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Sep 13, 2019

Franco-Nevada chairman slams big miners' exodus from Canada

Pierre Lassonde plans to stay active in mining after retiring from Franco-Nevada

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Franco-Nevada Corp. Chairman Pierre Lassonde is sounding the alarm on the hollowing out of Canada’s big mining companies.

Lassonde, who will step down from his role and become chairman emeritus next year, said he’s “very sorry” that large miners are moving their headquarters outside of Canada, and bemoaned the impact it could have on the whole industry.

“[If] their headquarters go, it means all of the research and development, the head of exploration, the finances, it’s all gone,” Lassonde told BNN Bloomberg’s Andrew Bell Friday.

“You eviscerate the country of incredible talent,” he added. “We have incredible renewal, we have the most junior companies in the world and we have a capital market. But it’s not enough. We need these big companies.”

It’s not the first time Lassonde has raised concerns about the exodus of big miners from Canada. In January, he warned that Barrick would not be a “de facto Canadian company” after the gold miner laid off dozens of staff at its Toronto headquarters in December following its acquisition of Randgold Resources Ltd. 

On Friday, Lassonde added that Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd. is the only large mining player left in Canada, mostly due to its dual-class share structure.

“And you know what, God bless them,” he said.