The founder and former chief executive officer of Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) said the loss of the miner’s corporate head office to the United States signals a risk that investment in the Canadian gold sector could start to dwindle as concerns grow that the industry is being hollowed out.

“The corporate heart goes with the head office – so we’re losing another company from Canada,” said Robert McEwen, who now serves as the chairman of McEwen Mining Inc., in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Tuesday.

“So I think that’s a loss to the society in Canada.”

Vancouver-based Goldcorp agreed to a US$10 billion takeover by Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM.N) in a deal announced Monday, which sparked concerns about the future of gold mining in Canada.  

The global head office for the newly-merged company – which will become world’s largest gold miner – will be in Greenwood Village, Colo., where Newmont is based. But Newmont tried to ease concerns, saying the merger will ensure Canada’s gold industry will participate in a “world-leading natural resources company” with a significant Canadian presence on the board.

“There’s a bit of a disconnect where we say we’re the financial centre for mining in the world, here in Toronto, but we don’t have many large gold mining companies anymore – or we won’t,” McEwen said. “And we lost our large base metals companies 10, 15 years ago.”

“There is a risk, but hopefully there’s some intermediates that will pick up some of the assets that are going to be divested through these mergers, and they will grow into the next leaders."