According to the 2005 Fraser Institute survey, mining and exploration companies rank Manitoba first in Canada and third in the world for our minerals policies. - Fraser Institute survey Report Link in PDF Format
According to a January 05, 2006 press release from Manitoba Industry, Economic Development and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau, it is anticipated that Over $24 Million in mineral exploration in the province will supported with $1.4 Million from the Mineral Exploration Assistance Program (MEAP)from the department.
It is felt that much of this new exploration is being driven by High Commodity Prices For Gold and Nickel. The provinces announcement of $1.4 million in new investment assistance to the mineral exploration sector is testimony of the commitment to mining development
The MEAP program offers almost $2.5 million in assistance annually in the spring/summer and fall/winter to encourage and support Manitoba's mining industry. It provides assistance of up to 25 per cent of approved eligible expenses to a maximum of $300,000. There are higher levels of assistance, up to 35 per cent to a maximum of $400,000, to encourage exploration in under-explored frontier regions such as the Northern Superior, Far North and Hudson Bay Lowland regions, and areas that need new discoveries to sustain existing communities such as Lynn Lake/Leaf Rapids and Bissett. - MB Press Release Link and MEAP projects by region
Over the last 10 years, mineral exploration expenditures in Manitoba have averaged $31.8 million annually. This year's increased activity is expected to bump expenditures upwards of $52.7 million. Mining is the second largest primary resource sector and employs approximately 3,800 people directly and 11,000 indirectly through spinoff business, many of them in northern regions.
Increased exploration and mineral prospecting is both welcomed and encouraged by all stakeholders in the industry.
Anyone that has been following gold prices realizes that there is renewed world wide interest in gold and gold investments. Savvy investors are steadily increasing their holdings in precious metals and mining stocks.
All indications are that 2006 is going to be an active year for companies exploring for and producing precious metals and mineral commodities.