The Manitoba government is providing an additional $1 million into the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund to support mineral and economic development initiatives in the north and throughout the province, Economic Development and Jobs Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.

“The Manitoba Mineral Development Fund plays a critical role in helping grow and diversify our northern economy together with Indigenous communities,” said Eichler. “Our additional investment into the fund will help jump-start mineral development and other economic development initiatives in Manitoba’s northern communities where there is untapped potential.”

The Manitoba Mineral Development Fund is administered by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC). Through the fund, communities and businesses, including Indigenous groups, municipalities and the not-for-profit sector, are eligible to apply for funding. Financial assistance from the fund could include one-time grants for activities that help advance new mining opportunities and outreach to First Nations for collaborative resource development.

The province has committed to an annual investment of up to six per cent of tax revenues collected from the Mining Tax Act, the minister noted. The Mining Tax is collected, at a graduated rate, on profit generated by mining businesses.

“The additional funds from the Mining Tax revenue will allow the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund to continue to support northern communities and the mining industry,” said Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “We are looking forward to an impactful year in 2021, and to funding strategic projects that build partnerships and economic development opportunities in northern Manitoba.”

MCC has final decision-making authority over which projects will be supported, and reports annually to the province about the fund’s activities, results and financial health. Since July 2020, MCC has allocated $2.6 million toward 19 projects including more than $33,000 for New Age Metals Inc., who together with Twohearts Foundation, carried out an exploration work program that trained and employed five community members from Sagkeeng First Nation to do field work at their Greer Lake Site. Twohearts Foundation, a local organization from Sagkeeng First Nation, facilitated the crew training and management.

For more information on the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund and to view a copy of the 2020 annual report, visit https://mbchamber.mb.ca/home/initiatives-resources/mmdf

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