REGINA, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - Sustained global demand for minerals provided the
backdrop for the first conference that Saskatchewan has hosted in 13 years of
mines ministers from governments across Canada.
"Mining companies across Canada are writing compelling stories of success
as they build our economy and create prosperity for our citizens," Conference
Host and Saskatchewan Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said. "Our
discussions at this conference have addressed the challenges and opportunities
for the mining sector as it seeks to make an even greater contribution to our
This year's conference had a broad theme of "social licence". Boyd said
resource companies as well as governments are now increasingly aware of the
environmental and social considerations that factor into investment decisions
on major resource projects.
Boyd noted that during their meeting the ministers discussed, and
received reports on, key issues related to the long-term success of the mining
sector. These included such topics as Aboriginal engagement and participation,
human resources, regulatory performance improvement and research and
"Key to our discussions was the recognition that the mining and industry
sectors along with governments need to encourage and engage Aboriginal peoples
and communities in a manner that is inclusive, transparent and characterized
by mutual respect," Boyd said.
The ministers recognized that the long-term prosperity of the mining and
energy sectors depends on addressing labour shortages and working with
industry and other partners to address these issues on a priority and ongoing
The ministers underscored the importance of continued collaboration
between regulatory agencies to ensure high-quality and timely environmental
assessments to promote sustainability. They also noted the importance of
increasing collaboration on research and innovation with industry, governments
and academic institutions to support industry competitiveness.
Finally, ministers discussed the importance of Canadian companies working
to secure a social license for mineral development, at home and abroad, by
building their capacity to meet the social, economic and environmental
expectations of their host communities.
"Speaking for Saskatchewan, we are committed to working co-operatively
with our colleagues across the country in government, industry, and the
research and academic communities to build upon the incredible successes of
our various mining sectors," Boyd said. "Mining contributes greatly to the
well-being of Canadians and the Canadian economy. By all of us working
together, we will see Canada recognized as a world leader in innovative,
sustainable and socially responsible mining."
Mining and exploration provide jobs and bring economic and social
benefits in every province and territory, including many remote and Aboriginal
communities. More than 360,000 people are employed in the mining and mineral
processing industries. Mineral production exceeds $40 billion per year, and
there are over 150 mining-reliant communities across the country.
For further information:
For further information: Bob Ellis, Saskatchewan Energy and Resources,
Regina, Phone: (306) 787-1691, Cell: (306) 539-6948