OTTAWA – Fortunately despite downturns in commodity prices and investor confidence, the mining industry’s contribution to the Canadian economy remains strong. That is the finding of the annual Facts & Figures report released by the Mining Association of Canada on Feb. 3.
In 2014, Canada’s mining sector contributed $57 billion to the national GDP, up from $54 billion in 2013, and mining industry exports continued to account for upwards of 20% of the Canadian total.
Facts & Figures revealed that mining directly employed more than 375,000 in Canada in 2014. The industry is also the largest single employer of aboriginal peoples on a proportional basis, and those numbers are poised to go up as the industry develops. The report also found the mining industry is interconnected to other sectors of the Canadian economy, with more than 3,700 companies supplying goods and services to the Canadian mining industry.
MAC estimates that $140 billion in potential new mining investments that could come to fruition over the next decade in Canada. Attention to certain policy areas will ensure that Canada can take advantage of the next upturn in the industry.
These policy areas include:
- Ensuring the regulatory process is robust and efficient, and includes meaningful consultation with aboriginal communities;
- Addressing the costs of operating in remote areas where infrastructure is lacking. The introduction of new tax measures and/or a northern specific fund within the proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank can help facilitate the building of critical infrastructure;
- Enhancing funding for aboriginal skills training initiatives to enable aboriginal peoples to access well-paying and highly skilled jobs in mining; and
- Supporting the industry’s innovation priorities to facilitate continuous improvement in the sector’s environmental and health and safety performance.
To download a copy of Facts & Figures 2015, go to Mining.ca/facts-and-figures-2015.