We have it on good authority – both the MINING ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (MAC) and the PROSPECTORS AND DEVELOPERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (PDAC) – that the federal budget brought down on Feb. 26 is going to benefit the mineral industry.
Both organizations laud the promise of $34 million over the next two years to improve geological mapping that will aid resource development.
“MAC has advocated for several years for renewed investment in geoscience, critical to addressing the looming crisis in declining base metal reserves,” said president and CEO Gordon Peeling. “Budget 2008’s $34 million over two years for northern mapping is a strategic investment that will create opportunities in northern Canada and maintain Canada’s global leadership position in mining.”
Likewise, PDAC president Patricia Dillon said, “Investment in geoscience mapping is crucial to the mineral exploration industry. The PDAC and the members of the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation have worked hard to ensure that ministers and members of Parliament are aware of the important role that new geoscience mapping plays in encouraging a vibrant mineral industry. [The] commitment by the federal government will improve our knowledge of Canada’s mineral potential in the north and will result in increased private sector investment.”
The federal government has been listening. It is extending the temporary 15% Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for individuals who invest in flow-through shares of exploration companies for another year, to March 31, 2009. The budget sets aside $70 million over two years to create a new framework to help aboriginal Canadians benefit from new economic opportunities. Another $70 million over the same two years will be used to support tripartite agreements to improve education for First Nations students. Changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act will encourage skilled workers from other countries to come to Canada and put their skills to work.
The framework has been outlined that benefits Canada’s mineral industry. If all goes according to plan, our industry will attract more investors, ensure that the benefits of resource development reach native peoples, and have better access to a pool of skilled foreign workers.
Investment, jobs and prosperity. Looks like the federal budget will be a boon for mining.