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Ottawa’s Minerals and Metals Plan unveiled at PDAC

Don Horne   


The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan was unveiled yesterday at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto, Ont., with government officials on hand calling it a milestone in Canada’s mining history.

“In a world increasingly looking for sustainably and responsibly sourced mineral products, Canada is unmatched,” said the Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi. “As global demand for sustainably developed resources grows, Canada must continue to capitalize on its natural and human advantage to ensure our competitiveness in global markets.”

Underpinned by strong engagement with Canadians, it includes a vision, principles and strategic directions that governments, industry and stakeholders can pursue to drive industry competitiveness and long-term success, according to Sohi, who went on to say that this generational initiative will “raise Canadians’ awareness of the importance of the minerals and metals sector, respond to ongoing and emerging challenges, and help position Canada to play a pivotal role in supplying minerals and metals that will power a cleaner global economy.”

The plan includes six strategic directions to achieve its vision:

  • Economic Development and Competitiveness: Canada’s business and innovation environment for the minerals sector is the world’s most competitive and most attractive for investment;
  • Advancing the participation of Indigenous Peoples: Increased economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and supporting the process of reconciliation;
  • The Environment: The protection of Canada’s natural environment underpins a responsible, competitive industry. Canada is a leader in building public trust, developing tomorrow’s low-footprint mines and managing the legacy of past activities;
  • Science, Technology and Innovation: A modern and innovative industry supported by world-leading science and technology—across all phases of the mineral development cycle;
  • Communities: Communities welcome sustainable mineral development activities for the benefits they deliver; and
  • Global Leadership: A sharpened competitive edge and increased global leadership for Canada.

The ministers agreed that the upcoming Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference in July will be the forum to discuss actions to realize this vision across the six strategic directions.

Canada’s people and natural advantages translate into benefits for Canadians. In 2017, mineral production totalled approximately $44 billion. Canada produces some 60 minerals and metals at 200 active mines and 7,000 pits and quarries. The minerals sector (which includes exploration, mining and related support activities, primary processing, and downstream product manufacturing) accounts for 19 per cent of Canada’s total domestic exports, and accounts for five per cent of nominal Gross Domestic Product.

The minerals sector is a major employer, delivering 634,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout the country in rural, urban and remote regions. This includes 16,500 jobs for Indigenous peoples. Some 7,600 of these jobs are in the upstream mining sub-sector, making this the second highest proportional employer of Indigenous peoples among private sector employers in Canada.

The PDAC convention – held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre – wraps up on Wednesday.


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