The exploration and mining industry has been a cornerstone of the Canadian economy

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TORONTO – Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources has reiterated the Government of Canada’s commitment to promoting growth in the mineral exploration and mining sector at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual convention and trade show. PDAC is the mineral industry’s largest annual convention, with last year’s event attracting nearly 28,000 attendees, including 7,000 international delegates from 120 countries.

“The Harper Government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and prosperity,” stated Oliver. “The exploration and mining industry has been a cornerstone of the Canadian economy for generations, shaping our national identity with benefits in all regions of the country. Our Government is seizing opportunities to open new markets, to support innovation, to attract investment and to improve the regulatory system for major projects.”

Many projects have already benefited from system-wide improvements introduced through the Major Projects Management Office initiative and Budget 2010; however, more work needs to be done. The Government of Canada is moving ahead with efforts to modernize the regulatory process to reach the goal of one project, one review in a clearly defined time period. With an improved regulatory system, the objective is to deliver more predictable and timely reviews and to reduce regulatory burden while improving environmental protection and meaningful Aboriginal consultation. These improvements are required to further position Canada’s resource sector as an attractive place to invest.

“We have widespread support for our vision, and it is for the Canadian people that we continue to push for regulatory reform,” stated Minister Oliver. “A modernized regulatory system will stimulate jobs and growth in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.”

Minister Oliver also described innovative initiatives that the Government of Canada is supporting to ensure a strong exploration and mining sector. The Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals and the Targeted Geoscience programs are reducing private-sector investment risk by increasing the odds of finding new profitable ore bodies.

On Sunday evening, Minister Oliver delivered a keynote address at a dinner reception for the Indian delegation to PDAC, which included Mr. Vishwapati Trivedi, Secretary of India’s Ministry of Mines.

Minister Oliver also had the opportunity to discuss mining issues with CEOs, junior mining companies and Chile’s Minister of Mining, Herman de Solminihac. In addition, he met with senior executives and government officials from Brazil to promote investment and trade and to examine new collaborations for science and innovation.

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