TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Companies will invest some $130-billion in Canadian mines over the next five years, as burgeoning commodity demand creates opportunities “not seen since the post-war boom of the 1950's”, an industry lobby group said on Thursday.
“Multibillion-dollar investments are planned in virtually every province and territory of Canada. As a global mining superpower, Canada is well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity,” Mining Association of Canada (MAC) CEO Pierre Gratton said in a speech to the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce.
The forecast investment is higher than the $116-billion figure the MAC predicted earlier this month.
Both Gratton and Ontario Mining Association president Chris Hodgson stressed the importance of not letting permitting red tape hamper development.
“The existing 20-year window of opportunity can be spent on permitting and approvals, or it can be spent opening mines. Our environmental and safety record will not be placed in jeopardy by compressing development timelines and aligning interests to ensure the province, industry and community all benefit,” said Hodgson.
“We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us; we need to think strategically about how best to seize it by focusing on key challenges like regulatory efficiency, human resources and infrastructure,” Gratton added.
Earlier in August, the MAC said that the mining sector injected $8.4-billion into federal, provincial and territorial governments’ coffers in 2010 by way of taxes, royalties and employee income taxes, in 2010 – a 65% increase on the previous year’s figure.
Commodity prices surged higher in 2010, after bottoming at the start of 2009 as a result of the recession.
Canada is a major producer of gold, nickel, uranium and potash, and soaring demand for these products in the developing world has bolstered the country’s economy over the past two years, making its recovery from the great recession one of the strongest among G8 countries.