Canada, with its diverse geology across 9.985 million square kilometres (km2) of land, is home to an abundance of minerals and metals which underpin a world-class mining industry that supports hundreds of thousands of Canadian families.
Accounting for nearly 720,000 direct and indirect jobs, Canada’s mining industry contributed $105 billion, or 5 per cent of our nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. Apart from bringing prosperity to communities and governments across the country, the mining sector is especially important for those found in rural areas of Canada that often depend almost entirely on economic activity spurred by natural resources.
And with the growing global demand for many of the minerals and metals found within our borders, it only makes sense that responsible producers like Canada are go-to suppliers of choice. The Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Initiative, launched by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) in 2004, is a world-recognized sustainability standard that is not only practiced here at home, but is now being adopted by nations across the globe.
Here are even more juicy mining in Canada facts which should give you some more insight into just how important minerals and metals are to Canadians across our nation. Also see:
Mining: General Facts
60 – minerals and metals produced by Canada at almost 200 mines and 6,5000 sand, gravel and stone quarries, making it one of the largest and most diversified mining nations
50% – percentage of the world’s public mining companies which are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the TSX-Venture Exchanges
Toronto is the mining finance capital of the world: the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX-V) list more mining companies than any other exchange (approx. 1,100 in 2019), are first among exchanges worldwide in equity capital raised, and are home to more than half of the public mining companies in the world.
Canada is a top 5 global producer of 17 minerals and metals
1st – Canada is 1st in the global production of potash
2nd – Canada is 1st in the global production of uranium and niobium
3rd – Canada is 3rd in the global production of aluminum, cobalt, nickel, gemstones and platinum group metals
4th – Canada is 4th in the global production of cadmium, cobalt, graphite and sulphur
4th - Canada is the world’s 4th largest primary aluminum producer from imported bauxite
5th – Canada is 5th in the global production in diamonds, gold, mica and titanium
Canada is a global leader in the minerals required to manufacture advanced battery technologies, such as graphite (5th) and nickel (5th)
Canada was one of the top global destinations for non-ferrous mineral exploration in 2019, attracting 14% of global exploration budgets
$271.6 billion - Canadian mining assets totalled $271.6 billion in 2018
$174.4 billion - Canadian mining assets abroad totalled $174.4 billion in 2018
Mining: The Economy
$109 billion – contribution by the mining industry Canada’s economy – or 5% of total gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019
$48.2 billion – total value of Canada’s mineral production in 2019
$106.1 billion – value of domestic mineral exports in 2019, accounting for 19% of Canada’s total merchandise exports
$20.9 billion – Canada’s net trade balance of mineral imports and exports in 2019
$2.4 billion – average total corporate income taxes and royalties paid to Canadian governments from 2014-2018
$10.3 billion – Canada was a top-ranked gold producer by value in 2019
719,000 – direct and indirect jobs accounted for by the mining sector
$126,000 – average annual total wage per job in the mining sector, twice the all-industry average of $63,000
37% - The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange are the top mining and exploration venues, accounting for 37% of global mining equity over the past five years
$31.6 billion - Canada's top five mineral products by value for 2019 were gold, coal, iron ore, potash and copper. Their combined value was $31.6 billion, accounting for two-thirds of the total value of mineral production.
16,500 – Canada’s mining sector is the largest heavy industrial employer of Indigenous peoples in Canada with 16,500 jobs to community members
12% - Indigenous people accounted for 12% of the mining sector’s labour force in 2016, up from 8% in 2011 – the highest representation of Indigenous employment of any industry in Canada
525 - More than 525 agreements for 356 exploration and mining projects have been signed between companies and Indigenous communities and governments in Canada since 1974.
430 – Roughly 430 of these agreements were still active in 2019
300 - 300 agreements between exploration companies and Indigenous communities and governments have been signed in Canada since 2010
Canadian mining companies are recognized as world leaders in sustainability and safety with the creation of MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining initiative in 2004
Five other global nations – Argentina, Botswana, Finland, Spain, and the Philippines – have also adopted sustainability standards outlined in Canada’s TSM framework, with more mulling the idea
The Green Mining Initiative, led by Natural Resources Canada in close partnership with provincial/territorial governments, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders, aims to improve the minerals sector's environmental performance and create green technology opportunities
Mining Facts by Province
3/4ths - Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, accounted for more than 3/4ths of Canada's total value of mineral production in 2019
Mining in Ontario: Facts
40 – Ontario has 40 mine sites under operation for various minerals and metals including nickel, gold, copper, zinc, salt, gypsum, talc, calcium carbonate, nepheline syenite, platinum group metals and other industrial materials
72,000 – direct and indirect jobs created by the mining sector in the province
$10.7 billion – value of Ontario’s mineral production in 2019
1,400 – There are over 1,400 mining supply and service companies in Ontario
Ontario is the largest producer in Canada of gold, nickel and platinum group metals, and the second-largest producer of copper and a major producer of salt and structural materials
Mining is the largest private sector employer of Indigenous Canadians, accounting for about 6% of the total mining labour force, while Indigenous people account for 3% of the Canadian population. In Ontario, Indigenous employment accounts for 11.2% of direct mining jobs
The average weekly wage in Ontario’s mining sector is 77% higher than the average industrial wage in the province, with mine workers earning an average of $1,791 and support workers earning $1,815 on a weekly basis
Ontario's mining industry adopts advanced green technologies at rates well above Ontario's industry average, and at higher rates than other jurisdictions.
Mining in Quebec: Facts
1/5th – One-fifth of Canada’s mining output comes from Quebec
15 metals and 13 minerals are produced and upgraded in the province, including lithium, rare earth metals and apatite
Quebec is one of the few producers of niobium, titanium dioxide, cobalt and platinum in the world
Quebec is Canada’s largest producer of iron concentrate and zinc and its second-largest producer of gold
Quebec’s subsurface contains a huge potential of graphite, lithium, diamond, rare earths and tantalum
Minerals extracted in Quebec came from 27 active mines and close to 530 surface mine sites in 2016
Mineral exploration rights have been assigned on only 5% of Québec's vast territory.
Mining in British Columbia: Facts
$11.7 billion – the mining sector generated more than $11.7 billion in revenues province-wide in 2017
10,000 – B.C.’s mining sector directly employed more than 10,000 people in 2017, with thousands more indirect jobs also being generated by the sector
Copper, coal, zinc, silver, gold, lead and molybdenum are the primary minerals mined in B.C.
In British Columbia alone, the mining sector employs over two-thirds of all Indigenous people that are employed in the extractives sector
British Columbia’s mining companies are among the lowest GHG emission-intensive in the world
British Columbia’s mining industry practices are some of the highest environmental standards, supported by a deep commitment to sustainable development and production, and the BC Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines is regarded as a global benchmark for best practices in environmental stewardship and responsible development
Mining in Saskatchewan: Facts
$1.8 billion - Saskatchewan mining companies contributed $1.8 billion in taxes to governments, creating revenue to pay for health care, education and infrastructure projects.
$5.52 billion – potash mining in Saskatchewan added $5.52 billion to the economy in 2017
12,400 – mining operations in Saskatchewan employed 12,400 people directly in 2018
For every direct job in Saskatchewan’s mining industry, there are at least two jobs in the mining supply and service sector
$1.4 billion – Saskatchewan mining operations paid a total of $1.4 billion in wages and salaries to employees in 2017
$22 million – In 2018, Saskatchewan mining operations made over $22 million in social and community contributions
$649 million – Saskatchewan mining operations purchased $649 million of goods and services from Indigenous-owned businesses in 2017
21% - More than one-fifth of Saskatchewan mine employees are Indigenous
Mining in Territories: Facts
87,930 – person-years of employment created by the mining sector in NWT and Nunavut between 1996-2019, of which 64,095 were from four NWT diamond mines and 23,835 from three Nunavut gold mines and one Nunavut iron ore mine
2,143 – The mining sector supported 2,143 direct jobs in NWT and Nunavut in 2019
$32.7 billion – The mining sector generated $32.7 billion in business in the NWT and Nunavit from 1996 to 2019
NWT and Nunavut saw several hundred million dollars contributed to communities in IBA payments, scholarships, donations and community wellness projects by the mining sector since 1996
Billions of dollars in taxes and royalties have been paid to public and Indigenous governments by mining companies in NWT and Nunavut since 1996
Sources: Mining Association of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Mining Association, Invest Quebec, Mining North Works, Government of Saskatchewan
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