Canada’s mining industry has the potential to make almost $140 billion of capital investment in Canada over the next five years and almost 50 per cent of this investment is anticipated in Alberta.
The province is set to lead the way in growth, driven by a strong mix of commodities and a potential $67.7 billion investment in 12 mining projects proposed for development by 2016.
That’s one of the messages Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of The Mining Association of Canada, shared in an address to the Edmonton business community at the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation’s 2012 Economic Outlook Luncheon today.
“There is tremendous opportunity facing the Canadian mining industry – an opportunity not seen in several generations,” Gratton said. “Multi-billion dollar investments are planned in both new and existing projects in virtually every province and territory of Canada, bringing significant economic benefits, and Alberta is set to be a major player.”
Benefits include the generation of provincial taxes and royalties, employment and economic spin-off service and supplier benefits. The statistics speak for themselves: Alberta royalties and mining tax revenues from oil sands and coal alone (not including corporate and personal income taxes) grew by roughly 16 percent between 2009 and 2010.
Currently more than 140,000 Albertans are employed directly by the mining industry, and that figure is expected to increase over the next 10 years. As well, oil sands mining jobs traditionally are more stable than employment in conventional oil and gas production, which can further help buffer the province from commodity cycle fluctuations.
Alberta is also home to more than 540 mining industry suppliers, the third-largest number in Canada, providing services ranging from environmental, engineering and geotechnical consulting to drilling equipment.
The investment growth will be focussed primarily in the oil, gas and oil sands development that Alberta is most known for, however significant investment is also anticipated in the lesser known commodities of coal, limestone, salt, shale, dimension stone, ammonite shell, sandstone and sand and gravel.
“Alberta’s oil sands have the third-largest proven crude oil reserve in the world and, with new projects being added every year, production increases are expected through to 2018,” says Gratton. “The province also accounts for 70 percent of our nation’s coal production, by weight.”
Gratton stressed that Canada and Alberta have developed best-in-class expertise in extracting natural resources in an environmentally responsible manner.
“As a global mining superpower, Canada is well positioned to capitalize on this record growth opportunity, address industry challenges and showcase the responsible practices at play in the Canadian mining industry,” he said.
About the Mining Association of Canada
The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is the trusted national voice of Canada’s mining and mineral processing industry. Since 1935, MAC has supported and promoted the mining industry providing leadership, sharing resources and continuing to build, strengthen and engage the industry through advocacy, stewardship and collaboration. The Association places a high priority on corporate social responsibility, and through initiatives like “Towards Sustainable Mining” addresses issues surrounding sustainability and governing policies in a collaborative, progressive way. For more information about the Mining Association of Canada, please visit www.mining.ca
About the Author (Author Profile)
Markham began his journalism career writing columns in the mid-1980s for Western People Magazine, then reported for a small Saskatchewan daily. He has spent most of his career in media and communications, likes to dabble in politics, was actively involved in economic development for many years, thinks that what goes on in the community is just as important as what happens provincially and nationally, and has a soft spot for small business (big business, not so much). Markham is a bit of a contrarian and usually has a unique take on the events of the day.