Government Supports Jobs and Safe Operations of Junior Mining Exploration

From: Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support Canadian businesses and protect jobs during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and to position them for a strong and safe economic restart in the wake of the crisis.

Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the Government is proposing to protect jobs and safe operations of junior mining exploration and other flow-through share issuers, by extending the timelines for spending the capital they raise via flow-through shares by 12 months. Many junior mining exploration companies are facing significant challenges as a result of COVID-19, including voluntary shutdowns or difficulty accessing the field.

Today’s proposal would mean that companies with operations that are impacted by COVID-19 would be allowed additional time to incur eligible expenses, allowing them to safely plan when to best continue operations, while allowing them to avoid costs from not meeting original flow-through share timelines. This initiative would protect the good, well-paying jobs that many Canadians depend on, including those in rural, remote, northern and Indigenous communities.

The Government of Canada continues to assess and respond to the impacts of COVID-19. It stands ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

Quotes

“The government is proposing to increase flexibility for flow-through share issuers such as junior resource companies at the pre-revenue stage, which face unique challenges due to COVID-19. This proposed change would provide important support and flexibility to help these companies through these challenging times.”

– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

“Junior mining companies are facing unprecedented challenges today. We have heard their concerns-and that’s why we are taking action to help these companies manage their capital, and build stronger supply chains, including the critical minerals and the products that will power our net-zero future.”

– Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources

“This announcement is another example of our government continuing to respond to the needs of individuals and business in the North during this difficult time. Mining is critical to the economies of the territories and we have heard from the mining sector that the measures announced today are essential to sustain the minerals sector during the COVID-19 crisis and position the North for a strong post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Our government will continue to be there to help this vital industry and its workers.”

– Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs

Quick facts

  • The mining sector produces over $3 billion in minerals annually and is the largest private sector employer and contributor to gross domestic product in all three territories. It provides over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, produces over $3 billion in annual business spending, and generates important tax and royalty revenues to public, Indigenous governments, and Inuit organizations across all three territories.

  • Mining is the largest private sector employer of Indigenous people in the North. In Nunavut, 97.5% of residents who work in the industry in the territory are Indigenous; in the Northwest Territories, 52.5% of residents employed in the sector are Indigenous.

  • Many junior mining exploration and other flow-through share issuers, are experiencing significant challenges as a result of COVID-19 – for example, restrictions on their operations.

  • Providing a 12-month extension of the time to incur eligible flow-through share expenses will allow flexibility for these companies to plan for safe operations and meet their renunciation commitments, thereby protecting jobs. This measure will also allow companies to avoid costs from not meeting their original flow-through share timelines.

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