Exploration Hub

Mining and the Canadian Economy

March 31, 2020

Several Canadian provinces have declared a state of emergency following the coronavirus outbreak, with 6,671 cases in Canada as of March 29th. Declaring a state of emergency allows a province to perform any actions necessary to lessen the impact of an emergency situation.

During this time only essential services may continue operating to ensure that the economy keeps moving forward. “Essential services are those daily services essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning. They are the services British Columbians rely on in their daily lives.”*

Mineral exploration and development and all production related services have been listed as non-health essential service providers in the context of the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Just as we depend on mining to support our daily lives, Canada relies on our industry to keep the economy going. Mining is one of Canada’s most important economic sectors and a major job creator. For decades, we’ve been a leader in the production of minerals and metals, as well as a leader in mining sustainability and safety.

Mining Association of Canada’s Facts & Figures 2019:

  • In 2019, Canada’s mining industry contributed $146 billion, or 7.4%, to Canada’s total nominal GDP

  • The industry’s direct and indirect employment exceeds 620,000 jobs, accounting for one in every 30 jobs in Canada

Minerals sector direct employment, by subsector and product group, 2018

  • Proportionally, the mining industry is the largest private sector employer of Indigenous peoples and provided over 16,600 jobs to community members in 2018
  • Richly endowed with natural resources, Canada ranks among the top five countries in the global production of 15 minerals and metals, many of which are integral to the low carbon technology needed for a greener future. What’s more, Canada is primed to respond to the growing demand for commodities required in clean energy technologies. Canada is a key global producer of copper, nickel, and cobalt, and hosts advanced mineral projects for rare earth elements, lithium, and graphite. These commodities are crucial in the production of solar cells, high-density batteries, and wind turbines.

Leading minerals, by value of production, 2018 

  • Valued at $105 billion in 2018, mineral exports accounted for 19% of Canada’s total domestic exports
  • According to the Natural Resource Governance Institute, in 2018, extractive sector companies reported payments of more than $10.4 billion to Canadian governments


The BC business community has announced the creation of the COVID-19 Cabinet, to address the significant impacts on our economy in these unprecedented times. This group represents business, labour and employees to allow collaboration and a quick response to changes in the business environment. It will share information on the impacts of COVID-19 and will provide a point of contact for the government as it creates policies, programs and measures to support business and workers to address the significant economic impacts.

Our sector will be represented by the following organizations:

  • Association for Mineral Exploration BC
  • Mining Association of BC
  • Mining Suppliers Association of BC


*Source http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/employers-businesses

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