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Natural Resources
March 17, 2010

Budget 2010 to Include Funding for Minerals Strategy

Budget 2010 will invest in the first comprehensive review of the province�s mining industry since the 1970s with $235,000 to complete a Minerals Strategy. The strategy will focus on expanding exploration and production activity and creating additional employment opportunities, while also ensuring environmental protection and the sustainable development of mineral resources.

�The mining sector is a major economic contributor to the economy of rural Newfoundland and Labrador and represents nearly 12 per cent of the province�s Gross Domestic Product,� said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. �To ensure its continued growth and success, we need a plan for capitalizing fully on the economic and employment opportunities associated with this burgeoning industry. A comprehensive strategy outlining how we move the industry forward will ensure future decisions are in the long-term best interest of the province.�

Minister Dunderdale announced the funding to develop the strategy at a news conference today. The strategy will be developed in close consultation with industry, communities, Aboriginal groups and other interested parties. This collaborative process will help identify the issues important to all interest groups and ensure they are part of the discussion.

�The preparation of a strategy is timely given the global economy is showing signs of recovery,� said Minister Dunderdale. �With a strengthening demand for mineral commodities, a new comprehensive strategy will ensure the province is competitively positioned to attract investment.�

�We look forward to providing our input on the development of a strategy for the mining sector,� said Gerry O�Connell, Executive Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Chamber of Mineral Resources. �We trust this strategy will result in the optimization of our industry through measures that will increase knowledge of our mineral potential and enhance our province�s attractiveness as a destination for investment.�

The Mines Branch of the Department of Natural Resources will oversee the development of the strategy and the consultation process. The strategy development process will include an examination of existing mineral legislation, and also look at the department�s capacity to meet the growing demand forecasted in the sector. The strategy will examine the potential of the mineral industry throughout the province, including a close look at the opportunities and existing supporting infrastructure in Labrador. The strategy is expected to be completed in mid-2011.

�This strategy will enable us to identify any potential development constraints for the region and ensure proper resource development for the benefit of all Labradorians,� said Minister Dunderdale. �The Minerals Strategy will support the long-term goal stated in our Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador of enhanced resource-based industry while ensuring conservation of the environment.�

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Media contacts:

Tracy Barron
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 690-8241 
Gerry O�Connell
Executive Director
Newfoundland and Labrador Chamber of Mineral Resources

2010 03 17                                                    2:05 p.m.

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