In the past 20 years, Canada has lost almost all of its mining giants, according to industry players who warn that this poses economic challenges as the country attempts to adapt to a green future dependent on rare resources. 

Pierre Lassonde, co-founder and chair emeritus of Franco Nevada Mining and Frank Guistra, and chief executive officer of Fiore Group, say a solution can be found in preserving Canada’s mining sector and leaning on Canadian pension funds, which represent 35 per cent of all Canadian savings. 

“Our pension funds represent $2.7 trillion dollars of savings by Canadians,” Lassonde told BNN Bloomberg in a television interview on Tuesday. 

“It’s unconscionable that 75 per cent of that money leaves Canada, and goes overseas to create jobs and create employment in countries like China and Vietnam and everywhere else in the world and not in Canada.”

He added that less than three per cent of that money is invested in Canadian public equity. 

Lassonde said a “total hallowing out” has occurred in Canada’s mining industry, noting that a lack of focus on all Canadian industries is exacerbating the problem. 

“With such a poor investment track record, what are you going to do?” he said. 

Giustra compared Canada’s situation with Australia, which has 22 per cent of its assets under management invested in public equities. 

“We don’t have the same opportunity here in Canada,” he said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg on Tuesday. 

“Although it’s fair that these pension funds should have the opportunity to invest around the world, the fact that they have so little invested in their own country is just outrageous,” Giustra added. 

“It just to me seems like a failed opportunity for this country.”

For the rest of the interview with Lassonde and Giustra, watch the video above.