The Provincial Government is continuing to support mineral exploration and growth in the mining industry through Budget 2018 with $1.7 million in support for the Mineral Incentive Program which includes the Junior Exploration Assistance and the Prospectors Assistance Programs.
In 2017-18, the Mineral Incentive Program was a success with 28 grants awarded under the Junior Exploration Assistance Program totalling $1.39 million and 47 grants provided to prospectors under the Prospector Assistance Program totaling $217,618. The Prospector Assistance Program, in conjunction with Mining NL, provided financial support to nine prospectors to travel to mineral conferences for promotion of their properties. Together, Mining NL and the Prospector Assistance Program fund the Matty Mitchell Prospectors Resource Room.
“An investment of $1.7 million in the Mineral Incentive Program helps further the work of prospectors and junior mining companies. Their work, supported by province’s Geological Survey, is the foundation for mineral exploration and mining development in Newfoundland and Labrador. Nearly 40,000 claims were staked in 2016 and 2017 which is approximately the total number for the previous four-year period combined,” said Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources.
It is estimated that mineral exploration spending in 2017 was $36.7 million and is expected to increase to $38.5 million for 2018. Government initiatives, such as the Mineral Incentive Program, continue to encourage the sustainability of the mining industry by supporting mineral exploration in the province. With a forecast in 2018 of 6,000 people employed in the industry and $3.4 billion in mineral shipments, mining is a major contributor to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy.
“Mining Industry NL strongly supports measures that attract and leverage private investment into the mineral industry. The Mineral Incentive Program positively impacts our members’ prospecting and exploration projects and contributes to their success throughout the province,” said Ed Moriarity, Executive Director of Mining Industry NL.
“Prospecting is a crucial part in the early phase of mineral exploration. Most of the present day and historic mines in the province were either directly or indirectly discovered by prospectors. Many prospectors avail of the small prospector assistance grants each year to conduct their field work. These grants go a long way in helping to pay for analyses of rock, soil and stream sediment samples, and to cover other expenses; such as accommodations, fuel and field supplies. Many prospectors would not be as active if it were not for the availability of the prospector assistance grants,” said Norm Mercer, Newfoundland and Labrador Prospectors Association.
This initiative delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.
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