Canada playing a growing role in global mining industry – by Gordon Hamilton (Vancouver Sun – January 21,2013)

Country now attracting 18 per cent of world’s mineral exploration

Canada’s mining industry broke records in 2011 for exploration spending, production and exports, according to a report released Monday by the Mining Association of Canada.

The report states Canada has emerged as the world’s top destination for mineral exploration, attracting 18 per cent of global investment, well ahead of second-place Australia, which attracted 13 per cent.

Further, Canada has developed world-leading hubs at Vancouver and Toronto for exploration and investment, respectively, said Pierre Gratton, president of the Mining Association of Canada

Vancouver is the top destination for mining exploration, with the world’s leading cluster of exploration companies, while Toronto is the global hub for mining financing, with the TSX and TSX Venture exchanges accounting for $12.5 billion, or 40 per cent of global mining equity capital, according to the report.

The report states there are 1,200 exploration companies in the Greater Vancouver area, while the Toronto Stock Exchange lists 58 per cent of the world’s public mining companies. London is still the global finance centre for mining in terms of large transactions, but Toronto leads in terms of total value, Gratton said.

“As the mining industry has become more global, the significance of these two cities has grown,” he said. “It’s more appreciated today than it was say a decade ago, when Vancouver and Toronto were still dominant, but the industry itself wasn’t as much in the public eye.

“Today, we are one of the reasons Canada has out-performed a lot of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries, certainly the G8, because of our energy and mining prowess.

“And now people are taking a hard look at what is it about Canada and mining and they are going beyond the actual production numbers to see this whole other part of the mining eco-system that we have built in this country.”

He said besides the growing global role of Toronto and Vancouver, Sudbury is attracting research investment, making it a global research and development centre.

The 2011 figures in the report, Facts and Figures 2012, show exploration spending in Canada at $3.9 billion, mineral production at $50.3 billion (with B.C. accounting for $8.6 billion of that) and exports at $101.9 billion. All three are record numbers, Gratton said.

In 2011, the industry employed 320,000 people in Canada, and paid $3.9 billion in royalties, $3.2 billion in corporate income tax, and $1.9 billion through employees’ personal income taxes.

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