Canadian Exploration Activity Surging – by Colin Sandell-Hay (The Assay – January 8, 2023)


Canada has been a leading destination for minerals explorers for hundreds of years, dating back to the gold rushes of the mid to late 19th Century. The country remains one of the hottest places to hunt for minerals, ranging from gold to the critical minerals heavily in demand today.

The most recent Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies has Canada placed a close second in top exploration destinations in the world, with Saskatchewan second, Quebec sixth, and Yukon ninth as the amongst the top 10 most attractive mining regions across the globe.

New figures from Natural Resources Canada (NRC) are tipping the recent exploration surge in the country to continue. The NRC’s preliminary figures for 2021 indicate that mining and mineral exploration companies spent C$3.6B on exploration and deposit appraisal projects in Canada, compared with C$2.2B in 2020.

It is forecast that 2022 expenditures will rise to C$3.7B – an increase of about 3% based on reported spending intentions. Other numbers of note from the latest NRC report found that exploration and mining companies that have their headquarters in Canada accounted for the largest portion of worldwide non-ferrous exploration budgets, reaching 38% in 2021.

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