The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada releases public opinion
survey that shows Canadians understand and support mining and mineral
exploration

TORONTO, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) says Canadians have a reasonably good understanding of the mining industry, clearly differentiate between exploration and extraction and consider the industry important to the Canadian economy, according to the results of a public opinion survey released today.

The Angus Reid survey found that 25% of Canadians are strong supporters of mining, while just 15% are anti-mining. The pro-miners were also the group that was the most informed.

"This was somewhat of a surprise to our members, especially those who live in big urban centres, because they're sensitive to critics, who often don't have any direct experience with the industry. Most mining activity takes place in remote corners of the country," said PDAC President Jon Baird.

Canadians believe mining is important to the economy

One of the most definitive responses on the survey came to a question about mining's role in the Canadian economy. There 96% of Canadians believe mining is important or very important to the economy, the survey found.

"There's no question that Canadians believe mining is important for our economy," Baird said. "Canada's wealth came about largely because of the mining industry. Governments must understand that mining is just as important today as it always was."

Canadians say evaluate land for mineral potential before setting it aside

Another survey question has implications for Ontario's proposed Bill 191, Far North Act, which proposes to protect 50% of northern Ontario and prohibit mining and exploration there. But 56% of survey respondents said that land should be evaluated for its mining potential before it is set aside as protected land. This is an issue of national concern because Ontario is at times a leader in legislative initiatives.

"The survey shows that Canadians tend to disagree with the approach taken in Ontario's proposed Far North Act," Baird said. "They want the land's mineral potential evaluated before areas are set aside for protection. This is similar to the position put forward by some of northern Ontario's First Nations, who have called for Premier Dalton McGuinty to withdraw Bill 191."

    
    More findings

    Other survey findings include:

    - Just 4% of respondents say mining is not important to Canada
    - About one of seven Canadians has a personal connection to the mining
      sector
    - 66% of respondents recognize that exploration has a significant
      research and development component
    - Two out of three respondents support sharing tax revenue from mining
      with First Nations people
    - One out of four respondents has invested in mineral exploration, mining
      or oil and gas stocks
    - The survey statement with which most Canadians agreed is: "Mining and
      exploration are essential to the economies in many small towns across
      Canada"
    - The statement with which respondents least agreed is: "Canada would be
      better off without mining"
    - Only 11% of respondents are aware that Ontario is the jurisdiction in
      which the most mineral exploration activity takes place
    - Men, residents of rural areas, and those with a university education
      are more likely to report feeling a personal connection to mining
    

Survey accuracy

Angus Reid Strategies conducted the online survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 2,582 adult Canadians from June 15 to June 21, 2009. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 1.9%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to Statistics Canada's most current education, age, gender and region census data to ensure a representative sample of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About the PDAC:

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada is a national association representing the mineral exploration and development industry. Its 6,000 individual and 950 corporate members are involved in the exploration, discovery and development of new mines and new wealth in Canada and around the world. The association hosts the world's largest annual mineral industry convention with participants from more than 100 countries. The 2010 convention will be held from March 7-10 in Toronto.

SOURCE Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada

For further information: For further information: More information and the full results of the survey: Saley Lawton, Director, Communications, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, (416) 362-1969 ext. 225, slawton@pdac.ca; Jon Baird, President, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, (905) 513-0046 ext. 302, www.pdac.ca

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Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada

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