Mining companies express frustration with bureaucratic red tape

    Industry survey highlights barriers and opportunities for success

    MONTREAL, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - Government regulation and bureaucratic
inefficiencies are a barrier to the success of Canadian small and mid-cap
(SMC) mining companies, a new survey of mining Chief Executive Officers shows.
    "This survey reflects the perspectives of some of the leading small and
mid-cap mining companies in the country," said Michael Judson, President and
CEO of Blue Note Mining, which coordinated the survey. "While there is an
overall bright outlook and commitment regarding the future of our sector, the
survey reaffirms that government regulation and inefficient approval processes
continue to impede growth."
    The survey investigated attitudes on key issues relevant to the industry,
including drivers of and barriers to success, the impact of government and
environmental regulation, and opportunities to raise capital to fund mining
    Frustration with regulatory burdens was a recurring survey theme. In
addition to identifying streamlined regulation as a requirement for industry
success, leading executives also named government regulation as one of the
three most important issues facing the industry alongside a shortage of
skilled workers and challenges with land claims. Government regulation is
generally perceived as being slow, restrictive and inefficient as well as
complex and inconsistent, with a significant duplication between federal and
provincial processes.
    Other insights gleaned from the survey include:

    Industry Prospects

    -   SMC companies are proud of their role in the industry and their
        contribution to Canada's economy, and are confident in the industry's
        bright outlook with a strong majority (60%) optimistic or very
        optimistic about the industry's prospects for success.

    -   Despite recent foreign takeouts of some of Canada's biggest mining
        companies, two thirds of companies affirm that Canada remains as
        strong a centre of mining excellence as it used to be. This is due in
        part to its history of entrepreneurial explorationists and its
        standing as a capital for mining finance.

    -   Almost half the survey participants feel that Canada is very
        competitive as a place to do business compared with other nations and
        31% say that it is just as competitive. Only 22% believe that Canada
        is less competitive.

    Success Drivers

    -   The leading most important requirement for industry success is viewed
        - by a wide margin - to be access to capital. Changes in government
        regulations and adoption of technological innovation are the other
        leading requirements.

    Success Barriers

    -   There is deep frustration by impediments to efficient mine approvals.
        The approval process is viewed to be arduous and over-complicated.
        Government relations and community resistance also pose a challenge.

    Doing Business in Canada

    -   Comparing costs today to five years ago, the vast majority of
        industry executives feel the cost of doing business (including
        raising capital, energy, wages, etc.) in Canada has risen

    -   When it comes to the difficulty of raising money in Canada to fund
        mining ventures, 36% of executives feel that it is easier compared to
        five years ago, 33% are experiencing more difficulty in part due to
        increased investor risk aversion, and 31% find no difference.

    Government and Community Support

    -   Provincial governments have generally been either supportive of the
        industry (39%) or a neutral influence (40%). 21% feel the governments
        have been unsupportive.

    -   On the local level, half the executives feel that community and
        advocacy groups have had a positive impact on their companies'
        operations. Only 21% reported that the impact was negative.

    About the Survey

    The survey was distributed online and via mail in May and June 2008 and
targeted CEOs of 175 small and mid-cap mining companies with a quoted market
value of between $50 million and $300 million CAD. 33 CEOs responded to the

    About Blue Note Mining

    Blue Note Mining is a Canadian mining company headquartered in Montreal
with operations in Bathurst, New Brunswick. The company's shares trade on the
TSX under the symbol BN.

For further information:

For further information: To receive a copy of the survey report or to
schedule an interview with Michael Judson of Blue Note Mining, please contact:
Claire Holland, NATIONAL Public Relations, (416) 848-1379,

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