TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 4, 2013) - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today emphasized the Government of Canada's commitment to promoting growth in the mineral exploration and mining sector at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's (PDAC's) annual convention and trade show, the largest event of its kind for the mineral industry.
"Our Government is taking action to ensure that Canada is one of the most attractive destinations for mining investment in the world," stated Minister Oliver. "We're keeping taxes low, eliminating red tape and promoting free trade and innovation."
In 2011 alone, the mining sector contributed $63 billion to Canada's nominal GDP, accounting for 3.9 percent of total GDP, while mining and processing companies paid some $7.1 billion in corporate taxes and royalties that help support the programs and services that Canadians in every part of the country use every day, from roads and bridges to education and health care.
Minister Oliver highlighted the progress in modernizing Canada's regulatory regime - both north and south of the 60th parallel. The government's Responsible Resource Development plan attaches firm timelines to the reviews of major projects. It moves Canada closer to "one project, one review," thereby ensuring that the regulatory regime for major natural resource projects is among the most efficient, effective and competitive in the world.
More than 320,000 Canadians are currently employed in the mining and mineral processing industries, creating employment opportunities from coast to coast to coast and in urban and rural areas, including many Aboriginal and Northern communities.
Minister Oliver also highlighted the government's commitment to consulting with Aboriginal groups, ensuring meaningful input and engagement from the very beginning of major projects. He took this opportunity to announce the launch of the updated Exploration and Mining Guide for Aboriginal Communities, a publication designed to encourage Aboriginal participation in mining projects.
"Over the next two years alone, we're investing $13.6 million to support enhanced Aboriginal consultations, including additional funding for Aboriginal participation in environmental assessments - underscoring our Government's commitment to respect its constitutional obligations to Aboriginal Canadians."
During his address, Minister Oliver took the opportunity to announce the latest Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program releases ― geophysical data to guide exploration for base and precious metals in the Pelly Lake region of Nunavut, and new geological maps that provide context for gold and copper occurrences in the Dawson Range-White Gold district of the Yukon.
Minister Oliver also reiterated the government's commitment to supporting sustainable economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction in developing countries through the establishment of the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development. "The Institute will deliver knowledge that developing countries can use to help them turn their resource wealth into sustainable prosperity."
During this year's event, Minister Oliver met with Ministers from Chile, Columbia and Peru in an effort to strengthen economic partnerships. He also had the opportunity to discuss mining-related issues with representatives from the mining industry.
The 2012 PDAC convention and trade show attracted more than 30,000 attendees, including 7,000 international delegates from 125 countries.
The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:
Canada is a Global Mineral Exploration and Mining Giant
NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.