Chinese Investment In Canadian Mining Sector Might Increase, Says Envoy

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 12, 2013 9:55 PM EST

Following Prime Minister Stephen Harper's approval of $15-billion takeover of the Canada-based global oil and gas company Nexen by China National Offshore Oil Corp last year, Canada's Ambassador to China Monday said that China was likely to increase investment in Canadian mining sector.

Canadian Ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques said that Chinese investments in Canadian resources would increase as China might invest in Canadian forestry as well as energy development.

"I expect that the interest will increase on the mining side," Canadian Press quoted the ambassador as saying.

"What I expect also is maybe they will start to get interested in the forestry sector. There's already investment in pulp manufacturing. I think they are starting to look at potential minority participation in a number of companies."

Following the China-Nexen deal, Petro China signaled its interest in buying a share of the proposed Northern Gateway, which would ship oil-sands bitumen to waiting tankers on Canada's West Coast, according to CTV News.

The amount of Chinese money pouring into energy development is two times more than the money  pouring into mining.

Saint-Jacques said that China was looking at other resource opportunities as well. There are also speculations that China has a plan to invest in Canadian lead, zinc and copper.

According to the ambassador, there is Chinese interest in northern Ontario's Ring of Fire mining region and in Saskatchewan's potash reserves.

Saying that China is particularly interested in investing in forest sector, the ambassador said that wood transport business with China is growing.

"Our wood exports to China have grown in spectacular fashion; in fact, 22 times between 2002 and 2012."

"There are new applications in terms of wood that are being specifically applied to the Chinese market, (such as) replacing the roof of a four- or five-storey building. If they use trusses they can replace a block in just a week, so it's more efficient and they can also have better insulation."

Lately, First Nations MPs and environment activists have been opposing the federal government's plan in mining and energy development.

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