Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

May 11, 2009 09:23 ET

Natural Resources Canada: Government of Canada Positions Mining Industry for Continued Success

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 11, 2009) - The Canadian mining industry will benefit from increased competitiveness and innovation, as well as enhanced environmental performance and corporate social responsibility, thanks to a series of new initiatives unveiled today by the Government of Canada.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources outlined new support from the federal government for Canada's mining sector.

"Working together, we are reinforcing the foundation for long-term success and helping to build a mining industry that can compete economically, environmentally and socially with anyone in the world, anywhere in the world," said Minister Raitt.

The new Government of Canada initiatives include:

- Accelerated funding of $8 million (from $22 million to $30 million this year) for the Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program. Launched last year, the $100-million GEM program is completing geo-mapping of Canada's North for future mineral exploration and will also contribute to geo-mapping in southern Canada. One completed survey was released, with more expected, in advance of the field season.

- $250,000 in funding for the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) - CMIC is working to enhance the competitiveness of a responsible Canadian mining industry through excellence in research, innovation and commercialization.

- Green Mining Initiative - the GMI will support the development and demonstration of new green technologies and processes to enable improved environmental performance throughout the mining lifecycle thereby creating new opportunities for Canadian mining technology and service industries.

- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Centre of Excellence - the new Centre, which will be hosted by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, will help to ensure that Canadian mining companies are world leaders in CSR.

"I would like to congratulate the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) for accepting to host the Centre of Excellence which is an important element of our new CSR Strategy," said the Hon. Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. "The Centre will provide industry and governments with timely access to high-quality tools and information about corporate social responsibility. This new resource will help ensure that Canadian companies remain world leaders in the mining sector."

In addition, the recent federal budget extends and enhances a range of other key initiatives that support the mining sector: tax credits, access to financing, training and development, and investments in infrastructure. And the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan has created the $1-billion Community Adjustment Fund to help alleviate the effects on communities of local restructuring, particularly in mining and other resource-based communities.

Despite the current downturn, the mining sector continues to play a prominent role in Canada's economy. In 2008, Canada's mining industry directly employed more than 351,000 people and contributed about $40 billion to Canada's GDP. Today, nearly 60 percent of the world's mining companies are Canadian and these companies are active in over 100 countries - we truly are a global mining giant.

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Contact Information

  • Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Jasmine MacDonnell
    Director of Communications
    613-996-2007
    or
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    613-992-4447