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Canadian Mining in Latin America

Canadian Mining Investments in Latin America

Growing global demand for various metals and minerals has sparked an unprecedented global mining rush. As part of this trend, Canadian companies have rapidly acquired hundreds of new properties in Latin America for exploration and extraction. Canadian companies now operate 80 mining projects in the region and have 48 more at the development or feasibility stage. Accompanying that, extraordinary revenues have been accrued by these mining firms (US$19.4 billion in 2012).

This dashboard allows you to explore active, Canadian owned mines in Latin America. You can explore by company, country, and the year that the mine was acquired.

The aim of this project is to track the economic impact of these mining investments from Canadian firms, looking at their tax contributions, local employment practices and contracting of local or national companies in host countries.

Our estimate for the total revenue (mine production per commodity x international price of commodity) of Canadian mining investments in the region is approx. US$19.4 billion. The majority of these investments are in Mexico which accounts for US$4.8 billion of the revenue, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil which account for another US$12.75 billion. Barrick Gold, Teck, Yamana Gold, Goldcord, Kinross Gold, and Pan-American Silver are the dominant companies.

Data update: this database was updated in June 2013 and a new version of the data and visualization was posted in July 2013. Above is the latest available data. Several additions have been made in this edition. Two new tabs are available above, “data” and “stages”. The data tab provides detailed data table at the mine level, time-series commodity price index data (indexed to 2006), and total revenue in time-series from 2006 to 2012.  The stages tab provides geocoded information on the location of mining projects at earlier stages including development and feasibility.

The project contributes to ongoing debates in Canada and Latin America regarding the direct economic effect of these projects on communities and host countries in which they operate.

Methodology and Data

LAC-time-series-data (MS Excel)

Data was gathered from the technical reports of each mine published online by their owning company, complemented by additions from Infomine, a mining industry data portal. The former sources are freely available directly from the companies’ websites or downloadable from SEDAR (System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval) from the Canadian Security Administrators. The latter source is from a paid subscription to Infomine, which lists all properties and companies with operations around the world. Infomine data was manually compiled and processed in order to match properties with owning firms to construct the resulting view.

The variable “revenue” was calculated by multiplying the annual production of each mine as listed by each company in official reports by the average spot price for each metal or mineral produced in that year. This variable is meant as an approximation to what the actual revenues from each mine for the firm in question are and not the actual figure. Such information is not publicly available.

The objective of this dataset is to give an overview of the reach and size of the Canadian mining industry in Latin America. The next step in the research is to add in time series data to track the development of these Canadian mining firms over time, provide approximate values on employment and tax contribution, as well as estimates for local vs. foreign contracting.

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