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Mining Association of Canada

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Overview

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is the national organization representing the Canadian mining industry, comprising companies engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication. Our members account for most of Canada's production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, steelmaking coal, and mined oil sands. In 2018, the industry contributed $97 billion to Canada's GDP, accounted for ~20% of the value of Canada's total overall exports (approximately $104.5 billion), as well as employed 630,000 people directly and indirectly. Diversity and inclusion are also important to MAC and its membership, and MAC is an active participant on the Mining Industry Human Resources Council's Inclusion & Diversity committee alongside representatives from Canada's leading mining companies. The industry, proportionally, is the largest industrial employer of Indigenous Canadians.

MAC supports climate action that is consistent with the ambition of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degree Celsius (above pre-industrial levels) to ensure the long-term sustainability of our shared planet. To assist government in the development of an effective pan-Canadian climate change policy MAC released Principles for Climate Change Policy Design (PDF, 506 MB).The Principles include support for a price on carbon and articulated seven key components of a successful carbon pricing regime—one that reduces emissions while growing the economy by ensuring companies remain competitive. This includes, but is not limited to, being revenue neutral, being sensitive to remote and northern regions, and protecting emissions intensive and trade-exposed (EITE) sectors, like the mining industry.

Principle 6 calls for supports for investments in the development and implementation of technologies that lower GHG emissions. It is clear from all credible scenarios that the transition to effectively address climate change will require a systematic transition of both infrastructure and technology over several decades. Capital investments to support the development of lower emission energy, including fuel-efficient and low (and "no") carbon power generation, require certainty from being stranded assets in the future.  Enhanced electrification of Canada's mining sector is an important component in decreasing the industry's GHG emissions. Recognizing that uranium mined in Canada is a direct contributor to avoided GHG emissions both within and beyond Canada's borders, ensuring SMRs are within scope of any electrification efforts is essential for Canada's long-term emission-reduction goals.   

MAC underscores that policies should not limit energy technology choices, unfairly discriminate against energy choices, or establish technical barriers to trade or market entry. Policies should support the collective efforts of all stakeholders to ensure sufficient emphasis is placed on energy and fuel efficiency, and advancing low cost, low emission, stable and highly reliable forms of power generation.

MAC also underscores unequivocally that substantial and meaningful engagement with stakeholders of all kinds, most especially Indigenous communities and self-governments, is paramount to establishing the trust, the understanding of risks and benefits, and ultimately the acceptance of this technology without which success will not be possible, regardless of the opportunity or potential.

Nuclear energy brings the opportunity for future mining operations in Canada to consider SMRs as a safe and carbon-free alternative to diesel power. The mining industry, having a culture of safety and environmental sustainability, acknowledges those same attributes in the nuclear industry. It is with these qualities in mind that we believe nuclear energy presents an opportunity to advance the transition of the mining industry, and society more broadly, toward a lower carbon economy. SMRs present the opportunity to abate emissions in off-grid industrial and community circumstances where fuel-switching options are currently limited.

In recognition of the above context, MAC supports Canada's SMR Action Plan and the proposed statement of principles.

Actions

POLICY, LEGISLATION, AND REGULATION
Stakeholder Engagement
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
MC01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 51, 52

ACTION

MAC is committed to remaining a constructive stakeholder in government processes that jointly pursue a safe, economical, and environmentally sustainable technology to support Canada's climate policy objectives.

EXPECTED RESULTS

This commitment will result in the industry contributing fact-based perspective on the opportunities, challenges and benefits, as the mining industry understands them, of deploying this technology.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Strategic Liaison
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
MC02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 51, 52

ACTION

MAC is committed to remaining a constructive stakeholder to Natural Resources Canada, and the Nuclear Industry more broadly, and resource to our own respective communities of interest on this topic, as all parties jointly pursue a safe, economical and environmentally sustainable technology to support Canada's climate policy objectives.

EXPECTED RESULTS

This commitment will support the two-way exchange of information and perspectives on the opportunities, challenges and benefits, as the mining industry understands them, of deploying this technology.