OTTAWA, March 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Building on the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is encouraged by the Federal Government’s 2019 Budget that includes measures aimed at helping Canada’s mineral sector enhance its competitiveness and regain its global leadership position.

“As an industry that operates across the country—generating significant economic and social benefits in northern communities, Indigenous communities, and cities across Canada—it is imperative that the mineral sector has the means to responsibly capitalize on its natural resources, while also being able to compete globally,” says PDAC President Felix Lee.

Federal Budget 2019 contains provisions that align with PDAC’s budget recommendations, including investments in Canada’s Arctic and northern regions, skills development, training and apprenticeships, and for Indigenous Peoples to advance reconciliation.

As previously announced in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, Budget 2019 also confirms tax measures including the Accelerated Investment Initiative and the much celebrated five-year extension of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC). The extension of the METC until March 31, 2024 is the first multi-year renewal of the METC since its inception in 2000, something PDAC has long championed.

“The five-year renewal of the METC will help to provide greater certainty for the junior exploration sector and boost confidence for investors,” says Lisa McDonald, PDAC Executive Director. “It will help to catalyze investment in mineral exploration projects that lead to the discoveries that could become the mines of the future.”

PDAC welcomes the following measures in Budget 2019:

  • An increase in the allocation of the National Trade Corridors Fund to northern regions by up to $400 million over eight years, starting in 2020–21, for a total of $800 million to support infrastructure development.
  • Enhanced funding to support planning by the Government of Northwest Territories for the proposed Taltson hydroelectricity expansion project.
  • Additional funding to the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency for its current economic development program.
  • Funding for northern and Arctic communities for education, economic development programming, etc.
  • Investments in initiatives to support universal high-speed internet in rural, remote and northern communities.
  • Funds for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to create the Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program.
  • Initiatives aimed at supporting reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
  • Investments in Indigenous communities to work towards addressing gaps in socio-economic conditions and education.
  • Investments in skills training, apprenticeship programs for skilled trades and Indigenous education and training.

Canada’s mineral exploration and mining industry generates significant economic and social benefits in remote communities, Indigenous communities, and cities, employing 634,000 workers and contributing $96.5 billion annually to GDP. It is the largest private-sector industrial employer on a proportional basis of Indigenous people in Canada.

About PDAC
PDAC is the leading voice of the mineral exploration and development community. With over 8,000 members around the world, PDAC’s work centres on supporting a competitive, responsible mineral sector. PDAC is known worldwide for its annual PDAC Convention—the premier international event for the industry—that has attracted over 25,000 people from 135 countries in recent years and will next be held March 1-4, 2020 in Toronto. Please visit www.pdac.ca.

Media contact 
Kristy Kenny
1-416-807-8214 
kkenny@pdac.ca