Ministers work toward viable mining communities

September 19, 2005

ST. ANDREWS -- Federal, provincial and territorial mines ministers from across the country gathered today for the 62nd Annual Mines Ministers' Conference in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. At the conference, they agreed that vulnerable mining communities are a priority and have instructed their officials to work together to develop a pan-Canadian cooperative strategy to maintain the viability of these communities.

The conference provided an opportunity for discussing some of the concerns specific to the sustainable development of these communities by identifying responsible ways of taking environmental, social and economic issues into consideration, while respecting the powers and responsibilities of governments.

The ministers issued the following statement: "Not only are mining products essential to the quality of life of all Canadians, but mining and associated primary and secondary processing activities constitute the economic engine of many centres, particularly certain Aboriginal, northern and remote communities. Industry stakeholders and communities have expressed concern about the long-term future of a number of mining communities. We recognize their concerns and agree that addressing the needs of these communities is a priority."

Ministers also discussed a number of potential ways to maintain the viability of these communities whose economic life depends heavily on exploration initiatives as well as on the treatment or processing of mining products. For example, improved tax treatment for exploration investments, the introduction of the Cooperative Geological Mapping Strategies across Canada, Aboriginal engagement, alternative processing technologies, deep mining technologies, access to recyclable materials and promotion of Canadian mining products internationally.

The purpose of the one day event was to engage industry representatives, stakeholders and governments to take stock of and examine the state of the minerals and metals industry and to ensure that the Canadian economy maximizes benefits, in terms of economic growth and regional development, from the diversity of metals and minerals found in its provinces and territories.
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A high-resolution photo of the co-chairs at the conference is available in the NRCan News Room at http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index_e.php.

Natural Resources Canada

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