Mining Sector

If your company is in Canada’s mining industry, Canada’s free trade agreements (FTAs) and foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs) are creating opportunities for businesses like yours.

The mining industry forms one of Canada’s oldest, most productive and profitable sectors. It is a sector where Canadian knowledge, technology, expertise and corporate leadership play a significant international role, while also producing solid benefits here at home.

In 2011 the value of Canadian-controlled mining assets (CMAA) abroad reached $146.7 billion, with more than 1,000 Canadian exploration and mining companies operating in over 100 countries. That year, the countries with the largest volumes of CMAA were Mexico ($20 billion), Chile ($19 billion), the United States ($17 billion), Argentina ($11 billion) and Zambia ($6 billion).

On the domestic front, in 2011 the Canadian mining sector accounted for 6 per ent of GDP and over $43 billion in exports. Emerging economies have become important destinations for Canada’s mineral products. In 2011, 9.5 percent of Canada’s mineral exports—valued at nearly $4.1 billion—went to China, up from 5.5 percent in 2000. Exports to Brazil, valued at $1.4 billion in 2011, have more than quadrupled since 2000. And mineral exports to other emerging economies, including Indonesia, India and Russia, have all increased by more than five times over the same period.

That is why the Government of Canada is ensuring that the needs of companies in this sector are reflected in bilateral government-to-government commercial agreements such as FTAS and FIPAs.

For example:

  • The Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (implemented in August 2009) eliminates tariffs of up to 12 percent on Canadian mining and oil and gas equipment. Peru has Latin America’s largest reserves of zinc, lead, silver and gold, and needs a wide range of mining equipment (borers, crushers, drills and specialty vehicles), along with engineering, geophysical and metallurgy services.
  • The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (implemented in August 2011) eliminates tariffs on Canadian exports of most exploration, mining and oil and gas equipment and services. Demand in Colombia is strong for engineering, geophysical and mapping services. The agreement also facilitates access for temporary foreign workers.
  • Canada and Chile have built a strong and growing commercial relationship based on significant and diversified investment and robust two-way trade since the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement was implemented in 1997. The figures speak for themselves. Bilateral merchandise trade has more than tripled and was valued at $2.7 billion in 2011. Over the last 15 years, Canadian mineral exports to Chile have increased 377.9 percent. Canada is now the largest investor in Chile’s mining sector. Canadian mining machinery and equipment can enter Chile duty free if they comply with the rules set out in the FTA. Mining and mining equipment companies such as Finning South America have both indicated that the free trade agreement has helped them expand their footprint in Chile.

For more information about new international business opportunities and how Canada’s FTAs and FIPAs can help your company in a particular market, please contact a trade commissioner or check out the Trade Commissioner Service website.