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Engagement Session with Experts in Saskatoon

May 3 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan team met with industry experts in Saskatoon to discuss key issues, such as:

  • Getting products to market
  • Infrastructure issues
    • The lack of railway and transportation mechanisms as well as Northern roads and power infrastructure is a source of concern
  • Attracting investment in Canada
    • The upcoming carbon tax will put Canadian operations at a disadvantage
    • The potash industry in Canada will soon be unable to compete if operational and transportation costs continue to rise
  • Locked-up resource value due to burdensome regulations
    • Given the more common situation where mines have a short life due to the depletion of mineral resources in Canada, mining companies do not want to go through a long regulatory process to run a short-term mining operation
  • Fragmented innovation opportunities
  • Regulatory certainty (or uncertainty)
    • Investment and environmental regulations are of particular concern
  • Ensuring equal opportunities for First Nations peoples and communities

Experts also discussed related actions, including:

  • Australia as a model
    • Australia promotes its innovation and investments with one unified voice
    • It privatized a small portion of the railway and allowed private companies to own the majority of the trains, which resulted in lower prices
  • Making mining cool again
    • A national branding strategy consisting of a strong mining narrative must be established with provinces and territories
    • This strategy would promote our resource potential, our innovation and our expertise
  • Diversifying First Nations peoples' knowledge and skill set
    • It is important to provide education about the entire mining development cycle to First Nations peoples and communities for them to have realistic expectations of the benefits of every step of the process
    • Opportunities must be provided to help diversify their skill set and go beyond mining
    • The issue of basic infrastructure deficits in First Nations communities needs to be addressed in order for them to be able to meaningfully participate in resource development
  • Government support at the onset of resource projects
    • Mining companies need the Government's support to know with whom they should do business
  • Improving geoscience technologies to find new deposits at deeper depths
  • Meaningful innovation
    • Canada and the industry must be able to access and use new products
    • Innovation must have a purpose and offer tangible and accessible solutions
  • Predictable regulatory regime
    • Consistency in the administration of regulatory frameworks and a simplified process are required
    • Regulatory frameworks must include mechanisms to support First Nations participation
  • Meaningful incentives to attract investments
    • The Government should focus on incentives for made-in-Canada innovative solutions and on access to better market opportunities
    • Investment and incentives targeting the exploration phase of mining development are critical to the success of the industry
    • Flow-through share investment must be maintained and improved