Its Time to Tighten Ties – Part 4

Scope of a Mining Partnership between India and Canada

Goldcorp, a leading gold production company in Canada decided to try something new in the early 2000s. The company released it’s proprietary geological data in the public domain and called for the people to respond to the challenge of ‘virtual prospecting’ in order to identify undiscovered reserves. The result? – the discovery of 110 new exploration targets. 

This ability to step out of the box and innovate is one of the reasons why Canada is a global leader in Mining. Canada’s mining Industry like Australia’s is highly advanced and Canada has the largest share of the global exploration spend. Imagine the payoff that India can get if it partners with the top player!

There are two facets to the benefits that an India- Canada partnership in mining can bring India.

One is what we can learn from Canada and the other is what we can earn from Canada. First, let us focus on what India can learn from Canada. 

Canada’s best practices that we can mimic :

With the kind of investments that Canada pours into the mining sector, it is hardly surprising that it has achieved a level of expertise and advantage that puts it ahead in the race. Though there are a lot of things that the Indian Mining sector can learn from Canada, here are two of the initiatives that can make a difference to the Indian mining sector if they are adapted to the Indian conditions and implemented effectively.

TSM (Total Sustainable Mining)

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC)  brought out the TSM, a sustainability standard that requires every mining company to conduct an impact assessment of facilities and their sustainable foot-print like tailings management, community outreach, and safety, biodiversity and conservation.  The reports have to be made available to the public and are verified once in every 3 years. The members who comply are recognized by being given preferential rights in mine auctions. The Indian Industry can adopt such a self-regulatory model or standard that is suited to its conditions. With the increasing problems that the mining industries in India face due to environmental issues and the recent bans, such standards have become utterly necessary for regulating the mining industry and setting it on the path for sustainable development without compromising it’s own growth.

Junior companies.

In Canada, Junior exploration companies are encouraged to undertake exploration activities. These companies get funds from bigger companies and act as a point of sale for mineral discovery data. ‘Flow-through-shares’ (FTS) are devised as tax instruments that ensure access to capital for exploration companies. An exploration company can issue FTS at a premium to raise funds and the shareholder can use them to claim deductions on eligible exploration expenses of the issuing company. FTS holders receive mineral exploration tax credits additionally to ease their tax burden. Thus, investments into FTS reduces Canadian tax incidence on an investor. India can develop a similar ecosystem of junior companies to achieve cost-effectiveness in exploration.

Investments in Mining

The Good news here is that while India is looking for foreign investments to boost it’s mining sector, Canada is also warming up to India as an investment partner. C The Vice-chairman of the Canada India Business Council (C- IBC), Mr. Peter Sutherland has urged Canadian mining companies to look for opportunities to invest and market in India. While making the case for India, he highlights how Karnalyte a small mining company in Alberta, Canada has risen in stature to compete with India’s leading importers by entering into a deal with Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited. Canadian mining companies that specialize in equipment and new technologies in sustainable mining can offer such products to India. In services too, Canada tops the world in financing mines, in legal and accounting services related to mining. Mr.Sutherland further suggests that in addition to Canadian investment in Indian Mines and Indian investment in Canada, the partnership between the mining sector of the two countries can also contribute to India’s global mining endeavors. Canada can provide India with the expertise that it lacks in when Indian miners expand operations to other countries. 

Canada with its stable government and rich resources is a very ideal partner with whom India can safely establish a long term trading relationship. With the Indian Government’s eagerness to boost foreign investments boost its mining sector and the Canadian’s need for profitable markets the time is ripe for mining companies from both sides to keep on the look out for opportunities to connect and co-operate. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *