Prosperity is Created, not Inherited – Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster: A Case in Point (2007)

Published in the Ontario Mineral Exploration Review by the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines in 2007.

National, provincial and regional governments are continually searching for new tools to improve the economic prosperity of their citizens. Prosperity is a widely used term in government documents, reports and position papers. Evidence from both the developed and developing world is that economic prosperity is created, not inherited.

For example, some countries and regions rich in natural resources remain poor, whereas other countries and regions with little in the way of a natural endowment have and continue to enjoy a higher standard of living. Inherited comparative advantages such as natural resources, geographic location, or a supply of labour are becoming less important in achieving prosperity.

According Harvard professor Michael Porter, renowned for his pioneering work on competitiveness and cluster theory, “A nation can be prosperous and productive in virtually any field. What matters is how a nation competes, not what industry it competes in…we must stop thinking that traditional industries are bad and that the nation must move into high tech”.

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Mining clusters fuel economic growth – by Indira Singh (September, 2006)

Interrelated industries and institutions drive wealth creation

Clusters are a group of interrelated industries and institutions that drive wealth creation primarily through innovation and the export of goods and services. Clustered industries mutually reinforce and enhance
competitive advantage by acting as each other’s consumers, competitors, partners, suppliers and sources of research and development.

The Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster (OMIC) includes exploration companies, major mine operators, service and equipment suppliers, labour, training and education institutions, associations and other allied entities. Other well-known clusters include Hollywood, California’s Silicon Valley, Ottawa’s Silicon Valley North, the Netherlands’ cut flower industry and Houston’s oil and gas sector.

Over the last decade, clusters have attracted substantial attention from policy makers, legislatures, business leaders, academics, economic development practitioners and development agencies around the world.
Governments with widely differing ideologies in more than 30 countries and in the majority of U.S. states have adopted cluster-based economic development models. The cluster approach is also used by European governments, as well as governments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Why clusters work

Productivity and productive growth are the fundamental drivers of prosperity. Innovation is the key driver of productivity. Clusters drive innovation, economic growth and development.

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PwC News Release: Back to the boom in mining sector but costs remain a key differentiator, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) firms provide industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to enhance value for their clients. Click here to view: Mine Back to the Boom…

London, 25 May 2010 — The beginning of 2009 saw commodity prices continuing to fall globally, tough price negotiations with customers and challenging market conditions. However, companies responded swiftly and decisively: funding was restructured, mines were closed and production cut as margins declined. However, in contrast, the year ended with the market capitalisation of the Top 40 returning to the heights of 2007 and a cautious optimism returning to the, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ seventh annual review of global trends in the mining industry – Mine, Back to the Boom.

Tim Goldsmith, global mining leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers comments:

“Although 2009 saw overall revenues decline, a drop in net profit and a decrease in cash flow in the industry, none of the Top 40 companies were subject to bankruptcy or voluntary administration provisions. This was largely due to their ability to remove their debt overhang, strengthening commodity markets over the year and the positive impact of government stimulus packages around the world.

“On the other hand, there were no significant transactions completed during the year – pointing to a potential missed opportunity for those that may have had the available financial resources. 

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PwC News Release: Mining companies make a significant economic contribution to the world economy, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers study

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) firms provide industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to enhance value for their clients. Click here to view: Total Tax Contribution

London, 3 JUN 2010 — The taxes and other contributions to government that mining companies pay are an important element in the creation of prosperity and stability of the countries in which they operate. However, the full extent of this contribution is not always recognised. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ second Total Tax Contribution (TTC) study of the global mining industry aims to bring greater transparency to the full economic contribution that these companies make by providing data on all taxes and other payments made to government.

The results show that mining companies make a large economic contribution to public finances in relation to the size of their operations. On average, the companies participating in the study paid an amount equivalent to 15.3% of their turnover to government, comprising 10.8% in amounts borne and 4.5% in amounts collected. These companies pay many other taxes and contributions in addition to corporate income tax which, on average, represents only 40% of all the taxes and contributions they bear. For every $1 of corporate income tax paid, these companies pay another $1.50 in other taxes and contributions borne, plus $0.52 in taxes collected.

Susan Symons, global Total Tax Contribution leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers comments:

“There is increasing pressure on both government and business to increase transparency in the extractive industries, with a call for companies to ‘publish what they pay’, and for governments to ‘publish what they receive’, and how they use these revenues.

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PwC News Release: Global Financial Crisis Accelerates Shift in Economic Power to Emerging Economies

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) firms provide industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to enhance value for their clients. Click here to view: The World in 2050 (January 2011 Report)

London, 7 Jan 2011 — The global financial crisis has accelerated the shift in economic power to emerging economies, says a report published by PwC today.

This is one of the conclusions from the latest in the series of PwC’s ‘The World in 2050’ reports. Measuring GDP at purchasing power parities (PPPs) – which corrects for the fact that price levels tend to be lower in emerging economies – the analysis shows that the E7 emerging economies (China, India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey) are likely to overtake the G7 economies (US, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Canada) before 2020.

If instead we use GDP at market exchange rates (MERs), then the shift in the economic world order is slower but equally inexorable, with the E7 projected to overtake the G7 around 2032. China would also overtake the US in that same year to become the biggest economy in the world based on GDP at market exchange rates, although on a PPP basis this would be likely to occur before 2020. This is even allowing for some slowing of China’s growth rate over time due to its one child policy and the fact that, as it catches up with the US, it must rely more on innovation than imitation to sustain further growth.

The table below summarises some of the key estimated overtaking dates for the E7 economies relative to the G7. We can see that these always occur later when using market exchange rates than PPPs, but even on an MER basis there is an inexorable process of the new world order replacing the old over the next four decades. While precise overtaking dates are clearly subject to many uncertainties, and some emerging countries may fail to realise their full growth potential, the general pattern should be robust assuming no catastrophic political or environmental shocks that permanently throw the world off its current economic development path.

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News Release: Conference Board of Canada – Mining And Related Support Industries Offer The Greatest Economic Potential For Northern Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is the foremost independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. It is not a government department or agency and conducts, publishes, and disseminates objective and non-partisan research on economic trends, as well as organizational performance and public policy issues. Click here for Mapping the Economic Potential of Canada’s North.

Ottawa, December 17 —The natural resources sector – and the industries that support it – provide the strongest potential for Northern Canada’s future economic development, The Conference Board of Canada concludes in a study for its Centre for the North, released today.

This report, Mapping the Economic Potential of Canada’s North, is one of a series of foundational studies for the Centre for the North. It is intended to provide a launch pad for further inquiry into the future economic development potential of the North.

“The economic potential of Northern Canada is highly dependent on its mining and oil and gas resources,” said Len Coad, Director, Environment, Energy and Technology Policy, The Conference Board of Canada. “These primary industries also drive growth in other sectors of Northern economies, including communication, electricity and transportation infrastructure, and commercial services. They can contribute to the prosperity of northern communities by providing jobs and supporting local businesses.”

The Conference Board uses the Northern Development Ministers Forum’s definition of the North as the basis for this research. Based on this definition, the North comprises the three territories and the northern parts of seven provinces – 80 per cent of Canada’s land mass in all, but it makes up less than seven per cent of the population. This study identified a collection of seven key industries—oil and gas, mining, forestry, fishing, utilities, construction, and tourism.

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Deloitte Mining Publication: Tracking the Trends 2009 – The Top 10 Global Mining Issues (December/2008)

For a more detailed discussion of each of the top ten issues that Deloitte’s global network of mining professionals believe will influence the mining sector most in the coming year, read the full report. Tracking the Trends 2009

December/2008 – The financial crisis that came to define the latter half of 2008 brought the turmoil of unprecedented uncertainty to both the private and public sectors. Resource companies in particular were especially impacted, reliant as they are on buoyant commodity prices, which after a series of record highs in the earlier half of the year have since plummeted to fresh lows. As 2009 drew near, the one question on everyone’s mind surely was, “What’s next for the mining industry?”

“Mining companies believed in a super-cycle, but like all cycles, it came to an end,” says Glenn Ives, leader of Deloitte’s North American   Mining  practice. “While companies could not foresee the liquidity crisis that caused commodity price declines, those that react most quickly will be positioned to win in the next cycle.”

Tracking the trends 2009 is a report that identifies the ten most pressing global challenges facing the mining industry today and offers thoughts and strategic advice toward addressing them. From volatile markets and operating cost pressures to regulatory compliance and carbon permitting, the report is intended to help executives chart their companies’ courses over the coming months.

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Deloitte News Release: Miners Urged to Take “Stronger for Longer” Approach to Business Planning (December/2009)

For a more detailed discussion of each of the top ten issues that Deloitte’s global network of mining professionals believe will influence the mining sector most in the coming year, read the full report. Tracking the Trends 2010

Deloitte report recommends cautious expansion and forward-looking approach 

Toronto, December 15, 2009 — Volatility seems a mild word to apply to what has been happening in the mining sector over the past year. Deloitte today released a new report showing that, given the continued uncertainties facing the mining sector, the winners will be the companies that learn to manage volatility more effectively by adopting an integrated, forward-looking approach that defines responses to a range of anticipated futures.

“In an industry as notoriously cyclical as mining, more than ever before, organizations must have sufficiently flexible strategies to weather both market upswings and downswings,” says Glenn Ives, North American Mining Leader, Deloitte. “Achieving this flexibility requires advance planning for various potential risks and scenarios. Without this approach, many companies are bound to experience project delays, talent shortages, and spiraling costs as demand recovers — which could ultimately result in an endless series of boom and bust cycles.”

According to a new Deloitte report, Tracking the Trends 2010: A look at 10 of the top issues mining companies will face, mining industry activity has often been disproportionately influenced by short-term outlooks. When commodity prices were hitting record highs two years ago, optimism was expressed with almost giddy expansion as companies rushed to develop and build even marginal, and often technically complex, assets. The result was a precipitous increase in costs for raw materials, energy, equipment, supplies, and labour. When commodity prices subsequently dropped in the wake of the downturn, saddled with committed capital expenses at suddenly uneconomical prices, mining companies turned cost containment into a mantra and began cutting across the board, shedding non-core, and in some cases, high-quality assets, halting production, scaling back workforces, and putting deals on hold.

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News Release: Deloitte Report Unveils Ten of the Top Trends and Challenges Mining Companies Will Face in 2011 (December/2010)

Obtain a copy of the report: For a more detailed discussion of each of the top ten issues that Deloitte’s global network of mining professionals believe will influence the mining sector most in the coming year, read the full report. Tracking the Trends 2011

Toronto, December 1, 2010—As emerging economies around the globe continue their rapid industrialization, demand for commodities is skyrocketing. Yet at the same time, numerous countries are taking steps to safeguard their own supply by curbing the export of natural resources and shutting down some traditional supply markets. According to a new report released by Deloitte today, this is doing more than affecting commodity prices. It is changing the way mining companies do business.

“With the combination of surging commodity prices, labour shortages, and more demand than supply, one can almost imagine that we are back in the heyday of the mining boom,” says Glenn Ives, North American Mining Leader and Chair of Deloitte Canada. “But today’s demand drivers are significantly different than they were in the past and mining companies need to change the way they pursue growth if they hope to keep pace.”

Over the past 18 months, the axis of the world has shifted according to Deloitte’s third annual global mining report, “Tracking the Trends 2011: The top 10 issues mining companies face in the coming year.” As demand grows from emerging economies, the flow of commodities is increasingly moving to non-Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. The report explains, however, that although the developing economies’ strong appetite for commodities is sending demand signals to the mining industry, these are being muffled by the difficulties of obtaining permits for new mines and finding skilled labour.

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Standard Charter PLC News Release – The World is in a Super-cycle Once Again, This Time Led by Asia

Standard Chartered PLC is a leading international bank, listed on the London, Hong Kong and Mumbai stock exchanges. It has operated for over 150 years in some of the world’s most dynamic markets and earns more than 90 per cent of its income and profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This geographic focus and commitment to developing deep relationships with clients and customers has driven the Bank’s growth in recent years. For more information, please visit:

Download “The Super-cycle Report”

London, 15 November 2010: The world is in a sustained period of high economic growth, or super-cycle, which started in 2000 and is expected to last at least another couple of decades and see the global economy reach over USD 300trn in size by 2030, up from USD 62trn today, according to a special report by Standard Chartered. The world economy has already doubled between 2000 and 2010.

The developed economies will do well through the super-cycle, but the emerging markets will do much better. As a result, the global balance of economic power will shift decisively from the West to the East, according to the report.

The key drivers

The key drivers of the super-cycle will be increased trade, especially among emerging markets, rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and booming middle classes in the developing world. The number of people living in the cities will grow to 5bn in 2030, up from 3.4bn today.

Asia will drive most of the global growth over the next 20 years, during which global output is conservatively set to more than double in real terms, having already risen more than 50 per cent in the last decade. Living standards, as measured by real per capita income, will have increased nine-fold in China and India between 2000 and 2030.

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“The Great Canadian Mining Disaster” -by Jacquie McNish (November 25, 2006) – Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Inco Mining Story

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media.

This article was the cover story of the Saturday, November 25, 2006 edition of the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Section. Jacquie McNish’s 16,000-word article on the failed Inco/Falconbridge merger has become the definitive account of this Canadian business tragedy.


Scott Hand had a dream, to keep Inco Ltd. in Canadian hands. But he didn’t count on corporate betrayal, political apathy, a new bread of shareholders, and a lack of boardroom bravado


The horizon clears

Inco sees its future

After days of murky weather, a wool fog lifted off central Labrador, revealing the bald rugged terrain explorer Jacques Cartier dismissed as “the land God gave to Cain.” The momentary clearing allowed a clutch of travellers to dash to two turbo props marooned at Happy Valley Goose Bay airport.

These were no ordinary tourists. Leading the parka-clad pack was Scott Hand, patrician chief executive officer of the world’s second-largest nickel producer, Inco Ltd. Behind him, eager to explore Cain, were an elite corps of international executives. Rick Waugh, CEO of Bank of Nova Scotia, a man who is gobbling up more Latin American banks than Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, was here. So was David O’Brien, chairman of EnCana Corp. and Royal Bank of Canada. Joining them were Glen Barton, retired chief of Illinois’ Caterpillar Inc.; John Mayberry, onetime CEO of Hamilton steel maker Dofasco Inc.; and Francis Mer, retired boss of European steel maker Arcelor SA and a former finance minister of France. Inco directors one and all, they scrambled to the Dash 8s under an uncertain sky to see for themselves the 21st century’s first great mining startup: Voisey’s Bay.

Mr. Hand, however, wanted his directors to see more than a prosperous mine on the afternoon of Sept. 20, 2005. Although Inco was still digesting the $4-billion, 1996 purchase of Voisey’s Bay, he believed it was time to deal again. Rival Falconbridge Ltd. was in play, presenting Inco with an opportunity to forge a global powerhouse by bringing some of the world’s richest copper and nickel deposits under one corporate entity.

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China as an Economic Superpower – Implications for the Canadian Mining Industry – by Paul Stothart

Paul Stothart - Vice President, Economic Affairs - Mining Association of CanadaPaul Stothart is vice president, economic affairs of the Mining Association of Canada. He is responsible for advancing the industry’s interests regarding federal tax, trade, investment, transport and energy issues. This article was originally published in May, 2007.

There is no shortage of printer’s ink being spilled in recent years writing about the emergence of the Chinese economy. This is, without question, one of the top global news stories of the past decade. After 15 years of double-digit annual growth, the size of the Chinese economy has now reached a state where continued double-digit growth has very meaningful implications for many industries and countries.

Where 10 per cent growth in 1990 may not have had much impact on a global scale, similar growth in
2007 on a much larger economic base has reverberations throughout the global economy.

The emergence of China as a world economic power, and its continued growth, will have direct implications for the Canadian mining industry in three important areas.

Impact 1 – Driver of World Mineral Prices

First, China remains the prime driver of world mineral prices. China is building a domestic infrastructure for 1.3 billion people and is concurrently expanding its role as the world’s manufacturing centre for many product areas. The country simply cannot meet its own needs for copper, zinc, nickel, and other core ingredients of a transportation, power, and communications infrastructure.

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Is China Buying Africa? – by Paul Stothart

Paul Stothart - Mining Association of CanadaPaul Stothart is vice president, economic affairs of the Mining Association of Canada. He is responsible for advancing the industry’s interests regarding federal tax, trade, investment, transport and energy issues.

In a recent column, I noted that China remains the prime driver of world mineral prices. In building a domestic infrastructure for 1.3 billion people, while expanding its role as the world’s factory, China simply cannot meet its burgeoning demand for copper, zinc, nickel, and other raw materials. In response to this growing gap, China now imports $100 billion worth of base metals annually, buying 25 per cent of the world’s supply today versus a 5 per cent share in the 1980s. As a specific example, China’s share of world consumption of zinc has tripled from 10 to 28 per cent in a mere decade, while the US share has fallen from 16 to 10 per cent.

This dramatic growth in raw material demand is one of the central factors leading to a second, equally significant development; namely that China is becoming an important catalyst to the growth of Africa—a continent that offers untapped raw material supply and market demand potential. In decades past, few observers of global economic development would have envisioned the emergence of such a linkage. Few thought beyond the traditional model, where aid flows from the west would supposedly some day pull Africa to a more advanced state of development.

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The Commodity Super-Cycle Will Benefit Sudbury for Years to Come – Stan Sudol

Stan Sudol - Executive Speech Writer and Mining ColumnistThere is no doubt that the impending recession in the U.S. is causing economic upheaval across Ontario which exports about 86% of its manufactured goods to our southern neighbour.

Over the next few years as the province copes with a high Canadian dollar, competition from China and high energy prices, many communities in Ontario may be faced with a declining standard of living unless we can find sustainable solutions.

However two recent reports confirm that the commodity super-cycle has a long life ensuring that Sudbury – the location of approximately half of the province’s mining production – will be an island of prosperity as the region’s mineral products, supply and service sector and mining expertise is in great demand around the world.

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