Ontario — The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has welcomed an announcement from the government of Canada, committing to write-off the full cost of clean energy equipment at mining sites.
The mining industry is a major sector of Canada’s economy, contributing $97 billion to national GDP and responsible for 19 percent of Canada’s total domestic exports. Canada’s mining sector employs 626,000 people directly and indirectly across the country.
The industry is proportionally the largest private-sector employer of Indigenous peoples in Canada and a major customer of Indigenous-owned businesses.
First introduced in 2018, the government’s Fall Economic Statement specified that clean energy equipment be eligible for immediate expensing. With this change, the cost of specified clean energy equipment became eligible for a full tax write-off the year it is put in use in the business.
Unfortunately, this measure did not include most electric mine vehicles when first announced. This announcement by Prime Minister Trudeau extends the accelerated write-off to a broader suite of mine vehicles.
“This announcement is welcome news for Canada’s mining sector and responds to one of MAC’s specific budget requests,” said Pierre Gratton, MAC’s President and CEO. “Last year, Canada opened its first all-electric mine, and the deployment of electric vehicles across Canada is accelerating. Nonetheless, such equipment has a significant cost premium, so today’s announcement will help de-risk such purchases and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles at more mines. This news, coupled with recent announcements on critical minerals and the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, show the government is committed to enhancing our sector’s competitiveness.”
Electric mine vehicles provide significant benefits. For underground mines, electric vehicles reduce ventilation requirements, reduce mine waste through smaller drifts, improve air quality for workers and eliminate GHG emissions that contribute to climate change. Expanded use of electric vehicles should also contribute to lower unit costs over time, which will further accelerate their deployment.
The electrification of mines can make a significant contribution to reducing the mining sector’s GHG emissions. Increased investments in infrastructure to provide access to clean electricity are also critical. Canadian mines are also supplying the critical minerals necessary to support the transition to a lower-carbon economy, with many Canadian mines supplying some of the world’s lowest carbon intensive nickel, copper and metallurgical coal.