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Mineral explorers like fed budget despite no Ring of Fire money

PDAC pleased about tax credit, flow-through renewals
Attawapiskat R crossing
Attawapiskat River

The annual renewal of Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) and the maintenance of the flow-through share system were enough for the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) to give a thumbs-up to the federal budget.

“A number of initiatives included in Budget 2017 are in line with PDAC’s recommendations to ensure Canada’s mineral exploration and development sector can further discover and develop the natural resources our nation is blessed with, for the benefit of all Canadians,” said PDAC President Glenn Mullan in a statement.

“This budget celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation and our mineral and mining industry is proud to be an important part of Canada’s past and we look forward to remaining part of Canada’s future.”

The renewal of METC and flow-through shares was actually announced at PDAC’s annual mining show in Toronto on March 5.

PDAC also supported Ottawa’s commitment to important infrastructure investments in remote and northern Canada—including through the Canada Infrastructure Bank that is responsible for investing at least $35 billion over 11 years.

Exploration projects in this region, PDAC, have average costs of 227 per cent more than non-remote projects. An additional $2 billion, also over 11 years, was announced for northern and rural infrastructure to help communities. 

No mention was made in the federal budget of any kind of investment toward building mining-related infrastructure for the Ring of Fire.

For years, the Ontario government has been unsuccessfully lobbying for Ottawa to match its $1-billion provincial promise to blaze a transportation corridor through the Canadian Shield to reach the remote and undeveloped mineral belt in the James Bay lowlands.

PDAC also supported $50 million being earmarked for training through the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, which can assist with accessing employment and economic opportunities generated by the minerals industry.

The industry group also liked the government’s investment in clean technology development through a $1 billion commitment over four years for industries including mining, and the government’s emphasis on gender equality, which PDAC said it has championed within the industry.

“The METC has been renewed by successive governments because it is a proven, effective incentive that has stimulated investment in grass-roots exploration and created greater opportunity,” said PDAC Executive Director Andrew Cheatle.

“Without this vital tax credit there will be less exploration, which means less mineral discoveries, and ultimately, less economic benefits that are generated by producing mines.”