World interest in Canada’s minerals reached record levels in 2011, and is expected to have climbed even higher in 2012, according to the Mining Association of Canada (MAC).
MAC’s Facts & Figures 2012 Report finds that in 2011 exploration investment in Canada reached $3.9 billion, which accounts for 18 percent of the global investment. This makes Canada the top destination for exploration spending followed by Australia, the U.S., and Mexico.
According to the report, Canada had a 585 percent growth in exploration investment from 2002 to 2011.
“The growth in exploration spending in Canada over the past decade has been remarkable,” MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton said in a statement.
“Despite challenges, such as reduced access to capital for some miners, buoyant mineral prices have increased company willingness to invest significantly in the location and development of certain minerals and metals in Canada.”
The mineral production value also had a record year in Canada, with a $50.3 billion value, thanks to rising mineral prices.
Mineral exportation accounted for 22.8 percent of Canada’s total exports in 2011. The sector employs 320,000 workers across the nation in mineral extraction, smelting, fabrication, and manufacturing.
Despite some challenges, MAC sees strong economic prospects for 2013.
“Regardless of concerns over the growth rates of China and other emerging markets, it is widely held that growth, even if at a moderately reduced pace, is likely to remain strong over the long term,” said Gratton.
According to MAC, the mining industry plans to invest $140 billion in mining projects over the next decade.
“As exploration activity and mineral production are intrinsically linked, the Canadian mining industry could see a dramatic expansion in the years to come,” said Gratton.
“While some volatility is anticipated, the larger determinant in capitalizing on the opportunities before us is to ensure the industry has access to the right investment and regulatory environments it needs to support development.”
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