Canadian Government Wins Re-Election. Positive for Mining?

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Harper pledged to prohibit export of bitumen to countries whose greenhouse gas emissions targets fell short of Canada's. Bitumen is the heavy, black viscous oil produced from Canadian oil sands must be treated to turn it into an upgraded crude oil, which can then be refined to produce gasoline and diesel fuels...He also promised to aggressively expand geo-mapping of the nation's mineral and energy resources.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper led his Conservative Party to a victory Tuesday, but appeared to have failed to gain enough seats in Parliament to win a majority government...

The first major world leader to experience an election since the global financial crisis, Harper had campaigned on an economic platform. The Liberals and Greens had campaigned on global warming and what was considered a "highly unpopular" carbon taxation proposal.

Coincidentally, among Harper's campaign promises was a pledge to prohibit the export of bitumen to countries outside of Canada that do not have equivalent greenhouse gas emission targets. In a statement, Harper had said "we cannot allow companies to increase exports of raw bitumen simply in order to avoid Canadian emissions standards as they are strengthened over the next few years. Nor can we afford to export the jobs and spin-off industrial opportunities by the upgrading of bitumen."

Bitumen is the heavy, black viscous oil produced from Canadian oil sands must be treated to turn it into an upgraded crude oil, which can then be refined to produce gasoline and diesel fuels. The policy would take effect in January 2010, but would only apply to new export deals.

Harper also pledged that the Canadian Government will expand its geo-mapping program to provide Canadians with a more comprehensive assessment on the extent of mineral and energy resources in the Canadian North.

"We know from over a century of northern resource exploration that there is gas in Beaufort, oil in the Eastern Arctic, and gold in the Yukon. There are diamonds in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, and countless other precious resources buried under the ice, sea and tundra," the prime minister said in August...

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