To illustrate the connection between mining and the daily life of Canadians, our newsletter series brings to you the industry facts and the stories of our people.
Mining Association of Canada
December 2011

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About 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, steel making coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.

Mining Day on the Hill

Mining Day on the Hill 2011 Highlights Tremendous Opportunities for Canada’s Mining Industry

Each year the Mining Association of Canada organizes a day of meetings which bring together senior industry representatives with Ottawa decisions makers. This year’s mining day (November 22, 2011) was, by all accounts, a resounding success. 

This year’s key messages highlighted the forecasted investment of $137 Billion in new mining projects and expansions over the next 5 years, as well as the key challenges to be met if the opportunity is to be made reality. Priority areas of attention include regulatory efficiency and effectiveness, requirements for strategic infrastructure investment and the HR/skills shortage issue. 
Parallel to the daily meetings Mining Day on the Hill included the following activities:

Economic Club of Canada Luncheon

The Luncheon keynote address was delivered by the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources on the topic of Canada’s place in the global economy as a mining powerhouse.  More than 100 guests comprised of mining sector executives and federal officials were in attendance. The Minister’s encouraging message regarding the critical importance of mining in coming years was well received.  The Minister’s Q&A session with attendees focused on current industry challenges, such as regulatory issues and infrastructure, as well as ongoing growth opportunities created by demand from emerging economies including China.

Towards Sustainable Mining Awards

The Mining Association of Canada’s 2010 Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Awards recognized Canadian mining facilities that have demonstrated excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

2010 TSM Award recipients included Barrick Gold Corporation, De Beers Canada Inc., Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., Iron Ore Company of Canada, Syncrude Canada Ltd., Teck Resources Limited, and Xstrata.

  This year MAC was pleased to recognize Barrick Gold's Hemlo Operations with a Leadership Award, recognizing exceptional acheivement in all TSM performance areas - this is only the second time such an award has been granted since the program's inception.

TSM was developed by MAC in 2004 to improve the mining industry’s performance by helping companies to manage their corporate responsibilities for social and environmental sustainability. The industry has adopted a common set of measurable sustainability guidelines and performance indicators that provide a way for the sector to find common ground with communities of interest in order to build a better mining industry, today and in the future.  Participation in TSM is mandatory for MAC members.

Donation to the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation during the Annual Reception

The Mining Association of Canada made a $2500 contribution to the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF).  This builds upon the $25,000 contribution made earlier this year, for a total 2011 contribution of $27,500.  The mining industry is a strong supporter of Aboriginal education programs across Canada and particularly in rural and northern communities.  Mining is a prominent partner in the federal government’s Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership programs, with initiatives active in many Canadian jurisdictions.  MAC member companies are also active supporters of Aboriginal education, supporting numerous scholarship programs and other initiatives.  MAC’s support for NAAF builds on this work.


Mining & Northern Development

From the North - Diavik Mine Mid-Year Socio-Economic Highlights

The Diavik diamond Mine operates in one of the world’s most remote and challenging environments: the subarctic tundra of Canada’s Northwest Territories, 300 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife.
The mine employs approximately 1,000 people, two-thirds of whom live in northern communities.  Approximately half the northern workforce is Aboriginal.  In addition to providing local employment, Diavik also provides local business benefits. Through 2010, northern spending totalled $3.5 billion.  Furthermore, over 70 per cent of the overall construction and operations spending since 2000 has been with northern businesses. 
Twice a year, Diavik releases a socio-economic monitoring agreement report, providing a detailed summary of local training, employment, and business benefits for northerners.
Highlights from the midyear report include:

  • In first half 2011, Diavik's northern workforce averaged 628 people, 364 above its original plan. Aboriginal employment averaged 309 people, 149 above the company's original plan.
  • Half year spending with northern business totaled $155.6 million, or 69 per cent of $224.8 million total spending.
  • Of the northern expenditures, $64 million was with Aboriginal business.
  • Cumulative northern spending since 2000 is now $3.6 billion, or 72 per cent of total spending. 
  • Support for northerners with trade skills; nearly doubled the number of apprentices to 25 from 13. Of the 25, 24 are northern and 14 are Aboriginal

FACTS: Diavik Mine Facts:

  • Total operations and construction spending through mid-2010 – C $4.6 billion, of which $3.3 billion is northern
  • Operations workforce – approximately 870
  • Mine footprint – 9 square kilometres
  • Reserves – 19.7 million tonnes at 3.0 carats/tonne
  • Ore production – approximately 2 million tonnes annually
  • 2009 diamond production – 5.6 million carats
  • Total mine life – 16 to 22 years (currently in year eight)

Mining & Intl. Trade

Free Trade with the Americas-Honduras is Next in Line

On August 12, 2011, Prime Minister Harper announced the conclusion of negotiations for a Canada-Honduras free trade agreement during an official visit to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.  Bilateral trade agreements are important to mining companies and can be very beneficial to the Canadian economy; in 2008 Canada’s mining presence in Latin America had reached $57 Billion and the numbers continue to increase. Honduras, the Central American country of 7.5 Million people, is a country with a high potential for mining activity.  Ms. Sofia Cerrato, the recently appointed ambassador to Canada, is actively promoting “Honduras Open for Business” to Canadian mining companies.
“Attracting foreign investment is a top priority for Honduras, since 60% of our territory has mining potential, we are keen on Canadians bringing their expertise in mining development, as well as in social responsibility, particularly community engagement”, said Ms. Cerrato.  As a region, Honduras and the neighboring Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, are moving their economies forward with major infrastructure projects and policy reform, a renewed approach to leave behind the political instability and economic challenges seen in past decades.
To facilitate access and increase capacity, Honduras is making considerable strides in infrastructure, an example is the “Canal Seco” (Dry Canal), a 70 Km secondary road in Honduras, part of a bi-oceanic corridor between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
Canadian interests in Honduras are exemplified by Breakwater Resources, now Nystar, who operate the El Mochito mine, located in north-west Honduras near the town of Las Vegas. The mine has been in operation since 1948 and has a long history of reserve replacement and promising exploration potential. As part of their sustainability practices the mining company has been running a successful community engagement program.  One of the highlights is the creation of the Centro Educativo Vocational El Mochito (CEVEM), the first mining-oriented vocational training institute in Central America.
There are few industry sectors in Canada as internationally active as the mining industry; Canadian-listed firms have over 5100 mineral projects in varying stages of development around the world.

FACTS: Mining & Intl. Trade

  • Canada remains home to the second most “top 100” mining companies in the world – 16 companies, trailing only China with 18.
  • Large direct investment stocks – mining accounts for 14% of all Foreign Direct Investment in Canada and 10% of Canadian Direct Investment Abroad.
  • Minerals account for 21% of value of Canada’s goods exports.

Mining & Investment

Vale’s $49 Million Investment in New Demonstration Plant in Sudbury

The Canadian mining industry has long been a leader in innovation, investing in new technologies despite the ups and downs of the economy.  Canadian mining companies continually innovate to remain competitive and increase productivity.
Vale is making one such investment at the Copper Cliff Mine 114 Orebody Demonstration Plant - part of the $3.4 billion investment Vale announced for its Sudbury operations in November of last year.  The investment will allow Vale to test new technologies that could dramatically improve mining processes across all its operations. The demonstration plant will feature innovative Rail-Veyor technology and offer opportunities to test safer and more efficient mining techniques with new, specialized equipment.
The Rail‐Veyor system combines the best of conventional railroads and conveyors to create a unique and practical alternative for materials transport.  Systems are scalable and flexible and can economically move materials over distances of a few hundred meters to hundreds of kilometers.

Rail-Veyor technology will be installed at the 114 Orebody Demonstration Plant later this year – the first installation of its kind at an underground mine in North America.
The City of Greater Sudbury, considered to be the mining industry capital of Canada, welcomed the announcement.  Sudbury’s Mayor Marianne Matichuk said “with projects like the Rail-Veyor; we will continue to bring innovation and technology to new heights.  Vale continues to be a key contributor to the mining industry, not only here at home, but around the world.  Technology of this magnitude means sustainable income in a city where growing the job market is of the highest importance.”
The project is expected to create approximately 100 jobs for the duration of the project. Project completion is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.

FACTS: Mining & Investment 

  • Canadian mining and metals companies invested $548 Million in research and development in 2010, more than either the motor vehicle and parts sector or the machinery sector
  • Canada attracted 19% of world exploration spending in 2010
  • The TSX is the center of global mining financing - 1400 mining companies listed, ~50% of their mineral projects are outside Canada
  • Canada is a top 5 World Producer in uranium, potash, nickel, platinum, aluminum, diamonds, zinc, met coal 
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