Message to Mines Ministers: Take action to sustain Canadian mining sector



    ST. JOHN'S, NL, Aug. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - In concert with the release of
their annual Facts and Figures 2009 publication providing details on the
contribution of the sector to the Canadian economy, the Mining Association of
Canada (MAC) urged governments at the 66th annual Mines Ministers meeting to
take action to sustain Canada's mining industry.
    While the impacts of the worldwide recession on the Canadian mining
sector were very real, where operations in some 32 mines were closed/suspended
over a half-year period and where companies are operating below capacity, the
industry remains a significant contributor to the Canadian economy.
    Facts and Figures 2009 underscores that importance - the sector
contributed $40 billion to Canada's GDP in 2008, employing 351,000 workers in
mineral extraction, smelting, fabrication and manufacturing. While the
industry is important in remote communities, it also generates prosperity in
our larger cities. It is estimated that 3,140 suppliers provide equipment,
consumables and expertise to the industry, including hundreds of
manufacturing, engineering, geotechnical, environmental and financial firms.
    The mining industry is also an important contributor to government
coffers. According to a recent study by ENTRANS Consultants, highlighted in
Facts and Figures 2009, the industry paid a record-high $11.5 billion in taxes
and royalties to F/P/T governments in 2008. While these payments will likely
decline in 2009 as the effects of the recession are fully seen, it is now more
than ever that Federal and Provincial Mines Ministers must work together to
ensure long-term stability of this important sector.
    It is critically important that Canada's natural resource ministers
maintain and enhance their dedication to economic development. In this sense,
advocacy for infrastructure projects, for improved regulatory efficiency, for
more open access to land, for northern development, and for tax incentives to
encourage increased investment, among other objectives, remains fundamental to
the mandate of natural resource ministers.
    "Minerals and metals help build the products and infrastructure essential
to modern life. The mineral exploration and mining industry makes a
significant annual contribution to the Canadian economy, including through
payments to governments, and its output is fundamental to the emergence of
clean energy technologies," said Gordon Peeling, President and CEO of the
Mining Association of Canada. "The Canadian industry faces competitiveness
challenges, both at the raw materials and value-added processing stage. By
focusing on the priority areas, Canada's Mines Ministers can contribute
significantly to a stronger Canadian industry."

    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: Paul Stothart at pstothart@mining.ca or Maggie
Papoulias at (613) 233-9392, ext 325 - mpapoulias@mining.ca or for a copy of
Facts and Figures 2009 go to www.mining.ca


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