, zinc and gold deposits in northern Manitoba and diamonds in the North. Every dollar spent on public geoscience leads to five dollars in private sector investment in exploration spending and $125 in discovered resources. Canada is now ranked second in the world in terms of value of diamond production.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis today announced new federal investments in mineral exploration geoscience. Through enhanced funding of $25 million over five years, the Targeted Geoscience Initiative will focus on helping industry develop new ways of exploring for deep mineral deposits.

Media may contact:

Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

The general public may contact:

Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EST
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

The following media backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index-eng.php:
a.Targeted Geoscience Initiative-4: Increasing Deep Exploration Effectiveness
b.Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals: New Geoscience Maps for Nunavut
NRCan’s news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index-eng.php.

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