Ontario Mining Association Pre-Budget Letter Advocates Strategic Government Investments

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The Ontario Mining Association´s pre-budget submission encourages the government at Queen´s Park to make strategic investments in the mineral sector to promote future economic development.  “The Ontario mining industry has enjoyed — until recently — one of the most prosperous and lengthiest periods of its history of making contributions to the society and economy of the province,” said OMA President Chris Hodgson in a letter to Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.  “However, the current economic circumstances which are dominating the news are providing challenges for individuals, companies, entire industries and governments alike.”

The letter outlined massive decreases in the market prices of Ontario´s key mineral commodities — nickel, gold, copper, zinc, silver and palladium — of between 50% and 80% over the past year.  Companies have reacted to slides in the prices of their products with production cutbacks, temporary mine closures, workforce reductions and revised business plans.  “Mining benefits all regions of Ontario and given this outlook of difficult economic times and harsh business climates, it is increasingly important for the industry to work with government to ensure that programs, regulation and legislation sustain mining investment and employment in the province,” said Mr. Hodgson.

“At this time, the OMA would like to encourage the government to make strategic investments in the mining sector to promote future economic development and take action to improve the competitive position of the industry in the world,” he said.  The type of strategic investments the OMA is recommending include geological mapping, advancing human resource development and education, skills enhancement and training for Aboriginals, incentives for Research & Development, smarter regulatory systems, enhanced infrastructure development including the electricity system and exploration incentives.

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