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Canada's mining sector falls in June as wildfires and maintenance impact iron ore operations; oil and gas up

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(Kitco News) - According to Statistics Canada (StatsCan), the domestic mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector decreased for a second month in a row, down 0.3% in June, as fires in northern Quebec led to multiple mine closures.

StatsCan said that Canada’s mining and quarrying (except oil and gas) fell 5.7% in June, its largest monthly contraction since November 2021, as all subsectors were down in the month.

According to the report, metal ore mining decreased 6.7% in June 2023, primarily as a result of a 35.0% drop in the iron ore mining industry as a combination of wildfires and maintenance severely impacted production in northern Quebec and in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In contrast, increases in copper, nickel, lead and zinc ore mining and gold and silver ore mining partially offset the drop. Meanwhile, non-metallic mineral mining decreased 4.5%, largely due to a 9.7% fall in potash mining.

The agency said that the domestic oil and gas extraction rose 1.1% in June, partly offsetting a 3.4% contraction in May when the wildfires in Alberta impacted the subsector.

The country’s oil and gas extraction (except oil sands) increased 2.9% as both crude petroleum and natural gas extraction rose in June, while oil sands extraction was essentially unchanged as higher crude bitumen extraction was offset by lower synthetic oil production.

StatsCan added that support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction increased 3.2% as all types of supporting activities were up in June.

The agency also reported that pipeline transportation expanded for the fifth time in the last six months, rising 2.4% in June, “as higher pipeline transportation of natural gas as well as crude oil and other products contributed to the growth.”

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