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TMX POV - Canada’s provincial and federal governments outline four policy priorities at TMX’s Canadian Mining Market Open PDAC 2023 Event

TMX POV - Canada’s provincial and federal governments outline four policy priorities at TMX’s Canadian Mining Market Open PDAC 2023 Event

The last days of winter brought a familiar buzz to downtown Toronto, as 24,000 mining industry professionals descended on the city for the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, or PDAC, annual convention from March 5-8, 2023.

TMX Group, home to the world's premier mining exchanges Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange, are long-standing, enthusiastic partners of the event, and 2023 was no exception. We were proud to host esteemed guests from international business and government together with our listed issuers for a series of market open ceremonies during convention week in our TMX Market Centre at 120 Adelaide St. W.

TMX's showcase PDAC 2023 event, the Canadian Mining Market Open, took place on March 7th, as we welcomed a broad range of stakeholders from across the country's mining ecosystem. Headlined by federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, the event brought together key government and community representatives from nearly every mining jurisdiction in Canada, including Indigenous groups, industry organizations and regulators. In keeping with TMX's corporate purpose to make markets better and empower bold ideas, we take great pride in engaging decision-makers and companies here and abroad on delivering optimal environmental, social and economic outcomes and delivering shareholder growth.

As part of the event, we asked participants for their outlook on the mining sector for the years ahead. As Minister Wilkinson stated in his public remarks:

"[Canada] needs to be very focused on ensuring that we have the right fiscal environment, the right taxation environment, to enable companies to [...] raise capital successfully. We need to be working on regulatory and permitting processes to ensure that they are as efficient as possible, ensuring concurrently that we protect our environment and are appropriately engaging the rights and the interests of the indigenous people in this country."


The Minister rightly outlined four key themes:

  1. Intergovernmental Collaboration;
  2. Regulatory efficiency;
  3. Environmental stewardship; and
  4. Indigenous participation

These core concepts were echoed by representatives from across the country. In our view, they are the four essential priorities driving mining policy decisions in Canada and around the world.

Growth outlook

"In 2022, the total value of potash sales was $18 billion – a new record. This already exceeds our Government's growth plan goal of $9 billion in annual sales by 2030. The future looks bright as all the province's potash producers are all increasing capacity."

Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan's Minister of Energy & Resources, describing the Province's prospective outlook.

Optimism for the future is palpable across Canada, with a wealth of critical minerals exploration and development projects underway and even more traditional mining sectors flourishing. Across Canada policymakers are expecting growth in the overall mining sector, but especially in the critical minerals business, as Canada positions itself to meet increasing domestic and global demand. Governments from coast to coast are gearing up for more exploration in this space as well as in more traditional minerals like precious metals, base metals and potash as well as for geological formations capable of being used for hydrogen storage.

Attracting investment through collaboration

"It is important to engage Indigenous communities in the early stages of exploration in their traditional territories. Collaborating with Indigenous communities builds project certainty and can result in mutually beneficial outcomes. It is important to understand that every part of Canada encompasses Indigenous traditional territories, which means that Indigenous communities hold the social license for all major developments in their territories."

Dawn Madahbee Leach, Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

Competitiveness vis-a-vis other mineral-rich jurisdictions is broadly recognized as an imperative and a catalyst for the suite of collaborative initiatives involving domestic and foreign jurisdictions, regulators, industry, and Indigenous partners. Examples such as the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, the Regional Energy and Resources Tables and the Canada-U.S. Joint Action Plan have been highlighted as holding some promise that could help attract capital to the sector. Through these channels, important challenges like supporting the entire critical minerals value chain and funding infrastructure can be tackled to secure supply of critical minerals to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Early and meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities nationwide in the planning stages of exploration in their traditional territories is a critical factor in building project certainty and mutually beneficial outcomes. Beyond consultation, integration of traditional knowledge and ongoing environmental monitoring, Indigenous communities should be able to share in the economic benefits of mining projects on their traditional territories.

A streamlined regulatory framework

"The government of Alberta is collaborating with other jurisdictions, regulators, industry, and Indigenous partners to work towards streamlined regulatory approval processes and improve the safe, reliable transport of our responsibly-produced resources to global markets".

Mike Simpson, Assistant Deputy Minister with the Alberta Energy Department.

Attracting capital to Canadian mining projects will also require streamlined regulatory approval processes allowing for reduced approval timelines, the elimination of duplication in processes and the sharing of best practices. Now, more than ever, it is essential that our governments signal to the world that the Canadian mining sector is open for business and that investors see a "path to yes" when submitting applications for a new mining project.

Supporting infrastructure development

"Canada needs to make investments in Northern transportation and energy infrastructure to lower project costs and carbon footprints for explorers and developers, and to work with Indigenous and provincial and territorial partners to improve regulatory efficiency and predictability".

Minister Caroline Wawzonek of the Northwest Territories1

Closely linked to the need for streamlined regulations is another priority that sits atop of the list when it comes to the development and scaling of the critical mineral business in Canada. Due to the often remote location of mineral deposits, and especially for Northern jurisdictions, the lack of reliable transportation infrastructure can pose significant challenges to the economics of an otherwise profitable project. Similarly, a deficit in clean energy production infrastructure constitutes an incremental challenge for most of these jurisdictions.

Provincial and territorial governments are devoting a great deal of energy to provide clarity and certainty to the mineral sector in order to attract investment. Targeted geoscience projects that allow for the publication of inventory and deposit concentration are underway as a means to reduce exploration risk and to facilitate science-based resource development and sound land-use decisions.

Environmental leadership

"The global energy transition provides an opportunity for long-term inclusive growth across Canada through the development of integrated value chains reaching every region of the country".

Janice Zinck, Executive Director, Geoscience and Mines, Government of Nova Scotia.

Technology developments such as Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) technology at variable scales and remote opportunity scenarios are expected to further enhance these efforts. In combination with broader access to green or low-carbon energy, these measures will allow Canada to attract its fair share of capital to the sector.

The development and implementation of sustainable mining practices to mitigate environmental risks is already well underway in Canada and as stated by Nicola Lower, ERM's North America Mining and Metals Lead, "planning for closure and a just transition from exploration onwards, will significantly reduce risk and capital spend over the life of mines".

At TMX Group, we are energized by both the economic and social opportunities that the future of mining holds for Canada. Our exchanges have been part of the fabric of the Canadian economy for more than 170 years, and we will continue to build on this legacy well into the future.

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David Clarke

Head of Government Affairs
TMX Group

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Dean McPherson

Head, Business Development, Global Mining
Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange

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1 Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Status of Women

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