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Oliver says CETA will be good for mining companies

CETA will be good for Canadian mining companies, says Natural Resources minister Joe Oliver.

Today he told the Board of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada that the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a good deal for Canada’s mining sector. According to a Globe and Mail report, Oliver highlights CETA “will smooth the movement of capital and people across the Atlantic (and includes) provisions that reduce tariffs on physical metals and minerals.”

Oliver argues the ‘free trade’ agreement will improve market access, “foreign direct investment (will) increase”, the service provisions will allow Canadian mining companies to sell their expertise, and new qualification rules “will make it easier for business people in the mining sector to work in the EU and Canada”. He also notes that, “There will be a sense that (investors) will be treated fairly.” Likely here he is referring to the notorious investor-state dispute settlement mechanism in CETA that allows companies to sue for lost profits should public interest legislation impact them.

The article adds, “PDAC president Glenn Nolan said there is currently virtually no junior mining market in Nordic countries, such as Finland, Sweden and Norway and that could be a great opportunity to export Canadian skills and expertise. …CETA will eliminate much of the red tape that kept Canadian firms from trying to enter those markets and made it hard for professionals to get their credentials recognized there, he said.”

While Nolan may see CETA as a boon for his sector, his boast may be seen as a warning to our friends and allies in Finland, Sweden and Norway who will be working to stop the ratification of CETA in Europe.

Canadian mining companies are involved in at least two highly controversial and environmentally-damaging proposed mines in Europe. Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold is pursuing the Skouries mine in northern Greece, while Whitehorse-based Gabriel Resources is seeking to operate the Rosia Montana mine in Romania.

Further reading: Market Wired