Mining week, May 8 to May 14, celebrates the resurgence of the industry in the province.
It is an industry crucial to the success of the province of British Columbia.
Mining contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that helps pay for vital public services such as education and health care.
With commodity prices booming and demand soaring, this is an exciting time to be part of the mining industry.
As the global economy continues to rebound, particularly in Asia, we can look forward to a prosperous future.
The dramatic increase in mineral exploration spending — from $154 million in 2009 to $322 million in 2010 — underlines mining’s vitality.
Mining is a $7-billion industry that has helped to power the province’s economic recovery, with employment, revenue, exports, production and prices all up over the previous year.
Miners earn an average wage of $110,000. The high-paying jobs generated by the mining industry are crucial to British Columbia’s success.
To take full advantage of these favourable conditions it is essential that we continue to make the province globally competitive with other jurisdictions, while ensuring responsible exploration and mining.
This government is determined to strengthen B.C.’s mining sector for the benefit of all British Columbians.
We believe that the province’s tax and fiscal policies, rich mineral deposits, world-class infrastructure, outstanding public geoscience data and abundant sources of clean and affordable energy all combine to make B.C. an extremely attractive proposition for mining investors.
As we promote this vital sector, we must also ensure we foster a mutually beneficial and respectful relationship with First Nations.
With numerous projects worth billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in the environmental assessment process, it is imperative that our goal of “one project, one process” is realized.
We will work hard on this issue with our federal counterparts as it is vitally important to the region and the province.
For the good of every British Columbian, it is essential that mining succeeds in the province.
I can assure you our government will fully support you in this endeavour.
Rich Coleman is the minister of energy and mines and minister responsible for housing.