News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 23, 2008


Mineral Exploration Assistance Program Funding Expected to Generate More Than $33 Million

Forty new mineral exploration projects are underway thanks to $1.1 million in financial assistance allocated by the provincial government, Science, Technology, Energy and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau announced today.
“Manitoba is ranked among the top five jurisdictions worldwide for its favourable mining policies based on the 2007-08 Fraser Institute survey of metal mining and exploration companies,” said Rondeau. “Manitoba’s mineral policies offer financial incentives for exploration, easy access to geological data and a transparent, stable environment for mineral investment that help reduce costs and mitigate risk.”
The Mineral Exploration Assistance Program (MEAP) was recently renewed for an additional three years starting with the April 2008 offering and will provide $2.5 million of assistance annually.
The new projects will generate an estimated $33.8 million in proposed expenditures. The projects are being undertaken by 29 companies, two of which have been attracted in part by MEAP’s financial assistance to explore in Manitoba for the first time.
Of the 40 projects, 23 are located in the Thompson Nickel Belt, Flin Flon region and southeastern Manitoba.  The remaining 17 are in the Lynn Lake/Leaf Rapids, Snow Lake and northern areas including the far north and the Hudson Bay Lowland.  These areas receive a higher level of assistance to attract exploration in remote, under-explored regions of the province and near communities that have experienced mine closures.
The companies are exploring for a variety of commodities including a number of projects for gold, nickel and copper/zinc. There are also a few projects for diamonds, uranium and silica sand.
“The Bucko Lake Nickel Project at Wabowden is scheduled to reach full production in early 2009,” said Rondeau.  “MEAP provided assistance for the exploration phases of the project.  This new mining operation alone will create up to 200 jobs and then there’s the spinoff business.  That’s the best payback we could want from MEAP: training, employment and community economic development opportunities from a new mine.”    
Reflecting the ongoing highs in commodity prices, exploration activity remains strong for base metals and gold which represent 80 per cent of the proposed MEAP projects. They include:
·         13 projects for gold (32.5 per cent);
·         11 projects for copper-zinc (27.5 per cent); and
·         eight projects for nickel (20 per cent).
“For the last few years Manitoba has been viewed as a good place to do business by the world’s mining industry,” said Rondeau. “Manitoba has the geology and the province’s favourable mining policies have helped in playing a large part in attracting mining companies from around the world.”
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