While it may have lost marginally in its duel with Australia for the top position in a recent survey to name the world’s most attractive mining jurisdiction, Canada has been named as the clear winner to become the leading contributor to a forecast increase in global gold production in 2022.
London-headquartered data analytics and consulting company GlobalData recently forecast Canada would be a key player in the growth of the world’s total gold production in 2022.
The research firm forecasts world gold mine production will grow by 3.1% to 120.7Moz in 2022, with Canada continuing to remain the largest contributor to the growth in 2022, with output forecast to increase from an estimated 7Moz to 7.8Moz, an 11.4% increase. This will be followed by Australia (8.3%), and China (+5.9%).
Canada was also the largest contributor to the growth in 2021, with output then growing from 6Moz to 7Moz.
Over the forecast period (2022-2026), Canadian gold mine production is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.7% to reach 15.5Moz. This growth will be helped by the commencement of new projects, including Greenstone, Blackwater and Côte Gold projects.
GlobalData’s recent report noted that Canada accounted for 6% of global gold production in 2021, ranking the country fifth after China, Russia, Australia, and the U.S. After registering a 6.3% decline in 2020, Canadian gold mine production rebounded with 16.7% growth in 2021 to reach 7.0Moz.
According to GlobalData, Canada’s 2021 production growth was mainly due to increases in output at the Detour Lake, Canadian Malartic, Meadowbank Complex, Meliadine, Eagle Gold and Young-Davidson mines, among others.
Looking ahead, production is expected to increase by 11.4% in 2022 to reach 7.8Moz. Growth will be largely supported by increased output from the Macassa mine, which is expected to produce up to 325koz of gold in 2022.
GlobalData’s forecasts have been supported by new data from Statistics Canada, which reported that mining production in the country increased 6.45 % in February of 2022 over the same month in the previous year.
Attractive investment destination
While it was marginally behind Australia for the individual “gong”, the recent Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies’ assessment of global mining investment attractiveness placed Canada as the highest-ranked region based on policy alone with a score of 81.6 after ranking third last year.
The Fraser Institute noted that when considering how Canadian jurisdictions rank on the Investment Attractiveness Index, the nation is the second-most attractive region in the world for investment after Australia given its policy performance (first) and its geologic attractiveness (ranked second in the Best Practices Mineral Potential Index).
Canadian Provinces again rated high in global attractiveness this year, with Saskatchewan (second, Quebec (sixth), and the Yukon (ninth) ranked in the top 10 mining jurisdictions. Those rankings have been supported by strong investment numbers in the nation’s mining sector.
In 2021, capital spending intentions in the Canadian mining industry accounted for 4.6% of the Nation’s combined total at C$12.3B, up 5.1% year over year.
“As the supplier of the materials required for the manufacture of products essential for Canadians, it has been critical that supply chains stay open so that mined products are readily available for the people and businesses who rely on them,” Mining Association of Canada (MAC) president and CEO, Pierre Gratton, said.
“With minerals and metals being required inputs for health care, low-carbon and communications technologies, there is no doubt that the mining industry continues to play an essential role in contributing to Canada’s economic strength and has significant potential to supply the materials needed to address our climate change priorities.”
Canada has some of the lowest-carbon-intensity mineral and metal products anywhere in the world and can and should play a much more significant role in providing the materials the world needs to get to net-zero, Mr Gratton said.
MAC welcomed the Canadian government’s support for the mining sector in its latest budget. The Association said that with its unprecedented support and extensive measures, Budget 2022 will position Canada’s minerals and metals industry for success as a partner in accomplishing Canada’s goal of a greener future while also enhancing greater supply chain resiliency, particularly in battery and advanced manufacturing materials.
“Budget 2022 reinforces the government’s commitment to climate action and supply chain security goals by providing strategic funding and programmatic supports to Canada’s minerals and metals sector, underscoring a recognition that the world is better off on climate change when Canada wins on critical minerals,” Mr Gratton stated. Specifically, the budget:
- Commits C$80M to public geoscience and exploration programmes to help find the next generation of critical minerals deposits
- Doubles the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for targeted critical minerals, including nickel, copper, cobalt, rare earths, and uranium
- Dedicates C$1.5B for new infrastructure investments to unlock new mineral projects in critical regions, such as the Ring of Fire
- Allocates C$1.5B to invest in new critical minerals projects, with a priority focus on mineral processing, materials manufacturing and recycling for key mineral and metal products in the battery and rare-earths supply chain
- Allocates C$144M to critical minerals research and development to support the responsible extraction and processing of critical minerals
- Renews the Centre of Excellence on Critical Minerals for three more years with an allocation of C$10M
- Adds C$40M to support northern regulatory processes in reviewing and permitting critical minerals projects
- Invests C$70M for global partnerships to promote Canadian mining leadership
Mining remains a critical industry in many provinces, with the mineral riches spread across the nation. The various mining provinces and their main metal and mineral production districts includes:
- Elk Valley (metallurgical coal)
- Kitimat (aluminium)
- Northern BC (copper, gold, molybdenum, metallurgical coal)
- Southern BC (copper, gold, molybdenum)
- Vancouver (exploration, mine financing, allied industries)
- Trail (lead, zinc)
- Northern Saskatchewan (uranium, gold)
- Southern Saskatchewan (potash, coal)
- Northern Manitoba (nickel, cobalt, gold)
- Flin Flon (copper, zinc, gold)
- Northern Ontario (gold, palladium, platinum, copper, zinc, diamonds)
- Sudbury (nickel, copper, cobalt, allied industries)
- Timmins (gold, silver)
- Toronto and southern Ontario (salt, uranium refining, exploration and mine financing, allied industries)
- NWT (diamonds)
- Nunavut (gold, iron)
- Abitibi and James Bay Region (gold, copper, zinc, diamonds)
- Rouyn-Norando and Val-d’Or (gold, copper, silver, zinc)
- Havre St. Pierre and Sorel-Tracy (titanium)
- Montreal and area (metal smelting and refining, allied industries)
- Northern Quebec (nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group metals)
- Saguenay Region (aluminium refining, niobium)
- Schefferville and Fermont (iron)
Newfoundland and Labrador
- Labrador City and Wabush Area (iron ore)
- Voisey’s Bay (nickel, copper, cobalt)
- Island of Newfoundland (gold, nickel refining)
- NB (zinc, lead, metal smelting)
Prince Edward Island
- PEI (peat, sand and gravel)
- NS (gypsum, gold, coal)
- Yukon (copper, gold, silver)