News Release - May 25, 2009
MINING WEEK BUILDS ON STRONG FOUNDATIONS
Saskatchewan's mining industry is one of the province's economic drivers, and its major contribution to our way of life is being celebrated during Mining Week in Saskatchewan, May 24 to 30.
This year's theme of "Mining: Rock Solid Foundation for Saskatchewan" reinforces the importance of mining to the province's global trade, employment and gross domestic product.
"Mining has indeed laid a strong foundation for Saskatchewan's current economic success," Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said. "Through the efforts of our industry and the wealth of our resources, this province enjoys a ‘rock-solid' reputation as an energy and mineral powerhouse: a powerhouse that other provinces, states and nations look to with envy."
Mining is Saskatchewan's third largest industry, employing 25,000 people directly and indirectly. It is coming off an exceptional year of activity, with a record $9.7 billion worth of mineral sales in 2008. This made Saskatchewan Canada's top mineral producer in 2008 in terms of production value.
Mineral exploration expenditures were also at an all-time high last year, totalling $474 million. More than $1.25 billion has been spent on mineral exploration in Saskatchewan over the past five years.
"Last year's record-breaking performance by our industry will be difficult to match in 2009 because of the global economic slowdown," Boyd said. "However, we're still expecting close to $300 million in exploration expenditures this year, as companies and investors continue to see in Saskatchewan a place of unparalleled mineral opportunities."
The Saskatchewan Mining Association co-ordinates Mining Week events, and has a variety of activities scheduled throughout the week, culminating in the 41st annual Emergency Response and Mine Rescue Skills Competition May 30 in Regina.
"During Mining Week our industry makes an extra effort to highlight the role mining plays, and will continue to play, as a 'rock solid' foundation for economic growth in our province," Saskatchewan Mining Association President Kelvin Dereski said.
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