Mining upswing piques renewed exploration interest among Canadian miners

Agnico Eagle's Meliadine site in Nunavut Territory.

Agnico Eagle's Meliadine site in Nunavut Territory.

5th July 2018

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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Renewed enthusiasm, thanks to the upswing in the mining cycle, has boosted exploration spending by Canadian miners by 31%, a rate that is more than double the average increase reported by the world’s 40 largest mining companies.

According to advisory group PwC, Canada-based mining companies have upped their exploration spending from C$473-million in 2016, to C$620-million in 2017.

"Last year was a remarkable year for Canadian miners with significant increases in exploration spending,” PwC Canada national mining leader Liam Fitzgerald said in a media statement on Wednesday.

Strategic partnerships are also helping companies to keep pace with advancements in technology. For example, Canadian companies are partnering with startups to create programmes that accelerate planning by turning data into an immersive visualisation of a mine's complete life cycle.

“This type of technology innovation is a game-changer for the Canadian exploration market, enabling organisations to plan entire operations without even leaving the office.”

Canadian miners – six of which are among the Top 40 global miners – are prioritising digital transformation efforts, focusing on increasing efficiency, enhancing safety and mitigating cybersecurity risks. 

PwC states that Canadian miners make up more than a third of the global Top 40 companies that have reported decreased or steady injury frequency rates in 2017. Using technology, such as predictive analytics to identify hazards and autonomous technology to remove people from high-risk tasks like drilling and blasting, the Canadian miners have a strong commitment to safety.

Similar to last year, the report also shows that Canadian companies are ahead of their global counterparts for their diversity efforts at the leadership level, with women now accounting for 25% of directors among Canadian miners, compared with 19% among their global peers. While the Top 40 companies nearly matched the Canadian year-on-year increase in boardroom representation by women, Canada still leads the global group as a whole.

Six Canadian companies, including Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Barrick Gold, Teck Resources, Goldcorp, Agnico-Eagle Mines and First Quantum Minerals, rank among the Top 40 global mining companies.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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