Message to mines ministers: take action to sustain booming mining sector



    WHISTLER, BC, Sept. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mining Association of Canada
(MAC) urged governments today at the 64th annual Mines Ministers meeting in
Whistler to take action to sustain Canada's booming mining industry.
    The mining industry is enjoying a prosperous period. Exploration levels
are strong and global metal prices are at or near historic highs. Economic
growth in China and India, and the fact that the metals intensity of these
economies remains below that found in the West, suggests that this demand and
price situation will continue well into the future.
    Though times are good, Canadian policymakers and businesses should not be
complacent. Canada's mining sector faces many challenges, including a
cumbersome project review system, declining base metal reserves and a new,
uncertain clean air agenda. The industry's future health will depend on
whether governments step up and deliver on key issues, such as:

    
    - Implementing tax policies that reduce federal corporate tax rates and
      that encourage greater at-depth exploration.
    - Acting quickly on federal Budget 2007's commitment to establish an
      effective project review office to streamline regulatory processes for
      new projects.
    - Supporting new discoveries through sustained federal funding of
      $25 million per year for the Canadian Geological Mapping Strategy
      (CGMS) program, designed in partnership by federal, provincial and
      territorial governments.
    - Establishing clean air targets that are achievable, based on sound
      benchmarking and set in accordance with ambient air quality objectives.
    

    "Canada's mining industry paid almost $10 billion to Canadian governments
in 2005, a figure that does not include payments by the supplier segment and a
figure that has likely increased substantially in 2006 and 2007," stated
Peter R. Jones, CEO of HudBay Minerals Inc. "It is important that tax and
regulatory policies support a competitive, modern, and internationally-active
Canadian mining industry so these benefits continue to flow to Canadians and
to governments."
    "Solutions are clear: A combination of new geoscience, competitive tax
changes and regulatory reform will ensure this industry's contribution to
Canada continues well into the future," added Gordon Peeling, President and
CEO of MAC. "Mines Ministers cannot take this sector for granted - we urge
them to act on our recommendations."
    In support of these public policy challenges, MAC also released its
annual Facts and Figures publication at the Conference. The publication
provides details on the production, reserves, exploration, investment,
innovation, tax, and human resource aspects of the industry. Facts and Figures
2007 underscores the importance of the sector to Canada's economy - the sector
employs 369,000 Canadians, contributes $40 billion to Canada's gross domestic
product and accounts for 17% of annual Canadian exports.

    The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the
Canadian mining industry. Its members are engaged in mineral exploration,
mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.




For further information:

For further information: Maggie Papoulias, (613) 233-9392, ext 325,
mpapoulias@mining.ca


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