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Manitoba Mineral Development Fund aims to make $10 million in grants over next three years, premier says

The fund, which supports mineral exploration, community economic development, and Indigenous enterprise and partnerships, has approved $5.4 million in grants since being established in 2019.
manitoba chambers of commerce president chuck davidson thompson may 9 2022
Chuck Davidson, president of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, which administers the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund, speaks May 9 in Thompson, where he announced projects approved for grants during the first few months of 2022. Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson said at a mining-related conference in Toronto on June 13 that the fund, which has given out $5.4 million since being established in 2019, aims to disburse $10 million in grants over the next three years.

Manitoba’s premier announced June 13 at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto that her government plans to increase the amount of funding that flows through its Manitoba Mineral Development Fund.

Established with a $20 million initial investment in 2019 as a successor to the Mining Community Reserve Fund which was intended to assist mining communities affected by shutdowns due to ore depletion as well as support mineral exploration in Manitoba, the MMDF receives six per cent of mining taxes the provincial government collects annually. 

“As we continue to recover from the pandemic and build our economy, our government is focused on attracting new investment into Manitoba’s mining sector and increasing Indigenous participation in mineral development activities,” said Stefanson. “The MMDF supports strategic projects that capitalize on our vast mineral potential within the province and helps accelerate Manitoba’s position as a world leader for responsible mineral development.”

Communities, businesses and organizations including Indigenous groups, municipalities and not-for-profit entities can apply for funding and assistance can include one-time grants for activities to advance new mining opportunities and outreach to First Nations for collaborative resource development.

Since it was created, the fund has given out $5.4 million in grants, including $2,216,952 in 2021. About $1.6 million of 2021 funding went to mineral exploration, while community economic development projects received about $480,000 and indigenous enterprise and partnerships $135,000.

The Snow Lake and Thompson regions have been the biggest beneficiaries of the funding, with about $930,000 going to projects in and around Snow Lake and $616,000 to one in Thompson and area.

Project applications are reviewed by a committee and the fund is administered by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.

“The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce is pleased to support the Manitoba government in growing the mineral supply chain in the province through the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund,” said Chuck Davidson, board chair, MMDF, and president and CEO, MCC. “We look forward to continuing our work with the mining sector, communities and local businesses to support economic development in Manitoba.”

Stefanson said the provincial government is also taking other steps to help grow Manitoba’s mining industry, such as establishing the Manitoba Permit Office to focus permit modernization efforts and eliminate red tape.