PDAC 2015: Canada to Renew Mineral Exploration Tax Credit Program
Press Release: The PDAC 2015 Convention started with a flurry of announcements that support Canada’s mineral exploration and mining industry.
Federal Minister of Finance, the Honourable Joe Oliver, announced Sunday evening the government’s intention to renew the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC), an invaluable financial instrument that helps Canadian junior mining companies raise capital for projects in Canada. Oliver also announced a proposed change to the government’s treatment of the Canadian Exploration Expense (CEE) program to include certain environmental and Aboriginal consultation expenses incurred prior to obtaining a license or permit as a Canadian Exploration Expense.
“The METC is a financial catalyst for investment in Canadian companies and helps them to remain competitive in the international marketplace,” says PDAC President Rod Thomas. “We welcome the government’s decision to renew this vitally important program. The Government of Canada is an important partner in creating conditions that allow Canada’s mineral industry to flourish and we look forward to continuing to work together to improve policies and programs that support the industry, including the METC.”
Earlier in the day the Honourable Greg Rickford, Federal Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, stood together with Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines, the Honourable Michael Gravelle, to announce a joint study of an all-weather transportation corridor in the region. “We know there is tremendous mineral potential in Northern Ontario and this is a very positive step,” says PDAC Executive Director Andrew Cheatle “that can help advance community access, mineral exploration and development in the Ring of Fire region.”
In addition, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, announced the appointment of Jeffrey Davidson as Canada’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor for the extractive sector.
“We are very supportive of the government’s selection of Mr. Davidson,” says Rod Thomas, PDAC President. “Having worked in industry, non-profit and academic settings, Jeffrey Davidson is well-known as a capable and highly regarded individual. We look forward to working with him and the Office of the CSR Counsellor in its new, re-focused role.”
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.