Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference 2016 - Mining

Backgrounder

Canada’s exploration, mining and mineral processing industry is an important contributor to the economic and social well-being of communities across the country. In 2015, the minerals sector directly and indirectly accounted for 563,000 jobs throughout the country in urban, rural and remote regions, including employing over 10,000 Indigenous people. From 2010 to 2014, Canada’s minerals sector, on average, provided a total of $2.9 billion per year in taxes and royalties to governments that in turn are used to support public services from health care to education. Canada is the world’s number one destination for global mining and exploration financing activity, where 52 percent of public mining and exploration companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange/Venture Exchange and almost $7 billion in equity capital was raised in 2015.

Key issues discussed by mines ministers included mining sector performance, innovation and green mining technologies, public confidence in mining projects and support for mineral exploration and junior mining companies. The ministers also acknowledged the recommendations submitted by the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation, which included: financing mechanisms to support grassroots mineral exploration; coordinated regulatory reviews that have the confidence of Canadians; enhancing Indigenous participation in the mineral industry and clarifying Duty to Consult requirements; addressing the costs of operating in remote and northern regions; and supporting climate change innovation and clean technology within the minerals sector.

Canada’s Mining Sector Performance Report

The ministers released the 2016 edition of the Mining Sector Performance Report, which provides a snapshot of the Canadian mineral industry’s economic, social and environmental performance from 2006–2015, highlighting areas of improvement and growth as well as areas where progress is still required. The aim of the report is to provide Canadians with an understanding of the industry’s performance based on credible and reliable data. The report assesses the performance of Canada’s mineral industry through 25 different indicators and was developed in consultation with provincial and territorial governments, industry, academia and Indigenous organizations.

The ministers discussed how understanding the social landscape of the mining sector is vital to ensuring that best practices and policies reflect the values of Canadians, while recognizing that enhancing environmental performance is one of the most important challenges facing the sector to ensure that Canada’s mineral resources are developed sustainably. The report also highlights the mineral industry’s significant contribution to Canada’s economic growth and prosperity.

Innovation in the Mining Industry

Mines ministers discussed how to support innovation in Canada’s mining sector with a focus on strengthening collaboration, aligning and increasing engagement between key innovation stakeholders and encouraging the sharing of innovation best practices between jurisdictions. The ministers also reflected on the need to facilitate communication to reduce fragmentation of mining innovation initiatives and enhance opportunities for green mining technology development, deployment and commercialization.

The ministers emphasized how a focus on innovation is crucial to sustaining the socio-economic contribution of Canada’s exploration and mining sector while ensuring environmental stewardship and the sustainable development of our natural resources. The development of a clear vision for the role of green mining technology among governments and industry will ensure that Canada remains at a competitive advantage while enhancing its productivity and environmental performance.

Enhancing Public Confidence in Canada’s Minerals Sector

The ministers released the Public Confidence along the Mineral Development Cycleinfographic to identify opportunities to build public confidence throughout the life cycle of a project and the Compendium of Case Studies on Building Public Confidence in the Mineral and Energy Resource Sectors. These documents highlight positive approaches to building public confidence in Canada’s resource sectors that have been implemented by governments, regulatory authorities and industry in collaboration with communities across Canada. The ministers also heard the findings of a National Workshop on Public Confidence held on June 9, 2016, where a range of stakeholders and Indigenous peoples identified four key themes as opportunities to influence public confidence: regulation and legislation; science and innovation; evidence-based communication and transparency; and engagement and collaboration.

The ministers emphasized the need to strengthen public confidence in the way major resource projects are assessed and reviewed, ensuring that regulatory decisions are based on science and evidence and that Indigenous peoples, as well as local communities, are full partners in the environmental assessment and regulatory process. The mines ministers committed to working together to find the best ways to protect our environment and grow our economy in order to ensure a clean, sustainable future for all Canadians and generations to come.

The ministers committed to continue work over the next year on a detailed analysis of best practices for reclamation security and environmental liability, including expanding the review to select other major mining countries, with the goal of achieving best practices and global leadership for mine security, reclamation and environmental protection.

Continued Support for Junior Mining

The mines ministers recognized the important role Canada’s junior exploration companies play in supporting the future prosperity of the country’s mineral industry and noted the operational challenges that continue to impact these companies. To bolster mineral exploration and development, and to support Canada’s future mineral production, the ministers committed to seeking out opportunities for collaboration to enhance mineral geoscience programs across jurisdictions and to expand the availability of public geoscience data to help facilitate grassroots exploration by junior mining companies.

Contact

Alexandre Deslongchamps
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
343-292-6837

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
343-292-6100

Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan)
NRCan’s news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media

John B. Thorpe
Communications Coordinator
Communications Services Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba
204-945-4997

Follow Manitoba government on Twitter: @MBGovNews (http://twitter.com/MBGovNews)


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