In 2019-20, the Government of Saskatchewan’s Targeted Mineral Exploration Incentive (TMEI) increased mining investment in the province by supporting 37 new exploratory drill holes, which generated approximately $2 million in expenditures by exploration companies.
The TMEI program was launched in October 2018 to encourage drilling activity in support of exploration for base metals, precious metals and diamonds in a targeted area in the northeastern part of the province.
TMEI is part of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Mineral Development Strategy, which was designed to diversify the province’s mineral sector. A total of five companies, exploring for gold, zinc, copper and silver, completed drill programs under the TMEI program in 2019-20.
Each received $50,000 in funding, for a total of $250,000.
“The TMEI program has enhanced the competitiveness and diversification of Saskatchewan’s northern mining prospects,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said. “We are pleased that exploration companies are taking advantage of the program and discovering the value of mineral resource opportunities here.”
In addition to the TMEI, the province also recently reinstated a provincial sales tax (PST) exemption for exploratory downhole drilling activity, as well as extended timeframes to raise necessary capital and carry out mineral exploration activities, work programs and community consultations.
“The TMEI offered by the Government of Saskatchewan enabled our company to complete an 11-hole drill program at our Brabant Lake project, where we are exploring for copper and zinc with minor silver, gold and lead,” Murchison Minerals president J.C. Potvin said. “This incentive program is a perfect case highlighting the economic multiplier effect it has in job creation and enabling industry participants to push the envelope and be more aggressive on field exploration activities when weak financial market conditions make it harder to raise funding. This shows investors that Saskatchewan supports mining as an industry.”
In 2019, exploration expenditures in the province were $264 million, and the Saskatchewan mining sector generated $7.4 billion in sales. Over the past decade, more than $2.3 billion has been spent on mineral exploration in Saskatchewan, and $72.3 billion has been generated.