Archived - Harper Government Announces New Measures to Support Canadian Mining

March 1, 2015 – Toronto, Ontario – Department of Finance

In a speech to the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, Finance Minister Joe Oliver and Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford today announced the Harper Government’s latest action to support the Canadian mining industry. The Government proposes to extend the 15% Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for investors in flow-through shares for an additional year, until March 31, 2016. The credit was scheduled to expire on March 31, 2015. The Mineral Exploration Tax Credit—referred to as the “lifeblood” of junior mineral exploration—will support the mineral exploration efforts of junior exploration companies. During a challenging global economy, in the struggle to secure capital, it has helped keep investment flowing.

The Government also announced proposed changes to ensure that the costs associated with undertaking environmental studies and community consultations that are required in order to obtain an exploration permit will now be eligible for treatment as Canadian Exploration Expenses (CEE). As CEE, these costs would be immediately deductible for tax purposes and also be eligible for flow-through share treatment. In the case of eligible projects, they could qualify as well for the 15% Mineral Exploration Tax Credit.

CEE treatment recognizes the enormous challenges facing mining and oil and gas companies as they explore for resources: the low probability of success, large capital requirements, and long timeframes before reporting positive cash flow. Given these challenges, immediate tax deductibility makes the exploration stage of the process more financially manageable, enhancing the competitiveness of the Canadian resource industry.

As well, CEE treatment can enable companies to “flow through” their unused deductions to investors using flow-through shares. This provides an additional incentive to investors to purchase a corporation’s shares, a vital incentive given that these companies often take many years to report positive cash flows.

But in the past, environmental studies and community consultations required to pursue an exploration project were not always eligible for CEE treatment. Canadians pride themselves on our country’s strong environmental protections, and meaningful consultation with local residents remains a key plank in the Government’s Responsible Resource Development plan. The Government recognizes that the associated cost of these requirements is part of doing business in Canada, and these changes aim to make Canada an even better place to do business.

With these new measures, the Harper Government is empowering the Canadian mining industry and promoting the exploration of Canada’s mineral resources—creating jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity across the country.

Melissa Lantsman
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-369-5696

Stéphanie Rubec
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-369-4000

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