PERTH, Australia, June 2 /CNW/ - The president of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), Scott Jobin-Bevans, told the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies' (AMEC) annual convention on Wednesday that Canada's flow-through tax credit is a cost-effective method of increasing domestic mineral exploration and has contributed to Canada becoming the global leader in mining. He supported the Australian industry's interest in the introduction of such a tax.
"The challenge for our industry is find a way to finance exploration, which by its nature is both high risk and expensive," said Dr. Jobin-Bevans. "That is the wisdom behind the Canadian flow-through tax credit. It helps raise exploration finance by reducing the risk borne by investors, not companies. By reducing risk to investors, companies are able to raise more capital than they would if investors, alone, carried it."
The Canadian government has estimated the current average annual cost of the flow-through program at about CDN $250 million. If flow-through finance leads to the discovery of just one mineral deposit that becomes a mine, it more than offsets the government's cost of the program for several years, the PDAC president said.
Flow-through financing has contributed to the discovery of most of the major mineral deposits in Canada in the last 30 years, Jobin-Bevans said. It is particularly useful for: early-stage exploration; grassroots/greenfields exploration and also as a stimulus for regional economic development.
He cautioned against the introduction of the proposed resource super tax in Australia, calling it short-sighted and imprudent.
"It fails to understand the high-risk nature of raising finance for exploration and mining," Jobin-Bevans said. "Mining is a capital intensive business. As a result, policies that cause capital to take flight are counterproductive."
Canada became the top country in the world for mineral exploration spending in 2002, following the introduction of the current enhanced flow-through program. It supplanted Australia which is now No. 2. Exploration expenditures in Canada accounted for 16 per cent of the world's total in 2009, compared with Australia, which accounted for 13 per cent last year.
Dr. Jobin-Bevans' full presentation is on the PDAC's website at www.pdac.ca.
About the PDAC:
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada is a national association representing the mineral exploration and development industry. Its 7,000 individual and corporate members are involved in the exploration, discovery and development of new mines and new wealth. The PDAC's annual convention is the world's largest annual gathering of the mineral industry. PDAC 2011 will be held March 6-9 in Toronto.
SOURCE Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada
For further information: For further information: Scott Jobin-Bevans, President, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, email@example.com; Saley Lawton, Director Communications, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, (416) 362-1969 ext 225, firstname.lastname@example.org