Canada remains world’s top destination for mineral exploration investment

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

An event at the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) this week reminded participants that Canada is the world’s preferred destination for mineral exploration investments. In 2011, $3 billion, or 18% of all global mineral exploration expenditures were made in Canada. For 2012, this number is expected to surpass $4 billion.

The Mining Association of Canada in cooperation with the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and the Ontario Mining Association organized this industry event. Federal Natural Resources Minister Honourable Joe Oliver, who is the MP for the riding of Eglinton-Lawrence, was the featured speaker.

“We all know Canada is a global mining economic powerhouse,” said Minister Oliver. “Mining and mineral exploration play a pivotal role in creating growth and jobs in Canada. The natural resource sector accounts for close to 20% of all economic activity in Canada and contributes to meeting Canada’s social priorities.”

Mr. Oliver spoke about his government’s support in working to open new and to expand existing markets for mineral producers and of its financial assistance to geoscience. “To stay in the forefront, we must develop innovative approaches and technologies.” He also stressed commitments to environmental protection and ensuring Canadian Aboriginals share in the responsible development of the country’s natural resources.

Ontario Mining Association President Chris Hodgson acted as emcee at the session. He reminded the audience that “Ontario’s mineral sector is a $10.7 billion industry employing about 27,500 people directly and more than 50,000 indirectly.”

“In 2011, mineral exploration investments in Ontario reached an all-time high of more than $1 billion,” said Mr. Hodgson. “Even after more than 100 years of mining history, Ontario still has a largely unexplored geology with limitless potential. Mineral explorers have just scratched the surface of the Ring of Fire and there are currently more than 600 active mineral exploration projects in Ontario.”

Ian Pearce, Chief Executive Officer for Xstrata Nickel and currently Chairman of the Mining Association of Canada, put the scope of the industry in perspective by saying “Toronto is as much a mining town as Sudbury in Ontario or Kamloops in B.C. There are plenty of miners working in high rise office buildings in downtown Toronto.” He also stressed Canada’s leadership in mining and its guiding values of stewardship and sustainability.

Ross Gallinger, Executive Director of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, said a robust and vibrant mining industry is vital to the economic sovereignty of Canada. He mentioned that most PDAC members are small business men and women and addressed some of the challenges they face. Pierre Gratton, President of the Mining Association of Canada, pointed out the inextricable link between the natural resource sector and the rest of Canada including the role of mining in the local economy of the country’s largest city – Toronto.

Over the next 10 years, Canada is anticipated to receive $140 billion in new mining investment. Much of that financing will be handled on the TSX. The venue for this reception was selected with care. The TSX and its sister Venture exchange (TSXV) are home to 58% of the world’s public mining companies. In 2011, 90% of all global mining equity financings were carried out on the TSX and the TSVX, representing about 40% of new mining equity capital in the world.

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