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Mining Facts

Minerals and metals are the building blocks of the computers and smartphones we rely on, of the vehicles and public transit that get us places, of the buildings where we live and work, and of green technologies that help make the world a more sustainable place.

Just as we as individuals depend on mining to support our daily lives, Canada relies on the industry to keep the economy humming. Mining is one of Canada’s most important economic sectors and a major job creator.

Did you Know?

The Canadian mining industry is… 

A major employer:

  • The industry directly employs more than 373,000 workers across the country in mineral extraction, smelting, fabrication and manufacturing, and indirectly employs an additional 190,000. 

  • Mining is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal peoples in Canada on a proportional basis, and employment is poised to increase.

  • Canada has one of the largest mining supply sectors globally with more than 3,700 companies supplying engineering, geotechnical, environmental, financial and other services to mining operations.

  • Those who work in mining enjoy the highest wages and salaries of all industrial sectors in Canada with an average annual pay exceeding $115,000, which surpassed the average earnings of workers in forestry, manufacturing, finance and construction by a range of $32,000 to $43,000 for those sectors.

An economic engine:

  • Mining contributed $56 billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015.

  • The industry accounted for 19% of the value of Canadian goods exports in 2015.

  • Canada’s value of mineral production was $42.8 billion in 2015.

  • The mining industry's payments to Canadian federal and provincial governments total $71 billion in taxes and royalties over the last decade (2003-2012).

A global leader:

  • Thanks to its rich geology, Canada is one of the largest mining nations in the world producing more than 60 minerals and metals.

  • Canada ranks in the top five countries in the global production of 13 major minerals and metals:

    • First in potash

    • Second in uranium, nickel and niobium

    • Third in cobalt, aluminum and platinum group metals

    • Fourth in salt, sulphur and tungsten

    • Fifth in diamonds, graphite and gold

  • 57% of the world’s public mining companies are listed on the TSX and TSX-Venture Exchanges. Together, the two exchanges accounted for 53% of the equity capital raised globally for mining in 2015, totalling $6.8 billion.

  • Globally, Canada is recognized for its leadership in safety and sustainability. Mining companies in Canada were the first in the world to develop an externally-verified performance system for sustainable mining practices with the creation of MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining initiative in 2004.

Source: Facts & Figures 2016 (Mining Association of Canada)