News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 30, 2009

PROVINCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM YIELDS $26 MILLION IN MINERAL EXPLORATION: RONDEAU



The provincial government will provide $1.4 million from the Mineral Exploration Assistance Program (MEAP) to support 31 new mineral exploration projects, Science, Technology, Energy and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
 
“It is important to find new mines and increase mineral resources near existing mining infrastructure,” said Rondeau. “The economies of northern communities and indeed the whole province depend on the sustainability of a healthy mining sector. That’s what MEAP is all about.”
 
The projects are expected to generate $26 million in additional exploration expenditures. For every MEAP dollar spent to support exploration, mining companies spend about eight to nine dollars exploring in Manitoba. Projects are being undertaken by 20 companies, three of which have been attracted in part by MEAP’s financial assistance to explore in Manitoba for the first time.
 
MEAP was recently renewed for an additional three years starting with the April 2008 offering and will offer $2.5 million of assistance annually through two offerings per year.
 
“The MEAP funding sends a very positive message of encouragement to companies exploring new mines in our province,” said John Roozendaal, president of VMS Ventures Inc.  “The mining industry is the primary employer of northern Manitobans and is fundamental to the economic sustainability of the region; by supporting exploration activity, the province is helping to ensure a future for northern Manitoba residents and the many spinoff jobs in southern Manitoba reliant on mining and exploration activity.”
 
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 Snow Lake, Lynn Lake and Leaf Rapids.
 
“Investors in the mineral sector are more risk-adverse due to the ongoing market uncertainty and the lack of investment funding is forcing junior exploration and major mining companies to reduce or even cancel projects,” said Rondeau. “MEAP funding can help move viable projects forward through this economic downturn.”
 
To view a map showing the location of the MEAP projects visit:
www.gov.mb.ca/stem/mrd/busdev/incentives/index.html.
 
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED


Backgrounder
Mineral Exploration Assistance Program (MEAP) - http://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/newslinks/2009/jan2009/MEAP.ST.doc