Canada and mining

September 7, 2011 at 12:00

This is a re-posted opinion piece.

Fr. Archie Casey, SX, has been very active in the anti-mining campaign for the past several years and recently did a research on Canadian mining activities. According to him, the mining sector in 2008 contributed C$40 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (3.3 percent of national GDP) and provided more than 351,000 direct jobs for Canadians. This contribution to the GDP includes C$9 billion in mineral extraction and C$31 billion in mineral processing and manufacturing. The industry supports more than 115 rural, northern and aboriginal communities across Canada.

Internationally, Canada is one of world’s leading mining countries and ranks among the largest producers of minerals and metals. The industry accounts for 19 percent of annual Canadian goods exports like aluminum, nickel, copper, gold, uranium, coal, potash, zinc, diamonds, iron and steel and iron ore. An estimated 70 percent of Canadian port volumes and 55 percent or rail freight revenues are generated by the mining industry and some 3,140 suppliers provide expertise to the industry including hundreds of engineering, environmental, legal and financial firms. Canada was the leading destination for global exploration spending in 2008, attracting 19 percent of world spending followed by Australia at 14 percent and the United States at 7 percent.

The mining industry also contributes to the economy of Canada’s larger cities. Toronto is a global hub for mining finance, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) having handled 81 percent of worldwide mining equity transactions over the past five years. Vancouver is home to the world’s leading cluster of exploration companies while Montreal houses important aluminum and iron ore companies. Edmonton has become a global center for oil sands expertise and Saskatoon for uranium and potash. Mining is also the largest private sector employer of aboriginal Canadians and stands to offer increased opportunity to this segment of Canadian society.

Mining and its related industries are important contributors to federal, provincial and territorial coffers. According to a recent study for the Mining Association of Canada, the industry paid an estimated C$11.5 billion in taxes and royalties to federal and provincial/territorial governments in 2008. Fabricated metal manufacturing would add a further C$2.1 billion. Average weekly wages and salaries in the mining industry was C$1,347 in 2008 which is 44 percent, 42 percent, 35 percent and 33 percent higher than those workers in the forestry, manufacturing, finance and construction sectors, respectively. Reliance on natural resources constitutes the primary engine for socio-economic development and regional economic diversification for many communities across Canada, including aboriginal Canadians. Mining plays an important role in the economic prosperity and social development of Canadians.

The Canadian mining industry is active in over 100 developed and developing countries and is involved in over 8,000 exploration projects and mining operations worldwide. With over C$66 billion in direct investment abroad in 2008, mining represents over 50 percent of Canadian direct investments in natural resources. The TSX has listed 17 mining companies that have 67 properties all over the Philippines containing mostly gold, copper and nickel. In their activities in our country, the Canadian firms claim to be the source of positive economic and social benefits, including poverty reduction, economic diversification and the enhancement of local infrastructure and social and health services.

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By: Anabelle E. Plantilla
Source: The Manila Times, Sept.3, 2011
To view the original article, click here.

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