Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

Budget 2013 a mixed bag for Canada’s miners

March 22, 2013

OTTAWA, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
concludes federal budget 2013 is a mixed bag when it comes to its
impacts to the Canadian mining industry.

MAC is encouraged by the significant new measures announced in Budget
2013 to address skills shortages, including the establishment of a
Canada Job Grant, support for more paid internships, reduction of
barriers in apprenticeship accreditation, the reallocation of funds to
promote education in high demand fields, and funding for Yukon
College’s Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining. Moreover, enhanced
Aboriginal training-to-employment programs and a boost in scholarships
and bursaries is also appreciated by the Canadian mining sector, which
is proportionally the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal
peoples in Canada. MAC also welcomes the government’s proposal to
provide $37 million over the next two years to support research
partnerships with industry through the granting councils.

“As an industry that will require an estimated 145,000 new workers over
the next ten years, we are pleased that skills and labour training
emerged as a key theme of the federal budget,” said Pierre Gratton,
MAC’s President and CEO. “This attention underscores the incredible
opportunities before Canadians for well-paying jobs, but also the
current skills gap that acts as a barrier for workers in finding
employment, especially for positions that are highly-skilled or
technical in nature.”

“This budget supports the priorities championed by our stakeholders as
necessary to mitigate the skills shortage – skills development,
Aboriginal training and robust labour market information. This is
essential to keep our industry sustainable as we move forward in
addressing the mismatch of skilled workers with available jobs and the
huge exodus of retiring workers in the next ten years,” said Ryan
Montpellier, Executive Director of the Mining Industry Human Resources

Budget 2013 extends the 15 per cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit
(METC) for an additional year, an important tax incentive for the
junior exploration sector. Its renewal is critical at this time, given
market jitters and the challenges faced by junior companies in raising
high-risk capital.

Unfortunately, Budget 2013 also announced the elimination of the
Accelerated Cost of Capital Allowance (ACCA) for new mines and major
mine expansions. The budget also reduces the deduction rate for
pre-production mine development expenses. Historically, certain
pre-production mine development expenses, such as those related to
removing overburden or sinking a mine shaft, were eligible for the
Canadian Exploration Expense (CEE) for 100 per cent deduction. As of
2018, this will be moved to the Canadian Development Expense where
relevant expenses will only be eligible for a 30 per cent deduction.

“For the second federal budget in a row, the Government of Canada has
removed mining-specific tax measures, which will negatively affect
mining project economics,” stated Gratton.  “While the government has
stated it is removing these measures to bring more ‘tax neutrality’ to
Canada’s corporate tax system, Budget 2013 in the same breath extends
or creates identical measures for other sectors of the economy.”

While not specifically referenced in the budget, MAC is also eager to
continue dialogue with the federal government on the Geo-mapping for
Energy and Minerals (GEM) program, which is set to expire in the
current fiscal year.  GEM provides critical geoscience knowledge
necessary for exploration to guide investment decision, as well as for
government to inform land-use decisions such as the creation of parks
and other protected areas.

About MAC
The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the
Canadian mining industry.  Its members account for most of Canada’s
production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds,
metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are
actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and
semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca.

SOURCE Mining Association of Canada (MAC)

Source: PR Newswire