[Saskatchewan] Mines poised for $50B boost – by Scott Larson (The [Saskatoon] StarPhoenix – December 2, 2011)


Continued growth expected

Saskatchewan is poised to see $50 billion in capital investment injected into the provincial mining industry during the next 20 years. Mining is a $7.1-billion industry in Saskatchewan and the province benefited from $3.1 billion in capital expenditures in 2010, the largest recipient of mining investment in Canada last year, said Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC)

Gratton was speaking at a luncheon put on by the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce and the North Saskatoon Business Association.

“Canada and Saskatchewan are blessed with a diverse abundance of natural resources that are in demand from growing global economies, positioning both province and country for continued long-term growth,” Gratton said. “However, our focus cannot solely rest on the economic benefits mining brings.

Our industry must continue its commitment to building a responsible and sustainable industry that meets the highest standards of social and environmental stewardship.”

He said Canada’s mining industry has the potential to make almost $140 billion of capital investment in Canada during the next five years and it’s anticipated Saskatchewan will benefit from more than $50 billion of capital investment during the next two decades.

Pamela Schwann, executive director of the Saskatchewan Mining Association, said the benefits will be felt across the entire economy.

There will be direct benefits in such areas as manufacturing, transportation and engineering, but “it will have a trickle-down effect with more restaurants and gas stations and other things to spend disposable income on,” she said.

Gratton said fuelling all of this growth is China’s insatiable appetite for commodities

“It is the ‘China Factor,’ ” he said. “If you go back 2030 years, China consumed about five per cent of the world’s commodities or base metals. Today they are responsible for 30 per cent.

“It is what makes us confident about the future,” he said. “It is projected that China’s growth rate will continue in the six to nine per cent range.”

And India is now poised for the same type of explosive growth.

“India is responsible for three per cent of the world’s metal demand and they will start catching up to China as the middle class grows,” he said.

For the rest of this article, please go to The Star Phoenix website: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Mines+poised+boost/5799837/story.html