Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. (TSX.V: BAY) (OTCQB: ATBHF), Other Mineral Exploration Companies Watching 2024 Budget Impact

  • Canada’s 2024 budget builds upon earlier commitments to mining industry, strategy
  • Changes to the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit have potential to impact mining exploration
  • Aston Bay, other mining companies make up Canada’s mining industry, which is a major sector of the country’s economy

Last week Canada officials released the official budget, which included a mix of measures that will impact the country’s mining and mineral exploration sector (https://ibn.fm/91cP2). Aston Bay Holdings (TSX.V: BAY) (OTCQB: ATBHF), a publicly traded mineral exploration company exploring for high-grade copper and gold deposits in Canada’s Nunavut territory, may be impacted by the announcement, along with other Canada-based mining companies.

According to the Mining Association of Canada (“MAC”), Canada’s 2024 budget “builds upon earlier commitments in Budget 2023, as well as in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement and the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy.” The budget does the following:

  • extends the Clean Technology Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit (CTM-ITC) to include the cost of investments in eligible property used primarily to produce qualifying critical minerals and to make certain other adjustments designed to provide greater clarity to businesses involved in polymetallic extraction and processing.
  • establishes a target of five years or less to complete federal impact assessment and permitting processes and two years or less for permitting of nonfederal-designated projects
  • creates $5 billion in loan guarantees to unlock access to capital for Indigenous communities, creating economic opportunities and supporting economic development priorities
  • creates more work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students
  • extends the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (“METC”) to March 31, 2025, and allows individual taxpayers to claim 80% of the Charitable Donations Tax Credit instead of 50% as originally proposed in 2023.

Mineral exploration companies such as Aston are paying particular attention to the changes to the METC. According to the article, “the budget’s increase to the inclusion rate for corporations and trusts to two-thirds and for individuals to two-thirds will significantly reduce the value of the METC to many individuals. Unless the government increases the adjusted cost base of all flow-through shares from zero percent to higher levels, we believe this budget will be very damaging to financing of mineral exploration in Canada at a time when new investment in critical minerals exploration is most needed.”

The article noted that MAC officials are hoping to work with Finance Canada to avoid what may be unintended consequences of these proposed changes.

“Today’s budget has pros and cons,” said MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton. “The proposed new threshold for the CTM-ITC is welcome, but the changes to capital gains may undermine the METC and harm mineral exploration financing.  We applaud the government’s ambitions with respect to project timelines, but the real success will come down to implementation. We look forward to working with the government to make sure that mines in Canada can be approved and brought online in timelines that are more responsive to the urgent need for Canadian minerals and metals.”

According to the article, the mining industry is a major sector of Canada’s economy, responsible for 22% of Canada’s total domestic exports and contributing $125 billion to the national GDP. “Canada’s mining sector employs 665,000 people directly and indirectly across the country. The industry is proportionally the largest private sector employer of Indigenous peoples in Canada and is a major customer of Indigenous-owned businesses.”

Aston Bay is proud to be part of this strong Canadian sector. The company is focused on exploring for gold and copper in North America, specifically in Nunavut, where it has partnered with Australian explorer American West Metals at the high-grade Storm Copper Project. Aston Bay has no required expenditures in the partnership, which is aggressively advancing the high-grade sediment-hosted copper mineralization toward development and further discovery. The drills are turning at the property right now, with geophysics underway to find the next discovery on their approximately 219,257 hectares property on Somerset Island, Nunavut, Canada, which is located approximately 200 kilometers south of Teck’s profitable, past-producing Polaris (Pb-Zn) mine.

About Aston Bay Holdings

Aston Bay is a publicly traded mineral exploration company exploring for high-grade copper and gold deposits in Virginia, USA, and Nunavut, Canada. The company is led by CEO Thomas Ullrich with exploration in Virginia directed by the Company’s advisor, Don Taylor, the 2018 Thayer Lindsley Award winner for his discovery of the Taylor Pb-Zn-Ag Deposit in Arizona. The company is currently exploring the high-grade Buckingham Gold Vein in central Virginia and is in advanced stages of negotiation on other lands with high-grade copper potential in the area.

For more information, visit the company’s website at https://AstonBayHoldings.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to ATBHF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/ATBHF

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