CANADIAN MINING PERSPECTIVES: Mining fattens government purse

Marilyn Scales
Marilyn Scales

The minerals industry is a significant contributor to government, paying nearly $11 billion in taxes in 2006. This is the conclusion of a new study prepared by ENTRANS for the MINING ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (MAC).

The Canadian mining industry consists of approximately 180 producing mines in Canada, with an important focus upon metals such as gold, copper and nickel and non-metals such as coal, potash, diamonds and oil sands. The industry also comprises 38 non-ferrous smelters and refineries producing refined aluminum, copper, nickel, zinc and other metals. The industry directly employs about 180,000 people.

Collectively, the mining industry paid $2.33 billion in royalties and similar payments, $3.96 billion in corporate income tax and $1.86 billion in personal income tax in 2006. When the 180,000 indirect jobs provided in the fabricated metal manufacturing sector are included, another $2.50 billion is added to the revenue potential.

The 2006 total is $10.86 billion, roughly a 50% increase over the $5.50 billion collected in 2005.

The Entrans study focuses on income taxes and royalties, but the industry also contributes a considerable sum to governments in the form of municipal taxes, fuel taxes and payroll taxes, said MAC. In addition, the industry purchases a significant amount of goods and services from an estimated 2,400 supplier companies in Canada, ranging from engineering and environmental consultants to equipment companies and financial firms.

The numbers look better each year as commodity prices have been strong since 2002. No mining company should complain about paying its taxes during boom times such as these. Let's urge our governments, however, to use taxes collected from the mining industry to support mineral production in Canada. Use the money to sustain and improve our geological surveys, research facilities and technical capabilities.

The report is posted at It includes figures from 2002 to 2006 and predicts figures for 2007 and 2008. For more information contact MAC VP economic affairs Paul Stothart at


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