MAC report urges government to invest in infrastructure, mineral processing – by Alice Martin (CIM Magazine – June 08, 2023)

Canada must increase mining investment to avoid lagging behind in critical minerals production, MAC report says

While the mining industry in Canada has recovered from the pandemic, more investment is needed from the federal government to increase the production of critical minerals, according to a report released in May by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) titled “The Canadian Mining Story: Economic Impacts and Drivers for the Global Energy Transition.”

The report detailed how the mining industry contributed five per cent—or $125 billion—to Canada’s gross domestic product in 2021. It also noted that Canada, which produces 60 minerals and metals, is among the top 10 producers in the world for 26 of them, notably potash, gemstones and niobium, but that production has declined since 2005 for nickel, zinc and copper.

According to the report, this decline in production is partly linked to a decrease in mineral investment. “We are no longer a top producer of minerals critical for a low-carbon economy and many minerals are not being produced at the levels they were a decade ago,” said Pierre Gratton, MAC’s president and CEO, in a press release accompanying the report.

The report praised the federal government’s commitments to the mining industry in its 2022 and 2023 budgets. Most recently, in the 2023 budget, the government established a $1.5 billion Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund for energy and transportation projects to be used in critical minerals operations.

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