Extension of Mineral Exploration Tax Credit welcomed by Canada's mineral industry

    TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - In its budget yesterday, the federal government
announced its intention to renew the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for one
year to March 31, 2008. This is welcome news for Canada's mineral exploration
industry and for Canadian investors. The program, more commonly termed 'super'
flow-through in investment circles, provides investors with a 15% credit on
flow-through share investments in grassroots exploration. As noted in the
budget, the one-year "look back" rule will allow funds raised with the benefit
of the credit in 2008, for example, to be spent on eligible exploration
activity up until the end of the 2009.
    The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), together
with other Canadian associations in the mineral exploration sector, has been
urging the federal government to renew this important program before its
scheduled expiry at the end of March. "The high demand for commodities at the
present time is driving the search for minerals across the world," stated PDAC
President Patricia Dillon. "As a consequence, there is intense global
competition for exploration dollars. This tax credit, which can be applied
only to exploration in Canada, gives Canada a competitive edge and encourages
Canadian investors to put money into one of this country's most important
resource industries." Dillon also pointed out that, in order for Canada to be
able to meet global demand for commodities over the next decade, sustained
levels of exploration are required to find new mineral reserves in this
country. This tax incentive will certainly help towards that end.
    In congratulating the federal government for renewing the tax credit
program, Dillon expressed her association's disappointment in the absence of
any funding commitment to the Cooperative Geological Mapping Strategies, a
ten-year geoscience strategy for Canada agreed to by federal and provincial
mines ministers in 2000. This is an urgently needed program that would improve
the quality and extent of geological mapping in Canada, particularly in
northern and remote areas of the country. "Funding geological mapping is an
investment, not an expense," she noted. "Canada has a large land mass and
requires continuous renewal and improvement to our geoscience knowledge base.
This is critical in the effort to replenish our declining reserves of base
metals and contributes in important ways in the areas of environmental
decision-making, sovereignty and public safety." The PDAC will continue to
urge the federal government to fund this program.

    The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada is a national trade
association for the Canadian exploration sector, representing companies and
individuals active in the search for and development of mineral deposits. The
association annually hosts the largest exploration and mining convention in
the world in Toronto. In March 2007, the event attracted a record 17,600
attendees representing more than 100 countries.

For further information:

For further information: Tony Andrews, Executive Director, PDAC,
telephone (416) 362-1969, ext. 222

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Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada

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