Courtesy of Anne Marie Toutant

Not new is the fact that the Canadian metals and minerals industry is a critical participant in the collaborative efforts to address the global and national challenges society is facing – adequate food, clean water, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and transitioning the world to a low carbon future. What is new – and great news – is that, increasingly, Canadians are aware, acknowledge and support the role the Canadian mining industry fulfills both domestically and globally to address these challenges.

According to Abacus Data, who has worked with the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) for 12 consecutive years to assess public opinion on Canada’s mining sector, “for the first time since we began tracking, more people see mining as contributing to climate change solutions, rather than having a more negative effect on the issue.” The national poll, released by MAC on June 27, 2022, includes many questions that have been tracked using the same polling methodology for over a decade.* The polling report goes on to say, “In this year’s survey, 80 per cent of those interviewed feel that ‘we need a strong mining sector for Canada’s economy to be healthy over the long term’ – the highest level of agreement we have seen with this statement.” Canadians view mining projects significantly more favourably when they are understood to have a plan to reduce GHG emissions (83 per cent versus 67 per cent).

The Canadian mining industry is increasingly leveraging technology to drive sustainable change in our own environmental impact and we must deliver on specific plans towards stated target objectives of reduced or net-zero emissions to increase the trust society is cautiously awarding us. Mining for sustainable prosperity by collaborating with and being a valued part of local and Indigenous communities and increasingly reaching beyond our traditional boundaries for solutions and collaborative partners are other key elements of a sustainable mining future in Canada.

This edition’s Upfront section focuses on the oil sands industry. In the Abacus poll, MAC asked Canadians how they see oil production in Canada. According to the report, “81 per cent of those surveyed say Canada should remain in the oil business provided ’our barrels are produced by companies that achieve a net-zero emission target.’ This is the majority view in every region [of Canada], generation and across major [political] party lines.” It is one more piece of evidence that as an industry we must deliver on our own commitments as we provide the world with the resources it needs to address the energy transition.

The Canadian mining competitive advantage is gaining traction. Our commitment, tenacity, innovative and creative spirit will drive us forward.

I wish everyone a safe and rejuvenating summer. See you this fall at MEMO in Sudbury.

* Polling data can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3bzX2Rv.