(June 28 2012- GEOnomic Investing)
Canada is a huge player in the mining industry, overall, Canada ranks as the world’s largest exporter of minerals and metals. It is the leading producer and exporter of potash, the leading producer of uranium, the second-largest producer of sulfur, the third largest producer of titanium, zinc, and platinum group metals; the fourth in aluminum production and the fifth producer of copper, lead, silver, gold and diamonds.
Per year, mining and minerals contribute 3% to 5% to Canada’s GDP. Canada is home to more top 100 mining companies than any other country in the world. Not only are they drawn to Canada’s mineral wealth, its busine
ss climate is also attractive. The Canadian Government is pro-mining and resource development, the country has a relatively low tax rate, and the economic, political, and social climate is very stable. Compared to many other country’s Canada is praised for its efficient permitting process when it comes to approving new mining projects. Vancouver is considered a global headquarters for mineral exploration companies, and Toronto a global finance capital. The country is also blessed with an ideal location. On the West Coast, the port of Vancouver provides easy access to Asian markets. Being the friendly northern neighbor of the United States also has some economic advantages.
Despite the country’s mineral wealth, it has only recently begun to develop many of its mineral resources, and therefore has a bustling exploration sector with juniors and major miners alike participating in the search for the mineral deposits of the future. Canada ranks as a top location for junior miners and explorers.
Mineral exploration expenditure in the country has been on an uptrend since 2004, although it suffered a brief dip during the global financial crisis, it is expected to surpass the $4 billion mark this year. In 2010 mineral exploration
expenditures hit $2.8 billion; in 2011 they climbed to $3.9 billion.
Economic uncertainty is a given, but due to Canada’s diverse mineral wealth it is able to survive various economic climates. The country operates with a low debt, which helps the business climate, and was instrumental in it surviving the 2008 recession largely unscathed. Currently, the country is considered to have the “most stable” economy of the G7, and is praised for its financial systems and pro-business climate.
Choosing a Mining Investment in Canada
There are hundreds of companies that offer an exposure to Canada’s mining industry; therefore, investors have a wide range of characteristics to choose from including: size, commodities produced, location, etc. Canada is truly a global player in the mining industry, and investors can choose to focus on companies that have a global business, or those who only have assets within the country itself.
Major Mines in Canada
Highland Valley Copper Mine
The Highland Valley Copper Mine is considered one of the world’s largest mines, and it is located in the Province of British Columbia. Commodities produced are copper and molybdenum mineral concentrates, which include trace amounts of silver and gold. It is owned and operated by Tack Resources (NYSE:TCK, TSE:TCK.A).
McArthur River Uranium Mine
The McArthur River Uranium Mine, in located in Saskatchewan and is the world’s largest high-grade uranium deposit. In 2011 it was the world’s largest producing uranium mine, accounting for 14% of world mine production. The mine is owned 70% by Cameco Corporation (TSE:CCO, NYSE:CCJ) and 30% by AREVA Resources Canada Inc. Cameco is the mine operator.
A list of the top mining companies in Canada can be found here…
Sources: Natural Resources of Canada Mineral Exporation Report: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/minerals-metals/publications-reports/4413