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The Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) announced it is signing onto MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining® (TSM) initiative, marking the first time that the program has been adopted by a mining association in Africa. MAC and the BCM celebrated the announcement at an official signing ceremony in Gabarone, Botswana, on February 10, 2017.
MAC freely shares TSM with other countries seeking tools to improve the environmental and social performance of their mining industries, including engagement with civil society and enhanced transparency and accountability. BCM is the third mining association outside of Canada to adopt TSM following FinnMin, the Finnish Mining Association, in November 2015 and the Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros (CAEM), the Argentinean Chamber of Mining Entrepreneurs, in October 2016.

“Canada is very pleased that the Mining Association of Canada and the Botswana Chamber of Mines are working together on the Towards Sustainable Mining initiative. This initiative reflects Canada's strong relationship with Botswana and our commitment to support the sustainable development of Botswana's mining sector.”

-  His Excellency Kumar Gupta, Ambassador of Canada to Zimbabwe, Botswana and Angola

MAC and its members launched TSM in 2004. The program is mandatory for all MAC members’ Canadian operations, but many voluntarily apply it to their international sites. TSM requires mining companies to annually assess their facilities’ performance across six important areas, including tailings management, community outreach, safety and health, biodiversity conservation, crisis management, and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management. The results are freely available to the public and are externally-verified every three years to ensure what has been reported is accurate.

To ensure TSM reflects the expectations of civil society and industry stakeholders, it was designed and continues to be shaped by an independent, multi-interest advisory panel. While BCM will tailor its performance areas so that they reflect the unique aspects of its domestic mining sector, they will be at a similar level to those of Canada. It will also be required to implement an advisory body similar in structure to MAC’s to provide a valuable oversight function.

To ensure TSM reflects the expectations of civil society and industry stakeholders, it was designed and continues to be shaped by an independent, multi-interest advisory panel. As part of its implementation, CAEM will implement a similar advisory body to provide this valuable oversight function.

Photo taken at the signing of the Botswana Chamber of Mine’s adoption of TSM, Gabarone, Botswana.


Cautious optimism is returning to the global mining industry, which could spur mining companies to make new and significant investments. However, a new report from MAC shows evidence of declining Canadian competitiveness and the prospect for major exploration and mining investments to flow offshore.

MAC’s Facts & Figures 2016 report notes several indicators that reveal that Canada is not as competitive as it once was:

  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Canada’s mining sector dropped by more than 50% year-over-year in 2015.
  • Canada no longer attracts the single-largest share of total global mineral exploration spending, having conceded first place to Australia in 2015.
  • No new mining projects entered the federal environmental assessment stage in 2016.
The decline in mining FDI is disproportionate to Canadian mining direct investment abroad, which only experienced a 6% decline. This imbalance indicates that companies are investing in project development, but may be less interested in doing so in Canada. If these trends continue, there will be fewer discoveries made and fewer projects that become operational mines in Canada.

MAC’s report also revealed the mining industry remained a strong contributor to the Canadian economy despite the downturn in 2015. The industry directly employed more than 370,000 people across Canada and remained the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal people on a proportional basis. An additional 190,000 worked indirectly in mining, with more than 3,700 companies supplying goods and services to the Canadian mining industry. In 2015, the mining industry accounted for $56 billion of Canada’s GDP and minerals and metals accounted for 19% of Canadian goods exports.

Policies that improve Canada’s mining competitiveness:
  1. Improve the federal project review process -  the process should be effective and timely, from pre-environmental assessment (EA) to post-EA permitting, with meaningful consultation with Aboriginal communities.
  2. Invest in critical infrastructure in remote and northern regions - introduce strategic tax measures and ensure the new Canada Infrastructure Bank has a strong economic development focus for northern Canada.
  3. Improve access to trade ensure trade policies provide access to new and important markets, including China, and improve Canada’s transportation network to more efficiently move mineral and metal products to market.
  4. Address climate change while protecting Canadian businesses adopt policies that lead to meaningful greenhouse gas emissions while protecting emissions intensive and trade-exposed industries (EITI), like the mining industry. Failing to protect EITI sectors will result in “carbon leakage”—the shifting of production and the associated economic benefits from countries that are taking action on climate to those that are not.
  5. Help expedite industry innovation - The Canada Mining Innovation Council is seeking a $50 million investment for the Towards Zero Waste Mining innovation strategy from the Government of Canada to accelerate the adoption of disruptive technologies that will support the transition to a lower carbon future.
Download Facts & Figures 2016 at:


Pierre Gratton, MAC’s President and CEO, joined the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, and a delegation of mining and energy executives and other stakeholders, including Indigenous representatives, on a well-timed trade mission to Mexico from February 1-3, 2017.  Although the mission had been months in the making, the political backdrop of a renegotiation of NAFTA made the demonstration of Canada-Mexican friendship ever more relevant.

The trade mission, the largest ever led by Natural Resources Canada, resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Collaboration in Sustainable Mineral Resource Development. This agreement will contribute to a foundation for greater trade, stronger growth and job creation. Mexico is currently the second largest recipient of Canadian mining investment abroad, and several MAC members are active there, including Goldcorp, New Gold, Agnico Eagle, Pan American Silver and Excellon Resources. 
Minister Carr met with his counterparts, including Secretary of the Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, and Secretary of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development, Rosario Robles Berlanga. Industry participants were invited to a roundtable with Minister Carr, during which they discussed challenges and opportunities in Mexico. A key issue raised was in regards to mining royalties and ensuring that the Mexican government’s policy of reinvesting royalties in mining-affected communities is implemented.
Industry representatives also met with the Canada-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, while Pierre Gratton and a representative from Natural Resources Canada also met separately with Sergio Almazán, Director General of CAMIMEX, Mexico’s national mining association to discuss the MOU, MAC’s TSM initiative and opportunities for collaboration. The trade mission also included an enjoyable cultural evening, featuring performances by a Mexican ballet ensemble and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Photo of the Canadian Delegation that joined Minister Carr on an official visit and trade mission to Mexico.


Over the past 20 years, Mining Indaba has become the largest mining investment conference and a destination for industry and stakeholders to come together to collaborate on topics such as sustainability, innovation and community development.

Held annually in Cape Town, South Africa, MAC has been a long-time participant in the Canadian Delegation to Mining Indaba. However, this year, MAC’s Pierre Gratton and Ben Chalmers were part of the formal conference program as speakers on several panel discussions. Participating alongside industry leaders such as Mark Cutifani, CEO of Anglo American, Nick Holland, CEO of Goldfields Limited, as well experts from the WWF, ICMM, and the Bench Marks Foundation, among others, MAC shared Canadian approaches to sustainable mining. Topics included MAC’s work to strengthen our world-recognized tailings management guides, our efforts to share the TSM initiative with other mining nations, and how we are collaborating and engaging with civil society and communities of interest to create shared benefits.

Panel discussion on water and tailings management at Mining Indaba. (Left to Right) Tom Butler, CEO, ICMM; Nick Holland, CEO, Goldfields Limited; Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC; Mark Cutifani, CEO, Anglo American; and Christine Colvin, Senior Manager, Freshwater, WWF.


The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame is now 178 members strong after five industry trailblazers were added to its membership this past January. The 2017 inductees include James E.C. (Jim) Carter, Robert McEwan, Donald McLeod, William S. (Steve) Vaughan, and John Zigarlick. The inductees were feted at the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame’s annual dinner and induction ceremony, which had a record attendance of 1,000 guests at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

MAC would like to congratulate Jim Carter, a former Chair and long-time Board Director at MAC, for his induction and for the significant contributions he made to our association and the wider industry throughout his impressive career.

Carter, a pioneer in the oil sands industry, joined Syncrude at a time when the sector was in its infancy and not the economic engine it has become. Carter enjoyed a 28-year career with Syncrude and rose up the ranks to become President and COO, a position he held from 1997 to 2007. Under his leadership, Syncrude became a Canadian success story. However, it is his work in sustainability, Aboriginal inclusion and innovation that is arguably his greatest legacy. His passion for these areas translated into profound impacts to many communities in Alberta and contributed to a wider cultural change across the industry. As a Board Director for MAC, Carter inspired the association and its members to take bold steps to ensure the industry employed leading environmental and social practices and was a driving force behind MAC’s development of Towards Sustainable Mining®.

MAC is a sponsor of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. More information about the inductees and the nomination process is available at:

(Left to Right) Kara Flynn, Syncrude’s Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, and Jim Carter, former Syncrude President and COO, at the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Toronto.

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada’s production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal, and mined oil sands, and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.

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