Natural Resources
March 6, 2007

Province Gets Attention at International Mining Conference

The mining success and mineral prospects of Newfoundland and Labrador figured prominently at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada international mining conference in Toronto this week, with interest by exploration and mining companies resulting in the largest turnout ever for the Newfoundland and Labrador-sponsored reception.

�Companies are very excited about the prospects in Newfoundland and Labrador and the positive climate that exists within our mining industry,� said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. �Companies told me over and over again how pleased they are with the level of assistance and support they receive in Newfoundland and Labrador through our Mines Branch. As minister, it was truly wonderful to hear and have it reinforced so strongly, given this government�s investment in exploration and geoscience. We have a very supportive environment and knowledgeable geologists working in our Mines Branch and it is being noticed by the industry.�

Newfoundland and Labrador also figured prominently at the awards portion of the conference, with Canada�s first family of prospecting � the Keats-Stares family of Benton � being recognized for 40 years of prospecting in Canada over four generations. Members of the five families have generated tens of millions of dollars in exploration expenditures and have made an outstanding contribution to mining in the province and in Canada. The family was awarded the 2007 Prospector of the Year Award. One of the discoveries that can be credited to the family � the Duck Pond copper-zinc deposit � is now entering production under the ownership of Aur Resources. The president of Aur Resources, James Gill, was also recognized this year with the Developer�s Award.

�It was very clear to me by visiting the booths and speaking to these companies that Newfoundland and Labrador is an important part of their monitoring and exploration activities,� the minister said. �We are seeing record exploration expenditures in our province with $98 million being spent last year and an expected $116 million to be spent this year. It is an exciting time in our mining sector.�

The province�s ranking by mining company executives also improved significantly this year � to 22nd from 39th � in the Annual Survey of Mining Companies released Monday and conducted by the Fraser Institute, an independent research organization. The survey asks mining company executives to provide opinions about the investment attractiveness of 65 jurisdictions around the world.

The value of the province�s mineral shipments is expected to reach a record $3 billion this year � a 400 per cent increase in just three years. A significant part of this comes from the province�s long-standing ore producers � the Iron Ore Company of Canada and Wabush Mines. However, with Voisey�s Bay just completing its first full year of production that mine now accounts for about half of the province�s mineral production.

�This government understands the importance of the mining industry and its contribution to the provincial economy, particularly in rural areas of Newfoundland and Labrador,� Minister Dunderdale said. �That is why we increased funding under the Mineral Incentive Program by 55 per cent last year and are committed to continuing to invest in exploration and geoscience programs to help promote resource development.�


Media contact:
Tracy Barron
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 690-1703

2007 03 06                                                       12:30 p.m.

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