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Natural Resources

Rich in Natural Resources, from Precious Metals to Potash

Canada’s Natural Resource Exports Recover, Expand, and Invest in the Future

Canadian natural resource companies are investing in projects aimed to protect the environment, grow the economy, and increase exports.

NOVAGOLD is one such company focused on environmental protection. An integral part of their business plan includes collaborating with local communities through the entire lifecycle of a mining project.

“Each team member at NOVAGOLD engages with [the] community,” explained NOVAGOLD’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, Mélanie Hennessey.

This is not unique within the Canadian natural resource sectors. Canada’s stringent industry standards include the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 that focuses on responsible and timely development of natural resources.

“Many users around the world come to Canadian companies because they know that the equipment is very dependable and innovative, but also works in some of the toughest industry and climate conditions around the world,” said AMGAS Director of Business and Product Development Sheldon McKee.

Canada as a Top World Exporter

Canada’s global influence extends beyond high environmental standards. Canadian natural resource exports are a vital part of the world economy.

The country is the largest producer and exporter of potash in the world. In 2015, potash was the second most valued mineral/metal in the country—only behind gold—with CAD $6.7 billion worth produced.

Saskatchewan produces 30% of the world’s potash, with 45% of that sold to the United States, explained Saskatchewan Department of Mineral Policy’s Executive Director, Cory Hughes.

“We provide the US [the] majority of their potash,” Hughes said. “The volumes are substantial and the US will remain our most important market for our industry.”

Potash is only the tip of the natural resource exports iceberg. Think oil and gas, uranium, silver, gold and forestry. In 2015, Canada’s natural resource exports were CAD $231 billion, with the majority of those going to the United States, the United Kingdom, and China. Natural resources also have CAD $691 billion in investments planned during the next 10 years.

Expanding Precious Metal Production

Canada’s minerals and metals sector is also planning future investments.

Pan American Silver Corporation currently has seven operating mines in Mexico and South America with several early stage exploration projects, including the potentially largest undeveloped silver resources in Argentina, said Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications for Pan American Silver Corporation, Siren Fisekci.

NOVAGOLD, whose major mining project is in Alaska’s Donlin Gold jurisdiction, is working to expand permitting at the site and is also in the early phases of expanding into a high-grade copper-gold-silver deposit.

Optimistic Recovery for Oil and Gas

Canada’s oil and gas industry is optimistic about a modest recovery after a two-year downturn. The industry has seen more steady oil prices during 2017.

“Our vision is to go back to normal business in the operating regions that we were in prior to this challenging downturn,” explained Calfrac President and CEO, Fernando Aguilar. “Calfrac is planning to expand prudently as the oil and gas markets recover, based on taking advantage of opportunities that maximize the Company’s financial returns.”

Aguilar said Calfrac is planning to expand to additional geographical areas.

In fact, of 36 oil and gas companies interviewed in early 2017 by the Petroleum Labour Market Information Division of Enform, 69% plan to maintain or increase their workforce this year.


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