News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 29, 2008

MINING INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO THRIVE IN MANITOBA: MINISTER


Manitoba Ranks Among Top Five In Recent Fraser Institute Survey

A total of 48 new mineral exploration projects generating an estimated $39.3 million in exploration expenditures are underway as a result of more than $1.4 million in funding from the province’s Mineral Exploration Assistance Program (MEAP), Science, Technology, Energy and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
 
“We can’t develop or sustain Manitoba’s mining industry without high levels of exploration activity to identify new mine development projects.  MEAP has delivered consistently in attracting companies to explore in Manitoba. The program is a major factor in our mining strategy and essential whether the industry is in a boom or bust cycle,” said Rondeau.  “I am also pleased that Manitoba has been recognized as being among the top-five jurisdictions from around the world and remains one of the best places to explore.”
 
The Fraser Institute’s annual survey asks mining company executives to provide opinions about the investment attractiveness of 65 jurisdictions around the world on every continent except Antarctica.
 
Rondeau said the exploration projects are being undertaken by 29 companies, five of which have been attracted in part to Manitoba because of the province’s MEAP program. The minister noted the companies are exploring for a variety of commodities including nickel, copper/zinc and gold. There are also a few projects for diamonds, uranium and platinum group elements.
 
Since 1999, MEAP has paid $15.6 million in assistance returning more than $121 million in reported exploration expenditures. For every $1 million paid through MEAP, it’s estimated that $7.8 million is generated in exploration expenditures. A total of 90 companies have participated in MEAP representing 433 completed exploration projects.  Of these companies, approximately two-thirds are new to Manitoba.
 
Exploration activity remains strong for base metals and gold which represent 87.5 per cent of proposed MEAP projects. Of that percentage, 41.7 per cent (20 projects) of exploration activity is for nickel, 25 per cent (12 projects) is for copper/zinc and 21 per cent (10 projects) is for gold.
  
Of the 48 projects announced, 16 are in the Lynn Lake/Leaf Rapids, Snow Lake and Northern areas including the Far North, Northern Superior and the Hudson Bay Lowland.
 
Rondeau noted MEAP provides up to 35 per cent of approved eligible expenses to a maximum of $300,000 and up to $400,000 to companies undertaking mineral exploration in under-explored frontier regions in the northern areas of the province or near communities impacted by mine closures.  That is a strong incentive for mining companies to come exploring in Manitoba, he said.
 
In addition to MEAP, other financial initiatives to boost exploration in the province include:
·         The Manitoba Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (MMETC) which was renewed for another year in 2007.  It provides a tax credit for Manitobans who invest in exploration in the province.
·         The Manitoba Prospectors Assistance Program (MPAP) which offers $123,000 annually to encourage mineral prospecting in the province.
 
“Many Manitoba communities were built on mining,” said Rondeau.  “This is a legacy we must aggressively support through programs like MEAP which help us to discover deposits that lead to new jobs and business opportunities for our mining communities.  To do this we need to continue to promote our province’s strong mineral potential along with our willingness to work with industry and communities to develop a positive investment climate.”
 
To view a map showing the location of the MEAP projects visit:
http://www.manitoba.ca/iedm/mrd/busdev/incentives/index.html.
 
- 30 -
 
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED


Backgrounder
Mineral Exploration Assistance Program (MEAP) November 2007 Offering, Approved Projects - http://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/newslinks/2008/2008feb./MEAP.STEM.doc