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Mining payments to Canadian governments total $71 billion

Staff writer |
The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) released its annual report on mining industry payments to Canadian governments, prepared by ENTRANS Policy Research Group.

Now in its tenth year of publication, the report found mining payments to federal and provincial government coffers total an estimated $71 billion from 2003 to 2012 in aggregate mining taxes and royalties, corporate income taxes and personal income taxes paid by mining sector employees.

The decade-long data shows that while payments can fluctuate from year to year due to the cyclical nature of the business—at times significantly—the overall contribution to governments is huge and the trend over the past decade is positive. The most recent data for 2012 showed an overall year-over-year decline in mining payments to an estimated $6.6 billion in 2012 from approximately $8.3 billion in 2011.

This decline can be largely attributed to the challenging economic environment miners faced last year and the price declines experienced for the majority of major minerals.

Despite this decline, the $6.6 billion figure is still well above the $4.1 billion paid by industry in 2003. Payments peaked at a staggering $10.5 billion in 2008 before dropping to $4.9 billion in 2009 as a result of the global recession. As the mining industry recovered, payments moved upwards in tandem, reaching $8.3 billion in 2011.

In 2012, there was a decrease of approximately $820 million in royalties and mining taxes paid compared to 2011, as well as an estimated decrease of corporate income taxes (CIT) from $2.4 billion in 2011 to $1.2 billion in 2012 (based on current, incomplete CIT data for 2012). Interestingly, however, 2012 saw a significant increase in the sector's personal income taxes in 2012 - $290 million or 15 per cent.

This increase is a result of the mining industry's role as a major, high-paying employer in Canada. In 2012, the sector experienced strong employment growth of approximately 6,700 new mining jobs and equally robust annual earnings increases.

According to Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian mining industry employed more than 418,000 workers across the country in 2012 - representing one in every 41 Canadian jobs. Moreover, mining workers earn the highest wages and salaries of all industrial sectors in Canada. The average weekly pay for a mining worker in 2012 was $1,599, which surpassed the earnings of workers in forestry, manufacturing, finance and construction.

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