News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 24, 2007

MINING ASSISTANCE FUNDING YIELDS RECORD $34 MILLION IN MINERAL EXPLORATION



Thirty-nine new mineral exploration projects generating an estimated $34.4 million in exploration expenditures are underway as a result of $1.4 million in funding from the province’s Mineral Exploration Assistance Program (MEAP), Science, Technology, Energy and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
 
“This $34 million is the highest amount in proposed company exploration expenditures to be generated from a single MEAP offering,” said Rondeau. “Twenty-four companies, four of which are new to Manitoba, were attracted to explore here because of the province’s potential for new deposits and MEAP’s financial assistance.”
 
MEAP provides assistance of up to 25 per cent of approved eligible expenses to a maximum of $300,000. There are higher levels of assistance, up to 35 per cent to a maximum of $400,000, to encourage exploration in under-explored frontier regions and to help sustain mining communities such as Lynn Lake/Leaf Rapids and Snow Lake. 
 
For every $1 million paid through MEAP, $6 million is generated in exploration activity that boosts local economies, contributes to the province’s geoscience knowledge base and identifies new ore bodies that have the potential to be Manitoba’s next mine.
 
Rondeau cited San Gold Corporation, which reopened the Rice Lake gold mine creating more than 200 jobs and bolstering the economies of Bissett and nearby communities. He also noted Crowflight Minerals work in continuing to develop its Bucko nickel deposit near Wabowden.
 
“Exploration for additional reserves and new deposits was key to reopening the Rice Lake gold mine,” said Dale Ginn, president of San Gold Corporation.
 
“Financial assistance from MEAP helped us conduct early-stage exploration and continues to support current exploration programs,” Ginn said.  “MEAP shows Manitoba’s commitment to help companies find new ore bodies that will sustain mining in the province, which coupled with certainty of land tenure, makes Manitoba one of the best places in the world to explore.”
 
Companies are exploring for a variety of commodities including gold, copper, nickel, tantalum, diamonds, silica sand and uranium.
The continuing high commodity prices for gold and base metals are reflected in the proposed projects that include 12 exploration projects for gold, 12 for nickel, 10 for copper three for tantalum and two for diamonds.
 
“Exploration for new deposits is essential to the future of mining in any jurisdiction,” said Rondeau. “Government continues to support exploration through incentive programs like MEAP that help attract companies to invest in Manitoba.”
 
Rondeau noted other financial initiatives that are boosting exploration in the province including:
·         the Manitoba Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (MMETC) which provides tax incentives for Manitobans who invest in exploration in the province, and
·         the Manitoba Prospectors’ Assistance Program (MPAP) that offers approximately $123,000 annually to encourage mineral prospecting in the province.
 
Since 1999, there have been more than 370 exploration projects completed and $92.8 million in exploration expenditures reported.
 
To view a map showing the location of the MEAP projects visit:
 
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Backgrounder
MEAP - http://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/newslinks/MEAPdoc.doc