The Future of Mining in Canada’s North

The Conference Board of Canada, 92 pages, January 2013
Report by Margaret Caron-Vuotari, Gilles Rheaume
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This report discusses a number of important factors, and their interrelationship, that must be considered to ensure that both the positive and negative impacts of mining projects are fully understood.

Document Highlights

Mining and its supporting industries will continue to be important economic drivers in many of Canada’s Northern regions throughout the next decade. However, mining is a cyclical, non-renewable resource industry. How can its immense potential contribute to the balanced economic growth of Canada as a nation and to the sustainable prosperity of Canada’s North? How can mining projects benefit local and Aboriginal communities? And what is needed to ensure that development is carried out in a responsible and sustainable manner? This report examines these questions to provide a better understanding of the factors that need to be understood and evaluated throughout the life cycle of a mine.

The end result is an economic outlook for the mining industry till 2020, supplemented with a comprehensive analysis of the challenges and opportunities faced by industry proponents. The report’s findings provide policy-makers, industry leaders, and communities with insight on steps that can be taken to support the future of sustainable mining in Canada’s North.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

  • Methodology

Chapter 2—Canada’s Northern Mining Potential to the Year 2020

  • Global Markets and Long-Term Trends
  • A Global Overview of the Mining Industry
  • Mining in Canada

Chapter 3—Business Factors Related to Mining Development

  • Corporate Fiscal Environment
  • Regulatory Regimes
  • Aboriginal Rights
  • Infrastructure, Supply Chains, and Market Access
  • Attracting, Developing, and Retaining Skilled Workers

Chapter 4—Impacts and Benefits of Mining for Northern Communities

  • Mining and Northern Communities: Times Have Changed
  • Relationship Building: Creating Partnerships and Trust With Northern Communities
  • Adverse Effects of Mining on Northern Communities
  • Future Steps Toward Improved Northern Community Net Benefits

Chapter 5—Addressing Environmental Stewardship and the Impacts of Mining

  • Mining and the Environment: A Historical Perspective
  • Mining’s Potential Environmental Impacts
  • Approaches Toward Environmental Sustainability

Chapter 6—Creating a Sustainable Future: What Happens After a Mine Closes?

  • Minimizing the Environmental Impacts of Mine Closure
  • Understanding the Impacts of Mine Closure on Northern Communities
  • Identifying Community Business Opportunities and Challenges After Closure
  • The Roles of Mining Companies and Governments in Mine Transition
  • Assisting Mining Workers With Closure
  • A Sustainable Future for Mining in Canada’s North?

Chapter 7—Conclusion and Recommendations

  • Recommendations

Appendix A—Bibliography

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