Sunday, 23 February 2020
The Canadian Mining Industry: Insights into a Sector of Opportunity for Australian METS

The Canadian Mining Industry: Insights into a Sector of Opportunity for Australian METS

Despite the challenges that the mining industry faces in 2016 and in the foreseeable future, Canada poses a remarkable opportunity for Australian METS companies to expand their businesses. Mining contributed US$57 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2014, whilst the value of mineral production was US$44.7 billion. Canada ranks in the top five countries in the global production of 14 major minerals and metals, including gold, nickel, salt, diamonds, potash and cobalt. Mining is at the forefront of industry in Canada and recent developments, such as the discovery of the “ring of fire” in Ontario, have re-established an environment that is conducive to expansion within the sector.

Canada has long been a mining nation of great opportunity for Australian companies and with their current move from underground to open pit mines, there is a real need for Australian METS' expertise. Canada is already in the top 10 nations that Australian METS companies export to and was highlighted in the results of Austmine’s 2015 industry survey as a market with substantial growth potential.

Whilst considerable mining activity takes place in provinces such as Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec in resources such as coal, gas, oil and copper, Ontario is the modern hub of mining activity. Ontario has significant competitive advantages for business, including its operating and establishment costs, endowment of natural resources and experience in mineral production. Ontario ranks among the top ten jurisdictions globally for mineral production and exploration spending, with over 300 mineral explorations currently underway and exploration spending increasing dramatically in the last decade to now reach US$1.3 billion.  Ontario is home to both underground and surface mines and is Canada’s biggest producer of gold, nickel, copper and platinum group metals (PGMs).

24 new mines have opened in Ontario since 2006, with 7 future mine sites expected to open in the next 5 years. It is estimated that $87 million per year in mining supplies and services will have to be imported from foreign jurisdictions for construction of these sites, as well as a further $65 million imports each year to satisfy annual operating requirements. The “Ring of Fire” in northern Ontario is home to many of these sitesand is the most incredible discovery of deposits of chromite, nickel, copper and PGMs for nearly a century. The rejuvenation of Ontario as a mining haven presents exciting growth prospects for Australian METS companies and provides an opportunity for them to market their technology and services into the region.

Christine Gibbs Stewart, CEO of Austmine stated:

“Austmine views Canada as one of the most prospective markets for Australian METS to export in the current climate. It is politically stable, has a wealth of minerals and the shift to open cut mines means Canadian miners need expertise and solutions from those who have years of experience in this mining method. Australian METS have this in abundance.”

Despite the remarkable growth prospects in Canadian mining, there are also significant challenges that the sector must overcome before being able to exploit substantial deposits of minerals. Canada has fallen to second in terms of exploration spending, a worrying signal for project development and there is an increasingly complex web of regulation that will potentially increase time and costs of establishing and constructing mine sites. Along with the global pressures associated with resource prices, the remoteness of deposits in Northern Canada have naturally increased CAPEX costs due to infrastructure requirements.  However, this obstacle provides opportunities for innovation and requires the use of advanced telecommunications and analytics that are capable of increasing productivity and profitability of mining projects.

Following MINExpo in Las Vegas, Austmine will be taking a Trade Mission to Ontario, Canada in the first week of October. The mission will involve a mine site visit to the Goldcorp Hollinger Mine, as well as networking opportunities with officials from Detour, New Gold and Treasury Metals. To register your interest in receiving more information, please email Robert Trzebski on or visit the Canadian mission page on our website.

 Austmine also held a live webinar on the 14th of April that discussed the Canadian Mining Market. It featured an expert panel of speakers, experienced in the Canadian Mining Market, who discussed the current state of play, along with challenges and opportunities for Australian METS. Please click here to watch the webinar recording and contact Sheldon Varcoe for the password. 

Sources Used in this Article:

Wipro - Commodities Downturn Poses Opportunity for Canada -

Mining Association of Canada – Fact Sheet -

Natural Resources Canada – Information Bulletin -

Austmine 2015 Survey -


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