Some methodological changes made to the Natural Resource Stock Accounts as of reference year 2012

As of reference year 2012, data for the Natural Resource Stock Accounts program have been revised to reflect a number of methodological changes. Changes apply to the entire time series, from 1961 onwards for energy resources, mineral resources and timber. Details are presented below.

Firstly, in order to align with the new international standard for environmental accounting, the System of Environmental Economic Accounting 2012 (SEEA 2012), Monetary Natural Resource Stock Accounts estimates published in CANSIM now incorporate a positive return to the produced capitalNote1 employed in the extraction of resourcesNote2. The return to produced capital is estimated using a variable rate of return derived from real (inflation adjusted) rates of return on long-term Government of Canada bonds; the rate of return is applied to the value of produced capital employed in the extraction of resources net of depreciation.

Secondly, a geometric method of depreciationNote3 of capital employed in extraction of resources (rather than a linear method) is now used in the calculation of the depreciation component of the cost of produced capital associated with the extraction of natural resourcesNote2. This change is required to reflect a similar change introduced in 2012 in the National Balance Sheet Accounts.

Thirdly, estimates of the value of timber assets are no longer published as a 5-year moving average. While this change leads to greater volatility of timber asset values, it brings greater coherence between timber asset values and the value of subsoil assets (i.e., mineral and energy resources), which are not based on moving averages.


  1. For example, machinery and equipment or buildings used in the process of extracting resources.
  2. Return to produced capital and depreciation of produced capital are components of the cost of the capital employed in the extraction of natural resources. For more information on the calculation of natural resource asset values, please see chapter 3 of 16_505_g1997001_eng.pdf (PDF, NAN B)
  3. Depreciation valued at replacement cost.
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