Mh BC & Canada’s Mining Heritage
Mining in Canada. It’s Part of Who We Are.
Looking out the windows of our urban homes and offices, somehow we rarely associate the sprawling metropolis that unfolds before us with the industry that made it all possible: mining. Mining has formed a critical cornerstone in our identity as Canadians. Even now, in an era when technology advances at breakneck speed, mining remains a critical foundation of our social and economic success.
The Early Days
Mining has been an integral component of the Canadian economy since before Confederation.
The Geological Survey of Canada of 1842 highlighted the abundance of minerals and metals waiting to be mined in the West. Prime Minster Sir John A MacDonald saw the railway as essential to unite a country from east to west, but he also saw that the rich resources of the West were trapped unless they could be brought to market and could benefit from the manpower and technology in the East.
Now, the mining industry generates about $40 billion of Canada’s annual GDP and provides 368,000 Canadian jobs directly and indirectly.
Key Facts & Figures on Canadian Mining’s Contributions to our Nation:
- The BC mining industry directly employs over 21,000 people at an average annual salary of around $110,000.
- Nationally, average mining wages are between 15 to 24 per cent higher than those in the finance, forestry, manufacturing and construction sectors.
- The mining industry is the largest private sector employer of First Nations workers.
- The industry pays about $11.5 billion a year in taxes and royalties to federal and provincial/territorial governments.
- About 17 per cent of Canadian goods exported come from mining.
- Canada is a one of the world’s leading mining countries, ranked among the top five global producers for several minerals and metal categories.
- Canada is the third largest copper producer in the world, after Chile and the USA and second largest nickel and lead producer.