Mining Week: Mining has a long history in B.C.

Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, discusses B.C.'s long mining history for Mining Week.

Bill Bennett

Mining Week 2014

We are celebrating Mining Week in B.C. this week to recognize the industry as one of our province’s key economic drivers. Mining has a significant history and a promising future in B.C. Not only has the mining industry helped shape B.C. during the last 150 years, it will play an important role in creating a strong and stable economic future.

Over the past dozen years, mining has made significant strides forward here in B.C. The production value of mining in 2012 was $8.3 billion — up from $2.9 billion in 2001. I’m proud to say that more than 30,000 people are employed in mining, mineral exploration, and related sectors — whereas in 2001 only 14,700 people were employed in the sector. Those are promising numbers and even with the current downturn in commodity prices, the progress we’ve made is reassuring and provides confidence that B.C.’s mining industry and the communities facing current challenges will bounce back.

I understand the decision by the federal government to not support the proposed New Prosperity Mine was discouraging for many people in the region including MLAs Donna Barnett and Coralee Oakes, and I too was disappointed. We made our position on the project clear and now we will wait to hear from the company on their plans to respond. I think it’s important to note that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has invited the company to resubmit another proposal “that addresses the government’s concerns.”

With that being said, mining in the Cariboo has made some strides forward following the expansion of Gibraltar Mine in Williams Lake.  The expansion provides more than 520 full time family-supporting jobs for the area and the project expects to produce 85,000 metric tonnes of copper and molybdenum per day and its mine life has been extended to 2039.

So while temporary downturns in the mining industry are expected, yet still unfortunate, there is no doubt B.C.’s mining industry is healthy. The mineral exploration and mining industry provides more than 30,000 well-paying jobs in communities throughout the province. Since 2011, three new major mines have opened, three more are expected to open this year, a further three are under construction or permitted and seven major expansions of existing mines have been approved.

As we move forward, our overall goal is to ensure the mining industry has every opportunity to succeed in communities across B.C. to help strengthen our provincial and local economies. Stable management of our economy and maintaining an attractive investment climate means that when global commodity prices do improve, B.C. will be one of the first places mining companies chose to invest.

Bill Bennett is the Minister of Energy and Mines and is responsible for core review.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson speaking in the legislature Monday, May 10. (Video screen shot)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA calls for rural infrastructure renewal fund

Lorne Doerkson said central parts of rural B.C. devastated by flooding, crumbling infrastructure

(File photo)
Firearms offence at McLeese Lake tree planting camp under RCMP investigation

On May 10 Williams Lake RCMP were called to the camp, located at the 2200 block of Beaver Lake Rd.

Lil Mack has been a member of Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy since its inception. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lil Mack of Williams Lake honoured with BC Achievement Community Award

Mack has been an ever-present, quietly powerful literacy force in Williams Lake for several decades

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) announced Tuesday, May 11 that all washrooms on its Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses will have free menstrual products by September. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
TRU to provide free hygiene products in all washrooms by fall 2021

“By signing the United Way’s Promise campaign, TRU aims to reduce barriers facing some students.”

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read